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Waldorf Micro Q vs Access Virus (?)


MarkM13

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Greetings,

 

In my quest for a new synth, I discovered what I was really desiring was a VA modeling synth. I then found the Access site. I love the concept of the TI synths. Esp the desktop. But, it's way out of my league price wise. The TI Snow still sounds great but @ ~$1200 is still more than I can spend.

 

In looking for alternatives I came across the Waldorf Micro Q. I like the sounds, but favor the sounds of the Virus a bit more. The micros seem to be fetching about $350 used which is what I can afford. The Virus B and C are going for $200 / $300 more than the Micros. I could get the Micro Q now. For the B or C I'd have to sell off some gear. Either one of these will be paired in the rack with my Roland JV1080.

 

Does any one have experience with both the Micro (or Q) as well as a Virus?

Reviews often site the Micro as hard or harsh. Some of the demos I've listened to support that, while many others don't. A lot of what I play is electronic jazz so I'm not always looking for that "In your face" edge.

 

Any insight to either or both would be welcome.

 

TIA,

Mark

 

www.m13productions.com

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If you're really set on a Virus, you might be able to find an A desktop unit for around that price.

 

Other than that, the usual comments are mQ=brighter/Virus=darker. Virus has better fx. mQ has a couple wavetable oscillators and comb filters that can give some good results. mQ also offers more programming options.

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I had an mQ, its a great little versatile synth, underated in my opinion. It has a great sound and for the price you can get it nowadays its a true bargain, listen to some sounds on the net. I never liked the Virus sound so I cant comment on that.

 

Cheers,

OFM

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Does any one have experience with both the Micro (or Q) as well as a Virus?

 

Yes. Don't get the Micro Q when you can get the Blofeld. Don't get the Virus A if you can get the B. The B is the most bang for the buck.

 

I currently own the Virus C and I have owned both the Micro Q and the full Q rack.

 

The B is worth saving up a bit more/selling some. The extra knobs make programming easier and it's easier to put in the mix.

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I have a Virus TI, and used to have a Micro Q. I made video demos of each, which perhaps you've seen on YouTube.

 

For those who favor the Waldorf sound, the Micro Q is a great buy. Lots of people really like the Waldorfs, but it wasn't my thing. I'm one of those who generally found the Micro Q tone to be just to harsh and metallic for the kind of music that I do. Perhaps the onboard effects contribute to that - IMHO the onboard reverb is just plain horrible.

 

As I recall, I bought my Micro Q on eBay for maybe $375 and turned around and sold it for the same price months later. So, if you're generally interested in the instrument, buy one at a fair price knowing you'll be able to recoup your investment later, if that's what you want to do.

 

Ditto re: any of the Virus models. Several years ago I bought a used Virus Indigo, played it for about a year, and then sold it for the original purchase price. I put the money toward the purchase of my Polar.

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Lots of people really like the Waldorfs, but it wasn't my thing. I'm one of those who generally found the Micro Q tone to be just to harsh and metallic for the kind of music that I do. Perhaps the onboard effects contribute to that - IMHO the onboard reverb is just plain horrible.

They definitely do contribute. That's one of the main differences on the full blown Q if I remember right btw.. It contains 3 DSPs, and one is dedicated to only the FX, which allows a higher quality reverb algo to be used.

 

When you combine (especially wavetable) stuff with it you get that more harsh/metallic quality you noticed. The uQ can do excellent VA stuff too, that isn't metallic nor harsh, it just needs to be coaxed in that direction a lot more than the Virus does. Overall I'd say it's got more sonic flexibility than the default Virus engine (at least pre-TI anyway), but I still prefer the Virus myself, even with the sometimes annoying darker quality of the VA, probably mainly because of its filter.

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Keep it coming...

Keyboard Wiz. I did see and enjoy the YouTube videos.

I've been doing as much listening as I can on the net.

My gut is telling me what folks are reenforcing which is if I really like the

Virus sound, then get one.

 

Part of me is thinking that I should save up and go for the TI Snow. But, with the C's offering more tweakability via the front panel I'm not so sure the TI concept commands the extra $. We'll see.

 

If anyone else has any pearls to offer, feel free.

 

Thanks,

Mark

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My gut is telling me what folks are reenforcing which is if I really like the

Virus sound, then get one.

 

 

Yes. There's nothing like it. There are several software synthesizers that make good companions and that may have a bit of overlap, but even then.

 

 

Part of me is thinking that I should save up and go for the TI Snow.

 

Do you, in general, program your synth sounds yourself?

 

Tweakability isn't worth much if most of what you do is work with envelopes and filter cutoff; anyway, even then, the Snow has an editor to do the deeper editing.

 

Even with the C (and the B probably even more, since it doesn't have the assignable knobs below the display - the C has 2 soft knobs, the Snow/TI 3) I find myself diving through menus a lot.

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...about $350 used which is what I can afford....


 

 

 

 

 

That statement ^^^^^^^^ was the only reason I said maybe you should look for a Virus A desktop.

 

If you're considering the Snow and are willing to save up for it (or go into debt for it), then the Snow is the way to go.

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If you're considering the Snow and are willing to save up for it (or go into debt for it), then the Snow is the way to go.

 

 

Hmm... I've pretty much made up my mind that a Virus is the way to go.

One thing that has me concerned about the B-C option is it's size. I love the idea of being able to tweak via the front panel knobs, but thinking it could be a pain haul around. I'm not even sure if it's rack mountable. Seeing I don't manipulate sounds during live performance, the tweaking aspect of a Virus B-C would only be used in the studio. Since the front panel knobs would only be a studio feature, I'm wondering if I should forgo them in favor of the TI option.

 

Yes, I do realize I can have both in the TI desktop, but this synth search started with a budget of $350-$400.

