So I tried a Virus. Finally.

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Alex E
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So I tried a Virus. Finally.

Post by Alex E » Thu Apr 28, 2011 1:48 am

I've been GASing over Virii for like a year now. Probably more, I don't remember.

But I stumbled across a minty Virus C in a display case at Guitar Center Pasadena today. There was also a Mopho Keyboard, and that was pretty cool. I got really excited and asked if someone could get the Virus out for me, but I'll save the incompetent-salesman-who-also-tries-to-sell-me-things-I-cannot-afford story for later, because I don't mind very much.
-I just ended up connecting it to a Motif XF8 myself.

I'm very impressed! And I'm very picky about sonic flavor. It was one of those moments where you lose mysteriously large tracts of time just using the machine. I personally lost an hour and 10 minutes. It has a lot of character. Like.. Yeah, it has that aggressive dark sound like everyone says, but it's also friendly... Like it's ready and confident to tackle what you throw at it. It doesn't fight with you, although it's always gonna have that "virus sound", but to me that happens to be somewhat desirable. And it's a rich, lush, sturdy sound. Oh! And the chorus and phaser effects are to DIE for.

It's fancy. Hand made in Germany with love. The build quality is top notch. It's heavy too, as it is made of metal. The buttons are coated in a thin layer of rubber, as well as the knobs and even the smooth black side panels.

Do I NEED one now? I don't know. I'm certainly more inclined to save up for a C or a TI after this. I wish there was a simple, affordable alternative, but you can't really substitute a Virus with anything else, that's the thing. The Indigo VST is an option, but it costs way too much. Maybe a Virus B could work for me? Virus A? I don't know. I ran out of notes even on the C since I wanted unison stuff, so I don't think I'm quite ready to cut back on polyphony, but I can be a man and live with it.

All in all a great synth, and hopefully someday, a close friend. :'J
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th0mas
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Re: So I tried a Virus. Finally.

Post by th0mas » Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:01 am

I had this experience in Moog Audio in Montreal. A whole store of synthesizers and the one that screamed (somewhat literally) "I'm Awesome! Buy Me!" was the virus TI keyboard.

(funnily, and I know it's due to the depth of the machine, but I couldn't get the octatrack to even make a peep!)

I'd be interested to know how well a Virus A or B would satisfy someone who likes the Virus sound

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Re: So I tried a Virus. Finally.

Post by tim_m » Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:29 am

I've found the B and the C to be fairly close sound and operations-wise. The big differences are polyphony, the knob topology, the moog-ish filter mode and EQ. To me, I actually prefer the knob layout of a B, since the oscillators aren't ganged up. I seem to visualize better that way. I also like having the filter key follow as an actual knob, which they took out on the C. I necessarily need the EQ, and I don't find myself using the moog filter much at all.

I've used a C since they first came out (2002? 2003?), and bought my first KB a little while later. I've never run too hard into the polyphony wall with the B, but I don't do crazy multi patches or use lots of unison. They're both really great to me. I do prefer the KB as an all in one package. The controller keyboard is fantastic, and you get more of a sense of playing 'an instrument'. I should mention that I own two KB's, and they actually have different keys on them. One has more rounded keys than the other. Feel-wise, I like the more squared off keys, but that's just me getting nit-picky.

It is a synth that I still lose large tracts of time with.

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Re: So I tried a Virus. Finally.

Post by tom Cadillac » Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:23 am

I had the same experience in a store in Oxford St, London. Felt really lucky to play one and it sounded amazing. This was years ago, but I'v not bought one - due to the prices they go for and just have enough synth in that area. (I really like my battered old JP8000). Wish there were more stores around where you could just try stuff out.
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Re: So I tried a Virus. Finally.

Post by Solderman » Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:06 pm

I've had a Virus b for going-on 11 years now. I'm convinced it's such a chameleon, and if not for the severe aisling in the upper spectrum, would be like an Oberheim Xpander with more voices, onboard effects and a more aggressive character.
Mine has developed a problem where pressing the Ctrl or Edit buttons causes it to glitch, but there's so much you can do just with the knobs and a few presets as templates, that this isn't much of a problem.
I get around the so-called "dark" character of the synth by setting a notch EQ at the mixer of around -5 db at 600 hz, and boosting the highs(12khz on my mixer) a bit.
I also use it through a Midi merger with my main controller to send Midi CC's to various VST plugins.

It's a synth that I've never gotten bored with. Like others have said, it's easy to get lost in, and I would add that this remains true years later.
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Re: So I tried a Virus. Finally.

