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In-depth Feature:  Access Virus Indigo TDM
Bruno writes: .

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Sonic State Rating:
Quality/ Stability 100% .
Ease of Use 90% .
Sonic Sweetness 100% As you can tell I found it hard to fault -it sounds fantastic. For the money though, I would like to see RTAS/VST versions available..
Bang for the Buck 85% .
Tweakability 95% .
Overall:   94% Sonic State Editors Choice

Conclusion
As I mentioned earlier I tested both the Virus Indigo TDM and the Indigo 2 Synth, the differences in sound are negligible and probably down to my only having a Digidesign 882 interface at home (the hardware version sounded slightly stronger).

The Hardware Indigo 2 is quite possibly one of the best looking modern synths, finished in silver with thick aluminium side panels and featuring no less than 32 knobs, 35 buttons and 69 bright blue LEDs, it is a must for anyone wanting to take their show on the road although its rather sturdy construction does weigh in at a surprising 9kg!

System Requirements
Apple or Windows based Digidesign Pro Tools|HD system running version 5.3 software or higher, or a Pro Tools|24 MIX system and software version 5.1.1 or above.

Information and a brochure is available from the Access Music website at:

  • http://www.access-music.de/
  • As far as prices go the hardware version costs £1199 (€1835/$1925) and does offer some advantages, there are 2 stereo outputs, so effects can be output separate to direct signal or if using the synth multi-timbrally, you can isolate particular sounds for external processing, also you don’t have to own Protools hardware, which as we all know is itself rather costly.

    Assuming you do own Protools and are after a new synth, the plug-in version is, in my opinion vastly superior, I always maintain that a product’s interface shouldn’t get in the way of creativity, having said this, the menus in the hardware version are quite complicated and can be slow to navigate. The plug-in has none of this trouble and allows you to rapidly delve into the depths of what is an extremely powerful synthesizer, it costs around £495 (€755/$795) which I feel is incredibly good value for money.

    The nearest competitor is McDSPs Synthesizer 1, a similarly laid out plug-in with great programmable 16 step sequencer, although this sounds generally more brittle and perhaps more like a Nord lead, at £430 (€660/$695) it is a slightly cheaper option, but I would advise saving the extra money and going for the Indigo. More Information can be found at http://www.mcdsp.com.

    Unfortunately there is, as yet no RTAS or VST version of the Virus Indigo, something which makes owning one rather elitist, I can appreciate why the original Virus plug-in was only TDM, but with Apple computer processors now up to Dual 1.25 ghz and a similar speed available on PC I think this situation should change. RTAS and VST are box large markets, with the release of the Digidesign Mbox and 002 systems, more and more people are using Protools as their primary sequencer package and tools such as this should be available to everyone.

    For those of you who are in a position to buy the Indigo TDM, welcome to my new favourite Synth!

    Virus Indigo TDM - $795 (€755/£495)
    Virus Indigo 2 hardware synth - $1925 (€1835/£1199)

    More Resources              Articles - full listing
  • Acces Pages at Synthsite
  • Indigo Demo
  • Virus Programming Tutorial (PDF)
  • Arpeggio Patch demo

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