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  • Seeking Access Virus advice

    Hello folks,

    I'm just about to put down synth tracks for my band's EP, and the only synth I have at hand is my NL2x. Even though it does sound good, it has a few shortcomings. I'm not that keen on the sound of pads and polyphonic stuff, the filter is kind of week - and the list goes on. The drummer of the band and I attended a major danish pop act yesterday, and the keyboardist played a Virus. Now the drummer badly wants me to get one. And I do realize that it would come in very handy for this band and other pop projects - I have the impression that this is where the Virus excels; the dual filters and other features may come in handy. I did, however, not think that this is where I'd spend my hard-earned money, and I had kind of decided on saving up for the soon-to-come MFB Dominion 5 which, even by simple filter sweep demos, has me converted to analog filter goodness.

    So my questions to Virus users are: how capable is the Virus in other areas than sounding like pop and house? How much does the interface get in the way? With my current crush on the MFB, could the Virus be able to keep me happy?


    Thanks. Niels
    Niels Münster

  • #2
    well that's a personal preference thing

    the virus c I had was ballsy and I liked the filters. the interface was great and I would mostly dial I sounds from the init patch. it's got wavetables and a pretty deep mod matrix.

    the presets seemed to be geared for trance or something but really you can dial in any sound you want from pads to brass and strings, glassy sparkly ish, dirty basses, etc

    I've never used a nord or mfb synth other than briefly playing with them at the store. ideally you can find somewhere to demo it in person altho that could make it very tempting.

    my only complaint would be sub bass, it seems like I always had to add it from my minimoog rme or super jupiter idk

    Comment


    • #3
      I've had Virus TI2 and played on the Virus C. I think they are very similar in sound. If you are making music with a DAW. I would perfer the TI2 since it has the Total Integration stuff. The better display also makes programing easier to begin with.
      I think the Virus Series does the job to any kind of music. For the TI series you can download free professional sounds from the access site. You can have about 5000 sounds all together in the TI. I'm sure you will find something usable among those. If you are into programing sounds, your fantasy would be the limit. You will get every feature the nord lead has and then many times more.

      If you are open for alternatives with similar sounds, Waldorf Blofeld Keyboard is actually very deep and you can even download samples into it. And you have the Radikal Technologies Accelerator which sounds very good and is an nice quality hardware. All having this german flavor to the sound. Hope this helps.
      Rob

      Comment


      • #4
        I play a Virus TI2 Polar in my band, and it can do pretty much anything I need it to. I have even used it as the sole sound source for a cover of Us and Them, for the sax, piano and organ parts, believe it or not. Obviously, a dedicated DP or rompler would have done a better job of the piano, but the patch I made was surprisingly passable, and the sax sound was almost certainly closer to Dick Parry's than I could have got from any rompler, and I took all of about 10 minutes making it.

        As for synth sounds, the engine is so flexible, you can do pretty much anything with it, and the FX are exemplary.

        Comment


        • #5
          I was really blown away the first time I heard a Virus. I then realized why the high price tag was justifiable. Sure it's a software VA in a box, although it just sounds so.... good. Creamy and dreamy, harsh and dirty, brutal and soft... even very warm, yet clean. It's very good at covering nearly any kind of synth sound, but for some reason it's always associated with Pop/Trance. My favorite feature is 'Parameter Lock'. Now that's a way to get your creative juices flowing without much effort. And that's what the Virus is all about in my opinion. An extremely INSPIRING synth that truly is worth more than the asking price.

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          • #6
            The TI series are very flexible multitimbral instruments with great effects and a large library of presets. If you are buying a keyboard, it would be worth your time in my opinion to take a Kronos 61 for a test drive as well. Read up a bit and then spend an hour or so with one in a store. Some GC's used to carry Access stuff, but I am not sure if that is still the case. Some of the guys here might also suggest Kurzweil PC3 something-or-other.
            Gribs

            ...Music can be used to stimulate mass emotion, while mathematics cannot; and musical incapacity is recognized (no doubt rightly) as mildly discreditable, whereas most people are so frightened of the name of mathematics that they are ready, quite unaffectedly, to exaggerate their own mathematical stupidity.

            G.H. Hardy in A Mathematician's Apology (London 1941).

            Comment


            • #7
              Yes. the Kronos happens to be in the synthesier category. It has 9 synth engines in one keyboard. I happen to have a Kronos 73. And it is a beast. But I have to admit I also miss my Virus TI2. Because the virus got a nice physical interface for programming, while the Kronos has more use of menudiving. To make things short, you will spend less time to figure out the Virus TI. Plus the Virus Editor is 100 times better. But I'm not saying that toy shouldn't try Kronos, it could be exactly what you need and maybe cover all your needs and then some.
              Rob

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              • #8
                I bought the VirusTI the first year it was released and Im on my second one. Ive owned a lot of synthesizers in the past, including most the Nord Lead line so I understand where youre coming from. I never liked the filter on the NL2 and I also wasnt partial to it for atmospheric or pad sounds. But for lead and bass sounds, I always found it incredible useful.

