Instead of bloviating which artists so far have used the Access Virus synthesizer series,
I just give you folks a link to check out who’s been working with it..
So what is actually under the hood of this powerful machine? I won’t go too much into details, but rather highlight data that emphasizes what makes this bad boy compete with the brutal competition out there. So let us start. You’ve got your two digital sound processors, most of the synths out there have only one, you know? You can have up to 90 voices running. Let me tell ya: That is very fat sound! Most synths out there reach around 16 – 32 voices or might be even monophone. Enough space for patches, high quality 192 kHz digital to analog converters. Though I feel obliged to tell you that everything beyond 48 kHz seems to be acoustically not very important, as you won’t even hear the difference. You can play and input any kinda sound in an unknown rhythm and the Virus TI will estimate it’s tempo in a very short amount of time.
It comes packed with a very special VST that was especially designed and optimized for the most common DAWs and to get a solid connection from the hardware to your production tool of choice. Various inputs and outputs as well as. Has an own interface but also allows you to use your usual interface in cooperation. And a handy backup function.
Nice side trivia: When it comes to wavetables, a lot of synths tend to steal or to tamper the original Oberheim or PPG series. In a way even, that it’s noticeable. With the Virus Access TI 2 Desktop you know, that you got 100% originalitly from the creator. You can even read or watch interviews of Christoph Kemper (the creator of it all).
oberheim oder ppg als alternative
The Virus-series is known for it’s crystal clear digital emulation of analog sounds. Though it is possible to recreate natural sounds, where would be the fun in that? It’s more about discovering new and unknown territory. With plenty of voices and 3 LFOs, as well as wavetable and filter forms, the sky is, as in most cases, the limit. The main focus include electronic dance music, breakbeats and film scores. But that is just, because coincidentally the most famous guys established their names in those scenes. Some might even try circuit bending, which would be ridiculous, since we’re talking about a synthesizer that has the value of a good and used car. So you better get that idea out of your mind. No company allows circuit bending.
Either, and that is quite an important aspect for me, you use it for creating sound and recording that aforementioned sound, or you use it as a veeeery expensive “effect pedal”. Let’s take this case: You treat yourself nicely by buying one of the first sampled based synthesizers, the Casio SK-1. You sample something for the Casio and you sent the output of the Casio into the input of the Virus Access TI, which processes the signals it receives and gives it out into your DAW of choice. From here on you might even add post-production effects. This is for me personally THE definition of a powerful device. It can create sound from itself, but it is also capable of receiving audio and manipulatiing it.
Who needs it?:
I’d say everyone could use one. Electronic music has grown quite a lot since the 2010’s. Sooner or later you should know your basics about sound modulation and connections. The longer you wait, the more you become like me. It get’s harder and harder to acquire the complete understanding of each synth. Your brain is like a sponge in those young years. Give it some proper use by learning as much as possible. The harder the synth, the earlier the learning curve should begin. That’s why a Casio SK-1 is better “to be” learned on when you grow older and you’re never too young for basically any Virus Access product. The desktop version has no MIDI keyboard, but I’d say that is mainly a good thing. You can get solid MIDI keyboards for around 25$. Connect your cheap MIDI keyboard decision with your enourmusly expensive Virus Access TI 2 Desktop and you will get the same results. You will have more cables lying around, yes and you will need more space than purchasing a TI Polar, but those keys are just unnecessary gimmicks, considering the fact that you’re also capable of sequencing and therefore saving and loading and switching patterns.
There is always a free alternative, but that requires work-around solutions. Like you could get a circuit diagram of the virus models and rebuild it on your VCV Rack for yourself for free, but this requires a lot of time and knowledge. At this point you’d be better off to put your ingenuity into developing your own synth and brand and selling those ONLY so you can afford one of the virus models. You are definitly paying less for the brand and more for the functions and connections this little monster has under the hood. Don’t get tricked by it’s size, since a lot of technology is “shrinking” year by year. A real alternative for me would be a cheaper 100% VST version of the Access Virus. Somehow this doesn’t fit into the company’s philosophy and nobody even considered thinking about a clone from another company. Reasons for this, might be, because it’s “just” a digital synthesizer and therefore doesn’t deserve the honor to be fully digitalized in todays era. Or maybe it’s like with old cars. Where you need a market that demands the Virus for 25 years in order to become an old-timer and at this time everyones throwing away clones and clones after clones.
Let us recap:
While beeing one of the most powerful synthesizers out there, it’s not all that you need or ever want to be satisfied.
You can build your studio with a lot of free stuff and it doesn’t always have to be hardware-based. Not to mention what’s the use of a Virus, when you don’t have anything to record the instrument? A lot of DAWs nowadays come pre-packed with some solid VSTs. So it cuts down to this: Either you have the money or you have to accept that you might reach somewhat lower qualities but also while saving a lot of money. Out of all the synths out there, this is in a rich-peoples-prize range no doubt about it. If I ever see one at a humane price though, I will immediately purchase it though hahaha. That is for sure.
See you next time folks.
Don’t forget to write me your experience or your thoughts in regards to this synth. Bye. =)