Free Xenos Xenharmonic Stochastic Synthesizer Builds On Ideas Of Composer Iannis Xenakis


Developer Raphael Radna shared this introduction to Xenos: Xenharmonic Stochastic Synthesizer, a free and open-source virtual synthesizer based on the work of composer Iannis Xenakis.

Xenos is a virtual instrument plug-in that implements and extends the Dynamic Stochastic Synthesis (DSS) algorithm invented by Iannis Xenakis. In the late 1960s, Xenakis (1922-2001) began his research on stochastic synthesis: an approach to microsound synthesis that uses probability distributions to manipulate individual digital samples.

Programmed in C++ with the JUCE framework, Xenos is open-source, cross-platform, and can be built in a number of plug-in formats.


  • Authentic DSS engine
  • Xenharmonic pitch quantizer
  • Custom scale import in the Scala format
  • Ten stochastic distributions with up to two parameters each
  • First- and second-order random walks
  • Variable number of segments per wave cycle
  • Variable amplitude envelope
  • Polyphonic (64 voices by default)
  • MIDI implementation (notes, sustain, pitch bend)
  • External MIDI controller assignment
  • Parameter automation
  • Simple and streamlined interface
  • Free and open source

Xenos 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.

It’s available for Mac & Windows, along with the source code, via Github.


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