The Access Virus: digital distinction ?

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.

The Access Virus: digital distinction ?

Postby KBD_TRACKER » Sat Jul 09, 2016 6:42 am

Looking at all the analog redux products endlessly coming out (Moog, Korg, Arturia, DSI, small boutiques,...), I am thinking that the Access Virus, well respected but these days quite outside of the limelights, has never been "re-done" or up-staged by others.

Even though it has been called by critics "software in a box" and/or deemed overused by some dance music producers, for the last 20 years the Virus synth family stands "alone", one of its class, with its distinctive sound, custom designed DSP chips, exceptional concern for build quality, and the price to go with ....

I find it remarkable and a bit ironic that one of the most "idiosyncratic" synths nowadays, remains a digital synth with no VCF or VCOs at all ...
KBD_TRACKER
Junior Member
Junior Member
 
Posts: 219
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 11:10 am

Re: The Access Virus: digital distinction ?

Postby Hybrid88 » Sat Jul 09, 2016 9:27 am

Well it's digital, no one wants to recreate a digital synth, especially one that is still available. Everyone's still on the Analog bandwagon, give it a few years ;)

I think there have been some Plugin copies, but to me the Virus always had something more than a plugin could offer despite basically being one in a hardware box.
User avatar
Hybrid88
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
 
Posts: 2251
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:26 am
Location: Australia
Gear: V-Synth, and other stuff...

Re: The Access Virus: digital distinction ?

Postby madtheory » Sat Jul 09, 2016 9:41 am

KBD_TRACKER wrote:custom designed DSP chips

Really? I thought they just used the Motorola's like everyone else?
User avatar
madtheory
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
 
Posts: 4858
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 12:45 pm
Location: Cork, Ireland
Real name: Tomas Mulcahy
Gear: Novation KSR, PT12, VCZ, Redmatica, MIDIQuest, Casio FZ, SK5, Komplete, M1, Theremin, Digi Vocalist, Quadravrb+, Kaoss Pad, JV, SPD, Cyclone, Drummer.
Band: madtheory

Re: The Access Virus: digital distinction ?

Postby KBD_TRACKER » Sat Jul 09, 2016 10:08 am

madtheory wrote:
KBD_TRACKER wrote:custom designed DSP chips

Really? I thought they just used the Motorola's like everyone else?


You are totally right, plse disregard the "custom-designed" part .... :mrgreen:
KBD_TRACKER
Junior Member
Junior Member
 
Posts: 219
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 11:10 am

Re: The Access Virus: digital distinction ?

Postby desmond » Sat Jul 09, 2016 12:33 pm

Hybrid88 wrote:Well it's digital, no one wants to recreate a digital synth


Well, seeing as KVR's *most* popular recurring topics over the last 15+ years probably tops out at "Which plugin sounds most like a Virus?" the desire for people to recreate it is quite strong... at least for customers. I don't think the Virus is particularly great (plenty of other synths which are equally good sounding, or better), but it does have a distinctive sound, which also came to define a genre for a while at least.
mu:zines | music magazine archive
Vintage issues of Sound On Sound, Music Technology, E&MM and more...
User avatar
desmond
Active Member
Active Member
 
Posts: 594
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2005 12:32 pm

Re: The Access Virus: digital distinction ?

Postby Stab Frenzy » Sun Jul 10, 2016 12:39 am

KBD_TRACKER wrote:Looking at all the analog redux products endlessly coming out (Moog, Korg, Arturia, DSI, small boutiques,...), I am thinking that the Access Virus, well respected but these days quite outside of the limelights, has never been "re-done" or up-staged by others.

Actually it's been redone endlessly by Access as the Virus B, Virus C, Virus Ti, Virus Ti 2, Virus Snow, Virus Powercore, Virus for Pro Tools TDM, Virus Indigo and Virus Indigo 2. I think that's all of them. Plus the rack and desktop versions of course. In fact I can't actually think of a synth that's been more redone, apart from the Minimoog.
User avatar
Stab Frenzy
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 9723
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 5:41 pm
Location: monster island*
Gear: Eurorack, RYTM, Ultranova, many FX

Re: The Access Virus: digital distinction ?

