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Keyboards, Modules & Hardware Synths Synthesizers, workstation keyboards, digital pianos

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 18th May 2009 , 10:07 AM
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Default Access Virus Snow

Does anybody know if this is about to be discontinued?

I've been looking at these for a while as I don't need another keyboard and i'm not fussed about having all the controls of a full on Virus. Plus they're CONSIDERABLY cheaper They show up on the DV shop but I can't find any mention of them at all on the Access website.

I'm also wondering about connectivity. Does the snow send audio over USB, in other words can I hook it up to my PC and access it like a VST (as i've seen mentioned) or does it have to go through an audio cable?

Thanks
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Old 18th May 2009 , 10:16 AM
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From what I've heard they have the same connectivity as is mention, I don't know though. I also hear a lot of people who have one wishing they had saved a bit longer and got a full virus because of the lack of knobs and tactile control.

Never used on though, just passing on grumblings I've picked up here and there.
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Old 18th May 2009 , 10:39 AM
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I'm 99% sure I won't miss the extra controls of the more expensive models as I can use the controls on my MIDI controller and i'm also buying a Nocturn off Sureno. Watch this space for humble pie in the future

I think it's odd that the Snow is missing from the Access page though
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Old 18th May 2009 , 07:55 PM
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Hello tehlord

Yes itís odd Ė they donít seem to have a link to the Snow, but here is the official page:

http://access-music.de/snow/

I have a Virus TI Keyboard, my brother a Snow.

Main difference is that the Snow has half as many DSPs so can only run 4 multi-timbral parts and not the 16 of full Virus. Yes - I know the maths doesnít add up, but there it is.

To be honest, the 4 part multi-timbrality of the Snow is probably much more realistic than the 16 parts for the full Virus.

As to the sound Ė itís fantastic and exactly the same as the TIs. All patches are compatible.

Yes there are very few knobs to twiddle but doesnít matter. The entire point of the TI is to control it from a computer, and that part works very well.

I have no idea if it is to be discontinued, but even if it was, that wouldnít stop me buying one because the TI line (which the Snow is part of) will be around for a while yet.
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Old 19th May 2009 , 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tyronehowe View Post
Hello tehlord

Yes itís odd Ė they donít seem to have a link to the Snow, but here is the official page:

http://access-music.de/snow/

I have a Virus TI Keyboard, my brother a Snow.

Main difference is that the Snow has half as many DSPs so can only run 4 multi-timbral parts and not the 16 of full Virus. Yes - I know the maths doesnít add up, but there it is.

To be honest, the 4 part multi-timbrality of the Snow is probably much more realistic than the 16 parts for the full Virus.

As to the sound Ė itís fantastic and exactly the same as the TIs. All patches are compatible.

Yes there are very few knobs to twiddle but doesnít matter. The entire point of the TI is to control it from a computer, and that part works very well.

I have no idea if it is to be discontinued, but even if it was, that wouldnít stop me buying one because the TI line (which the Snow is part of) will be around for a while yet.
Aha that's perfect, an A/B comparison from somebody familiar with both units, thanks

I'm not the worlds greatest patch designer so I don't really need anything that immediate at least for now. The snow also has the 3 value buttons under the LCD to control filter cutoff etc that i'll use 90% of the time. I'm quite happy messing with ADSR in software anyway.

Saying that it's been pointed out to me that a decent Ti desktop can be had on ebay for about the same price.......
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Old 19th May 2009 , 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tehlord View Post
I'm not the worlds greatest patch designer so I don't really need anything that immediate at least for now. The snow also has the 3 value buttons under the LCD to control filter cutoff etc that i'll use 90% of the time. I'm quite happy messing with ADSR in software anyway.
Well yet another great thing about the Virus is that itís very popular and so there are lots of free patches available for download. For many (including myself) itís easier to tweak an existing patch that is close to what you want than creating a new patch.

If you really need some tactile control of your Snow, then this is an expensive controller (obviously would work with other plug-ins as well):

http://www.dv247.com/invt/52990/

Just realised that I hadnít answered a previous question of yours. The Snow connects to your PC via a USB cable. All MIDI control and audio flow via that cable so no other connections are needed (apart from power supply of course). Up to three audio channels are fed back to your PC via the USB cable.

While I think of it, the Snow has preset memory available Ė ďonlyĒ 512 slots if I remember correctly. Again, this is not a problem, because you store all presets on your PC.
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Old 19th May 2009 , 11:26 AM
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There's no way that Access will discontinue this in the future - it's their level-entry way of getting their signature sound, and the product has only been round for a relatively short period.

They're great machines, their entire range is amazing.

However, make sure you're not planning on upgrading to 64 bit any time soon, as there's no sign of drivers on the horizon!
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Old 19th May 2009 , 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tyronehowe View Post
Well yet another great thing about the Virus is that itís very popular and so there are lots of free patches available for download. For many (including myself) itís easier to tweak an existing patch that is close to what you want than creating a new patch.

