Xenos is a free Synthesizer plugin using novel dynamic stochastic synthesis

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Xenos is a new free Synthesizer plugin (Raphael Radna) using a novel dynamic stochastic synthesis (DSS) that makes wild sounds possible.

The core of every Synthesizer plugin, whether free or commercial, uses one or multiple synthesis methods. If you look at the market, there are dominant synthesis methods: virtual analog, frequency modulation (FM), or for several years wavetable synthesis. Some use a granular, additive, or even Casio CZ-style phase modulation synthesis.

If all these are already too standard for you, you should read on. Iannis Xenakis has developed a novel synthesis form built around dynamic stochastic algorithms (probability distributions). Raphael Radna, another developer, has taken this concept and created Xenos, an intriguing free, open-source Synthesizer plugin.

Xenos free synthesizer plugin

DSS is a digital synthesis method that generates waves of variable periodicity by applying random variations to a repeating wave cycle. The engine driving these variations is a set of random walks that control the durations and amplitudes of wave cycle segments.


Xenos is no feast for the eyes, that’s for sure. The graphical user interface is straightforward and boring. But often, it is enough that a plugin can be used.

The plugin uses and extends the dynamic stochastic synthesis (DSS) algorithm) invented by Iannis Xenakis. According to Raphael Radna, it is open-source and programmed in C++ with the JUCE framework.

Xenos is a 64-voice Synthesizer plugin consisting of three sections: pitch, amplitude, and global. Both the pitch and amplitude offer distinct stochastic distribution and first and second-order walk sub-sections with up to two parameters each. It also can have variable number of segments per wave cycle.

In the global section, you get an ADSR envelope, a Xenharmonic pitch quantizer with custom scale import in the Scala format. Xenos has full MIDI implementation and supports DAparameter automation from your DAW.

Even though I know my way around synthesis, this feature set sounds a little too much like high-level math. But I find it exciting that new synthesis forms are being developed. From the linked video, you can hear that Xenos can produce various bizarre and unique sounds. I think it’s perfect for experimenting with the engine and seeing where the parameters take you.

And The plugin was first presented to the Meta–Xenakis Global Symposium, and is the subject of a master’s degree from the Media Arts and Technology (MAT) program at UC Santa Barbara.


Xenos by Raphael Radna is available now as a free download from the developer’s GitHub repository. It runs as a VST3 and AU plugin on macOS and Windows.

More information here: GitHub

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  1. Sounds like a bunch of goats, plus it’s free. What’s not to like?

    The guy speaks in math-science-geek, barely English cant, with loads of mistruncated adjectives. People in these specialties seem to think this makes them sounds smart or technically sophisticated. In the end, all this language abuse leaves nonnative speakers like Tom and people who are not tech geeks feeling like they missed something and that the something must be some mathematical concept.

    But no, it’s just a jargon-heavy presentation in marginal English.

    Again, all the same, the screaming-goat synth looks like fun.

  2. Jargon-heavy? I agree. But they need this sort of thing to advertise. But let’s make sure their site is legit. But up till now it looks clean. Don’t worry, the “jargon” he is speaking is just some big boy terms which connect to spind design and synthesis

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