Postby Hybrid88 » Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:15 am

desmond wrote:
Hybrid88 wrote:Well it's digital, no one wants to recreate a digital synth

Well, seeing as KVR's *most* popular recurring topics over the last 15+ years probably tops out at "Which plugin sounds most like a Virus?" the desire for people to recreate it is quite strong... at least for customers. I don't think the Virus is particularly great (plenty of other synths which are equally good sounding, or better), but it does have a distinctive sound, which also came to define a genre for a while at least.

Well that's because there's a lot of lazy cheapskates that want to get the sounds of the Virus in a more convenient plugin without paying the premium for the hardware unit.

Can't blame them for asking, but to me it's a pretty obvious answer if you're willing to put in the work. What put the Virus on the map was its Trance sounds to begin with and shifted to more Dance oriented stuff today, plugins couldn't touch it back then, but now with the advances in software in the past few years those same sounds can easily be made with pretty much any half decent plugin synth with the right FX on top.

The funny thing is, Access appears to be almost dead as a thriving company, there has been no show from them for the past few years, nothing new has come out, as the OP said well and truly out of the limelight. They've almost done an EMS and just frozen their product line, I find it quite strange that such a massive name/company has died in that way.
User avatar
Hybrid88
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
 
Posts: 2251
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:26 am
Location: Australia
Gear: V-Synth, and other stuff...

Re: The Access Virus: digital distinction ?

Postby KBD_TRACKER » Sun Jul 10, 2016 9:41 am

Stab Frenzy wrote:
KBD_TRACKER wrote:Looking at all the analog redux products endlessly coming out (Moog, Korg, Arturia, DSI, small boutiques,...), I am thinking that the Access Virus, well respected but these days quite outside of the limelights, has never been "re-done" or up-staged by others.

Actually it's been redone endlessly by Access as the Virus B, Virus C, Virus Ti, Virus Ti 2, Virus Snow, Virus Powercore, Virus for Pro Tools TDM, Virus Indigo and Virus Indigo 2. I think that's all of them. Plus the rack and desktop versions of course. In fact I can't actually think of a synth that's been more redone, apart from the Minimoog.


Sorry maybe I wasn't sufficiently clear ...

I meant it's not been re-done by other manufacturers. Of course just like all synth manufacturers typically release successively enhanced or enriched versions of their gear, Access has put out software upgrades, technical enhancements, revised builds and an enlarged product line (but still centered on the Virus synthesizer). Besides, this instrument (the only one at Access) having a 20 years history, that's not imo really surprising...

What's important and imo remarkable is that during these 20 years, no other manufacturer (plse correct me if I am wrong) has tried to emulate or compete with the Virus as an instrument with a specific "concept", personality and special positioning in the synthesizer market.
So much so that Access didn't even have to put out a completely different synth model to maintain market share.

Disclaimer: I am neither a stockholder or investor of Access Music Electronics GmbH .... 8-)
KBD_TRACKER
Junior Member
Junior Member
 
Posts: 219
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 11:10 am

Re: The Access Virus: digital distinction ?

Postby Stab Frenzy » Sun Jul 10, 2016 12:08 pm

But why would any other company try to market a synth as being like the Virus? Apart from the copyright issues Access already has that market completely sewn up. I'm sure if they stopped making them then somebody would see an opening in the market, but as things stand there's no point.

On top of that, what exactly has the virus got that's so different? It's just a multitimbral VA that sounds a bit dark really.
User avatar
Stab Frenzy
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 9723
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 5:41 pm
Location: monster island*
Gear: Eurorack, RYTM, Ultranova, many FX

Re: The Access Virus: digital distinction ?

Postby Jabberwalky » Sun Jul 10, 2016 12:45 pm

I always assumed companies like Nord, and Waldorf were the ones competing in that realm. Modal Electronics is the newest VA company I can think of.

Still a lot of big companies doing it too. Roland JDxa, system1, KingKorg, Yamaha Montage.