If you really need some tactile control of your Snow, then this is an expensive controller (obviously would work with other plug-ins as well):

http://www.dv247.com/invt/52990/

Just realised that I hadnít answered a previous question of yours. The Snow connects to your PC via a USB cable. All MIDI control and audio flow via that cable so no other connections are needed (apart from power supply of course). Up to three audio channels are fed back to your PC via the USB cable.

While I think of it, the Snow has preset memory available Ė ďonlyĒ 512 slots if I remember correctly. Again, this is not a problem, because you store all presets on your PC.
Thanks again, it's good to know that I can route a Virus via USB as I really didn't want to start having to hook up audio cables or buy a mixing desk etc. Once I'm happy with a Virus part I could freeze it as audio in Cubase as well I guess.

I'm buying a Nocturn off Sureno and I have an M-Audio MIDI controller with about 20-30 controllers on it already so any fiddling I could cope with I think.

The question now is new Snow or used Ti Desktop.

Hmmmmmmmm


Quote:
Originally Posted by mutilatedlip View Post
There's no way that Access will discontinue this in the future - it's their level-entry way of getting their signature sound, and the product has only been round for a relatively short period.

They're great machines, their entire range is amazing.

However, make sure you're not planning on upgrading to 64 bit any time soon, as there's no sign of drivers on the horizon!
There's absolutely no reason for me to upgrade to 64bit for the moment. I'm happy with XP Pro/Cubase 4.5.2 and it's relatively stable so I'll leave well alone thankyou!
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Old 19th May 2009 , 03:57 PM
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Go for the desktop! Definitely. More multi-timbrality if you need it, and just generally packed with a few more features and outputs.

Both great though.

You don't need to freeze in Cubase, as it's all handled externally, so no dip on the CPU. You can use as many tracks as you want, and route audio to the USB.

Overall, it sounds fantastic.

It's not analog, but it's got enough character of its own.
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Old 19th May 2009 , 04:17 PM
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duplicate post
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Last edited by tyronehowe; 19th May 2009 at 04:23 PM. . <
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Old 19th May 2009 , 04:21 PM
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I would definitely go for the desktop as well, if it was within budget.

Look at this! DV have a B-stock desktop version 2. £208 cheaper!

http://www.dv247.com/invt/65050/

Don't even hesitate at that price!

Or a Version 1 B-stock for £1157:

http://www.dv247.com/invt/64824/

I have bought B-stock from DV before and would do so again no problem.
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Old 20th May 2009 , 08:27 AM
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On reflection I think i'll wait a bit and get a used/B-Stock model once I have a few more pennies. God if I didn't buy 2-3 VSTs every few weeks I would have been able to buy one ages ago
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Old 20th May 2009 , 08:37 AM
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One additional point about the snow (We have both a TI keyboard and a Snow)

The VST plugins for each ar different - this means that a DAW project created on a system with a Snow will not load on a system to which a regular TI is connected, and visa versa.

You can manually mess about to make this work (ie saving the TI patches out into a bank file and importanting the bank into the other model) - the problem is the VST plugins are considered different by host software (as they are different), but otherwise as stated above, all TI (Mk1 and Mk2) synths are 100% single-mode patch compatible, and sound identical.

The Mk2 is the same as the Mk1 but with faster DSPs. I dont beleive it actually has any more memoy in it for patch storage.

If you are planning on using it disconnected from a computer, then you may find the Desktop model is preferable for its hands on control, however it is considerably bigger than a Snow.
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Old 20th May 2009 , 08:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Khazul View Post
One additional point about the snow (We have both a TI keyboard and a Snow)

The VST plugins for each ar different - this means that a DAW project created on a system with a Snow will not load on a system to which a regular TI is connected, and visa versa.

You can manually mess about to make this work (ie saving the TI patches out into a bank file and importanting the bank into the other model) - the problem is the VST plugins are considered different by host software (as they are different), but otherwise as stated above, all TI (Mk1 and Mk2) synths are 100% single-mode patch compatible, and sound identical.

The Mk2 is the same as the Mk1 but with faster DSPs. I dont beleive it actually has any more memoy in it for patch storage.

If you are planning on using it disconnected from a computer, then you may find the Desktop model is preferable for its hands on control, however it is considerably bigger than a Snow.
I think that's the nail in the coffin for the snow then. I know a couple of people I'm planning to do collabs with are proper Ti users and it makes sense to stick with that I think. Time to plunder the hard drive and see if there are any unused VST's I can sell!

I won't be using it away from the PC at all as i'm purely a hobbyist, one that seems more and more obsessed with producing a fully mixed and mastered track but hobbyist nonetheless!
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Old 21st May 2009 , 11:25 AM
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I've now 'discovered' the Alesis Andromeda A6. What a beautiful sounding machine. I'll need to think long and hard about my first hardware synth purchase for nearly 20 years. Last time it was easy, do I get a DX7 or a D50
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