The Love/Hate relationship with my Virus

  • Your product is amazing, hands down. It really blows anything else Ive ever used out of the water. Its the unpredictability and depth makes it utterly indispensable.

    Its also a nightmare to use. I would hate to think of all the time I have lost due to it starting to crackle, or becoming unresponsive, or losing sync. I only use it personally as Its far to unreliable to bring into a session, and what a shame that is. Im sure so many people I've worked with would of wanted one had I been able to use it, and studios is where you best marketing should happen. I see it every day and Im sure you guys know that.

    Im not writing this to complain, I've worked within limitations of many machines, but what I would like to know is this going to be the limitation of you machine? Is the driver asking things of a computer that just isn't possible? You only have to glance at the forums to see that there is a problem, are you guys acknowledging this? Ive been through USB hubs, conditioned power, short run cables etc. Ive tried it on various machines, various OS's various various various.

    Im sure there are other people who would never consider bringing it into a session, and this has got to be really hurting you.

    IT works fantastically stand alone, are the driver issues unsolvable? I would happily pay a few hundred quid for a driver push that solved this once and for all.

    All the best & thanks for the wonderful synth.


  • Yeah, I feel exactly the same way. I wish they would create a version of VC that would be a stand-alone editor/librarian. It's been asked so many times. It seems that a third party solution exists, but I haven't hear tooo much from users who have experienced it.

  • Bought a Ti Polar in 2007, never have been able to get it working over USB for audio or midi. Have used support, didn't solve the issue and can't remember the last time I used it in a track, just unreliable.

  • I copy this. My love relationship to the Virus synths started with the first desktop version, and it worked perfectly in my setup. Then came the Virus TDM plugin for ProTools, which was a charm, and I sold the desktop. Several years later, I purchased the Virus TI Polar and tried to use the Virus Control on my Mac. It never really worked, even if I plugged the USB cable directly into my Mac. I needed to use the other USB connection for a powered USB Hub, because I am dependent on connecting both my Wacom tablet (mouse makes my arm hurt) and of course the iLok dongle. I had a lot of contact with support at Access, but I was never able to use this setup without problems. The Virus Control simply complained about the USB connections, and/or it lost contact with the synth, or it crashed, or it just didn't work. I was so frustrated that I had to sell the Polar. I thought that maybe a Virus Snow would work better with the Virus Control, but the same problems occurred, so I sold that one too. - If I was head of Access, I would make this decision: "We make the best synthesizers on the planet. Let us make the best software as well!"

  • Hi, sometimes I wonder that is there one single user that has a TI system which really works without any trouble (sync or latency issues etc.)? I know very well that on these forums people tend critizise more than share positive thoughts. So I'd really like hear about someone with perfect Ti-system: what model, what computer OS, DAW etc.?

    Otherwise we really start to believe that Access is selling a dream...

  • No disrespect intended for anyone at access, I know they worked very hard on it. But frankly I think the whole implementation needs to be re-written. I personally don't understand why "sample accurate timing" is needed at all, maybe if that is loosened somewhat to only midi accurate timing, that could fix a lot of the issues.

  • I must add my +1 to this thread. The Virus TI is the finest sounding synthesizer out there, but Virus Control has been and still is very problematic. Recent OS versions have also brought new issues such as crashing my host (Cubase) and BSODs during driver installation.

    For the last few years, I honestly rarely used my Virus TI because it was just too much trouble to deal with.

    I recently decided that I would really start using the synth again and immediately came across these problems along with the synth losing sync randomly or just being completely delayed for a period of time before returning to a lower latency performance.

    With soft synths like Spire, Massive and Sylenth1, I simply can't justify to keep the TI around much longer. If the issues can't be resolved in the next couple of weeks (which is naturally very unlikely), then I will be putting it up on eBay.

    The hardware and DSP on this synth are the best out there and I could totally understand it being ranked as #1 in those respects, but Virus Control lets it down big time and really makes it no easier to deal with than any other hardware synth.

  • I'm generally in favor of having the midi editor split off, I actually have a MOTU midi timepiece AV I use for all my midi tracking and routing, so the USB audio and midi is actually pretty meaningless to me, but I would love to be able to have an editor work with it via that setup. My laptop doesn't have a dedicated hub, other devices use it, like the built in camera.

    That being said, I'm a long time user of the Virus B which never had that kind of connectivity, and I have no interest in selling or getting rid of my Polar just because the TI part isn't as awesome as it could be. I personally love it as is as a hardware synth and would buy it again regardless of the TI aspect. I figure a good external midi port is much better, and the virus knobs are laid out very nicely. I'm always surprised at how people will sell it so quickly in the forums. I've used soft synths for years, and they never sound as nice as the TI.

    As far as computers go anyway, I've always had ridiculous problems with them and all the DAW's I've used (FL Studio is pretty reliable I have to admit) and that aspect of computer recording I seriously doubt will ever go away. Especially with computer OS's being a moving target, symantec eating up all the computer bandwidth, driver updates for every OS etc, etc, etc. I can't say how many of my recording issues were due to cruddy graphic card drivers.

    Working configuration thread sounds like a good idea to me :)

  • Have posted elsewhere, but V2 of Patch Morpher is going to support the Virus Ti. I bought it for my KingKorg and is amazing. Granted, you need an iPad (which I specifically bought for this) and should help to solve the issue of storing patches, editing without the need for Ti.

  • I have to join my voice to this thread. I had some problems in the past with my TI2 but it was eventually usable but...

    Now, it is worst than ever. With the new Cubase 7.5, which is totally rock solid without the TI, it has become simply unsuable! Cubase crashes as soon as I intent to use the Virus in my most complex projects. The error message I have in the Windows Event log always relate to the Virus.

