Arturia’s V Collection (VST, VST3, AU, AAX and standalone) is a mainstay of the VSTi world that has grown over the years to incorporate a combination of mainstream and rare synths, pianos, organs and string machines. Of course, you can purchase the instruments individually, but the collection delivers a considerable financial saving and also includes their Analog Lab package, which is a present packed workstation that pulls together patches from all of the instruments (see box out). Although the names are sometimes modified, Arturia’s V instruments are full-on emulations of original hardware synths and use their own component accurate analogue (TAE) and physical (Phi) modelling emulation technology. The highly accurate emulations are then enhanced with plenty of software-only extras.
V Collection 7 added some tidy new emulations based on classics such as the Casio CZ 101, EMS Synthi AKS and Mellotron. In contrast, V Collection 8’s additions are very mainstream instruments from Oberheim, Moog, E-mu and Roland. The recently released OB-Xa V is joined by three completely new emulations – Jun 6V, Emulator II V and Vocoder V. There are also two major updates in the form of Jup-8 V 4 and Stage-73 V 2. Once again the sound library has been expanded and the PatchWorks bundle adds 700 contemporary presets. Across all instruments you now have over 10,000 presets, which is a staggering number. The 27 classic instruments are ARP2600 V3, B-3 V2, Buchla Easel V, Clavinet V, CMI V, CS-80 V3, CZ V, DX7 V, Emulator II V, Farfisa V, Jun-6 V, Jup-8 V4, Matrix-12 V2, Mellotron V, Mini V3, Modular V3, OB-Xa V, Piano V2, Prophet V3, SEM V2, Solina V2, Stage-73 V2, Synclavier V, Synthi V, Vocoder V, Vox Continental V2 and Wurli V2.
To coincide with the release, all instruments have received a refresh. And whether you’re a new purchaser or existing user, Arturia’s Software Centre app handles the download, install and authorisation process. The refresh brings with it a new preset browser, streamlined in-app tutorials (see box out), and four Macro knobs in the bottom right of the plugin window. The Macro controls provide standardised broad brush editing across all instruments (Brightness, Timbre, Time and Movement), although note that the parameters they control vary.
All instruments now have a foldout side panel, which is accessed on the right hand side using the gear icon. This panel has four tabs – Settings, MIDI, Macro and Tutorial. The MIDI tab accesses MIDI CC mapping and incorporates parameter ranges as well as save and recall of specific mapping configurations. If you’re using an Arturia controller it’s also where you can specify which one. Macro provides access to settings for the four pre-assigned Macro controls. As mentioned, these are standardised across all instruments, but the parameters controlled vary considerably and this is where you can edit them. Additional multiple target parameters can be added and the existing routings removed if you wish, and a handy multipoint curve lets you specify precisely how the macro behaves within its high and low limits.
Without question, V Collection 8’s hottest addition is Jun-6 V. Based on Roland’s ever popular Juno-6 and Juno-60, these are synths whose simple architecture make them easy to program. Admittedly, the toy-like colour scheme and slider controls may not be to everyone’s taste, but the sound is killer. Jun-6V does an excellent emulation job and a quick look at the presets reveals a bunch of numbered patches to match the original Juno-60 sound set. There are of course further presets (around 180 in total) and many of these take advantage of options not found on the original hardware. Enhanced parameters are accessed via the Advanced panel and here you’ll find a second ADSR envelope, a second LFO, Delay and Reverb effects, and flexible mod wheel, velocity and aftertouch assignments. The second envelope and LFO are both far more flexible than the original ones. The LFO has six waveforms including sample-and-hold and both envelope and LFO have two assignable destinations with many parameter options.
If you like to use chord memories, Jun-6 V’s is accessed via the Chord Select button. This opens a floating window with a variety of handy voicing presets (octave, fifth, suspended and so on). Finally, for analogue completeness there are two further features. Voice Calibration emulates the subtle variations that can exist from voice to voice on a hardware Juno. The three options (good, average and poor) let you choose how much analogue drift is emulated. Chorus Noise adds audio hiss when the chorus is in use. As you might expect, Jun-6 V delivers solid basses (Velo Bass and Under The Basement) and pads of various timbres (Poly Unison Pad is a particular favourite). It also has plenty of contemporary presets including the rave-ready Dark Triad, ethereal Voix Uno and arpeggiatorbased Dub Sensation. It’s an excellent emulation that really captures the essence of the original.
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