XILS-lab Hearkens to The Roaring Twenties with Les Diffuseurs

We love XILS-lab and their inspired collection of synth plugins, like XILS 4, KaoX, and PolyM. They inspire chaos with their detailed emulations of those classic synthesizers of yore. This time out, Les Diffuseurs sees Xavier and his team train their eyes on the legendary Ondes Martenot with this unique effect plugin. Check out their press release below.

XILS-lab Les Diffuseurs
XILS-lab’s Les Diffuseurs and its La Palme effect plugin. Image courtesy XILS-lab.

XILS-lab looks to the past to produce present-day Les Diffuseurs bundle of outlandish effect plug-ins inspired by ondes Martenot speakers

GRENOBLE, FRANCE: audio software company XILS-lab is proud to announce availability of its Les Diffuseurs effect plug-in bundle — turning to the Twenties (read: early 20th Century), and an early electronic musical instrument called the ondes Martenot, more specifically French inventor Maurice Martenot’s Métallique and Palme so-called diffuseurs speakers, as inspiration for its La Palme and Le Metallique effect plug-ins to effectively enable anyone to experience the outlandish sounds of those ‘unobtainium’ originals from the comfort of their present-day DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) — as of April 9…

As an early electronic musical instrument inspired by the accidental overlaps of tones between military radio oscillators, the ondes Martenot — literally translating from French as Martenot waves — dates all the way back to 1928 when it first appeared as the result of its French inventor namesake Maurice Martenot’s intention of creating a new instrument with the expressiveness of a cello. Clearly there was some correlation there between Martenot himself being a cellist and also working as a radio operator during the First World War. While there were several ondes Martenot versions available during an admittedly impressive 60-year-manufactured-to-order run — it can, for example, be played with a metal ring worn on the right index finger, sliding the ring along a wire to produce Theremin-like tones generated by oscillator circuits using vacuum tubes, or, in the case of the seventh model, transistors — that all the same saw Martenot remain resolutely uninterested in mass-producing his namesake instrument, it was the challenge of effectively reproducing the outlandish sounds of two of four speakers known as diffuseurs that Martenot specifically created for the instrument in question that truly excited the ears of fellow Frenchman Xavier Oudin, obviously prompting his audio software company XILS-lab to turn its attention to collectively set about duly developing and now launching Les Diffuseurs.

As an effect plug-in bundle par excellence, Les Diffuseurs comprises La Palme — inspired by Maurice Martenot’s Palme speaker first presented alongside the sixth version of the ondes Martenot in 1950, itself anchored around a resonance chamber laced with strings tuned to all 12 semitones of an octave so that when a note is played in tune it resonates a particular string, producing chiming tones — and Le Metallique — inspired by Maurice Martenot’s 1932-vintage Métallique that features a gong instead of a speaker cone, thereby adding a specific metallic character to the overall ondes Martenot sound. Saying that, though, present-day digital technology-based breakthroughs have not only allowed Xavier Oudin — ably assisted by Nori Ubukata, a renowned sound designer (think Japanese giant Yamaha’s GS-1, DX7, SY99, and other notable FM synths), synthesist, and Thereminist, together with synth designer Yves Usson (primarily known for his work on French music hardware and software specialist Arturia’s MiniBrute and MicroBrute monosynths) — to effectively reproduce the outlandish sounds of those ‘unobtainium’ originals from the comfort of present-day DAWs but also add more possibilities to the plug-ins themselves, such as muting any STRING (La Palme) or changing the GONG size in real-time (Le Metallique).

Moreover, in addition to those individually tuneable and mutable strings, La Palme also features global INPUT, DAMP — more string oscillations equal less higher frequencies, DECAY, TRANSPOSE, and TUNE controls; Le Metallique‘s dual-sized GONG can be modulated by an LFO (Low Frequency Oscillator) or MIDI WHEEL and also features INPUT level and frequency DAMP — more gong oscillations equal less high frequencies — controls, together with DECAY and LOW END level controls, plus an LFO that can be synced to the project tempo. The ‘wooden’ BOX central to each plug-in’s operation features further DECAY and DAMP controls.

And as if that was not enough to be getting on with, XILS-lab has pushed the concept further still by powering its Les Diffuseurs effect plug-in bundle with its True Stereo Dynamic Engine (TSDE), so users can not only position those La Palme and Le Metallique speakers left and right in a true stereo image but also in front to the stereo field or, indeed, farther back — all of which was surely unimaginable way back in 1928!

Thanks, then, to XILS-lab‘s Les Diffuseurs effect plug-in bundle, anyone can now experience the outlandish sounds of Maurice Martenot’s Métallique and Palme so-called diffuseurs speakers like never before — made match fit for truly 21st Century usage in modern-day music production by being effectively enhanced, in other words. 

The Les Diffuseurs effect plug-in bundle is available to purchase at a time-limited introductory promo price of only 45.00 EUR until May 15, 2024 — rising thereafter to its regular price of 89.00 EUR, downloadable in 64-bit AAX (native)-, AU-, VST2.4-, and VST3-compatible formats for macOS (10.9+) and 64-bit AAX (native)-, VST2.4-, and VST3-compatible formats for Windows (7/8/10/11) directly from XILS-lab here: https://www.xils-lab.com/products/les-diffuseurs-p-173.html# (Les Diffuseurs is copy-protected by a license serial number, requested when first launched.)

A time-limited full version of Les Diffuseurs can be requested for pre-purchase evaluation purposes here: https://www.xils-lab.com/products/les-diffuseurs-p-173.html#AskDemo

Watch two videos demonstrating differing aspects of La Palme — one of two effect plug-ins included in XILS-labs’ Les Diffuseurs bundle — here:

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