"XO" By XLN Audio Review

Updated: Apr 27, 2019



By Serhat Gedik 26/4/2019

Hey there folks!


We hope everyone is doing great, creating amazing music and achieving their goals slowly but surely. We on the other hand have been quite busy at Musician Life HQ with both hands and ears are fully occupied. It was only last week that we'd reviewed and amazing plugin and yet here we are again with another brand spanking new, state of the art, great plugin!

The "XO"!


"XO" by XLN Audio is the next generation, if not, the next big Plugin in the world of Drum Machine Synthesis / Drum Sequencing plugins. "XO" is set to change the parameters of Drum Machine Synthesis with not only the way it looks and presents itself, but also with how it functions, makes things easy to access and speeds up your work flow, gives your creativity a big push and helps you get the groove going on within just a few seconds!

"XO collects all your one-shot drum samples and sorts them by similarity in the XO Space." - XLN Audio




We, at Musician Life, are calling "XO" the "Canvas Of Picasso" as the main interface looks just like an abstract painting and the plugin itself has so many new features which had never seen before on any other plugin that's in the market at the moment.

It maybe overwhelming at first look and it may make you think "But how am I going to figure out what is what?" Well, our friends at "XLN Audio" have not only made things look great but also made them function very easy too.


We've spent only a few seconds to figure out what is what and we've been kind enough to list some of them down below for everyone to see and understand how easy the "Canvas Of Picasso" really is:


1 - Red = Kick

2 - Blue = Snare

3 - Yellow = Hat

4 - Pink = Crash


And the list goes on... The thing is, though it may have a huge number of kits within it's own factory library, it also allows you to import your very own libraries you have and with the smart built in Ai system it has, it automatically analyzes and separates each and every sound from one another and categorizes them in colors, it is that great!


Now, the picture above is the main interface where everything is layered in front of your eyes for you to click and test some of the sounds. When we hop on to the Top Right Corner and click on the presets bar (highlighted below), a whole new page comes up with all the drum kits and drum sequences.


In this part, you can see all the available factory drum kits (Sequences), the name of the kit, the date that it was added to the library and the tempo of the kit which makes things less complicated and speeds things up.


"Red highlighted part is where to click to get into the second page to see all the drum kits and sequences"


On the left side of the screen, once tested out the sounds, you can change a certain clap or a kick if you do not like the sound of it for whatever reason. You might not think that it fits in well with the kit, or you might want a stronger, punchier kick, or a sharper hat sound, whatever the reason may be, "XO" allows you to do as you please which is absolutely "Phenomenal".


When we go back to the main page after selecting the desired drum kit, starts the fun part.

To think that you might not be able to "edit" any of the sounds that comes in the drum kit you've selected would have been insane! But that's not case with "XO". Be cause once you select your kit and go back to the main page, on the left hand side you can see the sample categories in that kit, such as; kick, snare, hat and so on. When you click on one of these sounds, a new bar of options opens at the bottom of the page which gives you the ability to the edit the life out of that particular sample you've chosen!


Sample edit section


As it's highlighted in the picture above, in the edit section, it gives you a good amount of options to edit the sound you want to edit and the way you want to edit it. Let's say you want to shorten the tail of a kick or a snare, you lick on the sample option which is the very first option on the list, then you simply drag the bars at the end to the point where you want the sound to stop and that's it, you're good to go.


Shortening the tail of a kick drum


But it doesn't stop just there! Within the same section, there are a whole bunch of other editing options for each sound you choose to edit within the drum kit you've selected. These options are: Panning, Envelope, Pitch, Tone, Cut off (Filter), Velocity Sensitivity, Playback and FX sends. To make things easier though, all you have to do is click on the "Edit" option. It then takes you to a new section where you can see the edit option of every single sound within the drum kit you've chosen and edit them one by one just like shown below: