Just before Christmas some interesting synthesizers are launched. Tone2 released the extroverted, trancy sounding ElectraX. And XILS-lab comes with the more timid sounding PolyKB II which is based on analogue hardware.
The PolyKB is an emulation of the polyKobol, a hardware synthesizer introduced in the eighties. Only 30 polyKobols were made, also due to the competition and success of the Yamaha DX7 synthesizer. Since only a few people have ever played a polyKobol it will be difficult to say if XILS-lab made a good emulation of it. Even the French software company has based its product on a few audio samples send by the makers of the polyKobol.
The most important fact is that the PolyKB II sounds great. The most distincted and difficult feature to emulate is the modulated wave morphing of the oscillators. This might be the reason why the PolyKB uses more cpu cycles than other vst synthesizers.
The PolyKB II is an enhanced version of the PolyKB, which was released not very long ago. XILS-lab has added more modulation possibilities, a phaser and dual equalizer in the effect section, enhanced the arpeggiator, the build in sequencer and the stereo pad. Also the GUI is renewed with a better preset management and the option of a bigger or smaller interface.
Users of the PolyKB 1 are allowed to upgrade for free. For new users the web shop Don’t Crac[k] has an interesting offer until December 14th with XILS-lab products. The PolyKB II costs only $89 (€68) at Don’t Crac[k], which is a real bargain. Note that you need an iLok or eLicenser usb dongel for this vst instrument. The eLicenser dongel is available at the XILS-lab web shop and costs €12.