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Access Music Virus b
Overall Rating
Submitted: March 30th, 2001
by ZPrime-X6oyb
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Sound Quality
General Comments
I've posted this elswhere so I thought I would just put my opinion here as well :) Here's my review of the Virus B v4.02: I have had the synth for around two months now and know it pretty well inside and out. I would definitely buy one again if mine were lost because it is a great little box. 6 individual outs let you route your sounds for easy mixing in a console. 16 part multitimbral, 24 voice poly, up to 4 OSC per voice (including sub), 3 LFO's per voice (one is only assignable to a few destinations), 2 filters per voice, 2 envelope generators, tons o' knobs, vocoder, etc - but I'm sure you've all heard the specs before so I will concentrate on the good and bad in my experience of using it (as I have also used a Q and other synths extensively). The BAD: The things that I have found which I don't especially like about the synth are few. These mainly stem from two general "shortcomings" of the synth design. The first of these, and the most important (in my opinion) is the fact that when you are in multi-mode you only have a global delay/reverb. This is rather disappointing because a lot of patches use the reverb to give them a certain sound - so when you are in multi-mode they sound a bit different, and usually worse (go figure). This can be overcome because the unit DOES have 6 outputs - so just hook up an external FX processor and you're back in business. It would be nice to retain the patch characteristics in multimode though. The second of the things which is less than perfect, other people have commented on a bit more - and that's the layout of the synth. Yes - there are a LOT of menus. After a couple months of using it, it becomes a lot easier to navigate though, as one may expect. The main time when I notice this is in random patch generation (more later). A lot of times the sound gets panned in one direction or the volume down very low, but not related to the easy-to-find volume and pan parameters, so it takes fiddling in 3 or 4 places to get the sound to come out right. There is one more thing that I noticed while running OS 4.01 - the patch names would sometimes get random characters in place of the ones I had put in them. This, however went away with the upgrade to OS 4.02. The GOOD: Well, those were really the only things that I can say I dislike about the synth. The list of what I like is too long to really mention everything, so I will touch on the most important things (for me). Firstly - the SOUND. The sound is GREAT. I love every sound I get out of this box. The presets are even very good - something most synths can't claim. The pads are lush and euphoric, the leads go from analog to bizzare to biting and everything in between. The basses are deep and mellow (or harsh if you want that). The drums are almost usable - not that I would use anything but a sampler for drums anyway. :) Even sound FX are better than you would hear from most sources. I generally program my sounds with little or no reverb and they come out great, although it does take some tweaking. The random patch generator lets you to randomizing of patches from subtle - if you like the sound already but want a slight modification - to extreme where every parameter is changed drastically. Unfortunately, usually drastic changes end up with not much sound coming out - as I mentioned in the previous section. The arpeggiator is sweet - a bunch of modes of operation, lots of patterns (many of which are really bad), speed changes, sync to midi, etc. It's really easy to get trancey leads by just hitting a few keys. And you have 16 simultaneous arpeggios possible - one for each part in multi-mode. External FX processing is a nice feature too - I LOVE the vocoder, although it is confusing at times - not as confusing as they make it out to be in the manual though. The vocoder is better than anything else I have used because it has such a great sounding tone generator driving it. :) Overall this synth does what it claims to do - and does it rea
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