AccessVirus TI2 Polar Virtual Analog Keyboard Synthesizer
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Access Virus TI2 Polar
The Virus TI2 Polar, from Access, is a versatile performance synthesizer with a 37-note keyboard. It boasts velocity, aftertouch, and dedicated pitch and modulation wheels. Unlike its TI2 Darkstar sibling, the Polar version features a sleek white finish and wooden side panels.
Internally, the Virus TI2 Polar features three oscillators, two separate filters, a modulation matrix, a host of FX, an arpeggiator, and a surround sound output. There are several onboard oscillator models consisting of virtual analog, wavetable, hypersaw, and graintable oscillators. All of this alongside a plethora of filter models and a dedicated Character control that recreates the distinct vibe of vintage analog gear. All of this combined with a robust effects section secures the TI2’s place as the holy grail of sound design-oriented synthesizers.
Apart from its self-contained wonderfulness, the TI2 also features Total Integration, Access’s proprietary technology that bridges the Virus with a computer system to achieve a powerful union between the Virus TI2 and a virtual instrument plugin. The plug-in controls the Virus and receives audio, allowing users to post processing capabilities via their computer. Since the Virus calculates all the voices, using it in tandem with a computer significantly reduces the the latter’s CPU load, freeing it up for other tasks.
TI2 Polar Features
- Dual DSP system with over 80 stereo voices under average load. (Load depends on which oscillator / filter model has been chosen).
- VirusControl™ VST and Apple Audio Unit Plug-for Mac OS X and Windows XP. The remote seamlessly integrates the Virus TI into your sequencer, making it feel just like a plug-in.
- The Virus TI's Audio and MIDI inputs and outputs can be used by the sequencer application as an audio and MIDI interface.
- The Virus TI is the first hardware synthesizer with sample-accurate timing and delay-compensated connection to your sequencer.
- WaveTable Oscillators for a completely new array of sounds. WaveTable and conventional Virus oscillators and filters can be mixed.
- HyperSaw™ oscillators with up to 9 sawtooths - each with parallel sub oscillator per voice (that's over 1800 stereo oscillators @100 voices!).
- Independent delay and reverb for all 16 multi mode slots.
- 129 parallel effects. There is reverb and delay, chorus, phaser, ring modulator, distortion, 3 band EQ and the Analog Boost bass enhancer.
- 2 multi-mode filters (HP, LP, BP, BS) and the Analog Filter (modelled after the MiniMoog™ cascade filter with 6-24 dB Slope and self-oscillation).
- Dedicated remote mode turns the Virus TI into an universal remote control for VST / AU plug-ins and external synthesizers.
- 6 balanced outputs with +4 dB level and switchable soft limiting algorithm. Studio grade 192 khz D/A converters with S/PDIF digital I/O. 2x24 bit inputs. Surround sound capabilities
- Tap tempo button. The algorithm is based on Access' Sync Xtreme technology.
- Programmable arpeggiator pattern for every patch.
- Knob quantize for creating stepped controller movements. The stepping automatically syncs to the Virus clock or an incoming MIDI clock.
- 3 LFOs with 68 waveforms to choose from.
- 2 super fast ADSTR envelopes.
- Extended memory: 512 RAM patches and 2048 ROM patches (rewritable).
- Adaptive control smoothing for jitter-free modulations on all important parameters.
- New multi mode with embedded patches.
- Compatible with USB 2.0 specifications, USB and High-Speed USB devices.
- Quality synth-action keyboard with 37 keys, velocity response and aftertouch.
- 2 pedal inputs.
- Brightly illuminated Access logo on the rear panel and walnut strip underneath the keyboard.