Post by Joey » Fri Apr 29, 2011 7:03 pm

the virus has been my workhorse for years... I sometimes get frustrated with its sound, but I know it will never let me down when I need something.

If i had to sell all my gear it would be the only piece I would keep - so versatile, and so useful.
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Re: So I tried a Virus. Finally.

Post by impaler42 » Wed May 04, 2011 7:19 pm

I found a Virus A at a local Guitar Center for $300, so I had to pick it up. And Im very glad I did. Its a very versatile synth that can cover a wide range of sounds. Its great for bass because of the sub oscillator. I love the interface! Access knows a lot about usability. I think it definitely lives up to the hype. I had a Virus B rackmount before but you cant get the full experience without the knobs IMO. I was kinda weary of picking it up at first because I like to stick to analog whenever I have the option, but I think it does a very good job at emulating analog sound. That being said, being the synth trader that I am, I will most likely let it go at the end of the summer after Im done using it.
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Re: So I tried a Virus. Finally.

Post by soundxplorer » Wed May 04, 2011 9:02 pm

When do you think Access will implement samples as waveform sources, like Nord and Waldorf are doing already? That will be the day I consider getting a Virus.

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Re: So I tried a Virus. Finally.

Post by Roby31 » Wed May 04, 2011 11:02 pm

Then just buy a Blofeld + SLU :D
MAYBE the next version might incorporate such a feature but I wouldn't be too sure about it. They might want to limit the instrument to something "self contained" instead of going a route other people have mastered already. In some way I'd like to have it, and in some other way I'd rather not discover a future Virus is something like a cumbersome, hard-to-use, stripped workstation. As of now it is an excellent synthesizer with its own strengths, sound, feature set. If it became more like one of those Yammie prosumer workstations in MY opinion it wouldn't be too good of a move. Think about "RolAccess Virus Gi"... :p
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Re: So I tried a Virus. Finally.

Post by tekkentool » Wed May 04, 2011 11:48 pm

soundxplorer wrote:When do you think Access will implement samples as waveform sources, like Nord and Waldorf are doing already? That will be the day I consider getting a Virus.
That seems like a strangely specific deal breaker. It already has wavetable and granular oscillators. If that's your dealbreaker maybe it's not the synth for you in the first place, just use Reaktor or the before mentioned Nord/Waldorf synths.

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Re: So I tried a Virus. Finally.

Post by soundxplorer » Thu May 05, 2011 2:04 am

tekkentool wrote:If that's your dealbreaker maybe it's not the synth for you in the first place
I'm looking at the situation from the outside in, without any bias towards a name brand. What I really meant was that I'd LOVE to have a synth that treats user samples as waves, but it also needs to have two important factors: lots of knobs (the Nord Wave wins there) and the ability to use it without being tied to a computer (and the Nord loses). The Blofeld loses on both counts. So, since Access hasn't tackled that area yet I'd like to see what they come up with. If they go in that direction. That's all I was saying. I already know the current Virus is not for me.

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Re: So I tried a Virus. Finally.

Post by balma » Thu May 05, 2011 3:29 am

soundxplorer wrote:I'What I really meant was that I'd LOVE to have a synth that treats user samples as waves, but it also needs to have two important factors: lots of knobs and the ability to use it without being tied to a computer
that´s a short description of a Roland V synth.




I would LOVE to own a Virus TI. But with that price, tons of other options come to my mind
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Re: So I tried a Virus. Finally.

Post by meatballfulton » Thu May 05, 2011 4:05 pm

Used prices continue to fall thanks to TI2. I bought a Snow for $800 (OK, not very knobby but has the sound and TI function) and saw a TI keyboard recently for only $1350.

If you want user waveforms, get a sampler ;)
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Re: So I tried a Virus. Finally.

Post by soundxplorer » Thu May 05, 2011 4:11 pm

meatballfulton wrote:If you want user waveforms, get a sampler ;)
Ugh. No one seems to understand my comment. I'll just give up.

Anyway, Noisebug has a used TI for $1350.
http://www.noisebug.net/used.cfm

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Re: So I tried a Virus. Finally.

Post by meatballfulton » Thu May 05, 2011 7:36 pm

soundxplorer wrote:
meatballfulton wrote:If you want user waveforms, get a sampler ;)
Ugh. No one seems to understand my comment. I'll just give up.
I understood it, it's just that what you want is not currently offered by anyone.

A sampler has 2 out of 3 (fails on knobbiness).

Nord Wave has 2 out of 3 (computer required).

Take your pick...
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

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