On Monday, I took a deep breath and bought a Virus TI Polar.
I’ve had my eye on one for at least a year. I love the small size and the sonic creation and mangling possibilities. But I also held off buying because there’s been much talk about the Virus TIs being crashy and unreliable. In fact, when I tested one out in London a year ago, it crashed quite horribly.
But I decided to take the risk because there have been numerous software updates since then. Plus, I bought it from a local shop so if I have any problems with it, I can easily get it sorted.
So far, I’m hugely happy with the little beast. It’s very easy to program and sounds great, punchy basses and sharply transient percussion patches show the power of its DSPs. It’s a shame that it comes with such un-inspiring presets – they all head into the same cliched trancey territory that every contemporary synth seems to pitch at. Using a Virus TI to create generic trance patches is like using a Stradivarius to play the Birdie Song. It’d be cool to hear some IDM sounds going on there, or funk, hip hop – whatever. Soundsets that demonstrate the versatility of the synth.
I love the knobular aspect of the Polar, it means that you don’t have to dig into menus for everything, something that stymies my creativity on other synths. Just messing around today, I came up with some fantastically stupid sounds that I would find very hard to create on any other synth I own. I can easily see the Virus TI making its own unique space next to my other synths, digital and analogue.
Click the pic at the top for some shots I got earlier! 😀