Access Music’s Virus synth has an unmistakable sound. Versatile though it is, from cutting leads to staccato arps and smooth evolving pads, there is an indescribable quality that undeniably says “Virus”. The TI (Total Integration) models bridge the ever-fluctuating gap between hardware and software. Originally available in keyboard, desktop, and polar models, Snow is the latest addition to the lineup.
As with a few other choice gear reviews, this is not the newest synth out there – Snow has been on the market since 2008. What makes it stand out is the inclusion of the Virus TI’s full range of sounds, squeezing it all into a compact unit.
The beauty of the Total Integration system is that it allows you to stream audio from the Virus TI directly to an audio channel. All of the synth’s controls are fully functional, and automation is seamless. You can also run TI as a plugin via the Virus Control software. A comprehensive patch editor with a powerfully flexible browser, and easy drag-and-drop patch management, Virus Control allows you to tweak Virus presets from within your DAW. Any changes you choose to make are saved within the project file for the specific track you’re working on, eliminating the chance of loosing a sound on one track by adjusting the preset in another.
The TI desktop already provides a keyboard-less option, but Snow’s stamp is about 30% smaller, and a good deal cheaper too! You do compromise some of the button and knobs, but as an entry into the world of Virus it’s perfectly serviceable.