Access Virus or GAIA?

A forum for comparing two or more synths against each other. Also known as "versus" threads.
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Yodhan
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Access Virus or GAIA?

Post by Yodhan » Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:09 pm

I am looking to get a new synth with some belated Christmas money/tax money. I mainly make electronic based rock or heavier electronica (NIN, VNV Nation, Prodigy). I use Reason and EZDrummer with the Electronic EZX add-on for drums. Synth-wise, I use some Reason, but mainly use a Microkorg or the Arturia Analog Player plug-in. I have been looking to get another piece of hardware and I am stuck between a couple pieces of gear. I have a decent line on an Access Virus A, but I am also looking at a GAIA. I am kind of torn between them. Pros, cons, blatant problems? Any help is appreciated. Thanks.

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Re: Access Virus or GAIA?

Post by Sir Nose » Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:27 pm

That's like asking, should I go for a Porche or a Pinto. Well, maybe not that extreme, but...

















VIRUS!!!
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all that is good is nasty

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Re: Access Virus or GAIA?

Post by rharris07 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:23 pm

Sir Nose wrote:That's like asking, should I go for a Porche or a Pinto. Well, maybe not that extreme, but...

haha yeah +1 for sure. I've played the GAIA several times now at various GC locations, and while the effects section on it can be fun...it really sounds no different than any other cheap mini synth out. The virus is a gigantic beast of a machine in comparison. At least if I'm comparing the Indigo 2 (basically is a compact Virus C) versus the GAIA. I would never pick a GAIA over any Virus, personally.

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Re: Access Virus or GAIA?

Post by Yodhan » Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:33 am

Thanks for the input. I actually got a wicked deal on a Mopho Keyboard, so I am going that route, but I am pretty sure I still want a Virus. It will have to wait a bit, but it is most certainly the next synth I will get, baring a wicked deal on something better.

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Re: Access Virus or GAIA?

Post by moonwind » Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:21 am

I normally dont chime in but I have to agree the Roland stuff sounds as generic as the Korg stuff blah blah.

Any Virus even the first edition A has got personality and built like a tank to last not to mention Access is exceptional when it comes to customer service. I can say the same with Nord phenomenal and easy to program that stated these two brands can hold their ground in a mix.

BTW I am going to sell my Virus A in case your interested. I need a Rack as I am moving and have no room or else I would keep it. Let me know if your interested.

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Re: Access Virus or GAIA?

Post by Yodhan » Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:36 am

I just might do that once I get some bills taken care of.

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Re: Access Virus or GAIA?

Post by RD9 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 8:20 am

Just my two cents...

On paper, the Virus will win hands down. But it's not always about specs. It's about how comfortable and creative you can be with the instrument. So no matter how much better the Virus beats the GAIA in specs and features, ultimately the two are very different creative tools.

IMHO the GAIA wins in the interface department hands down, because of the workflow/interface (how easy to use it is). But the Virus will probably win in features and sonic capabilities. The GAIA is somewhat of a simpler instrument, but the interface is so good that it may actually help you create better sounds and is probably better as a performance instrument because of how immediate the controls are. On the other hand, if you are an experienced synth programmer, the Virus may be better because it may give you more fine-grained options for sculpting sounds and you will be able to tolerate the less-direct interface much more (i.e., menu diving).

Maybe you can look at it this way: if you are a meticulous sound programmer, get the Virus. If you are a hands-on, performance-oriented musician, get the GAIA.

In the aesthetics department, I like the Virus much more. The GAIA is too toy-like. The chrome trim and white plastic also feels very cheap. I have a Virus C actually and I like how it's built, down to the knob design.

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Re: Access Virus or GAIA?

Post by Stab Frenzy » Thu Jan 27, 2011 8:45 am

Virus only has two envelopes. If you want different ADSR for pitch, filter and amp you can't do it. Thumbs down for making pads. GAIA can do it though.

Not that that's the only crucial difference between them, just pointing out that the Virus isn't totally the hands down winner. They're musical instruments, the only way to tell which one is right for you is to use them both and make up your own mind.

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Re: Access Virus or GAIA?

Post by blavatsky » Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:54 pm

I mainly make electronic based rock or heavier electronica (NIN, VNV Nation, Prodigy)
NIN uses (or used?) lots of virus stuff ...not saying that in a , "oh I need it because they had it " way, just that it is KILLER for sharp, nasty, edgy digital sounds. I can't speak much to the GAIA but I have a Virus TI and the combo of the effects, mod matrix (huge), and oscillators (wavetable, granular, hypersaw,etc) make it a beast.

Something about all the GAIA demo's I've heard remind me of a RS7000/QS6 type sound; not bad, but kind of that rompler version of a synth, semi-sterile sort of...I dunno. I'm sure people will do some great things with it but it doesn't grab me. I did notice it has some good effects, and Roland usually excels in that dept which is a big plus. Is it truly multitimbral?

Last note, a TI is probably still double the cost of a GAIA so not really a fair fight. If you get a used one its a little more reasonable.

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Re: Access Virus or GAIA?

Post by Z » Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:01 pm

What about the new Novation UltraNova? I like what I've heard on YouTube so far, but I'd like to play one for a final opinion.

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Re: Access Virus or GAIA?

Post by Yoozer » Sat Jan 29, 2011 12:26 am

Stab Frenzy wrote:Virus only has two envelopes. If you want different ADSR for pitch, filter and amp you can't do it.
Correct - but how many times are you going to use pitch? Plus, you can compensate by using the LFO as a simplified one-shot envelope.
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Re: Access Virus or GAIA?

Post by Stab Frenzy » Sat Jan 29, 2011 1:52 am

Yoozer wrote:
Stab Frenzy wrote:Virus only has two envelopes. If you want different ADSR for pitch, filter and amp you can't do it.
Correct - but how many times are you going to use pitch?
Whenever you're doing hard sync sounds. :idea:

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Re: Access Virus or GAIA?

Post by Old Iron Giant » Sat Jan 29, 2011 4:07 pm

go with the Virus, you won't feel disappointed.
I own two Access's, 61key TI2, a Indigo2, and I wouldn't trade either of them for anything else.

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Re: Access Virus or GAIA?

Post by Joey » Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:34 pm

on the virus you can put any lfo into a one shot mode which makes it like an envelope, and sync it to midi clock

perfect for hard sync sounds

the virus is definitely better for the style of music you are making, its got way more stuff to make it sound aggressive as f**k.
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