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Novation Xio Xiosynth

Reviewing: Novation Xio (Xiosynth)  |  Rating:
moskvich By moskvich on
Badge: Author | Level: 1 | Music Expertise:
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The Novation Xio is a nifty synth, audio interface, and of course midi controller bundled into one. It has one microphone input, 1 1/4 inch input, and a sustain pedal input. As far as outputs go, it has a line out 1 and 2 for stereo speakers/monitors, a 1/4 inch headphone jack, and a MIDI out port. It runs on either 9V DC power (included adapter), or USB power, which is a nice addition. It has 11 control knobs as shown in the picture, and a switch to vary their functions, giving you 22 different control options. It has a total of 200 different template sounds, and the ability to upload new templates. It has a mod/pitch control that is a bit too stiff for my taste but gets the job done, and the traditional Novation touch modulation control. The only qualm I have with the touch control is that you have to press down relatively hard as it is activated by pressure (not like a laptop touch pad). The Xio gives you great control over the sounds and works as a nice alternative to the onboard audio on your motherboard. While it is not spectacular, with only a 48k/24bit sample rate, it is noticeably better than the onboard audio on my motherboard (NVidia 790i Ultra). It works like a charm with Reason 4.0 after a quick driver download from the Novation website, and automatically maps the knobs and pitch/mod wheel to various functions in Reason, something that M-Audio and other midi controllers do not do (as far as I know). Overall, it is a really versatile and dependable instrument. It is ideal for entry level musicians, but definitely not professional quality. Seeing as I am in the former category, I like it a lot and get a lot of use out of it, both composing at home, and jamming with the band.