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Access Music Virus b
Overall Rating
Submitted: October 6th, 2005
by dragonfly-j.NH1
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Sound Quality
The Virus has a very characteristic sound; it's definately a synth that stands out in a crowd, and whether you like the effect or not, it definately can turn heads. It's pretty much a techno/electronica instrument and it works great for related genres. Many EBM bands use/have used this synth as their main tool; Icon of Coil and VNV Nation for instance. It's earned a reputation in the synthesizer world as being an instrument "with an attitude". Although mostly used for upbeat techno:ish stuff, it's not at all limited to this approach. I find it very inspiring to work with, and as stated above, the evolving pads and filter sweeps it can do are great for a more laid-back and ambient sound. As most VA synths, its sound is a bit thin, but backed up with the right production and a pure analogue backbone, it can easily add that final touch that you need to give your piece some extra edge.
At an Icon of Coil-concert, their Virus synth fell a good four to five feet and hit the (stone) stage floor quite hard; one of the keyboardists picked it up, dusted it off, and the band kept playing on. No problems. Also, I've never had it hang on me or freak out or anything. I have no problem using it live, it just works.
General Comments
This is one very unique little synth. Basically, it's a question of taste, but considering its' eight-or-so years on the market and the (nowadays) pretty low price you can find it for on eBay etc, it's incredible value for money. If you're looking for something "more", something that can do everything the Virus can and more, then I'd recommend the Waldorf Q over this one, but if you're really interested in the unique qualities of the Virus then I'd say go for it. Unless you find a Q with the 32 voice expansion it's probably not worth the money anyway, and the Virus B is a lot cheaper, generally. I give this baby a 10 for its uniqueness, because it really does stand out. It's become a legend in its own right, and not many VA synths have come to deserve that level of fame. This one ranks with the top of the crop in my book, together with the Nord Lead and the Waldorf Q. No synthesizer-based studio should be without a Virus.
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