I've always been a huge Arturia fan and have often recommended their instruments and hardware. The truth is that there are plenty of virtual analogs out there, but Arturia were amongst the first to bring truly believable emulations to the table.
Arturia continue to make top-notch soft synths and now you lucky people can get the best they have to offer in one convenient package called the '˜V Collection'. The good news doesn't stop there'¦ if you like what you see here you can grab the whole lot with a 50% discount. Let's see if it's worth taking up this offer'¦
1 - The V Collection Concept
For a while now, Arturia have been compiling a comprehensive library of virtual instruments that recreate some of the greatest hardware synthesizers ever created. Having used pretty much every single synth that Arturia have recreated, I can tell you this is about as close as it gets in the digital domain.
One way you have been able to get an overall picture of the whole collection is by buying Analog Factory or Analog Lab. These products give you a showcase of the sounds the main products can produce and also let you edit key parameters. For in-depth editing you have to own the individual products.
The main way to get hold of all the best Arturia titles in the past was to buy them individually. The V-Collection has aimed to solve this issue and includes all the best titles into one convenient bundle. I was pleased to see that all my favorites are included in version 3.0 of V -Collection. So what exactly do you get'¦ let's take a look.
Here's the V-Collection box you won't get!
'¨2 - What You Get
'¨The V-Collection 3.0 contains no less than 10 of Arturia's instruments in a single download. You get Mini V, Modular V, CS-80V, ARP2600V, Prophet V, Prophet VS, Jupiter 8V, Analog Lab, Oberheim SEM V, Wurlitzer V, and Spark Vintage. Spark actually contains 30 classic / vintage drum machines so this is an added bonus.
The synths that the V-Collection includes'¦ in hardware form of course.
All of these can be run as either plug-ins or standalone apps. So load them up in your favorite DAW or as a super powerful live performance instrument on a laptop. You'll also be eligible for all future updates.
It's also worth mentioning that if you already have Analog Factory, or plan to use the included Analog Lab, then you will be able to edit and access all of the patches using the synth full interfaces. This makes these '˜showcase' products so much more usable.
3 - Sound Performance
Lacking the space to review each of these synths separately you can rest assured that everything sounds great. That may be oversimplifying things a little, but you'll not be disappointed with anything here. Every instrument has its own unique flavor and sounds genuinely analog.
The V-Collection does an excellent job of emulating real hardware.
Arturia employ their tried and tested TAE (True Analog Emulation) engine across the board and not only does it produce the results but seems to be very stable after years of development and updates.
There is a pleasing amount of saturation in the output of these plug-ins and the random anomalies you would expect from analog machines is also present. There are of course extra distortion controls and even analog unison on most of the instruments to add that extra analog edge to your sounds.
The standout synths for me have to be the Moog, SEM-V and Jupiter 8V. These are undeniable classics, so having them in the box is a real treat. Take into account the extra touches Arturia have included such as rich modulation systems and multi effects processors and you have a hugely flexible collection here.
The plug-ins represent the classics in both sound and looks.
As I mentioned earlier, the version of Spark included here actually covers no less than 30 classic drum machines. So you can expect your usual 808 and 909 emulation as well as some more obscure offerings from the likes of Oberheim, Linn and even Kawai!
The Spark Classics drum machine offers some fairly obscure models.
I have tested every single synth in standalone mode, VST and Audio Units running in just about every DAW you can imagine and everything works without a hitch. The only thing that is worth mentioning is the CPU hit some of these instruments can have on your system.
The Modular V and SEM V for example can take their toll on slower machines. This is especially noticeable in DAWs such as Logic Pro X. This is due to the instrument being loaded on a single core. Not a deal breaker but something to consider if you are running an ageing rig!
4 - Value For Money?
At full price (400 euros) this was good value. That only really comes to 40 euros per instrument but with 50% this is literally a steal. I've been using most of these synths since their release and couldn't really be without them so if you haven't tried them yet this is a good opportunity to grab them.
Sure it's download, so you get no box or paperwork, but you'll get your activation code more or less straight away and access to all future updates. If you are into synths at all this is a no brainer'¦ stop reading this and get over to the Arturia site!