Please implement this simple solution to help with Virus TI sync issues!

  • After testing two virus tis (one polar and one snow) with two macbook pros, an imac and a hackintosh, sending probably close to 100 emails back and forth with access technical support and buying extra leads and hubs on their recommendation I still have sync issues which i consider to be unacceptable when using synced lfos and arps. Jorg who works on access tech support has outlined the limitations of the virus ti as follows: (direct quote from his email)

    "the Virus TI is a hardware synth integrated into a software environment and we actually recommend to start the playback even a bar ahead of the first note triggering the TI. I know this is mostly not practical during actual song-writing, but moving a playhead around quickly and especially not to specific bars can cause the USB not to be able to catch up quick enough."

    he even admits that the limitations are not practical during actual song writing! Having to start the virus a bar early is not acceptable. The viruses i have used also normally loose sync roughly every 1 in 30 starts of the playhead, then suddenly catch up with themselves change the sound drastically which is very annoying.

    The reason the sound changes when the virus goes out of sync is because the lfos and arp are following midi timecode data that gets sent along the usb to the virus. sometimes this data gets delayed/confused for some reason, even on a perfectly setup system. it is important to note that midi note on/off data, cc data and audio sent along the usb very rarely get delayed, its only the midi timecode that is the issue.

    -- Solution --

    Add the option of setting the virus LFOs and Arps to a bpm counter in the virus rather than having them follow the midi timecode sent over the usb. This way even if the midi time code arrives late it doesnt matter, as the virus has its own rock solid bpm to guide the speed of the lfos and arps. This would allow users to drop the playhead wherever they liked without fear of the sound they are making suddenly changing due to poorly synced midi timecode.

    Its a simple solution to a huge problem that i know alot of people suffer from, many people end up opting to use the midi port and audio outs on the virus instead of putting up with the poorly syncing usb which is a real shame!

    After a huge amount of time and effort on my part trying to get Virus Control working properly, Access have stated they are not interested in applying my suggested fix as it does not fix the underlying problem of the timecode going out of sync. personally i dont care about the underlying problem so long as the synth performs properly. which for alot of people it would seem, it doesnt. If Access have a better solution i would also be happy for them to implement that but until then, why not just let users set their own lfo/arp bpm and free us from the sync issues.

    If you use Virus Control with Logic and make complex sounds with the lfos and arps then im pretty sure you understand the issues i am talking about. please comment this thread and help me persuade access to implement this idea so that i can get on with making some tunes!!


  • Well, if I had read this before, I wouldnt have bought a TI Desktop along to my Snow and Virus C.
    I myself am in contact with Jorg from Access Support and the advice given to me about my latency/delay issues were indeed poorly and not acceptable if you consider how much a TI Desktop costs...
    I would love the idea of beeing able to decide what the VC sends via USB.
    If its such a big problem sending everything through USB why not split up.
    I for myself am using Midi and the analog outputs plus the LIVE Button, cause everything else is just not working enough.
    Midiquest XL was more reliable...

  • alexrjohnston, your idea is interesting but it seems incomplete - if the Virus is running an internal clock that matches the project clock in BPM only, in 99.9% of the times you press play (on the transport control), the project and the Virus would be in different places in terms of their beat count, and people would complain again that the DAW and the Virus are not in sync. Or maybe I didn't understand your idea correctly.

  • flabberbob for my solution to work the phase of the lfo or arp would always have to start at the start of a midi note, it would then be restarted on each new midi note start. there is actually already a lfo phase option on the virus which i normally set to 1 to get the most consistent sound from virus lfos.

  • OK I think I get it now. First of all, arp does sync to MIDI note on, in fact it was an old request of mine to add the ability to sync to bar/beat so that you can play the arp from the "middle".
    Regarding LFO-s I agree that there are some holes in the definitions and the interactions between all the LFO modes:
    * frequency: relative to MIDI clock / nominal 0..127
    * loop: endless / envelope (=1 time)
    * per note: poly / mono
    * init phase: random / 1..127
    I remember trying to design a patch that performs a rhythmic pattern using both arp and LFO where arp triggers the rhythmic pattern and a square LFO changes between timbres for each arp "hit". I set the frequency to clock and per note behavior to mono, expecting that the arp notes will respond to a continuing LFO shape that I can "drag" forward or backwards with the init phase parameter so that changes in timbre will come just in time. But it didn't really behave as I expected. And if I understand correctly you are trying to do a similar thing but with "mono" off.
    Bottom line is that it would be nice if Access could fill in the hole in definitions regarding the different behaviors of all the 16 combinations, and if possible, to implement a new behavior if currently one parameter overrides another, such as clock overriding mono and/or phase.

