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Access Music Virus kc
Overall Rating
Submitted: June 29th, 2008
by Helmey
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Sound Quality
This is where this synthesizer shines. The sounds are generally amazing with tons of motion and great stereo placement. It does an excellent job of soft etherial sounds and evolving pads as well as overdriven leads and aggressive stabs. The keyboard has a great feel and the aftertouch makes it very expressive and organic. Drums are not really a part of this keyboard's repertoire although it can make great synthy drum and percussion sounds, and for bass, it has some great, phat sounds that use the Moog filter. But this is also where you can tell that this is a virtual analog instead of the real thing. AB'd against the real thing (Oberheim, Moog), it falls short of greatness. It doesn't mean that the basses aren't usable, only that they lack that signature analog thickness. It is definitely an electronic instrument and I would not want to depend on it for replicating acoustic sounds - for that reason I would not recommend it to someone looking for an all-in-one gigging keyboard. (Unless you are totally into electronica) I would, however, highly recommend this keyboard to anyone who needs the best true synthesizer they can find. I expect this board to be a classic, if it isn't already.
I have not had any problems with this keyboard, but there are a couple of knobs that are excessively wobbly and will need to be re-soldered at some point in the future. Overall it feels like a solid build, but not unusually so. I have read other about problems, and I am thankful that mine has held up well so far.
General Comments
If this keyboard were stolen, I'd definitely either a) hire Dawg to track the bastard down and recover my treasure or b) buy another KC since this was the last in a long series. I own a lot of other gear and this board scratches an itch that no other keyboard can touch. I bought this looking for the VA "sound" and compared it to the Novation and Nord gear and also the Roland V-Synth which is so cool, but sounds like a toy. I also thought about the Andromeda, but I already have one real analog beast with my OB-8. Each of the keyboards I looked at were worthy of ownership, but the Virus offered the most features and widest variety of great sounds that I liked and didn't think I'd get tired of - the Nord didn't have any inputs and fewer oscillators and the Novation didn't have the edgy vibe. The surround outputs also were a big plus. I have nine other keyboard synthesizers and this one is the one I Iove playing the most. The sounds are incredibly musical and they never cease to stimulate new ideas for songs and riffs. If you're looking for the best synth money can buy, buy this monster VA classic. You'll never regret it.
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