Should I get a Virus?

  • Hi, I'm never here and I'm thinking of getting a virus despite the astounding price tag! The main reason is convenience which seems a funny thing to say, but I like what the overall package offers. I got a semi-modular anolog mono synth (Future Retro) to try and get away from preset surfing and find out about the 'analog just sounds so superior in every way' argument, for myself. However, I don't like having to record everything I do in audio, not being able to automate much, having no patch storage, having to use my computer for fx anyway. The sound is good, powerful and pretty ballsy - I like the overdrive on the filter and being able to overdrive the oscillators but I don't think it's really working out for me. I'd like the patch storage, built in fx and vst integration, whilst still having all the knobs and keyboard of the hardware.

    The only 3 things holding me back are;

    a) the price (I don't really want a snow or desktop - I want an all in one mean machine) I already have sylenth and think it sounds great - Is it worth £1800 just to have hands on control? I can afford it but It means i'll have no money left for anything else...& I do like beer, holidays and I have my eye on the DSI Tetra, Jomox 999 & Elektron Machinedrum . Is a used TI for £1000 more worth it for the money than a TI2 - will access almost certainly bring new things that the ti can't do?

    b) I'm haven't heard the sound enough and there's none to demo in my home town - although I could make a trip to test it out. Being digital it puts me off a bit because I can associate it with a certain harshness (waldorf + gladiator) and many plugins lack of any real depth. I seriously do like u-he zebra and sylenth though so I I know digital can sound awesome if done right - in fact I doubt the virus can sound better that these. I've read that the virus sounds weak without fx but everyone seems to jump on the 'only analogue sounds ballsy bandwagon'.

    c) Only one instance as a vst? I'm not sure if this is a problem as I read you get 16 tracks to utilise although I'm unsure how this system works in terms of mixing and making a track using them or if they are all triggered at the same time by a note press.

    d) Whilst you get the hands on control, the knobs can't always reflect what you doing when switching between patches as I presume the work in takeover mode like my novation automap (which I never use). Linked to point 'a' why doesn't this synth have motorised knobs for the price?

    I'm sure you guys can convince me otherwise and facilitate Access's expropriation of my funds. :pinch:

    Thanks for reading,

  • I bought a TI2 Polar sight-unseen from eBay, since there were no local dealers. I had only YouTube demos to guide my purchasing decision.

    All I can say is that this is the best synth I've ever bought. The craziest sounds will limit your polyphony, but other than that obvious limitation it's really just as good as it looks. You can get great deals on used ones online, and they are German engineered so they are tough as nails. I say go for it!

  • Patch management of the Virus TI is great. If you're using a DAW (like Cubase, for example), the patches you make in Virus Control will be saved with the song so you have unlimited patches in that sense.

    a) The TI 2 has 20% more DSP Power I think... the hardware is redesigned and it's lighter, otherwise it's the same machine, I believe, and the OS updates affect all TI's. If money is an issue, I'd go for a TI 1 if you can find one cheap.

    b) I also own a Korg Radias and DSI Tetra... "weak" isn't the word I'd use to describe the Virus ;) . As for using FX to fatten it up, the EQ section on the Virus itself is enough to fatten it up. I've had great success at making old-school analogue sounds (using less and less parameters each time). I've never had to use external FX's for the Virus... although compressors and limiters will help all audio sources, I suppose.

    c) The Virus Control has 16 parts, each with it's own midi channel. You have 3 hardware stereo outs on the virus itself, or 3 audio buses via USB (it might be 4 now, though). Of course, you could just solo and record each part separately once you're done composing, if you like mixing in your DAW.

    d) I don't use the hardware knobs when I'm using a DAW... I use automation instead, so this isn't really an issue.

    I suppose you have to ask yourself what you want. The Virus is a lot of synth, and the (major) OS updates is the best I've experienced yet. The Virus Control really makes the synth more accessible, not because it's hard to program via the hardware, but because there's no hassle of saving your patches to the hardware. It's fiddle and forget. The Radias has USB-midi and an editor for your computer, but it just isn't the same as having something like the Virus Control. You can save your patches to your own .mid banks on your computer as well.
    If I had to sell all but one of my synths, I'd keep the Virus because of its width.
    If you do buy a Virus, I'd suggest you keep the analogue synth for added flavour.

  • Yes, if you have the money, nothing else comes close. I am thinking of getting a TI2 to go with the TI, hopefully there will be a better way of managing the two in Logic and the sync problem gets sorted. Other than this there is nothing else that can touch it and it is a lot more versatile than a V synth for example, which I was also considering.

    I am sure you will choose wisely!