XILS-lab’s Updated XILS 3 Channels EMS VCS 3

XILS3_EMS_VCS3_v2-0French music software maker XILS-lab today announced an updated version of their XILS 3 V2.0, the software emulation of the late-Sixties-vintage EMS VCS3 portable analogue synthesizer. The software also adds an emulation of the 256 Analog Sequencer, inspired by EMS’ trailblazing Synthi Sequencer 256 namesake.

The British-built EMS VCS3 — or Electronic Music Studios Voltage Controlled Studio #3 (also known as “The Putney” and, somewhat confusingly, “The Synthi” — after its later SYNTHI VCS3 II incarnation) was introduced in 1969 as the first commercially portable synthesizer available anywhere in the world. Though it was in production for only a short period of time the VCS3 was put to use by some of the “more experimental” electronic musicians of the day, including the BBC Radiophonic Workshop (think Dr Who), Brian Eno (with Roxy Music), Jean-Michel Jarre, and Pink Floyd, among others.

The updated XILS 3 software emulation for Mac (OS X 10.4 and above) and PC (Windows 7, Vista, and XP) has these new features:

All-new GUI. Users can zoom in on all matrices, while continuous modulation amount is now possible within the pin matrix itself.

Improved polyphonic sequencer workflow. In the SEQUENCER 256 module, inspired by EMS’ trailblazing Synthi Sequencer 256 namesake. XILS-lab has brought the sequencer into its software with three independent layers, slew rates, and recording modes, together with added abilities like sequencer layers acting as modulation sources in a dedicated SEQ MATRIX.

Additional features. Adding a second matrix with two additional envelopes, an LFO, comprehensive SAMPLE AND HOLD module, and VOLTAGE PROCESSOR, plus several new input modules — including GATE, ENVELOPE FOLLOWER, and PITCH TRACKER — make hundreds of additional connections available – over 800 different connections per patch with ‘only’ 583 simultaneous connections to boot. 18dB filter emulation alongside a three-mode analogue chorus, delay, and phaser, as well as 150 new presets and an improved (retagged) factory bank.

Pricing and Availability. XILS 3 V2.0 is available to purchase as an eLicenser or iLok copy-protected virtual instrument and effects plug-in at an introductory discounted price of 120.00 Euro ($165 US). The software will regularly be priced at 149.00 EUR after May 1, 2014 via the XILS-lab web store. Current users of the full version of XILS 3 can upgrade for free; XILS 3 LE users can upgrade for €99 ($136). The introductory-priced offer also includes the XILISTICS sound bank for XILS 3 with 160-plus presets worth €25.00 EUR.

In addition, XILS 3 V2.0 can be directly downloaded as a 32- and 64-bit-compatible virtual instrument and effects plug-in for Mac (AAX, AU, RTAS, VST) and Windows (AAX, RTAS, VST) from XILS-lab.

Additional information is available on the XILS-lab website.

4 thoughts on “XILS-lab’s Updated XILS 3 Channels EMS VCS 3

  1. I can just hear the accusatory screams already, but you know what? Aside from iLoks still sucking, this is an attractive alternative. There’s always a cry for NEW! How about something vintage and quirky updated to be inspiring on a new level? Its a less daunting modular than some, but you could still spend a rainy Sunday in front of it like a Phantom. It was a great standard back when it had drift issues as hardware, so imagine all of that with it being stable in this form. Its Instant BBC Radiophonica. The best view: its a “safe” way to just do SOME modular fiddling if you’re not a total hound for going there or a great left-field voice if you already own 3 others. Go listen to it. That’s an interesting voice.


  2. I am using the LE version at the moment with an older ver. of Protools and find this plugin great. Actually i’ve had the pleasure of using a “real” EMS Putney before and i can tell you that the Putney is the most insane instrument – completely wacky and unpredictable as hell!!! The share sonic pallet & darn fun that comes from patching via the resistor pins is unexplainable, you can almost feel what the instrument is doing more than actually “KNOW”, if that makes sense… I like the Xils 3 tho and think that its a good representation of an EMS.

  3. As they add more features to XILS 3 it becomes easier to stray away from the sound it was intended to emulate. If you want to stay within the confines of that character that the original instument provided do yourself a favor and get XILS 3 LE for only €30.00/$41USD. Save money and retain the original character. I just bough the full version and now I wish I had the LE.

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