Synth Site: Access: Virus Ti Polar: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.8 out of 5
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SekondThought a professional user from United Kingdom writes:
I thought I'd add my story here...

A few weeks ago, I'd bought a Dave Smith Evolver Keyboard costing £849.99, but (because of a change in the work I am doing) had decided to return it. I had more money available to me now than I did when I bought the Evolver and decided to buy an Access Virus Ti Polar (costing an additional £650.00).

Upon entering the retuns department (of a store that will remain nameless), I told the person there that I wished to exchange the Evolver for a Virus Polar. The man look at me in horror and said "Why would you want to do that?". I wasn't quite expecting him to say that, but before I had chance to reply, he then said "I'd stick with what you've got if I were you, I've had a Virus TI and all I wanted to do with it was throw it out of the window, as it was so frustrating to use". I felt quite shocked at his comments and told him that I wanted something that was multitimbral and that would allow me to work on a whole song without having to track one sound at a time. He then said "You can't do that with the Virus, it isn't multitimbral and all it will do when you hook it up over USB is crash your computer and make horrible noises". Knowing that to be untrue, I started to become a little frustrated at him telling me things that were down to his own experiences (and things that were just not true) while never once saying that he may have had a bad time with an early model and that it may not be like that now.

It was the man's next comments that I found the most shocking, as he then went on to say "You won't make any original music with a Virus, as everyone's got them and the freeze up on you and crash all the time". This made me very angry inside as how did this salesman know what I would do with it? Did he know me? Did he know my ideas? I think not!

He then gave a huge sigh and said, "Anyway, if you want to take the risk of buying one, do it, but make sure you have a good form of transport as I'm going to be seeing a lot of you, as all you do is bring it back here for us to send away for repair and tell me how you wished you'd never bought it". With that, I told him that while I appreciated his apparent honesty, I was going to the bank to get the extra cash I needed to upgrade to the Virus Polar and that I'd be back soon and walked out. I was outraged at these kind of comments, as all he seemed to want me to do was leave the shop with the Evolver and not the Virus Polar.

Before deciding to return the Evolver for the Virus, I had done some research on the internet and seen that there were one or two problems with the arpeggiator timing over MIDI (something he didn't mention) and that there can be some pops and clicks on the outputs when using it in USB mode as an audio/MIDI interface, but that these issues were now solved, but it didn't put me off what I know to be an excellent company with an excellent reputation.

After I got my money from the bank, I returned to the store and went to pay the money to the guy at the returns department (who, from the look on his face, was not pleased to see me come back for the Virus at all). While I was paying for the unit, he said "make sure you go on the Access website to download the newest OS, as the Virus is so bad, they're updating it everyday at the moment and while you're there, make sure if anything goes wrong with your Polar, you complaine to Access about it". I just looked at him and said that I had already downloaded the latest OS yesterday, so didn't need to that, to which he said "oh, that will be out of date by now". I wasn't going to stay there any longer, so I justed picked up my new Polar and left.

I am very happy with my Virus TI Polar, I've updated it and have it working perfectly along side my Mac running Logic and am so glad I did not listen to the advice I was given! I'd had to travel over 200 miles to be treated like an idiot who knows nothing by someone who clearly didn't know that much himself! I miss my Evolver (and intend to buy one back as soon as funds allow), but I don't regret my choice.

My warning for others is do what I did and make up your own mind and don't be put of what is truly an amazing synth for no good reason.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Nov-17-2006 at 17:39
Barzin a hobbyist user from Chicago writes:
I'd like to add comments for potential buyers who are worried about the buying the Virus TI.

With the new OS, most problems are USER ERROR... The major bugs are FIXED dam it!!! And the minor ones are being fixed until the unit is perfected.

Working with a DAW (audio interface, USB, Computer, etc,) is not easy. You'll have many problems if your technology isn't setup rock solid. I have no problems with the TI. But it took many, many hours to get my daw running right. AND, I'm always adjusting it. I run Nuendo with Echo interface at a sample rate of 9600 and it sounds great. I also have Sonar and just tried the Live 6 demo and it works great. NO PROBLEMS AT ALL. If you're having some problems with your DAW, FIRST thing to do is GET REAL copy of your sequencer software. Your pirated Warez version will crash.

The digital filters on the TI are just so powerful too. So vast. The routing capabilities are endless, the sound palette is huge. The basey sounds and drum sounds are fantastic. As good as Elektron Machine Drum or the Mono Machine, if not better. Yeah, the drums don't sound as good as my $1800 Jomox Xbase 999, but nothing does. And Yeah the sound is not nearly as FAT and amazing as my $3500, 8-voice SunSyn. But my SunSyn doesn't have 100 voices, no effects, no keyboard, basic arp, only 100 patch memory, presets suck, small user community (but the SunSyn sounds so amazing. If you're hell bent on anything else but a Virus, get a freaking SUNSYN. WOWOWOWOWOW. ... and yeah, SUNSYN sounds better than the Omega 8 or the A6. Except for some key Moog sounds, SE does a better job... alas Mini Moog does the best job.

Compared to other digital instruments...

