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Review: PolyKB III Synthesizer Plugin by XILS-Lab

Review PolyKB III Synthesizer

This time I am glad to discover with you a new synthesizer plugin, developed by the french team Xils-Lab, called PolyKB III.

See the news: PolyKB III Software Synthesizer Released by XILS-Lab

This is a kind of developer having great products with advanced synthesis, and they made PolyKB III as a virtual copy of an existing hardware, the rare French analog synthesizer RSF PolyKobol. With a set of both classic and rare features, it gives unlimited possibilities on a fast 3 oscillators synthesis.

RSF Kobol Synthesizer
RSF Kobol Synthesizer

At first glance…

PolyKB III VST Synthesizer
User Interface

I really like this wood design. You can choose 3 sizes from 1000 pixels wide to 1400 pixels wide. Xils-Lab team tried to re-bring the original synthesizer design in this digital version, but now with much more controls and buttons to manipulate the sound, why? Because today’s technology allows this to be possible. In this way, Xils-Lab managed to create a more powerful synthesizer for all today’s sound designers and music producers.

One thing I like at first use is the possibility to use the right mouse button to activate a small increment move on values while using the classic left-click on the knobs. This way it’s possible to increment and reach the desired value with precision.

The system managing the banks of presets is well done. There we can sort easily, even by Author, and find presets quickly. The synthesizer is loading quickly on my FL Studio, and this is simply another of the greatest VST instruments I have seen the past weeks.

PolyKB III Software Synthesizer
PolyKB III 3D View

The Sound

Digital sound processing is going in areas of reality, this all started with the first emulations of filters, delays, reverbs, years ago with PolyKB first version. There are a few plugins taking me near the real hardware world as this synth is capable, maybe iVCS3, The Legend and why not, Arturia’s Analog Lab Synthesizers.

PolyKB III features 3 Morphing oscillators, 2 Creamy Multimode 0df Filters, a supersized step sequencer, 3 Envelopes, 2 LFOS, 2 Mod Matrixes, 2 Unique Per voice modulators, an arpeggiator, vintage effects as well as an elaborate step sequencer, which can also dynamically modulate parameters such as envelope sections.

Also, the usual onboard FX section not missing, with delay, chorus, phaser and equalizer.

With hundreds of possible waveforms PolyKB III synth is a quite unique instrument to have. It is different from other plugins from the well-known companies.

You will find these parameters available in “current project / generators” inside FL Studio, for events editing and even linking to/from other plugins by MIDI.

I recommend using the Formula controller of FL Studio to link it to parameters on Env, or Filters, …

I always use Formula controller to send signals to Cutoff, Res, and other essential synthesis possibilities (even changing the size or mix of a reverb!).

Here is the big part of the PDF manual explaining all what you need to know from oscillators to effects: The 6.1.6 Matrix Mod part is very interesting!

PolyKB III PDF Manual

I think this chapter is most important. You will learn how to use the main synthesizer’s functions…in my opinion is a must if you choose to get this plugin!

Conclusion

It’s an awesome plugin in the area of 3-OSC synthesizers, and Xils-Lab has other very good plugins in modular and various categories too! It’s a great synth for lovers of synthesizers, sound designers, musicians of any genres, needing fine basses, strings, electronic sounds and a great audio synthesis to use under the mouse. If you need modular synthesizers, Xils-Lab has top products too in this market.

What I like most about this synthesizer plugin:

  • The banks of presets, giving examples from talented sound designers.
  • The design, 1400 pixels wide (or 1000px, or 1200px).
  • Three aliasing-free morphing oscillators: from triangle to pulse, through saw.
  • Two 4 poles Multimode self-oscillating filters
  • Three Loopable envelope generators (ADSR)
  • Two MIDI syncable LFO
  • One MIDI syncable Sample and Hold
  • One 128 steps polyphonic sequencer/TranceGate Sequencer/Phrase Player

This kind of software synthesizer is not a one-day synth, it will take at least a little time before you know all its secrets.

PolyKB III synth plugin is available for both Mac and PC in the following formats (32 and 64 bits):

  • Mac OSX 10.7.0 and later: VST, Audio Unit, AAX
  • Windows XP, 7,8,10 ; VST, RTAS (Protools 7.0 and later), AAX

About The Author

Grabule is an electronic musician since the Amiga in 1988. Interested in audio apps, plugins, video games and tools. Using Windows, iOS for music apps. FL Studio, Reason, Renoise as main apps in Windows. Home site www.mp3-fr.com
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