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My favorite Synthesizer in rack format.
How can I express in words my feelings about the access virus? The immense euphoria of all the laboratory like experiments with sound and using pre-made patch libraries. Reverse engineering many of my favorite artists settings. Creating my own music using only one synth, a laptop for sequencing and sampling and a I/O?
To start off, its a Virtual Analog synth that works more like a softsynth in a hardware package. Its the best I've ever used or encountered so far.
I'll go into the bad side of things first. It sounds great, and its reputation alone far exceeds its overall capability. I use it for phase, FM and subrtractive Synthesis as well as some mild signal processing with it. Those who become frustrated with it when using it in conjunction need to remember its USB 1.1, which means YOU NEED A MTT/multi transaction translator. Which looks like a USB hub but is much more capable.
Since I keep all my audio devices on a single Rosewill MTT, its never a big deal for me to utilize it in this fashion (Otherwise you wont be able to run any other USB devices on your bus that it's plugged into since most computers come with one or two STT's in their USB groupings.)
The only other disadvantage for the virus is its price point. Even used units scare away new musicians with a whopping 1k for a TI series which enables you to use a USB only connection or if you want to milk those ADACS and run TRS lines from your device into a I/o, you can disable USB audio feeds (which also saves the DSP's CPU a little) and set it up for midi only operation, its not that complicated, just remember to set your "main out" to "OUT1 L+R" and do this for ALL 16 channels and the patch utility/config to "surround output" "OUT1 L+R" and make sure its this way on ALL 16 channels and your Virus VST is nothing more than a midi controller with a patch librarian that ultra convenient to use. Remember to record and enable from your DAW's inputs and make sure they're not muted on your recording device, or you'll be wondering why you cant record.
Now for the good. A gigantic voice capability, split between 1-16 channels (Keep it low and record what you need. initialized and unused channels wont bog your DSP CPU.) Its one of the best synths I own because it replaces an entire studio of gear and kicks all the old gear I wanted to put into my studio off my shopping list, it emulates old roland gear with ease and can hold its own in many genres. Either rack or Keyboard are rather portable (full sized keyboard I think is 52lbs, not much considering its made of wood and metal and sounds like an entire studios worth in vintage gear.) If you're the kind of person who doesnt want the experimental capabilities of the virus and rather the ablity to use it for perusing giant patch libraries, feel free to purchase or download free many patches created by professionals and generous users alike.
While many of us would like to see Kemper gmbh release another Virus, they still support all their devices fully and without additional charge. Even the original "A" virus still have updates available for it, just be sure to put it on a UPC before you dare update it as if the power goes out, you're precious virus is bricked.
The only devices I plan on buying are updated version of the virus and a single analog synth and a rompler because they can do the few things a virus cant, what I wouldnt want it to do anyways., (sample playback, which is fine, I don't care for the blofeld honestly. I've got IL's Harmor for those kinds of sounds.)
I love using it for anything and everything, drums, basses leads, analog sound-alikes, Its the epic synthesizer for me.
Also, what synthesizer on the market has the ability to set up a "Party" setting?
That's right, The Virus TI does.
No.... Really... It does!