May 112016

Xen-Arts proudly presents:



Xen-Arts is very excited to present IVOR2, a significant evolution and refinement of the original Ivor microtonal virtual analog synthesizer design.

Introduced in this iteration are a new set of standard features that will be implemented in future updates to the other Xen-Arts instruments, as well as some new ones that are unique to this instrument and its particular type of oscillators:


A MOD-GEN is essentially a generalized hybrid Modulation Source Generator, which includes an envelope generator that can be switched between an ADSR or a Graphic Envelope Generator, and an LFO that can be switched to run at audio-rate: the ARO. The IVOR2 VSTi features eight total MOD-GEN of this type, which are used for modulating the Phase or Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) of each oscillator waveform, the range of Phase & PWM, Crossfade Modulation (XFM), Filters, VCA and Pitch.


A powerful synthesis feature of the IVOR2 VSTi, is that when the MOD-GEN LFOs are switched to the ARO mode, they are capable of generating additional sideband spectra in the signal, resulting in complex, expressive and evolving timbres. Additionally, the frequency ratios of each ARO may be configured by loading a Partials File (TXT), which enables basic tuning and timbre correlations of the generated sideband spectra, especially where sine-waves are being used as the modulating waveform.

Oscillator A & B Pitch Modulation Polarity

All pitch-modulation sources may be configured so that the pitch of each oscillator can be modulated in a common direction and polarity, or the signals inverted for modulation in opposite directions, as well as switched to a static setting without modulation when, for example, using the MIDI Pitch Wheel Controller. When the modulation control signals are inverted, the phase of the modulation sources routed to each oscillator’s pitch is effectively at 180°.

Each of the below pitch modulation sources may be configured to modulate the pitch of the two oscillators in either a common direction and polarity (0° phase), or otherwise, in opposite (phase inverted 180°) directions:

  • Pitch Bend Controller
  • Mod-Wheel Vibrato
  • Pitch Mod-Gen
  • Harmonic Mod-Gen

Crossfade Modulation (XFM)

Crossfade Modulation itself is a common feature of contemporary synthesizers, however, this instrument enables a unique variant of the technique: partials-file controlled audio-rate modulation between two oscillator sources using a dedicated MOD-GEN, which is capable of generating intonation-related sideband spectra, thereby creating interesting sonic relationships between the microtuning and timbre of the instrument, and especially in the most simple XFM case scenario of using sinewaves with different pitch transposition offsets.

Phase & Pulse-Width Modulation with MOD-GEN

Unique to IVOR2 are the new and extremely versatile Phase & PWM Sliders and MOD-GEN routing options that replace the single control in the original version. Each oscillator has a pair of these range sliders, which can be set to fixed values, and MOD-GEN source routing selectors that can optionally override the sliders and their targets modulated with dedicated MOD-GEN.


In more typical synthesizer Phase and PWM modulation scenarios, the range of the modulation is set to fixed values. With IVOR2 the range can be fixed, or alternatively modulated by a MOD-GEN to create a huge variety of real-time timbral variations, sweeping notching effects, as well as FM timbres when running the LFO in a partials-file controlled audio-rate modulation (ARO) mode.

With these new phase and pulse-width modulation features, the IVOR2 VSTi opens myriad new and exciting realms of microtonal and xenharmonic sound-design possibility.

Jacky Ligon • Xen-Arts • 2016

IVOR2 • The Microtonal Virtual Analog Synthesizer by Xen-Arts

IVOR2 is a freeware 32-bit VSTi plugin for Windows. The instrument may be used in Bitwig Studio on Ubuntu Linux 15.04 (bridged with Airwave VST-bridge).

IVOR2 is a two-oscillator subtractive, FM, XFM and RM synthesizer that features full-controller MIDI Pitch Microtuning using MTS (MIDI Tuning Standard), where any MIDI Note Number can be freely microtuned to any desired pitch across the MIDI range, thereby enabling musicians and composers to explore the vast expressive possibilities of composing music with alternative intonation systems.

IVOR2 is a microtonal sound-designer’s virtual analog synthesizer with a carefully designed ergonomic workflow for quickly creating powerful sounding and musically useful timbres.

IVOR2 excels at making categories of timbres that include bass, distortion, keys, pads, broken, weird, leads and other analog synthesis types of sounds.

IVOR2 is an educational tool for learning about subtractive sound synthesis and musical instrument intonation (microtuning and xenharmonics).

