NAMM 2020 - No Access?

  • Obviously... maybe a good move since this NAMM seems to be a Behringer show (which us sorta cool... System 55 anyone? :love:)


    Next hope: Frankfurt.

    Bass Player and Synthesist.
    Virus TI2 Darkstar | Virus TI2 Desktop | Moog Sub 37 | Blofeld |Machinedrum | Monomachine | Analog Four | MPC Live | NI Maschine
    Mac OS X 10.14.6 (Mojave) | Cubase Pro 10 | Ableton Live 9.6 | Logic 10.4 | MainStage 3.4 | NI Komplete 12 | RME Fireface UFX+

  • Kemper (aka Access-Music) have just announced and released new products at NAMM - Kabinet and Kone - for their guitar amp modelling lineup. http://www.kemper-amps.com/news


    Synths have undergone a massive renaissance the last few years. Would dearly love to roadtest a new Virus. At this point, I think it would have to be a major step change given it's been 7 years since the last feature update (TI OS v5) and 11 years since the TI|2 hardware refresh was released (2009).


    Loving the Korg Wavestate preview at NAMM.

  • Synths have undergone a massive renaissance the last few years. Would dearly love to roadtest a new Virus.

    I agree... we seem to be at a nexus in Synth history where everything is looking good... except the questionable future of the Access Virus. :(


    The industry seems well fed. Not knowing any of the numbers, I’d guess that synth sales figures are excellent and forecast to continue in the near future.. The world’s synth consumers seem to be doing well economically and buying new toys. My “evidence” for this is that companies are putting money into research and development, releasing brand new synth designs, and we also have this massive resurgence of interstellar and production in vintage synths. There are new synth manufacturers springing up (such as ASM) and there seems to be room for growth in this market. Otherwise I don’t think new small companies would be getting the startup funding and the big companies would not be going full speed ahead with new products. This is a moment of expansion for the synth economy.


    Admittedly, the Virus is a mature product that does so much, so very well. Aside from the needed Mac/driver update, I don’t feel like we “need” anything in terms of software or features for the current model. I don’t really expect Access to be turning out new OS versions or fresh features. I can also only assume that sales of new Virus models continue to meet Access’s expectations. Also just speculation, but as far as I can see there are still plenty new units in physical inventory. Maybe not lots, but enough to continue selling. More importantly, the published retail prices have stayed strong, at ~$2k for a desktop and ~$3k for a 37 or 61 keyboard (USD). Surely market forces apply, and if there was a “need” to sell more units then Access would react accordingly. Likewise the secondary used market seems stable, without much change in prices there over several years. Secondhand Virus units continue to hold value, and that value is in line with expectations considering the retail prices.


    Parent company Kemper appears to be very strong, and is dominating the market with their Profiler product line. We can only hope to see them reinvest some of this success horizontally to revitalize the Virus brand. This could be both financial support as well as talent and tech, perhaps applying the amazing stuff they are doing with the Profiler to a synth & effects modeler. When I look at the Profiler stuff, the artistry and lineage of the Virus is apparent.


    I’ve decided that when I finally win millions in the lottery, one of my first projects will be to create the next Virus synth. Yeah, I realize if I was that wealthy I could just create my own new synth from a brand new company with a new name. But that’s how much I love the Virus... I’d like to build on that legacy.


    The only problem with my plan? I don’t really play the lottery, and I know nothing about building synths.

    WANTED: Virus TI2 Desktop Whiteout Limited Edition — If you know of one, please contact me!

    Virus TI Polar | Original Virus (“A”)

    Mac OS • Ableton Live • Logic Pro

  • My “evidence” for this is that companies are putting money into research and development, releasing brand new synth designs, and we also have this massive resurgence of interstellar and production in vintage synths.

    All I see is simple analogue circuit designs from the 70's and 80's put into new small desktop boxes or eurorack modules, over and over and over again. There's not a single interesting new synth (KYRA? yawn, Hydrasynth? monotimbral, are you kidding?) out there which offers actually more features and capabilites than the Virus TI. Which is totally lame, given how much computer technology evolved and become more affordable during the last 15 years.


    Parent company Kemper appears to be very strong, and is dominating the market with their Profiler product line.

    They will be crushed by Darkglass / Neural DSP.


    The only problem with my plan? I don’t really play the lottery, and I know nothing about building synths.

    The first issue is a problem, the second not. Buy an existing company. ;)

    Bass Player and Synthesist.
    Virus TI2 Darkstar | Virus TI2 Desktop | Moog Sub 37 | Blofeld |Machinedrum | Monomachine | Analog Four | MPC Live | NI Maschine
    Mac OS X 10.14.6 (Mojave) | Cubase Pro 10 | Ableton Live 9.6 | Logic 10.4 | MainStage 3.4 | NI Komplete 12 | RME Fireface UFX+

    Edited 2 times, last by oliAtBass ().

  • Aside from the needed Mac/driver update, I don’t feel like we “need” anything in terms of software or features for the current model. I don’t really expect Access to be turning out new OS versions or fresh features.

    I'd have to strongly disagree with the first sentence, agree with the second. The only thing I really want at this point, is an update of the Virus plugin. It still looks and feels like a 10 year old program. It needs to be scalable, as I can barely read the damn thing, and they could certainly update the interface to make it easier to move around and drag and drop things. What I'd REALLY like is a standalone library editor. I love my TI2, but I absolutely hate the abandonware, and I'd likely be more productive had I an interface that feels like something that could have come out in the last year or two.

