The XILS Vocoder 5000 from XILS-LAB is a virtual vocoder plug-in based around the EMS 5000 hardware unit. A Vocoder is a synthesizer which accepts an external sound source, such as vocals, musical instruments, or other prerecorded signals, and processes it into a large variety of sounds.
The vocoder effect is achieved using two signals that are combined into a single output. The first signal is called the modulator, the second the carrier. Typically vocals are used as the modulator, but drums, percussive material, or any other musical signal can be input. A synthesizer is used as the carrier.
The modulator signal is split into several frequency bands using a band-pass filters bank, and the same bank is used to split the carrier signal. The levels detected in the modulator's spectrum are then applied to the carrier spectrum, resulting in what is most commonly known as the robotic voice.
The user interface offers a standard single panel view with lots of presets. For the user that wants to dig deeper, a center panel can be switched to display a choice of dozens of advanced panels. Additionally, because of its digital nature, the plug-in provides an extended set of features that were not available on the original hardware.
These include added bands, filter types, filter's emphasis and emphasis considerations, more slew rate and freeze modulations, two LFOs ( the original had none), detailed FM and PWM, more oscillator waveforms, an improved input detector (sibilants), and a gate input. It is also possible to populate the matrix by freely drawing lines.