Divinital wrote:I'm in need of a workhorse synth but I don't like workstations...
Torn between the Quantum and the Access Virus TI2...
Any input now that it's been out for a while?
That's interesting that those were the two you came up with. The exact same happened to me. I am sitting next to a Quantum and a Ti2 and they are my two main synths, and just prior I had a Prophet X. So I've had quite a bit of hands on time with all three.
The Prophet X is the most "bread and butter" of the three. If you make music that requires real strings, pianos, etc. This would be the one to consider of your options. It can go well beyond those sounds but it's the only one of the three that will come close to that type of sound by nature of the 8dio libraries built in. If you don't use computers, have no access to Kontakt or something similar, this would likely be the obvious choice.
The Prophet X is also the least flexible. There is a basic user sample import, and now another user has stepped forward with a 3rd party import tool, but that aspect of the Prophet X has been a huge let down. Expansion packs from 8 dio have been few and far between and essentially are all a handful of samples of analog oscillators. Highly unimpressive. The FX onboard are good, but there is nothing that stands out as particularly stunning, the modulation options are the standard DSI set so very flexible, but you quickly realize the limitations of the interface and have to learn to work within it (no waveform display on a sample based synth was a mistake IMO) I've said it before in another forum, but if the collaboration had been with Spitfire I think it would be my favorite synth. As it is, I've lost a ton of respect for 8dio, and OS development on DSI's end is rather slow.
The Access Virus if you make any form of electronic music and/or have access to a Kontakt or similar is the most flexible of the bunch. 16 parts, ridiculous polyphony, and insane mod matrix, and literally tens of thousands of ready made patches online to dissect for new ideas. It's also half (or less) the price of the other two. The filters are flexible but of course, not analog, and to me both the Quantum and the Prophet filters are better (but vastly more limited due to the analog nature of the design) the OS is the most stable of the three. None of them are really flaky, but the Virus is exceptionally solid (your experience with the Ti software part may vary, I don't use it but to their credit, they are still updating it)
Downsides... the tech is comparatively old. No hardware update for essentially a decade. The interface compared to the other two is a pain. It's easy enough but it takes some time to get used to. No sampling and again if you need orchestral stuff, it's not here. Still, if you are in the market for pure flexibility the Virus is a no brainer. If it's an electronic sound, the Virus likely can do it.
The Quantum is ... as far as I have noticed, pretty much a sound design black hole. It sounds like it costs twice as much as it does, I'm not even sure why. Once you get familiar with it's interface it's a really unique creature. Pads, plucks, drones, granular, huge shifting stacked oscillators, wavetables. It's like Waldorf decided to do a "best of" of all of their synths. Build is solid, interface is a little less than streamlined, and changing frequently as the OS settles into it's final form (it's under constant development with new features being added constantly) The FX section and digital filter is wonderful. To me... it's hard to justify owning a ton of outboard synths unless they are really unique. If my computer can do it, I am happy to use VST's, but the Quantum has magic. It's inspiring. Since I bought it (right around 8 months ago) it's the one synth of the literally hundreds I've owned that I think is the most interesting.
Downsides of the Quantum, As mentioned, the presets are almost totally terrible. There are a few in there that are pretty great, but most are all over the place in terms of volume, quality, and they really do the synth a disservice. Waldorf is aware of this and Don Solaris is now onboard creating new patches for it. His work with the Blofeld was fantastic so hopefully that changes this up. Other downsides: loading in user presets with samples is needlessly tedious, sample organization in general is a chore at the moment, and the OS while largely totally functional still lacks the polished experience of the other two.
Of these three there is no wrong choice.
If you need electronic/dance/trance sounds: Virus
If you need "real" instrument sounds: Prophet X
If you need all things in between those two categories: Quantum