Posts by maxim_porges

    Hello all,

    Piling on with my own disappointment about the integration situation with macOS Catalina. Luckily I haven’t upgraded from Mojave yet but obviously that day will eventually come.

    My Virus TI Polar is one of my favorite synths. If Access is listening, I’d love to see a Virus TI 3 one day and would fork over cash for one in a heartbeat if it was anywhere as good as the last one. Please don’t let this product line die.

    Just a general thought to share, but as I’ve started to play with all my synths again recently I decided to go all-hardware again, just like it was when I first got into making music and sequenced everything on my Korg M1 back when I was 13 years old. Over time, I’ve been burned repeatedly by Apple wanting me to buy Logic all over again for no particular reason other than they made the old version incompatible with their latest OS, or with other software or hardware incompatibility issues. At least with hardware, you turn the thing on and it makes noise for you. MIDI has been around since the 80s and isn’t going anywhere. Hardware sequencers have come a very long way thankfully from the 2-line LCD display on my M1. I bought an Akai MPC Live which has a giant touch screen and is a ton of fun to work on, and I have it hooked up to my rig via MIDI in the old school way. There’s definitely a ton you can do on a DAW, and if you have software synths you love there’s really no other option, but being able to work outside the computer again has really been wonderful for me. This isn’t a fix for the Virus software issue obviously but I’d certainly encourage folks to try giving a computer-less setup a spin if the opportunity presents itself.

    If you wanted to make your own, you'd just need some basic electronics experience, and a serial-to-MIDI converter of some kind (perhaps an Arduino-based setup or a MIDIbox).

    Pick up a copy of the books "Make: Electronics" and "Making Things Talk" to get some ideas. I was a total electronics noob this time last year, but I built both an Arduinome and a SammichSID last year after reading about 60% of these two books:

    Many thanks to Jörg for this response from Access Support!

    Dear Maxim,
    Thank you for your email. First off I would recommend to actually use the Virus TI Control plugin inside Logic, as this would make programming any sound - even a Vocoder patch - way easier. Are you using the Virus TI Control plugin at all?

    To use the Virus TI Vocoder please go on like this:
    - select an 'init" patch in your Virus TI Control PlugIn

    - make sure you got a signal coming through the analog inputs of the Virus TI

    (you can easily check that by going to the TI Control "FX" page and changing the INPUT Mode from "Off" to "Static" - if you hear an audio signal then, then everything is set up correctly - switch back the INPUT again to "Off" after checking that)

    - now activate the Vocoder (press the Edit button in the distortion section twice and scroll with the parameter buttons until you see Vocoder 1/4) and set its mode to "Oscillator" or "Osc Hold"

    - move both SPREAD parameters completely to the right

    - move the CENTER parameter to its middle position

    - now hold down a chord on your masterkeyboard or send notes to the TI via your sequencer

    -> you now should hear the vocoded audio signal

    Now you can start from there and change oscillator settings, etc. to create a unique vocoder sound. So changing the oscillator waveforms and other oscillator setting will have a general influence of the sound of course.

    Let me know how far you get with this and if you need further assistance.
    By the way there's no further documentation on the Vocoder available, I'm afraid.

    Best wishes,

    Jörg Hüttner

    I wanted to learn how to use the vocoder on my Virus TI Polar, so I cracked open the manual and found a decent amount of information on the vocoder parameters (bottom of page 62 and up in my TI reference manual). I also found on the web that I can select the factory vocoder patches to get something to start off with.

    Unfortunately, there is nothing I can find about how to create my own vocoder patch. The manual indicates that the vocoder is accessible as an effect, but if I cycle through all the effects by pushing the Select button in the Effects section of the front panel, it just loops around from High EQ to Delay and Phase to Distortion without ever exposing a Vocoder page.

    Some questions.

    1) How can I access the effect pages for (Others) referenced on page 33 of the Quick Start manual, specifically Ring Modulator, Frequency Shifter, Input Ringmodulator, Vocoder, and Input Follower?
    2) If I have an existing patch that I want to turn into Atomizer mode, I simply go in to the Edit menu and change the Atomizer setting. Is there a similar way to switch a patch instantly into Vocoder mode? If so, what is it called and how do I access it?
    3) Is there any more documentation on the vocoder anywhere for me to look at?
    4) Why isn't this documentation included in an obvious position next to the vocoder information in the manual for dumb users like me? :)

    For the curious, I was able to get the vocoder working with ROM-L 124 VocoPad XM. Here's how.

    a) Once you have selected this patch, start playing an audio signal in to your TI. Hold down some keys on the keyboard. You may not hear anything if your input settings are not set up correctly.
    b) Keep holding down some keys, and go in to the Config menu. Under the Inputs 1/2 page, set the Sensitivity and Boost until you can hear your signal. Note that turning Input Thru to anything other than 0 will send the raw, un-vocoded signal into the signal path. You can use this to mix the original signal with the vocoded one if you like.
    c) Using the filter controls at the top right of the control panel, use the top four knobs (Cutoff, Resonance, Env Amount, and Filter Balance) to alter the vocoded signal.

    I got a passable, pad-like robot voice with the following settings. Note that the filter controls become vocoder controls in this mode, so I have put the default filter knob name first and the vocoder mode name in parentheses below.

    - Cutoff (Vocoder Center Frequency): -14
    - Resonance (Vocoder Q-Factor (Carrier)): 58
    - Env Amount (Vocoder Freq Spread (Carrier)): 62.5%
    - Filter Balance (Vocoder Balance): +6

    Anecdotally, turning the Vocoder Balance all the way to the left seems to give you the raw patch sound, while turning it all the way to the right will give you the audio signal you are feeding into the Virus with some of the basic patch signal processing applied.

    I love hooking up my MC-505 to the Virus and jamming out. They are both so immediate with their hardware interfaces. If I was going to buy a new drum machine I would probably go with a Machinedrum though, they look amazing.

    As with any electronics - a soft, damp cloth is really the harshest thing you should use. If you have a lot of residue just use successive wipings with the damp cloth. I have a bunch of terry cloths for cleaning my car that work nicely for stuff like this, and you can also get nice microfibre cloths at Target (although these are a bit rougher so be gentle).

    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!

    I'm using Logic Express 8 with a slightly older version of the 3.x series OS on Leopard and I rarely have any problems. Those that I have had have been so minor that a quick reboot of Logic or the Virus always fixes them. I haven't had any repetitive problems, just glitches.

    The VC plugin is very mature and stable in Logic in my experience. I've been thinking of upgrading to Snow Leopard but everything works so well right now, I don't want to rock the boat.

    - max