    But, not holding my breath, I don't really think Access gives a flying fig about this, and I can't understand why - they're still selling and making them, you'd think, even if it's only got a year or so left, you'd at least want new users to have an updated interface.

  • I'd have to strongly disagree with the first sentence, agree with the second. The only thing I really want at this point, is an update of the Virus plugin. It still looks and feels like a 10 year old program. It needs to be scalable, as I can barely read the damn thing, and they could certainly update the interface to make it easier to move around and drag and drop things. What I'd REALLY like is a standalone library editor. I love my TI2, but I absolutely hate the abandonware, and I'd likely be more productive had I an interface that feels like something that could have come out in the last year or two.

    But, not holding my breath, I don't really think Access gives a flying fig about this, and I can't understand why - they're still selling and making them, you'd think, even if it's only got a year or so left, you'd at least want new users to have an updated interface.

    I stand corrected. You’re right, we could use an update to the plugin interface.

    For a standalone library editor... hmmm... I think there is an iOS app that I downloaded but haven’t ever tried. Gonna check it out.

    I guess I’ve had trouble coming to terms with Virus Control as abandonware, and I still don’t want to think of it as such, because the job posting indicates they do want to solve the problem. Gonna need to find the person to do it.


    A big part of the equation is the part that we as users just don’t know (and really don’t “need” to know)... is Access maintaining profitability? I hate to say it, but the pressures of maintaining a viable company in the modern age, especially when it’s producing a hardware/software combo like the Virus, whoa I don’t wanna imagine what it’s like. I think it’s more just coasting along in “maintenance mode” while Kemper’s focus (and profit center) is elsewhere. Keep the Access Virus alive as a brand and product, and perhaps they will choose to breathe new life into it along the way.


    oliAtBass is right... there isn’t a lot of real competition to the Virus. I picked up the Hydrasynth and love it for what it is, but I can’t help but thinking “if I could just squish these two things together into some sort of HydraVirusTI3 thingy.” Seriously, I just want that new Virus with everything the current TI2 does, but updated with today’s (ok “tomorrow’s”) hardware and technology that blows away everything out there. But if Access doesn’t even have someone to update the plugin for Catalina, they must not have the talent on hand to reboot and revamp Virus TI2->TI3.


    There are a few alternative ways forward rather than Kemper/Access deciding to simply “make a TI3” (which is likely almost building an entirely new business, depending on the current state of the company):


    First, they could partner with a currently active company that could benefit from such an association and create a “TI3”. Let’s say for example Ashun Sound Machines. Brand new, small, agile synth maker with a great mashup of pros. They just brought Hydrasynth to market. Have them collaborate on a TI3, that HydraVirusThingy I mentioned. They could get access (no pun intended) to some of the amazing stuff behind the Virus, and bring another product to market that will immediately get the attention of a HUGE user base and the power of the Virus brand. I’d think there is a small but real window for such an opportunity. Before long the Hydrasynth is going to get “discovered” (it’s no secret, but it takes a while for a product to get in the hands of people that can make it truly famous, like Virus level fame). By then, ASM will say “nah, we got our own thing going on”. I really believe they have this potential, and there is some amazing stuff going on with that synth, but this is the Virus board so back to that.


    Access could stick with the TI2, we know it’s still an incredibly capable piece of tech, but they could re-ignite the fire and redevelop the plugin for a new generation of users. This lets them continue to sell the TI2 with a fresh face because of more features and a top notch current plugin that’s better than anything out there. Hypothetically. Gonna need to find those devs, I guess.


    OR, I have an idea that might be “just crazy enough to work”.... perhaps Access decides the Virus is the Virus and they just won’t reinvent a classic super synth. Well, let’s OPEN SOURCE IT. Yep. Just spill the code. Put the hardware and software source code out there for anyone and everyone to do what they please with it.


    On one hand, this is giving up all the tech that went into it, but on the other hand, great things might happen. People could start hacking together the TI3 from the inside out. Someone creates and amazing new plugin for Mac/PC/iOS/whatever and it breathes new life into the hardware. Importantly, people keep buying the hardware. Access gets to benefit on continued hardware sales. THEN, they update the hardware, maybe just some small changes like 2x DSP chips, upgrade to USB3, and put some RGB LEDs in it for the weirdos like me. And the open source devs keep on doing their thing.


    I dunno, I’m just throwing out ideas. If it’s only the few of us in this thread that think about it, eh, whatever, I’m ok with that. I know there are some Virus diehards here like Timo... LOL just 12 post? Welcome to the board, noob, from another noob! ;) ;) ;) Heck, we might very well be rambling about a new TI3 another 10 years from now, whether it’s here, back on Infekted (keep it alive!), or on the Web 5D or whatever we have then. And I’ll still take a minute for INIT patch, spill a little beer for the Virus bros and hos that couldn’t be here, and make some more weird sounds with this flashy blinky noise box.


    BTW, I like that I can pull up Infekted and I’m still logged in, while here, even if I click “keep me logged in for the next 4 weeks” it forgets who I am the very next day.

    WANTED: Virus TI2 Desktop Whiteout Limited Edition — If you know of one, please contact me!

    Virus TI Polar | Original Virus (“A”)

    Mac OS • Ableton Live • Logic Pro

  • lordradish I’m more than happy with the interface and layout of the plugin , use to be red , very aggressive and in your face , but now , everything , or Atleast most things are were they should be which set a good workflow , the only thing I’d like to see that would make workflow smoother , is some revamping to the Arp section... allow free running curves for envelopes , curve creation in general