The Access Virus is a virtual analog synthesiser that boasts an impressively comprehensive feature set. ￼While the scope of the Virus’ sonic palette is huge, it still has a recognisable sound of its own. It is clean and consistent, yet aggressive and packs punch, excelling at powerful synth lead and bass sounds with complex and dynamic movement. As such, it has become a go-to workhorse with high-energy electronic music production.
The Virus was first brought out as a desktop module in 1997 and has since evolved into an extensive series with models produced in an array of formats. Its principle design is based around virtual analog synthesis, meaning it uses digital signal processing (DSP) algorithms to model the sounds of analog waveforms. This allows the Virus to generate a very broad spectrum of sounds within the one unit while leveraging the flexibility afforded by a digital engine. All models of the Virus feature a programmable filter section, variable waveform shape oscillators, a modulation matrix for custom control routing and an effects section of EQs, modulations, delays, distortions and reverbs.
The Virus has seen three major revisions since the first model, the Virus A: Virus B, C and the current version, Virus TI. Although the core sound and concept has remained consistent, these updates have grown with developments in technology with each revision becoming more powerful and offering a broader set of features. One of the primary upgrades throughout the series has been expanding polyphony, with the TI offering over 80 voices – a substantial growth from the 12-voice limitation of the original model.
The TI is the most advanced version to date, offering features not found in previous models such as the addition of Hypersaw and wavetable oscillators and the Atomizer effect. These additional effects enable the Virus to sample a loop and assign the phrase at different lengths to MIDI keys, which can be played to trigger the full loop and also go right down to microscopically short fragments. Combined with other on-board effects, this opens up possibilities to create dynamic glitch-style performances.
With a bold, aggressive sound and optimisation for real-time performance, the Virus has established itself as a staple instrument amongst hundreds of electronic music producers from Deadmau5 to Trent Reznor to Tiesto.
Based on Virus TI
- Various oscillator models including Virtual Analog, Wavetable, HyperSaw, Grain- and Formant Table types.
- A maximum of 192 parallel effects in total. Reverb and delay, chorus, phaser, frequency shifter, ring modulator, distortion, 3-band EQ and new Character processors.
- 2 independent multi-mode filters (HP, LP, BP, BS) and the Analog Filter which was modeled after the Moog MiniMoog™ cascade filter with 6-24 dB Slope and self-oscillation.
- 32-step user-programmable arpeggiator pattern for every patch.
- Modulation Matrix with 6 slots each featuring 1 source and 3 destinations.
- 3 LFOs with 68 waveforms to choose from. 2 fast ADSTR envelopes.
- Knob quantise for creating stepped controller movements. The stepping automatically syncs to the Virus clock or an incoming MIDI clock.
- Adaptive control smoothing for jitter-free modulations on all important parameters.
- Multi mode with embedded patches.
- Dual DSP system which dynamically allocates its resources. Depending on the complexity of a patch everything in between 20 and 90 voices can be achieved (10-50 voices with Virus TI Snow).
- 512 RAM patches and 26 banks of each 128 ROM patches which can be exchanged by the user.
- 6 balanced outputs with +4 dB level and soft limiting algorithm. Studio grade 192 khz D/A converters with S/PDIF digital I/O. 2x24 bit inputs. Surround sound capabilities. The Virus TI Snow has 2 un-balanced outputs and no SPDIF I/O.
- The tempo of an incoming audio signal can be recognised and the Virus can lock to it within a very short amount of time (typically, for “4 on the floor” - style music, this happens in between 1-3 bars). Thereafter the Virus TI follows the tempo.
- Virus Control VST/AU/RTAS compatible virtual instrument plug-in included to create an audio link in between the host sequencer and Virus hardware synthesizer.
- Audio and MIDI inputs and outputs can be used by the sequencer application as an audio and MIDI interface. Total Integration keeps working, even if you prefer to use another audio interface.
- Sample accurate and delay compensated timing.
- All knobs on surface can be used to control other software and hardware synthesizers (this feature is not available for the Virus TI Snow).
- Virus Control Center application for convenient memory backup of the entire Virus TI and exchange of content of ROM banks.
- Soft- and hardware specifications and details
The Gear Rack