XILS-lab KaoX takes a classic FM synth and mixes things up with a little extra chaos

XILS-lab has released KaoX, a virtual instrument inspired by Yamaha's classic, groundbreaking FM synthesizer from the Eighties... no, not that one.

The eagle-eyed among you will have spotted the wooden surroundings of the lesser-known GS-1, which paved the way for the likes of the DX7 to reign supreme. KaoX builds on the eight-operator FM engine and adds in analogue-inspired oscillators, filters and envelopes and throws some Chaotic algorithms in for good measure.

The original GS-1's appearance is retained, as are some of the original controls including Tremolo and Vibrato. Within the simplified view, you also have access to Drift, Tune, Glide, upper and lower synths layers, plus an effects selection, much like the original.

However, the advanced view throws open a panel of features that includes more control over the FM section with an LFO, filter, envelope and two user-defined external modulators per operator.

The analogue section delivers two analogue waveforms, two filters four ADSR envelopes and four VCAs per layer.

As for the chaos engine, KaoX is equipped with two chaos oscillators and two chaos modulators. Plus, there's also a four-track sequencer whereby each track can be assigned to a layer, have independent sustain/gating and be used as a source of modulation.

KaoX is available now for the introductory price of €99 (normally €179) and compatible for both PC and Mac as a VST or AU. For more information check out the XILS-lab website.

Simon Arblaster
Video Producer & Reviews Editor

I take care of the reviews on MusicRadar and Future Music magazine, though can sometimes be spotted in front of a camera talking little sense in the presence of real musicians. For the past 30 years, I have been unable to decide on which instrument to master, so haven't bothered. Currently, a lover of all things high-gain in the guitar stakes and never one to resist churning out sub-standard funky breaks, the likes of which you'll never hear.

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