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Virus Kb

Access Music Virus KB

4.15 4.15 out of 5, based on 2 Reviews

Access's older b-series with keyboard.

6th April 2012

Access Music Virus KB by Jooses

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Virus Kb

More I use this beautiful red machine makes me wonder if there is any other as proper synths for the buck. It cost me 800€ (used) back in 2008 or so. It's really heavy and well built and the feel of it tells you why the sound is so fat as well. Keys and the mechanics are by Kurzweill, correct me if I'm wrong.
There's two Oscillators and 3 Lfo's two separate filters and a bunch of internal effects and nice vocoder. Routing possibilities for Lfo's are numerous.
Virusb is 16 voice multitimbral so it's kind of u only need one synth.
Heard some users consider this as too "trancy". I'd agree on that one if I never tried to modify the preset sounds. (8 banks from a to h. a & b for user presets, 128 slots each.)
Could easily glorify this more and more, but if you find this buy it. For all you who appreciate excellent quality and multiuse synth.

Only con imo is that the hardware parts are no longer manufactured so I must not break it!

1st March 2016

Access Music Virus KB by TheOmegaShadow

  • Sound Quality 3 out of 5
  • Ease of use 3 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 3.75
Virus Kb

I bought my Virus KB back in mid 2007 second hand, it was in mint condition and spotless, paid below market value at the time.

This was my first hardware synth and I was very impressed with the modulation possibilities being more complex than I initially thought, Choosing to focus on the virus for programming and learning how to effectively get certain sounds out of it was great, it was knowledge I could take to my soft synths and get better results instead of preset surfing.

You will read this everywhere concerning the Virus B, the Oscillators are dark, less detailed than nearly all VA and VSTi synths today, there is significant high frequency content missing here, aliasing is very noticeable in the higher registers. Having 4 oscillators total is good and it yields pretty big tones in the low mid ranges, you can get some subdued oberheim and prophet style sounds with ease, the sub oscillator adds significant bottom end and that's a standout signature of the virus B, very good bass sounds, very warm and atmospheric.

The filters are usable but not wildly exciting for leads or anything with self resonance, they are interpolated so slow smooth sweeps are possible, they're usable but some people looking for the analog character will have to look elsewhere. only LP, HP, BP and BS modes and flexible routing modes allow you to sculpt the tone with more control than just one filter. The controls are good, dedicated cutoff knobs, ony one resonance knob though, you have to press the filter button to select the filter you intend to change, you can also select both at the same time for higher pole count filters when running them in serial.

The envelopes are good, they both have dedicated knobs, they are ok, not great like real analogue or on par with the likes of U-He Diva, but they get the job done.

The LFOs are good, but like the envelopes, not outstanding they are very smooth at slow frequncies, though limited in their directly selectable modulation desinations.

The Mod Matrix was something that took me some time to learn, but ounce you get it, the value and versatility of the Virus B become clear, you can begin to experiment and come up with some 'out there' sounds, It is however, deep menu diving, the matrix editor is tedious and requires lots of repeditive button presses, it drives me mad, relative to the Virus TI interface which is much clearer and faster to make changes then the Virus B, it's hard to go back and some people will not have the patience for it.

The keyboard is top-notch, I like the matte finish black keys more then the slippery glossy ones found on most keyboards, the keys are not flimsy and thin, they've got some mass to them, the pitch and mod wheels are accurate and sturdy,

The effects are as good, very usable, I avoid effects and record clean only as a rule of thumb but sometimes certain patches, you cannot avoid using them as they really add to the sound and are very usable in recordings.

I never used the Vocoder on any recordings or really had a need to use it, I had better VST based options that all sounded better for voice content, drum on the other hand sounded OK. The knob interface is sturdy and quality of the knobs are relatively good, no issues with mine so far.

In 2016, I'd only recommend the Virus B or KB for someone looking for their first hardware synth to learn on, it's price now is on par with the mid to low price range VAs of today

The Sound is another selling point, the rich warm bass and polysynth tones are worth it too, a lot of the newer VAs are more thin sounding in the mid-low sonic range, the newer ones are better at mid-high range tones, they would complement each other in a mix.

If you're looking for pristine bright analogue tones, this isn't the one for you.

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