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Arturia V Collection 9 reviews

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Arturia V Collection 9: what is it?

Arturia’s ever-expanding pack is the most recognizable and – arguably – best value classic game in town synths as plugins. New iterations arrive regularly every year, and we can expect each to add a handful of new emulations as well as a refresh of some of the older plugins in the collection.

With this latest iteration, Arturia takes an unexpected slight left turn in the form of two new plugins – Augmented Strings and Augmented Voices – which set themselves apart from their V Collection compatriots by eschewing the retro-emulation theme in favor of a much more modern, broad approach.

Arturia V Collection 9: Performance and Verdict

But let’s deal with the more conventional additions first. V Collection 9 introduces two new emulated instruments to the package. The first is a synth that is surprising that it took Arturia so long to try: the barely obscure Korg MS-20. Korg’s own hardware reissue, the MS-20 mini, was one of the first significant synths of the affordable analog revival. Since then, Korg has released several hardware iterations, including desktop and full-size reissues, all of which add to Korg’s MS-20 software, which has been on the market since the early 2000s. before we even get to the unofficial versions…

Arturia Collection V 9

(Image credit: future)

The OG MS-20 was known for its ability to sound gritty, thanks to heavy, driveable oscillators and raspy resonant filters. Arturia leans heavily on this side of the MS-20’s character when it comes to branding, offering plenty of state-of-the-art presets. Comparatively, Arturia’s MS-20 feels like it’s getting into saturated, full-bodied territory a bit easier than Korg’s software version or modern hardware recreations. It also adds a few more features, like a simple oscillator sync switch and additional modulation routings on the front panel. Other than that, there’s not much to differentiate Arturia’s synth core elements from other recreations.

Also think…

Korg Collection 3

(Image credit: Korg)

Korg Collection 3
Korg’s own emulation pack also features an officially-branded MS-20 – and quite impressive.

NI Komplete 13 (opens in a new tab)
NI’s bundle is larger than the V Collection, with effects and more sampled instruments.

As with the other synths in the V Collection, Arturia’s version is distinguished by the modern bells and whistles added to the package. These include a sequencer, which models Korg’s own SQ-10, and a range of effects. The original SQ-10 was a three-track, 12-step CV sequencer designed to pair with the MS-20 and its MS-10/MS-50 siblings. The hardware itself could be tedious for precise pitches, but that added to its character. Part of the appeal of the CV sequencer/semi-modular synth combo was the ability to patch the SQ-10’s three channels to a whole range of parameters beyond the standard pitch and trigger inputs. Coupled with its simple portamento setup, this has led the SQ-10 to become a fantastic source of supple, acidic bass riffs. Arturia does a good job of recreating that workflow and patchability, and the resulting combo of soft synth and sequencer is a lot of fun to use.

On the effects front, the MS-20 V adds four effect slots, each of which can be populated with one of 16 processor types – borrowed from Arturia’s Pigments softsynth – which can be placed in series or parallel.

Although the MS-20 V is largely designed for aggressive synth sounds, the semi-modular design of the MS-20 has always been much more versatile than it first appears. As a synth, it has wonderful classic synth effects, drones and percussive sounds as well as more obvious bass and leads. Many already have access to an MS-20, but it’s a great addition.

Arturia Collection V 9

(Image credit: future)

The other emulation added for V Collection 9 is the SQ-80 V, a software recreation of Ensoniq’s hybrid synthesizer first released in the mid-1980s. A lesser-known culmination of early digital synths, the SQ- 80 original combined 8-bit digital oscillators with a Curtis-style analog filter and analog amp section.

Arturia’s SQ-80 V has been around for a while, but it’s a welcome addition. Like its real-world inspiration, its sound can range from early retro digital sounds to a solid range of synthesized pianos, intricate pads, and edgy, pulsating synth tracks.

Compared to other synths of the time, the SQ-80 was accessible when it came to programming, but the expanded view of the Arturia plugin version is still a welcome addition. Here users get a much more detailed initial level of control over the three oscillators and the filter. The improvements are most evident when tuning and routing modulation, and it’s the ability to apply the various polyphonic modulators to the digital oscillators that results in its most inspiring sounds.

