Arturia's "Greatest Hits Collection" bundles all their synths into a cost-effective package
By Craig Anderton
Arturia has been making virtual instruments for over 10 years, and the V Collection includes the entire line of Arturia soft synths. Although as expected Arturia’s synths emulate the originals with a warm, “liquid” sound quality that indeed recalls the great synths of yesteryear, they also add “modern” features (e.g., step sequencer, modulation matrix, additional modulation sources, categorized browser for finding particular types of patches, polyphonic operation for mono synths, etc.). These options are often hidden from the main interface to preserve an instrument’s classic “look,” but can be opened up for easy access.
Speaking of the interface, it follows the analog synth one function/one control parameter. Also, there’s extensive use of MIDI learn so you can map parameters to a hardware controller for even more of a “vintage” vibe.
What You Need to Know
Includes all current Arturia virtual instruments: Mini V (Minimoog emulation), Modular V (Moog Modular), CS-80V (Yamaha’s classic synthesizer), ARP2600 V, Prophet V & Prophet VS, Jupiter 8-V, Oberheim SEM V, Wurlitzer V electric piano, and Spark Vintage (30 classic drum machines—Linn, Korg, Yamaha, Roland, etc.).
Spark Vintage drums are designed for Arturia’s Spark controller, but work fine with NI’s Maschine or keyboard controllers with playable pads.
The Synth Laboratory instrument is like a “Combi” that provides over 4,000 presets and 200 “scenes” that incorporate two synths, drum loops, and arpeggiation.
64-bit operation (up to 96kHz) but you can also install 32-bit versions.
Formats are standalone, VST 2.4, RTAS, and AU 32/64 bit. The Oberheim SEM V and Wurlitzer V also support VST 3.
Supports XP and Vista as well as Windows 7/8, 32/64-bit.
Authorization uses Steinberg’s eLicenser; you can choose to use a dongle or “soft” authorization that’s tied to your computer.
Arturia’s RTAS implementations are somewhat sketchy. While all instruments worked for me in Pro Tools 10, others have reported problems. If you use Pro Tools, download the 15-day free trial to verify whether the synths work with your system.
As of this writing there’s no 32-bit AAX implementation, and I doubt there will be as Pro Tools 11 requires 64-bit AAX plug-ins.
Arturia’s synths are fairly heavy on CPU drain—nothing excessive, but if you have an older computer you may be limited in how many instances you can run. You want at least a dual-core processor.
Single instruments cost $129 each, so if you want only three of the synths contained in the collection it makes economic sense to buy them individually. However, it’s likely you’d find at least four favorites out of the collection—for me, the Modular V is a must-have if for no other reason that modular synths can be so much fun, the Prophet VS makes unique sounds, the Spark Vintage Drum Sounds put all the classic drum sounds I need at my fingertips, the CS-80V makes huge sounds, and (like the original!) the ARP 2600 V sure is fun to program.
The bottom line is I’d never be able to afford all the V Collection synths in their hardware form, let alone find a place to put them—but thanks to Arturia, I can still have their sounds in my recordings.
Musician’s Friend V Collection 3.0 catalog page ($399 street price)
Arturia web site
Audio examples of all Arturia synthesizers
15-day, unlimited functionality trial downloads
V Collection 3.0 promo video: