Xhip Synthesizer

xhe xxx-xated xound xource


Xhip Synthesizer page on KVRaudioIf you post a link please use the KVR page.
xhip.net may go offline, KVR is more reliable.

What is Xhip?

XhipThe name Xhip is a portmanteau of extended and chip.
How do you pronounce Xhip? Well, ...
... I personally use a sound like coarse sandpaper scratching along a plank.
Incidentally I wonder whether or not Xhip can produce this sound?
is a free software subtractive/hybrid synthesizer available for download as a plug-in.

Many software synthesizers attempt to advertise themselves as analog modelled. The term analogContinuous (analog) vs. Discrete (digital)
True vs. False (there is no "maybe")
became ambiguously synonymousE.g. use of the adjective "literal" for emphasis vs. "non-idiomatic" clarification.
 "He's literally lost his head!" (Is it still attached at the neck or not? Idiotmatic?)
This renders the meaning ambiguous - in isolation, objectively irresolvable.

An idiom is a group of words with a meaning indeducible from only those words.
Now you know your beeswax. So don't go buzzin' up a whole lotta literal applesauce.
All ya lollygaggers that ain't beein' fluent-like makin' literal honey can buzz right off.

When I read, I want those sweet words to stick themselves fast inside my mental honeycomb.
My eyes ought to be glued to the page like toast honey-side down, bricks and cement.
with subtractiveSubtractive synthesis:
Harmonic partials of an audio signal are
filtered to alter the timbre of the sound.
decades ago. Despite this confusing marketing, most of these synthesizers are structured and behave in ways which are not at all like classic analog subtractive synthesizers. Xhip is not a "virtual analog"; a paradoxical"This sentence is a lie."
The liar's paradox; it's virtually true!
term held in extreme derision by the author.

Xhip was originally developedXhip Synth + Effects were used in a tracker around 1999.
It was built from my earlier (~1997) tracker sample generators.
By 2003 it had become a stand-alone synthesizer and
was finally ported to a plug-in interface during 2004.
out of frustration with other software synthesizers. The sources of frustration include confusing oddball feature sets that are missing essential features and the bizarre stopgap measures in their place. Xhip correctly implements the features considered crucial in a synthesizer capable of a wide variety of classic sounds. Those familiar with classic synthesizers should find Xhip is 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 avoiding optimizations which negatively impact quality and ease of use.

Demo tracks

Xhip has a soundcloud accountDemo clips are posted as features are added.
The content I produce isn't great but does demonstrate Xhip features.
Please read the track comments or ask questions about specific tracks/sounds there.
at soundcloud.com/xhip/ with some audio clips available.

Those sharing Xhip tracks should let me know and I'll post them on the soundcloud account. All tracks on the Xhip account include only the synthesizer and effects with no other plug-ins unless stated otherwise.


(click to zoom)


Xhip with its default Branis skin at default (low) resolution.
Special thanks to Branis for the GUI layout.


Current version: 8 21 May 2017.

Linux and MacOS: alpha see below.

New features

Resizable GUI
MIDI to parameter routing
Embedded effects
Preset categories and bank name
New LEDs
Buttons replaced with a menu
Improved preset and parameter menus
Unison stereo width
Sine waveform
Save/load state files and "MIDI learn" CC map
User-customizable "init state"
PCM now saved in projects/state
Linear and differentiated xmod modes
Voice recycling switch
Various fixes and other improvements


Current version: 8 r1196, 22 Feb 2020.

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.)

Alpha version

Current version: r1100 13 March 2018


Please see the information (known issues) on the alpha page.
Tux icon attributionTux icons are derived (derivations CC0) from image
© Larry Ewing & Simon Budig, please see tux_readme.txt
... 64-bit penguins with frickin' laser beams on their heads.

Alpha version

Current version: r974 18 October 2017


No GUI on MacOS.
Please see the information (known issues) 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 focused on notable esoteric timbres rather than more basic sounds which are left somewhat underrepresented.
"Synth drums 1" implements every GM2 drum-sound.
The complete GM2 kit is roughly covered albeit with a synthetic timbre. The cymbals and some latin percussion are lacking; this might be improved with samples or layeringXhip 8 banks do not support samples or layered presets.
Samples can be saved in states, but not saved with banks.
Layering is possible by playing multiple sounds at once.
. Please forgive the agogo. A demo of the sounds is available on soundcloud.
Please enable the drum mode multi-timbral switch to key-map the presets.