    I am considering abandoning the Virus for more stable soft synth solutions while they try to sort it out. If they do...

    Not sure if I would buy a Virus again...

  • Just wanted to also echo one of nicoroy123's points.

    Since removing the Virus TI from my setup earlier this month (disconnected, uninstalled drivers and Virus Control), I have had absolutely zero problems with my setup. I actually just completed a track which has been signed and I had zero (that's right ZERO) issues with Cubase 6.5.5 x64 and my other plugins. Not one crash, not one hang on exit, not one hiccup.

    It's amazing how much you actually get done when you don't have to worry about this sort of stuff and most importantly, I'm absolutely stoked with how the tune turned out and so is the label.

    Synths I used were Massive, Spire, Sylenth1 and Razor all of which give the Virus TI a good run for its money soundwise. Razor is particularly interesting, highly recommend checking it out :)

    As I mentioned in my post above, I totally understand why people would love the Virus TI as a hardware synth, but for many people like me who have been spoiled with VST technology, we just bought the Virus TI to use as yet another VST instrument in our DAW since there's no fully soft version of the Virus synth. Unfortunately, the synth fails on this front.

    Needless to say, my Virus TI will be going on sale very soon, it's in absolutely great condition, hardly used (literally) :)

    Cheers guys!

    P.S.: To Marc, I did report all my BSOD and crashing issues and provided logs and minidumps to Access Music support (Ticket ##SI00077645). I hope it will at least help make the synth more stable for other users.

  • I thought I'd share my experiences as I have a functional VC setup. I had issues in the past, but only encounter occasional glitches now. Some late or early triggers on starting playback or the tempo going batshit briefly when jumping around, or rapidly stopping or restarting playback.

    For those interested in hardware I have a Windows 7 64 bit based setup running on an Asus Rampage II Extreme mobo, 6 gig triple channel DDR3 (I forget the frequency and make), i7 920 and a Focusrite Saffire Pro 14 firewire external soundcard. Though I've had no issues on other machines also (Macs etc.)...though some setup gripes with pre-OS5 drivers.

    The Virus is connected to the onboard USB controller via a stupidly long 2.5 metre USB cable. Yeah....I know....I have no idea how either.

    I used to have issues with my TI in Renoise (an unsupported DAW) which were solved about 2-3 years ago with updates to the DAW from the Renoise team. I could realtime render tracks with no issues. I did experience some of the issues I listed at the start of the post. Also some pitching artefacts in delays, as well as delays losing the clock. Most issues that persisted after restarting the playback were fixed by saving without reloading. I habitually hammer Ctrl-S in EVERYTHING as a result.

    I moved over to Ableton about a year back. The Virus performs fine. Subject to the occasional glitches listed at the top. I get some crackles at 64 or 32 buffer size. Currently at 128 with no issues. I only reduce the buffer for using my padKontrol which is horribly latent at big buffer sizes.

    How? I have no idea sadly. Some DAW upgrades and OS4/5 really tightened everything up for me. I used to have similar problems to everyone else, but they really haven't been an issue for a while now.

    I use the TI a lot so I have a pretty strict workflow for it. As virtual analogues are now 10 a penny I tend not to waste TI processing power on conventional oscillators. Occasional hypersaws (again other synths do this now) formant and wavetable/wavetable PWM. Mixtures of those OSC types are the stuff that only my TI can do, so I save it for them.

    I don't like bouncing if I can avoid it so I usually limit my patch count to three or four. I also group sounds that can be bundled together to each of the three USB outs. Where I use more sounds they are usually basses that don't play together (avoiding dropouts), but are sent to the same out for common compression etc. I only bounce when I have to, when sound design and tweaking/automation are done so I can get control of the mix back a bit.

    I'm really mindful of how expensive sounds are for the TI. Unison is a killer, as are both Formant modes. Where I get drop outs I just commit to a bounce and move on. Mute the midi track and flip it back on if I need to edit the bounced part. Really getting a feel for how much the TI can handle (I have a model 1) has helped...2 formant oscs with 8 voice unison can max it out in a single patch.

    Much of that probably isn't helpful as most of you are probably struggling to get the triggering and clock on time. I've not tried multiple TIs to see if there is any difference, but my mainboard did die in my TI a little while back requiring a replacement I guess I've tried 1.5 TIs.

    I really feel for those of you having problems. Having poor performance using VC in Renoise was a nightmare. VC is a really clear and usable programming environment and the TI engine has bags of power and depth. I've been a TI user since 2008....couldn't imagine working without it.

    If anyone wants more specifics on my setup/settings ask and I'll post up what I can.

  • Thanks Outsight ... it sounds like you have gone the direction Im going for...
    I recognise the Virus TI has it limitations, and so do hardware synths and midi generally impose limitations - so my aim is to try to work these out, and work within them...
    (im not detracting from the very real problems people have... just its great to also see how others have been able to make it work)

    Id really love to know more about how you work (Im using Ableton too), in particular:
    - your workflow, whats your template look like, do you record midi, then bounce etc.
    - more on how you 'group sounds'
    - use midi tracks/multi
    - if you use audio tracks/midi tracks or external instrument
    - did you do anything specific about latency (plugin & audio)
    - midi clock (my current issue)... master/slave? .. not bother?
    - do you use clocked aspects e.g. clocked LFOs, delays
    - do you bother with virus on-board effects (I'm pushing them to ableton/vsts)

    If you'd be willing, I think it would make a great thread here and also a nice positive thread... about how to work with the TI (within limits it may impose),
    I think it could turn into a really interesting discussion.

    Thanks again, and bravo for persevering and finding a way to make the Virus work for you!