Xhip Synthesizer

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What is Xhip?

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

The name "Xhip" is a portmanteau of "extended" and "chip".

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.

Xhip Synthesizer on KVR. (If you're posting links or news please link to the KVR page for Xhip. If xhip.net is ever down the KVR page will likely remain up.)


(click to zoom)


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

Special thanks for the layout done by Branis.


Current version: 8 (21 May 2017)

Linux and MacOS: alpha (see below)

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


Current version: 8 (25 May 2017)

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.


Windows Vista (Windows 7 SP1 or greater recommended.)
An XP-compatible alpha version is available.

Alpha version

Current version: r1100 (13 March 2018)


Please see the information on the alpha page.

Alpha version

Current version: r974 (18 October 2017)


No GUI support on MacOS.
Please see the information on the alpha page.

Banks and presets


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.

More Demos

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.

Unless stated otherwise the content of all Xhip demo clips should include only the synthesizer and effects themselves with no other plug-ins or post-processing whatsoever.