XILS Labs | PolyM Analog Synthesizer Plug-in

By | XILS Labs

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The PolyM The T.O.D Oscillators 'Pleasure Principle'

Unique features, unique sound: A few factors were integral in creating the iconic sound of the PolyM’s glorious ancestor: Two T.O.D Oscillators (Top Octave dividers), with PER NOTE Pulse Width Modulation, initially used to get a big polyphony (at this time), a gritty Moog designed 24dB Ladder Filter, an acoustic Filter Bank and, finally, a character rich Resonator Bank.

71 chips…: To take up the emulation gauntlet, more than two years were necessary to closely, patiently, model these 71 components to finally come up with the best and most versatile Divided-down synthesizer ever made.

And beyond: We were able to expose parameters that were not accessible on the original instrument, allowing you to dive into the machinery and mod it without a screwdriver, a soldering iron and electronic components. We also added a more traditional analog VCA ADSR, a plethora of LFOs to modulate almost everything, and a trio of vintage sounding effects among others things.

Using divide-down technology offers a particular sound for Chords, Strings and Pads you won't find in any other synthesizer.

More: With this unit, feeding a monophonic zero-delay 24dB self-oscillating filter, retriggered by keyboard strokes, gives you the possibility of playing huge sounds in a way that no other synthesizer can (PolyPedal behaviour emulated). Original presets, like 'Vox Humana', are also on board. Beyond the Pleasure Principal!

Version 1.1: In version 1.1, all these signature effects are available to process any instruments and sounds in your collection as a VST effect. The PolyM is also NKS compatible. And with the New Preset Manager, you'll be able to find the right sound in seconds, thanks to its multi-criteria search engine, as well as to easily manage all your sound collections.


The Core Sound: Top Octave Divider Oscillators
In this technology, a high frequency oscillator is first divided into 12 intervals of an equal-tempered scale to reproduce a full octave, which is then divided by multiples of 2 to create the needed additional octaves. All notes are therefore locked to a single oscillator, and are always played with the same relative phase, resulting in a unique sound, aside from giving the biggest polyphony (Which was the reason why this technique was invented back in the day).

The PolyM accurately reproduces this divide-down technology, while adding a never before seen feature: Polyphonic (Per note) Pulse Width Modulation.

The two Top Octave Divider Oscillators can run independently in the FREE mode, for subtle to huge phasing effects. In LOCK mode, the two oscillators are almost phase locked, resulting in a phase modulation, instead of frequency modulation, when the Square waveform gets its pitch modulated by an LFO, or any other source.

The pitch of two T.O.D oscillators can be modulated by a tempo-syncable LFO. The Square oscillator has its Pulse Width modulated by its own LFO (also tempo sync-able).

The Keyboard is divided into two parts, Lower and Upper. PWM, Oscillator mix and the VCA Envelope decay can be tweaked independently for each part.

Master Gain Control: The Mixer: You can mix up to 4 sources in the Mixer, and set the global volume with the GEN slider. DIRECT is the raw sound of the oscillators. MOD gets its input from the Acoustic Filter module, while RES takes its source from the RESONATOR FILTER BANK output, and VCF from the 24dB Moog designed Ladder filter.

VCA/Amp: The VCA envelope has two modes, LEG (for Legacy) and ADSR. In the first case, the envelope has been designed to match the original instrument as closely as possible, while the ADSR (Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release) is a standard analog modeled envelope generator that adds a lot of versatility to the PolyM.

VCF and Acoustic Filters: Each note goes through its own 12dB filter, which can be modulated by its own ADSR envelope. This is an important improvement from the original model, which only offered VCF modulation via its simplified VCA envelope.

Moreover, with the PolyM, you can change the filter type from Low Pass to High Pass or Band Pass.

Each Blue keyboard button will engage its own Acoustic Filter preset. They can also load the PolyM with the original settings to produce specific sounds (Strings, Piano, Organ, Harps, Funk, Clav, Vibes, Brass, Vox). When the DOT button is On, only the MODE filter will change. While in the OFF position, all settings of the PolyM will be changed to reflect the presets found in the original instrument.

The RESONATOR FILTER BANK: This was responsible for a major part of the specific sound of the original instrument, and offers 3 parametric filters. You can adjust the Frequency, Level, and Resonance of each filter, and choose between LP/BP/HP/6/12dB modes. These filters have a strong character, as you will immediately notice when you tweak them. Furthermore, you can control all of their parameters via the Matrix Modulation to create evolving sounds, which, as you can guess, was impossible on the original model.

The VCF second filter is a Moog designed 24dB Ladder Filter (capable of self-oscillation), created with XILS-Lab 4th generation zero-delay filter algorithms. It has its own envelope, LFO, and Keyboard tracking parameters, and is controlled by the Keyboard in a MONOPHONIC way. What does that mean? You can retrigger its envelope with every new keystroke, and add movement to a Pad or a Strings patch for example. It can also be assigned to the LOWER or UPPER parts, or…both.

The Modulation Matrix: Not only did we expose many internal parameters that were not accessible in the original model and add a lot of new features to increase its versatility, we also made them available as destinations in the Modulation Matrix. Which means you can modulate the PWM, Vibrato or volume of each Oscillator, control the parameters of all Filters, the Mixer individual gains, Envelope segments, and even all the parameters of the Resonator filter bank with many polyphonic, or monophonic sources to create incredibly deep, rich and evolving sounds.

Beyond the Pleasure Principle.

THE LIST, as short as possible : The PolyM offers;

  • Two aliasing-free Top Octave Divider oscillators: One for the Sawtooth, the other for the Square
  • 71 emulated chips offering Mixer, VCA, envelope, 12dB filter and Pulse Width Modulation for each of the available notes
  • Gorgeous 24dB ladder filter, using the acclaimed XILS-lab zero-delay algorithm
  • 9 dedicated acoustic filters (Strings, Piano, Organ, Harps…) carefully reproduced from the original model
  • 1 resonator filter bank using 3 parametric filters (6 and 12dB) matching the original model
  • Three Vintage effects (Delay, Phaser, Reverb)
  • 9 modulation slots for endless sound possibilities
  • 1 monophonic envelope
  • 3 monophonic, tempo sync-able LFOs
  • All parameters are MIDI controllable
  • More than 200 presets

The PolyM is available with the following formats:

  • Mac OSX 10.8 and later (64 bits only): VST, Audio Unit, AAX (native)
  • Windows 7,8,10 (32&64 bits): VST, AAX (native)

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