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Access Music Virus C
Overall Rating
Submitted: December 8th, 2004
by Anonymous Reviewer
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Sound Quality
The Virus has an expansive sound - a bit like the audio equivalent of a wide screen TV. It has a distinctive tone that can be quite lovely. It can sound dark and aggresive, yet precise and impeccably well behaved. The filters are probably what makes this synth stand out, managing to sound both vintage (esp. the modelled Moog filters) but still retaining their own character. All the above I liked. I do, though, have two major caveats that prevent me from fully endorsing this synth. Perhaps the biggest problem, especially for a 'simulated analogue' synth is that the character of the oscillators is somewhat lacking. They are thin and weak, and don't sound very analogue; and this leads to thiness in the whole sound, which can't be disguised through unison stacking and detuning. You just don't get that monumental analogue sound, there's no real doof, clonk, or fizz. Although the sound is wide and the surface beautiful, it doesn't have the depth of analogue. There's no meat in the sandwhich, or if there is its a thin slice of processed ham. The other problem is one of noticeable aliasing in the upper registers, which adds a harsh quality to high pitched sounds. I have a Korg Oasys DSP card with onboard VA synths which sounds far thicker and far more analogue (I also own a Waldorf Pulse and an Oberheim Matrix - so I know what real analogue sounds like). The Oasys doesn't exhibit aliasing to anywhere near the same degree. Whereas the Oasys can sound nearly utterly convincing as analogue, the Virus isn't quite there it has a sharper, edgier and perhaps more modern sound. This, ofcourse, isn't neccessarily a bad thing, its a question of taste. Just don't buy one, as I did, and expect it to be able to bellow and spit like a real analogue. Access now have some real competition in the VA market with the Alesis Ion/Micron, the new Korg VST synth(I can't remember its name; the one with the USB keyboard), and manufactures of native VST's like Arturia. All of which sound much closer to real analogue. Anyway suffice to say I was a little dissapointed with the Virus' analogue impressions and it was for that reason that we have parted company. My advice is try before you buy and compare it to what else is out there now and don't be carried away with the almost histerical praise with which this synth has been greeted.
Reliability/Durability
Rock solid, built like a tank. Never had any OS problems with it.
Price/Value
General Comments
I've sold it and am replacing it with a Creamware Noah (mainly for the Minimax). I would advise looking at and comparing to the Alesis Ion?Micron (very good reviews, more analogue character) or the Noah, which is being sold off cheap - end of line, or the many native synths which are really catching up in terms of sound quality as PC's get faster.
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