IVOR2 embodies a design philosophy of simplicity for microtonal music sound-design:

  • A knob-less design primarily featuring slider controls, which enables intuitive direct control with a computer mouse
  • A dedicated control signal system mapped to the most important synthesis functions
  • Settings are made by typing values into fields, dropdown lists, left-and-right arrows, switches and sliders
  • Enables musicians to specify precise microtonal pitch-bend settings
  • Features arbitrary microtonal oscillator transposition settings
  • MIDI-CC modulation of harmonics enables dynamically playing harmonics of the fundamental pitch


Oscillator Section

  • Two Oscillators with 22 Waveforms
  • Microtonal, Cents-Based Oscillator Transposition
  • Per-Oscillator Analog Pitch Drift Emulator
  • Phase & Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) Range Sliders

Mod-Gen Section

  • Nine dedicated Modulation Generators (MOD-GEN), featuring an ADSR and Graphic Envelope Generator, and an LFO that can be switched to run at Audio-Rate, which are for modulating Phase (FM), Pulse-Width, XFM, Pitch, Filters and Amplitude (VCA)
  • MIDI-CC-to-Harmonics Modulation enables oscillators to dynamically sound harmonics of the fundamental pitch


Oscillator Mixer Section

  • Oscillator Mixer for setting relative oscillator volumes, Cross-Fade Modulation (XFM) and Ring Modulator (RM)
  • Cross-Fade Modulation (XFM) Mode with six directional options for cross-fading between the two oscillators, including Sum (XFM bypass)

Filter Section

  • Pre-Filter Saturation Stage with 20 Saturation Types
  • Two Independent Filters with Six Filter Types: LP4, LP2, HPF, BPF, BRF, APF
  • One and Two Stage Filter Cascade
  • Parallel and serial order routing
  • Unipolar and Bipolar Filter Modulation Modes

Performance Control

  • Full controller MIDI Pitch Microtuning with MTS (MIDI Tuning Standard)
  • MTS support for both Single Note and Bulk Dump: Loads MTS microtuning format files internally and receives MTS externally
  • Patch (per-patch) and Global Microtuning (static microtuning for all patches)
  • Microtunings can be loaded from any directory on hard drives or storage devices connected to the PC
  • Partials file loader for patch-level partial retuning of MOD-GEN Audio-Rate Oscillators
  • Modulation Effects include Chorus and two Phaser types
  • MIDI: 12 Note Polyphonic, Monophonic Legato Mode, Monophonic Portamento, Microtonal Pitch Bend, Vibrato
  • Ensemble: Tone Filters, Stereo Ensemble
  • Delay: Stereo Delay effect



  • 118 Factory Patches by Xen-Arts and Sevish
  • 148 MTS Microtunings
  • 91 Partials TXT Files for Audio-Rate Oscillator Modulation
  • Instruction Manual

IVOR2 Demos:

Atmospherics • Xen-Arts

Cinematic • Hardy Slicer

Sketch • Justin Curfman

J.S. Bach, Toccata and Fugue in D minor • Brian Ginsburg

Xenomic • Xen-Arts

IVOR2 (2016) Video OST • Xen-Arts


Download the IVOR2 ZIP archive installer:


Installation Notes:

Extract the entire contents of the archive into your VST plugin directory. This will place the VST DLL and all of the dependent files for the plugin in the required place, which will ensure the correct operation of all the synthesis features.

For example, using either of the popular WinRAR or 7-Zip archive utilities, Right-Click on the archive, drag it onto your VSTi directory, then from the pop-up menu, choose Extract Here. This will extract all of the content into a folder directory that will be labeled IVOR2. Within this main directory, one will find the following:

  • IVOR2 sub-folder directory containing all of the microtunings (MID) and partials files (TXT), as well as the factory patch bank (FXB).
  • IVOR2 Manual.pdf
  • IVOR2 Patch List.txt
  • IVOR2.dll
  • Xen-Arts VSTi Microtuning & Partials Library Documentation.txt



Please note that Xen-Arts software never has been, and never will be, infected with computer viruses; this we promise. If your virus software ever indicates that our microtonal music software has a virus, this is what is known as a False Positive. Contacting the developer of your virus software to make them aware of the false positive is the best solution.




 Posted by at 4:06 am

  34 Responses to “IVOR2”

  1. […] IVOR is a free software synthesizer that allows you to compose and perform microtonal music. It has just seen a major update to version 2, making it more versatile and powerful than ever. It is a virtual analog synth that includes frequency modulation, ring modulation, pulse-width modulation, saturation, filters and various features specific to microtonal and spectral music. […]

  2. Many, many thanks for having released this plug-in free of charge.

    • Hi Ugo,

      Thanks for dropping by and it’s my pleasure. If you make some music with it, please feel free to make me aware of it.

      Would you perchance be the developer Ugo?

