XLN Audio XO (Win & Mac)

XLN Audio's XO is a drum VST plugin for Windows 7, 8, 10, and macOS 10.9 or later. XO crack runs as an AAX, AU, and a VST plugin format.
  • Publisher: XLN Audio
  • Product: XO
  • Version: 1.0.4
  • Format:
    • Windows: EXE, VST, AAX
    • macOS: APP, AU, VST
  • Bit Depth: 64-bit
  • Operating System: Windows 7, 8, 10 and macOS 10.9 or higher

XLN Audio’s XO is a next-level drum VST plugin for Windows 7, 8, 10, and macOS 10.9 or later. XO crack runs as an AAX, AU, and a VST plugin format.

➕ PROS

  • XO Space is an amazing Intuitive and focused sequencing.
  • The playground is powerful and fun.
  • Great sound and preset library.
  • Flexible export options.

➖ CONS

  • Fixed sequencer lane lengths.
  • Get Started guide is wholly insufficient.

XO innovative, ambitious sample browser and alluring step sequencer certainly grab attention, but is there substance behind all that style?

The final frontier

To begin with a really big number, XO (VST/AU/ AAX/Standalone) houses over 8000 richly varied and largely excellent one-shot drum and percussion samples. Adding your own (they don’t need to be drums, natch), however, is as simple as selecting as many folders on your disk drive as you wish within the import dialogue, upon which their contents are scanned and fully integrated into XO’s library. This huge aggregated sample pool is navigated within the XO Space, a zoomable, scrollable ‘constellation’ interface, during which every sample is represented as a colored dot by instrument type (red for kicks, blue for snares, etc), and similar sounds are spatially grouped via the magic of, er, t-Distributed Stochastic Neighbour Embedding.

Dragging the mouse pointer within the XO Space triggers and selects every sample it passes over, and therefore the basic idea is to comb quickly around until you discover a sound you wish, then concentrate and drag across other samples nearby to see out similar alternatives, or click directly within the 15-strong Similarity List below, where you’ll also ‘favorite’ samples for browser filtering. the sector is narrowed using the Search & Filter popup, which facilitates filtering by name, type, and folder, also as slider-governed ranges for Frequency, Length and Drumminess, the last being a measure of general percussive sensibility, and is astounding in its intelligence.

Clearly, the accuracy of the import analysis algorithm in assigning instrument types to samples is crucial altogether this, and that we can report that XO is extremely impressive during this regard. There are anomalies, as you’d expect, but they’re surprisingly few and much between.

Once you’ve made your choice, drag the sample directly out of the GUI to your OS or DAW, or assign it into one among the eight circular sound ‘pads’ on the left to create up a kit. you’ll then hot-swap samples via the XO Space and Similarity List, and use the Kit Visualisation panel to step through entire similar kits.

Selecting a sound reveals a strip of adjustable parameters at rock bottom of the GUI. These mirrors that sound’s channel within the multi-channel Edit view, which forms the opposite ‘half’ of XO…

Steps ahead

The Edit view brings together collective editing and sequencing (though you’ll use XO as a static MIDI-triggered sound source) of the entire kit, with eight lanes replicating the per-sound controls within the Space view. These comprise pan, pitch, playback direction, transient, and envelope shaping, LP/HP filtering, velocity sensitivity, sample start and endpoints, two effects sends, and output routing to the host DAW, also as a 16-step sequencer. The sends feed into a pair of identical processors, offering 15 preset reverb and delay algorithms, with Length, Tone, and Level controls; and there’s distortion (eight algorithms) and a filter on the master output. We’re surprised there’s no compression and EQ.

Playground politics

Together called the Playground, XO’s pop-out Beat and Sample Combiners allow you to non-destructively play with sound selection and sequencing.

The Beat Combiner sees a row of preset patterns loaded into each lane, each visualized as a segmented wheel. also because of the currently programmed pattern and an empty one, you get a choice of three instrument-defined Basic patterns and 7 extracted from XO’s preset library. Click a pattern to initiate playback of it, the hand icon under a column to modify all lanes thereto stack of patterns, or the Random button to line every lane to a random pattern from those on offer.

The Sample Combiner works along an equivalent line, but gives access to the Similarity Lists for all eight lanes, for swapping sounds. With the Similarity List ready to be repopulated at a click, promoting the chosen ‘similar’ to fit 1 with its own new set of 14 alternatives, this will easily take you miles from where you started. And activating Live Filter mode allows you to replace the entire kit supported search results.

If you wish what you hear within the Playground, hit the accept button to bake it into your actual patch; if not, click cancel to duck out of the Playground and obtain back to where you started, no questions asked.

The sequencer features A and B patterns with AB or AAAB cycling; velocity control; 14 per-channel and global groove preset with variable depth; up to a 16th-note of nudge backward or forwards per channel; and rolls of up to four repeats. The Accentuator may be a clever inclusion, enabling independently adjustable accenting or attenuation of notes falling on half-, quarter-, eighth- and dotted eighth-notes for selected lanes. And needless to mention, a large library of preset beats and kits is additionally onboard.

Finally, XO’s export options are comprehensive, with outward drag and drop of individual sounds or the entire kit, processed or raw, and therefore the sequenced beat as audio and MIDI.

XO, XO good

XO makes an instantaneous positive impression with the XO Space, in which impressions only improves as you get to understand it. As a librarian, it transforms the mundane process of exploring even the foremost oceanic collection of one-shots into a joyous voyage of discovery; but that sequencer is not any mere afterthought, either, providing an efficient platform for designing beats and drum sounds in its title.

There are a couple of negatives, though. XO is handling a huge database, which becomes apparent when searching and filtering, which frequently leads to pauses of a couple of seconds, even when running off the insanely fast internal SSD of our 2018 MacBook Pro. Happily, though, the auditioning of samples within the XO Space is perfectly responsive, fast, and fluid in the least times.

The GUI is scalable up to 200%, but at its default size and below, the Search & Filter pop-up is intrusive. you’ll move it around within the UI, but it can’t be pulled out of it entirely. and eventually, those eight sequencer lanes are resolutely fixed at 16 steps, which limits the compositional potential somewhat.

All that said, XO absolutely succeeds in its goal of serving up an endlessly adventurous, great-sounding, and fun-to-use drum machine with a very unique and effective workflow.

XO’s imaginative workflow and stellar sonics make the entire thing so good that you simply won’t mind its few shortcomings.

XLN Audio XO (Win & Mac)
XLN Audio XO Win Mac

XLN Audio’s XO is a next-level drum VST plugin for Windows 7, 8, 10, and macOS 10.9 or later. XO crack runs as an AAX, AU, and a VST plugin format.

Operating System: "Windows 7 or higher", "macOS 10.9 or higher"

Application Category: "VST", "AAX", "AU"

Editor's Rating:
5

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