Xhip Synthesizer

xhe xxx-xated xound xource


What is Xhip?

Xhip is a free software subtractive/hybrid synthesizer available for download as a plug-in.

Many software synthesizers focus on advertising themselves as "analog modelled". The term "analog" decades ago became ambiguously synonymous with "subtractive". Despite this confusing marketing strategy most of these synthesizers are structured and behave in ways which are not at all like classic analog subtractive synthesizers of the past.

Xhip is not a "virtual analog"; a paradoxical term held in extreme derision by the author.

Xhip was originally developed out of frustration with other software synthesizers with confusing oddball feature sets missing common, essential features and implementing bizarre stopgap measures in their place.

It correctly implements those features considered essential to a synthesizer capable of a wide variety of classic "bread and butter" sounds. Users of classic synthesizers should find it very comfortable and familiar as well as extremely fun to use.

Xhip follows a different path with regard to design trade-offs and optimizations. It aims to sound as good as possible with simple, CPU-efficient methods while optimizations which negatively impact quality and ease of use are avoided entirely.

Olde epic

Ancient Xhip lore from bygone days of yore.

(Eons ago~! ... well, approximately ...)

Xhip was originally designed as a basic synthesizer used inside a tracker ("acid tracker") around 1999. Before that it had existed in pieces as small tools for generating samples to be used in more common trackers.

In 2003 it existed as a stand-alone application ("acid synth") and someone suggested that it should be converted to a plug-in using a more common and popular interface format. It needed a new name as the synthesizer was originally designed for simple chip-sounds with a little extra and not so much for TB-303 basslines or whatever else might be associated with "acid".

Xhip was born.

(Let there be Xhip!)

In 2004 someone suggested it could be released publicly on a webpage with news about it posted on KVR. At the time it had no GUI and much more limited capabilities.

How do you say Xhip? Well, the same way you'd say xello, or xlevator, or xurbo xharger of course. Personally, I use a sound like rough sand-paper scratching along a plank. Incidentally I wonder if Xhip can produce this sound ... ?

That's enough of a history lesson for now; Let's move on to the ...

Xweet xubtractive xudio xynthesis!

(Preferably pronounced by a robot with shorting frayed neckcabling.)

With the addition of a second oscillator, super-saw unison, two filters, a waveshaper, pairs of modulators (envelopes, and LFOs); Features like ringmod, xmod, filter input FM, saturation and global unison Xhip has become far more than its original intention.

Xhip allows you to produce high quality dual-oscillator polyphonic synthesizer sounds, similar to classic poly synthesizers of the late 80s. Strings, synth pads, basses, leads, organs, pianos, percussion, bells, vocals, sound effects and more are demonstrated in the "factory" bank.



Xhip with its default "Branis" skin at default (low) resolution.

Special thanks for the layout done by Branis.


Current version: 8 (21 May 2017)

New features:

Resizable GUI
MIDI to parameter routing
Embedded effects
Preset categories
Bank name
New LEDs
Buttons replaced with a menu
Improved preset menu
Improved parameter menus
Unison stereo width
Sine waveform
Save/load state files
User-customizable "init state"
PCM now saved in projects/state
Save/load "MIDI learn" CC map
Linear and differentiated xmod modes
Voice recycling switch
Various fixes and other improvements
Windows Vista (Windows 7 SP1 or greater recommended.)
An XP-compatible alpha version is available.


Current version: 8 (25 May 2017)

New features:

Manual completely updated for v8.
The manual has been updated but may still require proofing and some additions.
Please let me know about any requests for additions or error corrections.



These banks were created by aciddose during Xhip development.

"Xhip factory bank" includes a few contributed presets.
This bank includes a wide variety of sounds and focuses on including somewhat notable esoteric timbres rather than sounds you'd quickly dial in from init.
Unfortunately those more basic sounds are left somewhat underrepresented.
"Synth drums 1" attempts to implement every GM2 drum-sound.
I'm not 100% happy with all of the sounds but the GM2 kit is roughly covered quite well albeit with a very synthetic timbre. The cymbals and some latin percussion are lacking; this can easily be improved with some samples or layering (neither of which are features of v8 Xhip banks.) Please forgive the agogo.
To use this GM2 drum bank please enable the "drum mode" multi-timbral switch to key-map the presets.
A demo of the sounds is available on soundcloud.


Xhip has a soundcloud account at soundcloud.com/xhip/ with some audio clips available.

I plan to post more stuff here as features are added. It can be considered a replacement for the posts I made in the past to the KVR forum about what was being worked on in Xhip.

Unfortunately the content here isn't great but it does demonstrate a few Xhip features. You can take a look at the individual entries on the soundcloud page for comments associated with each clip.If you'd like you can ask questions related to the clips or features there.

If anyone wants to send me Xhip clips let me know if it's alright with you and I can post them to the soundcloud account. I'd also be willing to repost or link to other accounts when the clips are "mostly" Xhip.

There are too many to embed directly into the page here. I change these once in a while to whatever satisfies my interest at the moment.