The only one that actually takes risks is Waldorf, and dammit I want a blofeld again.
User avatar
Jabberwalky
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
 
Posts: 2071
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2005 6:03 pm
Location: Pgh, PA
Gear: Eps16 | An1x | Minikorg700s | Monologue | Maxikorg | Bs2 | Ultranova | Dw8k | Poly61 | Paia9700s | Circuit | PreenFM2
Band: VARIAR

Re: The Access Virus: digital distinction ?

Postby KBD_TRACKER » Sun Jul 10, 2016 12:54 pm

Stab Frenzy wrote: ... Access already has that market completely sewn up. I'm sure if they stopped making them then somebody would see an opening in the market, but as things stand there's no point.

On top of that, what exactly has the virus got that's so different? It's just a multitimbral VA that sounds a bit dark really.


Interesting reply of yours: on the one hand you argue that Access "has that market completely sewn up" therefore there is no real possibility of competition in that market, but on the other hand you go about saying that the Virus (the emblem/epitome of that market) basically offers nothing really special....

Parenthetically, how would you describe in more detail that market ?
KBD_TRACKER
Junior Member
Junior Member
 
Posts: 219
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 11:10 am

Re: The Access Virus: digital distinction ?

Postby Stab Frenzy » Mon Jul 11, 2016 2:16 am

The market of synths that sound exactly like the Virus? You know, the one you started this thread about? If you're just talking about VAs there's plenty that have similar features from plenty of other companies, the only thing that hasn't been done is something exactly like the Virus by a company that isn't Access.
Last edited by Stab Frenzy on Mon Jul 11, 2016 4:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Stab Frenzy
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 9723
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 5:41 pm
Location: monster island*
Gear: Eurorack, RYTM, Ultranova, many FX

Re: The Access Virus: digital distinction ?

Postby Alex E » Mon Jul 11, 2016 2:28 am

Maybe eventually we'll get a synth from them that has... USB 2.0... -_-
soundcloud.com/vectron

User avatar
Alex E
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
 
Posts: 2217
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 12:07 am
Location: Anaheim, CA
Gear: KS4, D-50, JD-990, JP-8000, Supernova II, Virus C, Live 9, iMac MC309XX/A

Re: The Access Virus: digital distinction ?

Postby ninja6485 » Mon Jul 11, 2016 4:47 pm

Stab Frenzy wrote:On top of that, what exactly has the virus got that's so different?
Outside the context of this specific discussion, this is an interesting topic it's own right... It's not that the virus does anything different per se, but rather that it does what it does in a really nice way. In short, it's just really well done.

The virus is basically the anti Fizmo: it's not all that unique, but it's well designed, well thought out, well engineered, well built, and it really does sound fantastic. It's kind of Juno-60 like in thay the whole thing is one giant sweet spot, and the sound design potential is very deep.

There's also a cumulative effect happening in the virus: you can find synths with better filters, but it still has really, really good filters. The same thing is true for the oscillators; and as you look at each part, it starts to amount to something really cool, since that's true of almost every part of the whole instrument! -And so it is unique to have so many very good elements in one package, especially when that package is well made and easy to use. It has the best keyboard of any synth I own, and usually becomes my master keyboard, and the stereo fx alone would be a great piece of outboard gear.
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...
User avatar
ninja6485
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
 
Posts: 2745
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2009 10:13 pm
Location: Exton/ westchester
Gear: Virus Ti, Jx-8p, Juno 60, Radias, Maschine, 101,303,606,707,727,808,909, odyssey, mirage, akai s5K/s2K/s1k, drumtraks, E6400ult, M1R, rx5, fizmo,d50
Band: Lyra, The Sun Worshipers

Re: The Access Virus: digital distinction ?

Postby KBD_TRACKER » Mon Jul 11, 2016 7:49 pm

Hybrid88 wrote:I find it quite strange that such a massive name/company has died in that way.


I wouldn't myself call Access Music "massive".
Here is a Midi Association page about Access Music. It mentions 20 employees. So I really don't think we are talking about a huge company ...

https://www.midi.org/our-partners/item/ ... onics-gmbh
KBD_TRACKER
Junior Member
Junior Member
 
Posts: 219
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 11:10 am

Next

Return to General Synthesizers

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 16 guests