Arturia V Collection 3.0: Analog Rig ‘In the Box’ [REVIEW]

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Since 1999, Grenoble, France-based manufacturer Arturia has been carving out a special niche for itself in the studio market by creating software emulations of vintage analog synths.

Indeed, I’ve always enjoyed using Arturia’s meticulously created virtual versions of classic keyboards in my tracks. And it must be said that I’m a happy owner of Arturia’s JP-8v2 (a virtual synth based on Roland’s Jupiter 8) and Analog Factory (a virtual instrument with 3,500 classic synth sounds, a favorite of the legendary French DJ/producer Laurent Garnier).

In the last few months, I have been using Arturia’s V Collection 3.0, and found it very impressive. The V Collection 3.0 features a slew of Arturia’s flagship synths, including Mini V, Modular V, Prophet V, Prophet VS, Jupiter-8V, Oberheim SEM V, CS-80 V and ARP 2600-V.

The collection also includes Spark Vintage, a virtual drum machine, and its sound library contains 30 classic drums machines, such as the LinnDrum and the Roland TR-808. To help streamline the wealth of synths sounds, Analog Laboratory is also included in this collection and it offers 4,300 presets, which are pulled from the eight synths. Last, and certainly not least, is the Wurlitzer V, a wonderful emulation of the famous Wurlitzer EP 200A electric piano.

Installation: This occurs by one of two means: installing the license on a Syncrosoft key or by installing the license on the computer that has V Collection installed on it.Mac and PC versions are available, and you have the option of purchasing V Collection as a download-only version, or you can order a boxed version. The download-only version costs $199, while the boxed version goes for $399.

Platform Specifications: For Windows, Windows Seven 32- and 64-bit and above; For Mac OSX, Mac OSX 10.6 or higher, Intel only; Works in Standalone, VST 2.4 and VST 3 (supported by Oberheim SEM V and Wurlitzer V only), 32- and 64-bit, RTAS and AU 32- and 64-bit formats.

Required Configuration: For PC/Windows, 2 GB RAM, 2 GHz CPU (Multiple Cores recommended); For Mac (Intel only), 2 GB RAM, 2 GHz CPU (Multiple Cores recommended)

Getting Started: I wanted to spend a few weeks with this collection before beginning to write a review on it. So, it was important to me to use these sounds in real production situations, not just on demos or scratch tracks.

First off, I have always wanted a Minimoog. Over time, I’ve played the real thing and love this classic piece for its bass sounds. So, right away, I began laying down basslines in several tracks, and it just brought them to life.

Then, I began scrolling through the Modular V and the ARP 2600-V’s presets, just to get a feel for their sounds. As I have also played the real versions of these synths, I was equally as impressed.

While continuing to work on various tracks over the several weeks, I was able to listen through the majority of the presets for all of the synths. All in all, I have to say, it was pretty amazing to have these sounds in my laptop. I did spend some time with Spark Vintage, and enjoyed having that type of access to the well-sampled, classic drum machines sounds.

Purist Alert: Synthesizer purists out there—and there are plenty—will argue that these emulations lack some of the behavior of their hardware counterparts. While that very idea’s not for me to argue or defend within this review, the fact that I can have tens of thousands of dollars of legendary synths in my laptop for $199 is phenomenal. Case closed!

And, let’s not forget that the parameters of these virtual synths are automatable. Users will find that certain synths are more CPU-intensive than others, and a great work-around is to convert your tracks to audio, freeing up CPU power. I do this all the time. However; make sure to save your MIDI in the event that you have to go back, make a change, and re-bounce it.

The Verdict: Arturia’s V Collection 3.0 is a must-have for any producers or remixers out there craving that classic, analog-synth sound. These synths have their own personalities that will certainly add life to your tracks. Big thumbs up here. (For the latest hardware and software products from Arturia, please check www.arturia.com).
If you have any questions for Josh Harris or Making Tracks, please send them to djtimes@testa.com.

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