  3. […] has released IVOR2, a free microtonal synthesizer instrument for […]

  4. Awesome! Thank you for sharing. Regards.

  5. Wow.. Sounds freaking great…

  6. Hi,

    Thanks for bringing such a great synth to us..much appreciated..and for free, too! Most generous of you. I am really looking forward to jumping in at the deep end with this and seeing where it takes me.

    Kind regards

    Dan (A.M)

  7. Welcome everyone and thanks for your comments. It’s good to have you drop by and it’s my pleasure to share these tools.

    When you make some music with these instruments, feel free to make me aware of it through the contact form. I’m certain that everyone in our group would be very interested to hear it.

    Check back occasionally. There will be more to come.

  8. How does one get this?

  9. Found it. Not as obvious as it should be (IMHO).

  10. Hi Glenn,

    On your suggestion I’ve made it easier to identify the installer download link, and have included some notes about how to install the plugin as well.

  11. Such a cool instrument. Thank you. One problem so far. I’ve used it in one of my compositions and when I close down my DAW and reopen it the patch I was using doesn’t reload. It resets to initial first patch every time. Any ideas?

  12. Mixcraft 7 pro is 64 bit. I do run both 32 and 64 bit vst without issue on a regular basis.

  13. I’ll give the alternative version a shot and let you know how it goes. Gosh, thanks so much for all the work your doing trying to figure this out.

  14. This is an absolutely phenomenal vst. This is incredibly well put together and whatever black magic you have behind the hood, It’s a true killer. Keep up the good work!

  15. Welcome Mugluck. Thanks for dropping by.

    The black magic moment came when I was working on updating the phase and PWM control from the last version of Ivor, which evolved into the four sliders and their MOD-GEN routers found in the oscillator section.

    I realized I was getting some amazing sounds by moving those range sliders with my mouse while the phase (FM) and PWM were being modulated – essentially widening or narrowing the range of the modulations – and it was one of those ‘light-bulb’ moments when I knew that I had to add the ability to modulate the range with the MOD-GEN as well.

    As it turns out, doing this at audio-rate, produces a huge variety of new timbres that have taken the original Ivor concept from a more typical virtual-analog, to an instrument that can sideband to-beat-the-band at practically every stage of its sound-generation, and it’s one of those happy accidental discoveries that come along every so often.

    Let’s hear your music sometime. Would love to check it out.

    • Oh my music is a looong way from evolving into something listenable haha. I have noticed, however, in the various different industries that reaching a point where something becomes organic is about not just having a precise information base, but also about how you layer on top of that information set and modulate those layers. The more ‘messy’ the signal becomes and the more nuanced that is, the closer to a soul it has.

      That struck me immediately when I heard Ivor, you’ve really handled the extra layers of effects well, so they come out beautifully. It’ll be interesting to see how far you can take that. 🙂

  16. very nice synth, will test now on upcoming production , sounds very good. thanks for making this free:)

    • Welcome Psychasm.

      It’s my pleasure and I’ll look forward to hearing your music.

      Get in touch through the contact form if you like.


  17. Very Nice. Thank you !

  18. Hi there,
    Have just taken your excellent IVOR2 for a spin.
    I notice that you can lock the chosen microtuning while changing presets, lovely!
    Is it also possible to lock the master tune so I could play at say, 432 rather than 440, and keep the offset as I change patches?
    I tried to automate the osc cents controls but they don’t seem to be exposed to the host.
    Thank you for making this synth and keeping the microtonal flag flying.

  19. Welcome Mr Pouch,

    Good to have you here.

    Yes – The ability to load both a patch level microtuning, as well as a global one that remains fixed while exploring the patch bank, was something that we realized was important in these instruments early on. Thanks very much for the feedback on this kind of feature.

    It is very easy to change the base-frequency of your microtunings to any values required of the music at hand. I’ve detailed how to do this in a series of Xen-Articles called, Microtuning Virtual Instruments, the links for which, are visible on the navigation tabs at the top of the site.

    Read those articles, and if it’s not intuitive, let me know and I’ll help you.

    There were some controls I didn’t expose to host modulation, but this could be exposed it in a future update. Some people use synths like this with patch generators and having this parameter exposed might produce unusable and unpredictable results.

    • Hi Jacky,

      Thanks for the info, the articles are very useful.
      Reckon I will convert the scales with a different base freq as you suggested.

  20. If you need my help Mr Pouch, feel free to write me through the contact form, and I’ll help you get it sorted.

  21. Why only 32-bit? … 🙁

  22. […] is a free download from the Xen-Arts site. Audio demos are available at the […]

  23. Can I Use your Ivor2 for making commercial music? And presets i can use too?

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