I haven't heard a better digital synth. It blows doors on NORD LEAD. Nord sounds thin compared to the TI (with no effects either) For digital VA sound it eats Roland, KORG, and Yamaha. I'm not talking about SAMPLES, the VA sounds.

Those who claim you can get the same sound from soft synths, are just WRONG. Your super computer will run out of resources well before you can come close to the complex pads, big portamento, fat leads and heavy echo patches.

I did a side by side comparison of Arturia's Modular, CS-80 and ARP 2600. They sound good, but the are not AS FAT, as SMOOTH as POWERFUL and real sounding as the Virus. Plus my Daw is SOO taxed (maybe i need a better DAW? WAIT!!! I'll BUY A VIRUS TI INSTEAD!!!) See what I'm saying?

The TI blows doors on the BEST VST in terms of raw fat sound. Saying otherwise is just plain silly.

YOU WANT Patches????

The Virus TI has thousands of patchces and with TI interface you have access to an endless array of patches at your fingertips,

You want a 303 sound... you got it..

Does it sound as drippy and fat as the 303... of course not, but pretty dam close. Closest you'll ever get from a digital synth.

You want Trance, Dance, techno, digital pads, ... YES, the best you can get. Better than Quasimidi, Elektron, Korg. Partner it with a external sequencer and you have a 12 track beat box. 8 drum tracks, 4 synth tracks, you get the idea. No one talks about that fact that with a 12 track step sequencer you can have the best all-digital groove box in the industry.

You want Moog sound... FORGET IT.

You want Prophet 5 sound ... FORGET IT

You want Jupiter 8 sounds ... FORGET IT

In general, if you want analogue sound FORGET IT. This is a DIGITAL SOUND. But the best digital sound you can get.

Analog is for a sophisticated electronic music. It's a waste to use it on dance tracks and techno. Analog is for those with a ear for analogue and want drippy, goopy, radical, fat sounds. The reason the 303 is so dam popular is it was SUPER CHEAP at one point. Very little is added to the mix, much unlike trance & techno. Analogue synth fans want to hear the PURE Analogue SOUND. It's whole different type of animal. I get it and I love analogue sound. But there is place for digital sound as well. (in hell, just kidding)

If you want a comparable analogue setup, get ready to dish out about $15K-$20K, for 100 voices worth of synth as well as an analog delay, phaser, reverb, eq, etc. Can't have any DIGITAL in the audio path or it pure sound is ruined.

With the TI you can use your VST effects (probably pirated as well) and create great tracks cheaply and quickly. You can add a Metosonix effect or some sort of analog effect to get some great textures.

I moving into the analogue synth world. But I'm keeping my VIRUS TI because it rocks.

Virus Haters are just haters. You want the best digital synth ... DUH??? Buy a Virus TI. You want old technology that sounds inferior... buy any other digital synth.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Nov-02-2006 at 06:01
Martyn Reid a hobbyist user from UK writes:
I bought the TI back in January.

And yes it was full of bugs for quite a while. But I felt duty bound to update this - the latest OS is very good, I now don't have any consistent bugs, perhaps the odd one or two now and again but nothing to worry about and nothing more than a lot of other synths out there.

Access said they would fix the bugs and they have worked hard. All we are left with now is a wonderful sounding piece of kit, an excellent synth, and together with the Viruc Control a fantastic interface to run it.

Just thought I should clear that one up!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Oct-12-2006 at 08:05
mike a professional user writes:
Well, i have to add my two cents to this review.

To bad for Access that I agree with the last few posts...

It crashes, has the stuck notes issues and really odd things happen to the sound engine for no reason what so ever!

I have been a synth programer for 9 years so I have seen allot of bugs. And the Virus TI has more than I could deal with.

Honestly I bought a Clavia Nord Lead 3 and A Lexicon MPX 550 for what I sold it for. I could not be happier!

The Access Virus TI sounds really great, but no support and bug issues drove me away from Access PERIOD! I spent allot of money on a Access product, and the just would not give me the time of day.

It was number 1 on top of our synth list that we let clients see to get them in the door and start recording.

Every single client had the same opinion. "Sounds good, To bad it does not function right"

Updates and all, no fixs, no help. Sold to some poor fool who is now stuck with it. We told the guy who bought it about the problems, he said that he was aware of them and that this unit crashes less than another one he had ??????

Where is the logic in this? I do not understand how one unit could have diffrent bugs than the next in stand alone operation??????

Sorry Access sound great, and the A,B & C are great synths, but who would buy another Access product knowing that it is going to be dropped soon and no updates released for it!

As good as it sounds the overall dance with the Virus left a bad taste in my mouth.

I give it a 1.

Rating: 1 out of 5 posted Sunday-Oct-08-2006 at 20:31
another disappointed TI user (soon former TI user) a part-time user from Belgium writes:
I am desperate! What am I doing wrong? the TI just won't syncronise with the virus control plugin, it always gets stuck somewhere and crashes. Yes, I do have the newest OS (1.2.3). The support couldn't help me nor could the shop assistant, so watch out for the unit on ebay, I can't await getting it out of my eyes.

Rating: 1 out of 5 posted Sunday-Oct-08-2006 at 20:13
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