Manufacturer: Access Music
Release Date: 2002
Type: Virtual Analog / Subtractive Synthesis
After owning the Virus B for a number of months, I decided I wanted to try the Virus C due to it’s additional 8 voices (32 total), “Moog” modeled filters, and various interface improvements (3rd oscillator/3rd LFO/effects/modulation section moved to front panel, less LCD menu diving required). I ended up purchasing a 37-key Indigo 2 locally off Craigslist and began exploring it.
The Virus C is a very capable synth able to create complex sounds, with interface improvements that really help you tweak and program at a much faster rate compared to the Virus B. The presets are quite nice, and show off the capabilities of the machine well.
The improved oscillator, effects, arpeggiator and LFO user interface enhancements make adjusting these settings a breeze, and the in-depth visual mod matrix on the front panel allows you to easily route modulations quickly vs. the LCD-driven mod matrix on the Virus B. I found drones that evolve over time to be especially well done with this synth, and the new “Moog” filter options can really help color the overall sound/sonic texture in new ways.
That said, while I was initially impressed with the refinements to the user interface, sound-wise I found the Virus C / Indigo 2 seemed to have a more “digital” sheen, and “dark” and “cold” type of sound quality; no matter how much I tweaked the filters, resonance or other settings, I struggled to get it to sound as “warm” as its older sibling the Virus B (not that there’s anything wrong with that, if its the sonic character you’re after). In the end despite the interface/voice count improvements, I simply didn’t enjoy the darker/digital sonic character of the Virus C as much as the Virus B, and ultimately ending up selling it a few months later.
Regardless, build quality is excellent – the Indigo 2 is built like a tank (solid aluminum side panels), the knobs are high-quality, and it should last you for years to come. The Virus C / Indigo 2 has since been superseded by the Virus TI/TI2 but its still a great workhorse. If you’re looking for a good gigging synth with a “darker” sonic character that is compact and can be used on the road or in a home studio, definitely consider checking one out.
|Interface||32 knobs, 35 buttons, 69 LEDs|
|Oscillators||3 Osc per voice plus 1 Sub-Osc: Sawtooth, variable pulse, sine, triangle, oscillator sync.
5 FM Modes: 64 digital FM spectral waveforms.
|LFO||3 LFOs with 68 waveforms|
|Filter||2 independent resonant filters; lowpass, hipass, bandpass, band reject, parallel, split & 2 serial modes with up to 36dB/voice (6-poles), overdrive/saturation.|
|VCA||2 ADSTR envelopes|
|ModMatrix||6 Sources, 9 Destinations|
|Arpeggiator||16 independent arpeggiators with numerous arpeggiator patterns and real time parameter access. Arpeggio parameters can be modulated in realtime and include swingfactor and notelength.|
|Vocoder||Programmable 32-band vocoder|
|Effects||98 simultaneous effects: 16 Phasers, 16 Choruses, 16 Distortions, 16 Ring Modulators, 16 Parametric EQs, Delay, 32-Band Vocoder, Surround Sound.|
|Keyboard||Virus KC: 61 Semi-Weighted Keys with note-on/off velocity, pitch bend, modwheel and two switches/control pedals and aftertouch.
Indigo 2: 37 keys
|Memory||1024 programs (256 User / 768 ROM / 128 Multi)|
|Control||MIDI (16 multitimbral parts)|