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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Are you looking to buy or sell a Future Retro XS? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

12 Visitor comments
September 19, 2012 @ 10:14 am
The bassline on this track was recorded using the Future Retro XS and especially the 2 settings on the velocity-sensitive ADSR.


It reminded me of the Pro One and sometimes I wish I'd never sold it.
manu riga
August 31, 2012 @ 7:19 pm
Why didn't this site mention the sub osc: called the Wave C which is considered a utility oscillator which you can use as three kinds of sub to thicken up the bottom end, add ring modulation, white noise or route external audio into the mix.

This specification shouldn't have been forgotten, this synth is really a killer.
August 24, 2011 @ 1:10 pm
I got the XS for a year, and sold it at the end. Don't get me wrong, it's a cool synth for fx sounds and so on. Also, the easy bpm sync of the Lfo modulations are a good feature. But i never get a cool bassline out of it. The main sound is to harsh and gritty and fits not easy in the mix. After i got the Sem Patch Panel i sold it, because the Sem blows the XS away with his organic bass sound.
October 18, 2010 @ 7:24 pm
Oh, and the envellopes are soo snappy. Amazing. It's definitely in the same league as Sequential's Pro-One.
October 18, 2010 @ 7:23 pm
Oh man, I just got this synth less than a week ago, and there are sooo many sonic possibilities. It's my first real (by real, I mean analog) hardware synth and it is fantastic. You can get everything from ear-wrenching sound effects to beautiful, smooth leads. The basses on this thing are so fat and juicy, it blows any software synth straight out of the water. The only drawbacks are the limited amount waveforms on Oscillator A, and it's lack of patch memory (not too much of a problem, you can always just take a picture).

Things I wish it had, but would make it much more expensive:
-A keyboard

Other than that, zero complaints. I highly highly recommend it, and customer service is excellent; Jered is a really nice guy.
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Rated 3.35 (258 Votes)

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  • 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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