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Arguably the pinnacle of DSP-based digital synthesis so far. It could easily be seen as a Virus C with an added super saw, but the many upgrades point to a revolution, not an evolution!

The TI includes multiple oscillator sources ranging from simple sine/tri/saw waves to wavetables (63 to choose from, nicely varied; the 64th wavetable is actually the pure sine wave) as well as granular sources and formants based on wavetables. Supersaw mode is present and allows for big spread saws with a huge unison effect - you can dial in over 100 oscillators per note if your mix (and monitors) can handle it.

If you want it in a digital synth oscillator section, this has it: 3 oscillators, multiple modes, FM (with multiple FM apps), oscillator sync, an additional subosc, and a noise source. There will be a bit of menu diving though - the TI may have more physical controls than any Virus before it, but the options here trump the controllers. Luckily, the menus are logical and fairly simple. General settings are on the front panel, and the most in-depth adjustments are found no more than four pages of menus under the hood.

There are two filters with multiple modes ranging from lowpass, hipass, bandpass, bandreject to more DSP intensive emulations of the 1, 2 and 4 pole analog modes (the so-called Minimoog emulation). These filters really make the synth and give the Virus a defined character. Most would agree that the Virus sounds dark and sinister rather than the crisp, clear tones of Clavias and Korgs. You'll groan and scream as you increase the resonance even in the self-oscillating regions! Whether filter emulations perfectly copy the originals or any preconceptions about what is analog or digital, these filters are a modern classic and have arguably achieved more vinyl acreage than the venerable Minimoog. The Virus really IS multiple genres of dance music; just as a characteristic sound as the saxophone for modern Be-Bop. However, to dismiss it as a synthesizer only intended for the dance floor would be criminal.

The mod matrix and LFO sections are comprehensive - 18 modulation matrix slots, 3 LFOs (which can serve as simple 3rd envelopes - although a 3rd envelope function is not explicitly provided) that can do all the usual LFO tricks. The matrix can even modulate; perfect for sonic experimentation, but it can be a memory test (your, not the synth's) of remembering exactly what you're trying to modulate. Too many options might not be a valid complaint, but what this synthesizer really does do is have a screen-based editor...

...And it's the computer integration that makes the TI better than any other synthesizer of the computer age. There's a USB1 interface (not USB2, but fast enough for most tasks) that doubles as the DSP audio interface for your computer, and an on-screen VST3/AU/RTAS plug-in interface in your software of choice lets appear. If you can do it on the synth, you can do it on screen, except that some parameters (like arpeggiator settings) can really only be changed on the computer. Speaking of Arp, there's no step sequencer option, which is a shame because this synth can really nail those Berlin school drones and sequences.

The hardware is a metal-plated tank with wooden ends and sturdy knobs that turn easily while feeling like they're set in concrete. The desktop version lets you remove the wood, replace it with rack ears, and tilt the I/O panel 90 degrees so you don't waste rack space above the unit - very clever. The keyed versions have the best keyboard available on a synthesizer today (synth-weight or semi-weight by Fatar); Note that aftertouch is monophonic only. Tap tempo and simple Oct+/- keys that transpose semitones with a click of the Shift key; This keyboard is an excellent master controller for computer and hardware sequencers. Multimode is available for older studios with 16-channel MIDI multi-timbrality. This is a computer-age synthesizer, but the multimode is really usable due to the synthesizer's impressive dual DSP polyphony. You're running out of hardware sequencer notes before the synthesizer.