  • thanks for the input flabberbob, Im not sure that i am trying to achieve anything too similar to what you described above, i simply want the lfos and arps to follow a solid tempo inside the virus so that when the midi timecode gets delayed and goes out of sync like it often does the lfos and arps wont be affected.

    although the arp does trigger from a midi note on currently it still syncs to the midi timecode that is being sent along the usb. when this goes out of time the arp does as well. my proposal would solve this problem by making the arp follow a solid tempo set the same as the DAW bpm. I use arp > matrix all the time to modulate things and its so annyoing when it all drifts off!


  • this is really pissing me off tell you the truth i am considering returning my Ti Polar because what the use of all this power if it never syncs correctly ...even when you try to record a simple 4 bar lick its out of sync no matter what i fix in logic telling you this is bull

  • alexrjohnston, oh I see, well this might not always work for me since some of my projects use odd fractions for BPM and currently the Virus tempo can only be set in whole numbers (not to mention that even when two clocks are set the same way they always drift). I think what you are asking is similar to the way you can set a different tempo to each part of a multi arrangement. Maybe you can use this feature and record your LFO/arp tracks in multi (or even single) mode, without VC.

  • thanks again flabberbob, in your case we would need to ask access to make it so this new bpm can be set to non integers as well although for most people whole numbers are fine.

    the whole point of this feature request is so that i can use VC reliably so that suggestion doesnt help sorry.

    edit: for my idea the fact that the two bpms may drift slightly wouldn't matter as the arp or lfo is started again at the start of each note on, so you would have to have a very very long midi note before you stared to notice the virus clock drifting away from the project clock.


  • pnavaja: it is very frustrating. if you follow the advice access tech support give you it is possible to get the virus to sync pretty well so long as you start the playhead a bar before the first note played on the virus and put up with it being out of sync every 1 in 30 times roughly. at this moment this is as good as it gets. my request would improve anyones system that is running as well as it can but it would not fix major sync issues like it sounds like you are having. have you tried everything tech support have said to do? its a royal PITA i admit.


  • After a couple of weeks of reading the forums, I have an 8 bar segment in Pro Tools 9containing a Strike Drum track, Xpand bass track, a Virus TI arp track, and a Virus TI synth track (manually played) all running in sync and changeable to the Pro Tools tempo. Also, although I needed the prescribed one-bar lead in while recording, I can loop the 8 bars and it never goes out of sync. Delay comp is set to Long in pro tools, and the Live button is checked.

    I have a long way to go, but I think I am on the right track.


    Nord Stage 2
    Access Virus Ti2 Polar
    Sequential Prophet 6
    Korg WS-AD
    Korg TR-Rack
    Roland XV-5050

  • I have given up on using the Virus Control.. It sucks for me. It's to unreliable and just to buggy. I have resorted to just tracking my stuff in as Audio files. I would love for the software to work and be reliable but it just isn't happening.

  • virus team:

    if you cant implement my idea at least come up with a standalone version of the VC so that we can use it that way. the standalone would still need a way to pipe automation and midi mote data to the virus. just do away with the timecode that is sent down the usb as this is where the problem lies!

    edit: my original idea would be alot simpler to implement


  • Great suggestion!! Standalone VC to edit presets and have all these librarian features. Now when I am using Virus in Logic with old fashioned midi way, all this (editing and libraries) is not for usefully available for me. So please Access, don't think we are doing wrong when there are some of us (probably quite many) giving up with TI at its current state...

  • please just make a standalone vst so i dont have to create patches with the limited interface of the snow hardware. i have also given up on vc - its been impossible from day 1.

    im hardly using the virus it because of the pain of programming it and its a real shame because i dont have anything else that can sound so beautiful.

    if i knew how bad the whole total integration concept was going to be for me across 2-3 years and on many different pcs with 30 different usb cables and 2 different usb hubs etc. do you think i would have bought a snow model?

    i have a glorified metal box in front of me. unless you want to try access everything through a little screen and going click click for the rest of the music session YOU NEED VC....

    feel sorriest for us snow users who have had to do away with vc.