Uploaded on Dec 7, 2007
This is a demo of the Novation Xiosynth. It was made using a series of videos at the Gearwire site, and the shots of presets and sounds that appear were edited by me.
It is a brief demonstration of some (SOME, not all) of the patches available. I have included some of the most interesting ones in this video.
Unfortunately, the demo guy himself (in the usual Gearwire tradition) is doing a bad job at giving a good impression of what this amazing value-for-money MIDI controller and synth is capable of. (Note: go for the 49 key one, not its tiny little brother).
In this video, you will mostly see it go "blink, blieeeank, woouuuuieaaaaw", but once you sit down and work properly with it, you'll be amazed at the options available, which are impressive for such a cheap virtual analog synth which also has great templates for controlling tens of parameters of Cubase, Ableton, Atmosphere, Reason, Reaktor etc...
It is also true that its layout is a bit complicated, and the controls too thrown together in a tiny space. If one could step up a little in price, I would STRONGLY suggest the Novation X Station instead, which has a far better layout and is also a truly excellent MIDI interface & 2 mic preamp soundcard with a very interesting virtual analog synth side (and a very nice keyboard feel).
A small secret: the X Station accepts the Xiosynth's nice artist created presets... ;-)
I didn't note that the Xiosynth has 10 voices instead of the X Station's 8, as well as the X Gator arpeggiator, but even these wouldn't make me want to change my original choice (which makes a little difference because both are monotimbral anyway).
The keyboard feel, the layout and the connectivity of the X Station are far superior (not to mention that the Xiosynth doesn't have aftertouch, which the X Station does).
Tip: the best thing is to put a pair of headphones on and minimise the YouTube window (so that you're not looking at the video). It really helps concentrating on the sounds themselves.
It is true that some of the synth preset patches are not terrific, but that's where your imagination comes in... ;-)
An answer to a recent question: The K Station has a lot in common with the X Station... The Ion is very good but minimalistic in the controls that it has, which means you'll have to go deep in menus. The really nice keyboard feel and the excellent layout of the X Station are its main benefits over this,but it remains a bit complicated for the beginner. However, I was also a beginner when I got it, but I knew the basics behind sound synthesis. The manual also gives a nice introduction.
It is this layout that helps tremendously to learn how synthesis works. If you don't want to go into it, you could try simpler beginner synths that still sound really nice like the Korg Micro X.