 

So... who uses a B-C or TI desktop live? Do you rack mount it?

My rig is big enough to haul and I try to avoid adding more to the schep.

So if I go that route, I'd like not to have to haul it by it's self.

 

I'm not actually a keyboardist but a percussionist that performs on a MIDI mallet controller. Check out the set up here:

http://www.m13productions.com/Mallettour.html

Explanations are over simplified so a non musician/techie could understand the set up.

 

M

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I love the idea of being able to tweak via the front panel knobs, but thinking it could be a pain haul around. I'm not even sure if it's rack mountable.

 

It is rackmountable, but rack ears for the Virus have to be ordered separately. I don't know if the TI's ears fit on the B or C.

 

In terms of size; yes, it's relatively wide, but compact and light-weight. If you'd put it in a rack box with the JV, the total size of that rack box would grow quickly (you need 1U extra on top of the Virus because the outputs stick out at the back, instead of being sunk in the case - the JP8080 and Waldorf Q both have this) and you'd have a lot of empty space, so I'm not sure that's an ideal solution. http://www.zzounds.com/item--SKB82DJ would be better.

 

Assuming that your picture shows what your setup on stage looks like, the Snow seems a better solution. There is a Virus Rack classic and a Virus Rack XL which are both 1U high versions of the Virus A (plus some extras) and Virus C respectively, but they're hard to find and aren't comfortable to work with without an editor (which is an old copy of SoundDiver, OEM - don't know if it even runs on something newer than Windows 98, because Emagic seemingly abandoned it).

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It is rack mountable, but rack ears for the Virus have to be ordered separately. I don't know if the TI's ears fit on the B or C.


In terms of size; yes, it's relatively wide, but compact and lightweight. If you'd put it in a rack box with the JV, the total size of that rack box would grow quickly (you need 1U extra on top of the Virus because the outputs stick out at the back, instead of being sunk in the case.

 

 

The Virus A, B, and C have a rack tray that bolts to the bottom. The Classic and TI have rack ears that bolt to the side but, they are different shaped ears. The TI also has a jack panel that swivels to the back to eliminate the lost of a rack space problem.

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cool setup man, really unique. haven't tried the q but i really liked the blo and will get one spring/summer 09 depending on stromberg and finances. have the access virus c and the ratio of knobs:footprint:sound (as actual analog instead of virtual, this thing would be unpractical to gig) its incredible and you can find good prices 2nd hand.

 

there's some cool things you can do with the waveforms as mod sources, effects, etc. i like the electric piano and the replica 'moog' filter (also sounds good when you input external sources), you could trigger the cutoff & rez with a foot pedal for like wah effects, maybe pulse width modulation could sound cool in that context, dunno. for industrial music its fantastic

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Why not comparing the Virus with the Waldorf Blofeld?

 

Same price new as the microQ used.

Better display showing Envelope shapes, filter routings and many more aspects.

Way more wavetables (additional 64!)

The PPG filter of the Q (not available for the microQ !).

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Why not comparing the Virus with the Waldorf Blofeld?


Same price new as the microQ used.

Better display showing Envelope shapes, filter routings and many more aspects.

Way more wavetables (additional 64!)

The PPG filter of the Q (not available for the microQ !).

 

 

The envelope display is compelling-

but I think having all those knobs on a Virus C (or B/etc.) is more advantageous.

 

Currently (in the States) the MicroQ is an incredible bargain used (costs less than a knobby Virus)- hard to ignore that in these difficult economic times.

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Currently (in the States) the MicroQ is an incredible bargain used (costs less than a knobby Virus)- hard to ignore that in these difficult economic times.

 

 

Yup they sure are. They can be had on eBay for

There isn't much from Virus that's going that low.

 

However, as previously stated, I've done a lot of listening.The sounds of the various Virus models (both past and present) continuously impress. I find myself trying real hard to like the Waldorf sounds. Some of them really do sound great. But, too many times I find myself thinking. "WHAT would I do with that?"

 

The music I play is rooted in electronic jazz, so my requirements are a bit different. I do love to tweak and create my own sounds but, to want to have to do it to the majority of the patches (BTDT)

 

M

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However, as previously stated, I've done a lot of listening.The sounds of the various Virus models (both past and present) continuously impress. I find myself trying real hard to like the Waldorf sounds. Some of them really do sound great. But, too many times I find myself thinking. "WHAT would I do with that?"

 

 

That's why I sold my Micro Q Phoenix I was using as my main live performance synth. I think it's a great synth to buy if you don't own a Waldorf but I replaced it with a racked TI for gigs and bought a Blofeld to use with my DAW at home. The Virus has a bit more variety and range in terms of usable tones in a live setting. Also the loads of simultaneous effects and polyphony are killer. Having all that DSP power available at once makes all the difference in the world when creating complex atmospheres and intense sequences.

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Hi

Did you finally decide?

 

I have both: I took ACCESS VIRUS RACK CLASSIC first. It is an excellent workhorse for my synth sounds, pads, leads and bass... good thing to start with. Than some years later I've added the Micro-Q, and it is a great add-on above the VIRUS. Whenever you don't find the right sound in the virus, you will do find it in the Q and vica-versa. Today, I would rather change the micro-Q for a Keyboard version of Waldorf Q (more power).

 

Virus is simpler to control with Logic software and MIDI.

With the waldord microQ I had some MIDI problems, eg: it did not respond to Cc7: Volume change command. I don't know why. ( I bought a used microQ).

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I had a Q, and though it did some pretty cool things- especially for making weird sci-fi FX and unique electro-percussive sounds, it didn't cut thru the track at all when it came to "pedestrian" type sustained sounds. The TI is the bomb- if it did patch morphing, like the Q did I'd rate it as one of the best modelers every built.

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