                The VirusTI is definitely a more well-rounded synth in my opinion. The filters are by far some of the best Ive heard on any synth and the arpeggiator section is the BEST Ive ever used on ANY synth. Plus it is constantly being updated with new features which after 7 years since it was originally released, that is practically unheard of from most synth manufacturers. With a huge library of sounds already available online, you really cant go wrong and as plaid_emu stated, once you hear it / use it, you will realize why the high price tag is justifiable.
                "Give a man some fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life." - Unknown

                Comment


                • #9
                  I agree with Robbins about ease of use and immediacy of the Virus. You will still have to do some menu-diving to access full control of everything, but the front panel is very well designed and the software editor/librarian is very nice. I suggested Kronos because taken as a synth it is very versatile, provides advanced sampler/rompler sounds, and for the 61 key version costs about the same as a TI2 KB. Another rout though may be to keep the Nord and get a Virus Snow or used TI desktop...
                  Gribs

                  ...Music can be used to stimulate mass emotion, while mathematics cannot; and musical incapacity is recognized (no doubt rightly) as mildly discreditable, whereas most people are so frightened of the name of mathematics that they are ready, quite unaffectedly, to exaggerate their own mathematical stupidity.

                  G.H. Hardy in A Mathematician's Apology (London 1941).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks for the very informed advice, guys!

                    I am still far from making up my mind. Just took another listen to both the Virus and the MFB synths today, and for basic synth sounds, the MFB filter just smokes. And as we all know, a good filter is alfa omega. Regarding the dual filter, which is the one definite feature drawing me towards the Virus, I figured that in the studio a high pass filter sweep can be done in a DAW, and for live purposes, I could acquire a cheap rackmount Doepfer filter. Certainly a descent price to pay for good sound... but who knows, the MFB may even come out with dual filters.

                    I have also bought myself some time. For this recording session, I borrowed a Virus A from a friend. That has me kind of covered when it comes to Virus... even though it doesn't have hypersaw and the like, I don't think I'd use that much anyway. I have however not entirely dismissed the Virus, as I do realize it gives me an amazing scope of sounds for studio AND for live use. Still kind of not certain about the sound of the device, but this week I'll be spending some time in the music store trying it out hard, and friday I'm visiting a guy who's selling a TI Polar - I'll have him show me what he does with it, and thus see what a longtime user can coax out of it. If I like it, I'll buy it.

                    I also came upon a third idea yesterday; for many years I've been using a rather crappy old IBM laptop. It is slowly decaying, and so a nice computer could be an idea. Macbook Pro, obviously. This I wouldn't be able to use live, but I could power it up with Ableton, Massive and the like and have a nice studio device. As it is, I'm doing the recordings at a friend's flat with his computer.

                    EDIT: Regarding Kronos, it's too expensive and too much menudiving, as has been mentioned. Same goes for Blofeld, whose matrix-style editing wouldn't appeal to me. One of the reasons I'm kind of weary about the Virus is also the relatively large amount of knob sharing (which is of course attributable to the vast amount of features).


                    Anyway. Lots of contemplation to be done.

                    Niels
                    Niels Münster

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Just want to mention if you are not aware of it. You have the Virus TI and the Virus TI2. I've had both, and to my use, the TI2 had very noticable more processing power (polyphony). I would keep my eyes on a second hand TI2 when/if you have made up your mind.
                      Rob

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                      • #12
                        Thanks, Robbins. There's also a TI2 (desktop) on sale, for a little more money however. I must, however, say, that I am first and foremost a live player. I never use sequences, never any super-complicated layers - that sort of thing. I play in bands, not on my own - at least when it comes to synth. With my NL2x (which I think has something like 24 note polyphony?) I have only rarely met the boundary of voice limit, so the 60-something voices of the Virus would never become an issue.

                        I have one other reservation, though. The full 61 key synth is too big and heavy for gigging. I'm currently looking at a polar. It may be the bees knees... but man, is it hideous! Well, to me at least. Don't dig the white. It oozes "trance synth" in a not very nice way.
                        Niels Münster

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I suggested Kronos because taken as a synth it is very versatile, provides advanced sampler/rompler sounds, and for the 61 key version costs about the same as a TI2 KB.


                          Actually, the 61-key version Kronos costs about the same as a desktop Virus TI2... at least in the US.
                          http://www.reverbnation.com/christianschulze

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Actually, the 61-key version Kronos costs about the same as a desktop Virus TI2... at least in the US.



                            I was just about to say that.

                            Anyone know the going price for a used Kronos?
                            "Give a man some fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life." - Unknown

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thanks, Robbins. There's also a TI2 (desktop) on sale, for a little more money however. I must, however, say, that I am first and foremost a live player. I never use sequences, never any super-complicated layers - that sort of thing. I play in bands, not on my own - at least when it comes to synth. With my NL2x (which I think has something like 24 note polyphony?) I have only rarely met the boundary of voice limit, so the 60-something voices of the Virus would never become an issue.

                              I have one other reservation, though. The full 61 key synth is too big and heavy for gigging. I'm currently looking at a polar. It may be the bees knees... but man, is it hideous! Well, to me at least. Don't dig the white. It oozes "trance synth" in a not very nice way.


                              I think White is very common to be honest.
                              But about polyphony. If you use not so compliated sounds, any Virus TI would be enaugh. But you can make one complicated program that gives you note dropouts, but that would be a massive sound. I'm just saying, you get less chance of that with TI2.
                              Rob

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