- Great synth-action keyboard with 37 keys, velocity response and aftertouch
- Hold and Control pedal inputs
- Winter white finish
- Aluminium and wooden side panels
- White LEDs and display
- Wood rail beneath the keyboard
- 3 main oscillators and one sub oscillator per voice
- A main oscillator can comprise of various oscillator types including the classic virtual analog oscillators (saw, variable pulse, sine, triangle, 62 spectral waves with several FM modes) and hypersaw (a multi saw-tooth oscillator with up to 9 stacked oscillators, 9 sub-oscillators and sync oscillator at the same time)
- Wavetable oscillators with 100 multi-index wavetables, feature variable resolution and optional pulse-width modulation
- Graintable oscillators apply granular synthesis techniques for independent control of pitch and formants to warp a waveform beyond recognition
- Formant oscillators sound like running a signal through a massive, modulatable filter bank with hundreds of resonant bands being morphed by the wavetable index
- Two fully independent filters (lowpass, highpass, bandpass, bandstop) with an optional saturation module located in between both filter blocks
- The saturation module can add one of several distortions and lo-fi effects or an additional low/high-pass filter
- Optional self-resonating MoogT cascade filter simulation with circuit overload and 1-4 poles
- Two-dimensional modulation matrix with six slots (1 source and 3 modulation targets each)
- Every feasible parameter can be modulated in realtime
- 3 LFOs with additional hard-wired destinations along with one user-definable slot
- 2 lightning-fast, multi-stage envelopes (ADSTR) - LFOs can be used as ramp generators as well
- The FX section has independent delay and reverb per patch (even in multi mode), along with multiple distortion/lo-fi algorithms, phaser, chorus/flanger, character control, ring modulator/shifter, and EQ, plus a global vocoder
- There is no difference between single and multi modes—patches sound exactly the same
- Each patch contains it's own arpeggiator pattern feat. 32 programmable steps (length and velocity can be adjusted per step) along with a global control for swing/shuffle timing and one for note lengths
- Nearly every parameter including the pattern itself, the amount of octaves, and many more, can be controlled using the modulation matrix
Surround Sound Output
- Every part can be panned dynamically between two stereo outputs for quadraphonic effects
- 32 knobs, 43 buttons, 73 LEDs
- Pitch/Modulation wheels
- Between 25 to 110 voices, depending on the complexity of the patch
- Estimates are based on single mode performance results may vary in multi mode
- Multi programs can have fully-independent embedded singles, without the links to single banks required by most synths providing freedom from breaking other programs
- 1024 RAM and 3328 ROM sounds, 16 embedded multi patches along with 112 conventional multi slots, 16 parts in multi mode
- Turn the Virus into a MIDI remote as the sound engine will still work independently
- 32 user-programmable templates to reassign most panel knobs controlling control 3rd party plug-ins and MIDI synthesizers
Smooth Parameter Changes
- Adaptive control-smoothing provides parameter changes with no zippering artifacts
- With knob quantize, a clock ratio is selected and parameter changes are updated at specified intervals only
- The result is sample-and-hold parameter movements, evocative of step sequencer sounds
- The unique DJ style audio slicer turns the Virus TI into an powerful realtime FX for DJ applications
- Virus Control is an VST/AU/RTAS compatible plug-in
- Total Integration is certified for the following hosts: Apple Logic 8, Steinberg Cubase 4, Ableton Live 7, Digidesign Pro Tools 8, Cakewalk Sonar 7, ImageLine FL Studio 8
- 6 balanced outputs (@ +4dB), backed by 192kHz/24-bit D/A converters with soft-limiting
- Two inputs with 24-bit A/D
- Dedicated headphone out
- MIDI in, out, and thru
- S/PDIF digital audio (44.1/48kHz) inputs & outputs
- USB is used for MIDI and audio transmission (adding 3 additional stereo audio outputs) and works at 12Mb/s
Weight & Dimensions
- Height: 11.2 cm (4.4 inches)
- Width: 56.5 cm (22.3 inches)
- Depth: 33.5 cm (13.2 inches)
- Weight: 8.4 kg (18.5 pounds)
This algorithmic sequencer is a great tool for generating playable, evolving tonal patterns, as well as Euclidian rhythms. In this short video Brian shows us a hybrid computer/hardware synth setup with the T-1—and its 16 simultaneous MIDI channels—at the heart of the composition.