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An advanced stage/standalone instrument with a suite of compelling studio integration features.
The Access Virus TI v2 is the second edition of this Desktop Total Integration Synthesizer, and it features 25% more calculating power and a completely redesigned housing. Like all members of The Virus TI platform, the Virus TI Desktop v2 synthesizer is the sublime fusion of a 12-year triathlon in sound research, distillation of user input, and the simple desire to create an exceptional music making instrument. Conceived as a virtual analog synthesizer, the Virus TI v2 grew into a multi-synthesis workstation which seamlessly integrates into your production environment using Access' unique Total Integration plug-in technology.
This second generation Virus TI platform features a wealth of inspiring oscillator models such as virtual analogue, hypersaw, wavetable, and graintable oscillators, along with several filter models and a new-to-the-line Character control for emulating the vibe of old analog gear. A ring shifter, several FM types, and a tape delay add the warm lo-fi sound featured so often in music today. The effects section delivers multiple, simultaneous effects including reverb and delay per part, ensuring your patches sound exactly the same in single and multi mode.
The concept of totally integrating a synthesizer, which essentially means streaming audio from the Virus TI into a plug-in hosted by your digital audio workstation, is certain to make some positive waves. Total Integration is Access' proprietary technology, which seamlessly links any Virus TI model and a computer to create a unified system consisting of a powerful hardware synth and a virtual instrument plug-in, which not only controls the Virus TI but also receives audio from it, in order to allow post-processing right inside your computer. This way you get the best of both worlds. Your Virus TI will calculate all the voices and effects and therefore makes the CPU of your computer available for other tasks. Since it is driven by the Virus Control plug-in, the timing (unlike normal MIDI and USB-MIDI timing) will be sample-accurate, and all sound data will be saved within the song or project. Virus Control also offers sophisticated editing capabilities, along with an easy-to-use librarian page to keep track of all your Virus TI patches. The Virus TI's analog input and outputs can also double as an audio interface, and the MIDI sockets can double as a MIDI interface.
As much as a craftsman depends on the quality of his tools in order to achieve exceptional results, you can rely on the Virus to impress your audience. That's because for the success of artists today, a stunning sonic signature is as important as the unforgettable melody, and the Virus TI line provides both.
Virus TI2 Desktop
Review Snapshot®by PowerReviews
Reviewed by 1 customer
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Comments about Access Virus TI2 Desktop:
Being a bit limited on space I opted for the desktop version; I would've gotten the TI Snow, but had concerns with polyphony and the limited panel layout (I'd rather program from the panel than use a computer editor).
First impressions as far as sound goes were really good. This thing makes some *massive* and out-of-this-world sounds! From your run of the mill filtered sawtooth pads to freaky sound effects, the TI is really flexible, mostly due to the crazy amount of modulation possibilities. Each voice has 3 osc's, a sub-osc and a noise osc, with variable Unison that's usable because of the high polyphony: this leads to some *fat*, thick sounding patches. Tons of waveforms/wavetables to choose from, very nice filtering options, several OSC types. Cool possibilities such as modulating the wavetable index with an LFO or envelope leads to some very unique sounding patches.
As far as the VST functionality goes, I did not have any issues using it, but to be honest, I'm not interested in that functionality very much. My limited testing using the VST (AU actually) in Logic 9 and X showed it to be quite usable. The OS updater works well, and patch editor/librarian seems nicely laid out and functional, and actually looks really good (a rarity).
Now the down sides: first off, for the asking price I feel the TI is not such a good value; had it been priced at 50%-75% of the current asking price, I would have a different opinion but, for what you get, it's really expensive considering the competition.
Another downside is the software/OS stability of the unit itself: it is very buggy and unstable. You will need to know where the Panic/all-notes-off key is at, because you'll be using it A LOT. Just programming it from the front panel, I repeatedly got a bunch of stuck notes, sometimes so bad that I had to power-cycle the unit. On average during programming a patch, I'll get a stuck note once every 5 minutes, and have to power cycle about once an hour. Save your work early and often!
The effects leave a bit to be desired as well. I would rate the reverb as average at best, with high marks for the many options available. The Phaser is very good, but the Chorus is below par. The delay is excellent, as are the distortions and the EQ. I was expecting to hear top-notch effects across the board seeing as this thing has serious DSP power and digital effects have been around for literally decades, yet I was really not impressed at all. Overall, I'd rate the effects as a solid average and therefore disappointing.
The documentation is average-to-poor as well, and glosses over a lot of important information. While the included "how-to" synthesis PDF manual was a really nice inclusion for beginners and those unfamiliar w/the Virus, it is somewhat outdated and refers to patches not even loaded on the unit. Very hit-or-miss. No, the docs are not as atrocious as Roland documentation, but they're nowhere near the level of what Korg typically provides.
In conclusion, the great sound and flexibility of the Virus TI desktop unit is seriously marred by it's buggyness, unstable OS, average effects, and pricing. I buy hardware synths because I want to turn a unit on and just play or program the thing. Crashing keyboards/sound modules are unacceptable at any price, and I would never recommend this to be used in a live performance because of the stability issues.
I love the sound, but because of all the flaws (at this price point, no less), I'm going to send it back and get something else.
As far as Musician's Friend service goes, the order was packed extremely well, and I received it very quickly. High marks there!