Future Retro XS

Future Retro XS Image

The Future Retro XS is a true analog synthesizer with a modern, aggressive sound. Its compact form can be configured as a desktop or rack-mount module - whichever the user wants. The XS is monophonic with semi-modular characteristics. It has 46 controls on its surface, 43 of which are knobs for full knob-tweaking bliss. It has pre-wired internal signal routings similar to traditional synthesizers. However, there are 7 inputs and 11 outputs that can be utilized to override the pre-wired signal routings and interface with other instruments - even process external audio - making the XS a true semi-modular instrument.

The XS has 2 voltage controlled oscillators that can be frequency modulated independently by internal and external signals for complex waveforms. A dedicated LFO can be used to modulate external or internal signals. The 2-pole multimode filter can be used as a lowpass, bandpass, highpass, or notch filter and is capable of self-oscillation. Velocity-sensitive ADSR envelopes can be used to alter filter and amp.

Both MIDI and CV/Gate can be used separately or together to control signals in a variety of configurations. It can also act as a CV/Gate to MIDI converter, including CV/Gate/Mod Wheel/Velocity signals for controlling other analog instruments.

The XS can be used to make a variety of analog synth sounds including basslines, leads, drones, percussion, and sound effects. Although the XS is monophonic, multiple units can be linked together for more flexible and polyphonic possibilities. And like any true analog synth, there is no on-board memory, no effects processors, and sequencing/arpeggiation features are handled via external controllers (such as Future Retro's Revolution).

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12 Visitor comments
Linear Aggression
March 29, 2010 @ 10:22 pm
oscillator 2 has a sub osc so there are 3 VCOs. OSC 2 and 3 can go into LFO range and i think the LFO can get into the audio range too if you wanted.

this synth is amazing. it has a unique sound. it excels at everything monosynths are known to be good for and has TONS ofexcellent modulation capabilties.

build quality is great and the knobs turn beautifully.

better info on this synth is available at future retro's website. this write up is pretty bad and lacking info.
Christopher Winkels
February 28, 2010 @ 10:58 am
An absolutely fantastic little box.

Great filter options, ample modulation possibilities (both built in and patchable), and a very aggressive sound that overdrives easily. I sold my Pro-One because the XS covered all the same bases plus more.

Downsides: the controls can be very touchy and dialling in an exact sound can consequently be a little tricky. I hate the fact that it doesn't just have two proper ADSR envelopes (the accent thing is too 303-ish for me) and I found that the front panel markings rub off rather too easily.

I can forgive all those things though since it's such a useful unit with deep modulation possibilities and a lively sound. I only wish there was a keyboard version!
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 3.34 (259 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - Monophonic
  • Oscillators - 2 VCOs
  • Waveforms - Sine, Triangle, Saw, Square/Pulse, Noise
  • LFO - Triangle, Saw, Square, Random
  • Filter - 12dB Lowpass, Bandpass, Highpass, Notch
  • Envelope - 2 VCAs
  • Effects - None
  • Vocoder - None
  • Arpeg/Seq - None
  • Keyboard - None
  • Memory - None
  • Control - MIDI In/Thru, CV/Gate
  • Date Produced - 2007-Present

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