The Access Virus  series & Nord Lead II

Access Virus 4.5 Virtual Analogue synthesiser in desk top case...

Access Virus 4.5 rack Virtual Analogue synthesiser

Clavia Nord Lead 2 Virtual Analogue synthesiser...

Clavia Nord Lead 2 Virtual Analogue synthesiser

THREE further virtual analogues grace our stable of instruments, one in a 19 inch rack, and two full blown keyboards! I need not explain  in depth what a virtual analogue is, if you are in any doubt at all then mosey on over to our Roland JP8000 page, but in brief it's a computer pretending to a real analogue subtractive synthesiser by use of clever software algorithms. So what makes these two stand out then?


These synths from two different manufacturers, despite using very similar techniques to create their analogue sounds, sound very different ,and that's down to one thing in my humble opinion, their filters. The Virus is an all singing, all dancing three oscillator virtual with twin filters capable of producing the most humungously fat (phat???) sounds. The only difference between the rack mount and keyboard versions we have is the addition of a very nice keyboard to one and not the other! It's oscillators even have wave table capability to allow mimicry of the legendry PPG. Slam all that functionality into a natty red case, give it an extensive arpeggiator and on board effects - what more could you want? They are amazing beasts! Best of all, every time the programmers at Access came up with a degree of streamlining in their Operating System (OS) code they used the redundant space they had freed up to add yet more functionality to an already busy little beast - more downstream effects, more vocoder facilities, whatever. And then they sent you an email inviting you to download the new OS for free. It's interesting to note that every OS upgrade I have ever received except one has been stacked with some manner of extra functionality, that really is a good policy in my book as if you wish to update the Nord Lead II you have to pay for a new OS chip AND for professional installation. The Roland JP8000 too has only ever had an OS update to sort out some bugs in the program and no extra functionality was added at that time. Well done Access!


And so to the Nord Lead II. Why bother buying yet another virtual? Well, it's those filters....... although it has nothing like as many features nor as much functionality as the Virus the Nord Lead II has a very distinctive sound. We tried unsuccesfully to synthesise a particular string pad with both the JP8K and the Virus and failed, a bit of a bummer when we desperately needed it to cover a particular Jean Michel song! So.... only one answer, get one bought! And that's just what we did..... mind you I've regretted it ever since as I reckon the Nord Lead is grossly over rated.


So take a listen to the sound clips from both the Virus and the Nord Lead 2 and see what you think!

Virus synth in use on "Equinoxe Part 7"...

Nord Lead 2 pad sound similar to that Jarre used for parts of "Oxygene 7"...

Access Virus and drums -

sequencer part of Equinoxe 7

Nord Lead II, Jarre synth

string pad similar to one

used in Oxygene Part 7

And finally before you move on, take a listen

to the work of Per Kristian Risvik, an expert

Virus programmer. He has created the following

clip ENTIRELY on the Virus with the intention

of getting as close to Jean Michel's original

as possible. I'm sure you'll agree he has

managed it! There is a link to his web site

on our links page... do yourself a big favour

and go listen to his work!!!

Virus synth in use on "Equinoxe Part 7"...

But for now click on the link above to be amazed!

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