Again, the synth is expanded with a modern, well-equipped arpeggiator and four-slot effects section similar to that of the MS-20. The SQ-80 V and MS-20 V also benefit from other attractive touches shared by their V Collection counterparts, including configurable macro controls and interactive tutorials that do a great job of showcasing the workflow of each instrument.

Increased collection

While the MS-20 and SQ-80 seem to be standard for the V Collection, the two new augmented-string and augmented-voice instruments are rather more unexpected. As their name suggests, they focus on string and vocal sounds, but it would be a mistake to think of them as mere sampling instruments. The “augmented” nature of the plugins refers to the mix of samples and synthesis at play, creating instruments that aim not so much for the realism of a meticulously sampled Kontakt library, but for a more modern hybrid sound suitable for electronic music or modern. cinematographic compositions.

Arturia Collection V 9

(Image credit: future)

Arturia Collection V 9

(Image credit: future)

Accessing the Advanced View offers a considerably deeper level of control and reveals what’s really going on under the hood of each plugin. In terms of workflow, Augmented Instruments are functionally very similar to Arturia’s Multi-Mode Software Synthesizer Pigments. As with Pigments, these instruments each use a multi-layered sound engine that combines sampled, virtual analog, wavetable, granular, and additive sound sources.

The overall level of depth is shallower than Pigments – fewer audio rate modulation options and no additional utility engine, for example – but there’s still plenty of power here. Each sound layer offers two types of oscillators, allowing for a multitude of sonic combinations, and each layer can have its own individual filter, selectable from a range of options including standard multimode filters, SEM model, as well as comb variations , phaser and formant.

Again, the modulation and effects pages here are like those found in Pigments, offering a nice depth with tools like function generators, randomization processors, and dual-layer effects. The main difference between this synth and these augmented plugins is that here each synth engine is assigned its own ADSR amp envelope, rather than featuring a global amp section like Pigments does.

The core of each plugin’s personality comes down to the multisamples contained within the sample engines. Each offers a variety of sounds ranging from simple tones to realistic multisamples and more esoteric and creative material. The level of control varies: basic sounds only have volume and pitch parameters, while others allow users to adjust the pickups or, for more creative sounds, an element of randomization.

These augmented plugins are definitely not conventional sampling instruments

These augmented plugins are definitely not conventional sampling instruments. It is possible to get “realistic” sounds from either, although they are not specialized in this area; there’s no control over string articulations, for example, or anywhere near the sample volume you’d get with something like a Spitfire or Eastwest string library. The combination of interesting source samples and surprisingly deep synthesis make them powerful tools. For electronic-leaning musicians looking for fast, inspiring string textures and vocals, they’re a great addition.

Updated and refreshed

As usual, this latest update updates several existing plugins alongside new releases. Now it’s the turn of the CS-80 V, Piano V, Prophet-5 V and Prophet-VS V. Although all have been completely rebuilt, what precisely has changed and how much varies from plugin to plugin. to the other. In the case of the CS-80, for example, the plug-in benefits from a considerably extended advanced view, much more pleasant for playing with modulation routings. There’s also a fully updated list of presets, more effect options, and a cleaner user interface.

The prophets, on the other hand, were divided into two autonomous instruments; in previous versions, both Prophet-5 and VS emulations were handled by a single Prophet V instrument. Once again, each gains a new set of presets, additional effects options, and more depth of control via the Advanced View , bringing them more in line with the collection’s new cuts.

Arturia Collection V 9

(Image credit: future)

Verdict

We suspect the V Collection 9 might be a tougher sell for Arturia than previous releases. On the emulation front, the MS-20 is already a fairly common synth for modern producers, and the SQ-80 has been out for a while now. Augmented plugins, on the other hand, are a little less easy to sell, and it’s only when you master them that their appeal really becomes apparent. It’s worth checking out the whole collection, because there’s a lot to like here.

MusicRadar’s verdict: It’s arguably a tougher sell than some previous installments, but V Collection 9 gets more appealing the closer you look.

Arturia V Collection 9: practical demos

MusicRadar

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Venus theory

Synths and Technology at Gear4music

Creative Sauce

Arturia V Collection 9: Specifications

  • MAIN CHARACTERISTICS: Includes 33 software instruments including four new editions and four updates, plus 14 sound packs. Upgrade prices available, log in to an Arturia account to view offers.
  • CONTACT: Arturia (opens in a new tab)