Access Virus B – Retro Review
The Access Virus Model B
The Access Virus B was an upgraded version of Access’ now classic Virus model.
Released in 1999 the Virus B ramped the polyphony up to 24 voices and added an oscillator to take the count per voice up to 3.
Acknowledged as a synthesizer that lends itself well to trance music, the Access Virus B was originally released as either a desktop unit or keyboard version with the rack version to follow on a couple of years afterwards.
As with the original Access Virus – this was a virtual analogue synthesizer powered by DSP (Dynamic Signal Processing) chips. Another of its key features is its Matrix Modulation. OS upgrades added additional features and, a neat feature from Access being that software upgrades for it were free, a tradition that Access still continues today.
Each of the Virus’ parts could utilize up to 5 effects at once, whilst the filter capabilities received a host of new additions include rate reducer, bit reducer and rectifier. This is one synth that could go from smooth, haunting shimmers to absolutely ear bleeding grit.
Whilst today’s limelight shines well and truly on the current TI2 range, the Access Virus B is still a worthy beast of a synth and is still in use in studios all over the world. There’s also a very healthy second hand market for it and it still carries a highly regarded reputation.