Access Brings Back Virus TI Darkstar

ACCESS-VIRUS-TI-DARKSTAR-SMALLAccess Music has announced that it will be reintroducing the Virus TI Darkstar at Superbooth 16, being held in Berlin, March 31st – April 2nd, 2016.

The Darkstar is based on a Virus TI Polar, but with a custom ‘gun metal’ case design.

The technical specifications are identical to the Virus TI Polar 2009.

The Virus TI2 Darkstar is available for purchase for 2,350 EUR.

40 thoughts on “Access Brings Back Virus TI Darkstar

  1. Brilliant. The Virus TI Polar was initially released in 2005 I believe, and the TI2 in 2009. Thus the latest iteration from Access is more than 7 years old. And I realise that Kemper’s main focus is now his Kemper line of guitar processors.

    Should look for Messe this year from a new synth from them. I appreciate the longevity however this is just silly now.

    1. For those confused by that statement, Christopher Kemper is the founder and creator of Access, the company that makes the Virus.

      And Kemper audio is his second company that makes high end guitar processors.

    1. Yeah but a musician looking for another tool to compose with doesn’t care what’s inside. It’s such a cross-bread these days, people buying synths and modular seem to be more engineers and not musicians. It’s about the sound and features and the virus ti is still one of the best hardware synths, sound, features and build quality. it’s great to have the chance to still buy one of these new. I still have my ti polar and use it more than any other synth.

        1. if you want chicks i would go to guitar … mueehehehe

          i love this everlasting debates “real musicians – fake musicians” “cool-uncool” “digital vs analog” etc etc!

          we are evolving wuuuuuut! 🙂

      1. I would disagree with that. There is a famous amount of aliasing in the standard waveforms, the DSP can run out using complex patches and layers and the USB streaming is problematic. All things that could have been addressed in hardware revisions. To sell the same product for such an insane price seven years later is ridiculous. VST’s like Serum have surpassed the Virus in everything but being a hardware instrument. Access really needs a modern, new product if they want to stay relevent.

      2. “a musician looking for another tool to compose with doesn’t care what’s inside”

        A *smart* musician will save $1300+ and get an identical, used one on ebay.

    2. Why is that ridiculous? There are plenty of synths more than 7 years old that are twice as much as their initial sales price. In fact, even with updated hardware and dsp of the new generation VirusTI’s, the price is lower than when it was originally released in 2005.

      What I find ridiculous is when a specific value is placed on an instrument depending on its age. Look at what a TB303 or an Alesis Andromeda are going for in the used market these days. Would you say the same about any of these instruments? I base value on the longevity and usefulness of an instrument, not whether a company releases a continuous stream of products. Even at 10 years since its original debut, the VirusTI is still one of the best synths available on the market and definitely well worth the asking price.

  2. I do like the pulsating Access logo that shows modulation speed, so that is one thing the Virus has that is interesting.

    Seems like Access may have had a bunch of overstock TI2 Polars that they threw new cases on.


  3. They should instead do something useful, like release a proper driver for OS X!
    Bringing out old synths with new look will only impress new users, but the ones they have – those frustrated ones won’t be happier if they’d even make a pink version.

    1. the perfect comment… I sell my VIRUS TI2 Polar because it has so many problems since its release… latency… bugs… freeze… crash the OS X…. it was a cool idea (also look cool) but the promise of TI (total integration) is not realistic and so many menus to access parameters (the software editor crash all the time.. totally useless) …. I replace it with a Nord Modular and a V-synth XT and I still trust them.

  4. I’m amazed the company has stayed alive on the back of only one unchanged synth for so many years. It’s a great synth but apart from software updates for the TI there’s been little change for over a decade. Imagine any other company trying to compete with that philosophy.

      1. normal and expected for a low-cost mass-market product.

        unbelievable and unacceptable from a company that attempts to label itself high-end. this isnt the 70s and they aren’t moog.

        i was honestly wondering the other day how they’re even still around.

        i loved the earlier virus synths… owned an A and a B… borrowed a TI2 from a friend, gave it back after two weeks, it was just so cumbersome and difficult to integrate into my workflow… i was baffled how it forced me into its single way of working in TI mode which basically made me dig through menus endlessly. it was a shame.

        ive long since moved onto better supported and better-designed products both software and hardware. Access is long since done in my mind.

        1. I know this is a few years late.. but I was just reading this an couldn’t disagree more. If you say you cannot integrate it in your workflow, you just don’t know how hardware synths work. Because basically, the TI2 can very well be used as a normal hardware synth without all the USB integration bullshit. Just connect the line outs to your mixer or audio interface and connect the midi out from your DAW to the synth. Easy as that. If you loved the A and B, there is no point in hating the TI2, it just has more DSP. (ok some people claim it has different DA converters why it ‘might’ sound different, but thats not what we are talking about here).

          On another note, I also hoped that by now they would have released a new product… alas.

  5. I understand the complaints about how old this synth is getting, but honestly they were way ahead of the competition at the time and no digital synth has really caught up with the breadth of features since. Ok so it could do with a USB version bump, a newer DSP so you can fully utilise all 16 parts, and some new wave tables would be nice, but if you think about what novation or clavia (for example) have released in the interim there’s really not a lot of reason for them to push out much else at the minute.

    Of course, I could be wrong and there may be an amazing digital synth that has slipped under my radar over the past few years, and if someone can name one I’d gladly fall on my sword, but right now I can’t think of any that can do all that the virus can do.

    1. Ultranova is a pretty good wave table synth for only $400 used and the VST editor works well. Not multitimbral but with $2k left over there’s a lot left to spend on other synths. I’d rather go that route than blow my wad on only one toy.

  6. As everyone else has posted, this is bonkers. They need to update the USB to something faster, update the drivers for OSX, and perhaps re-do the layout to match some of the updates the software already has – there is too much menu diving now that so many elements were tacked on after it was built.

  7. Sure. They could update the drivers (OSX) and maybe even go Thunderbolt instead of USB for the connection, but the synth itself, as it is, is top of the line for what it does. I’m not sure there’s much improvement to be had on the “Virus” synth engine itself, because really, no complaints there. So the nuts and bolts, yeah, merit an update but I think that’s why there hasn’t been one because it’s not really worth redoing the hardware for just that. I would love to updated and (working) aspects of the software though – that would be great, but the synth is great as it is.

  8. in 5 years, people will snag these up for no money, and in another 10 or 15 they will become vintage and sought after, and nobody will believe that users once shunned them for what was believed to be cool in 2016

  9. So you are trying to encourage the company to try and rework/upgrade a digital synth right when Analog is making a comeback. Obviously no business people commenting here!

    ‘New’ for new sake is lame! Why not a huge thank you for the constant updates and reworked software for a fantastic piece of equipment that can easily hold it’s own even in this day and age?

    One of the best instrument makers of ALL TIME!

    1. I have to take issue with that given that they havent updated drivers for an actively shipping device to address bugs.

      For example, TC Electronic on the other hand is still providing driver updates for their powercore line of hardware, five years after it was *discontinued*. Access is still actively shipping this device and hasnt updated their drivers in years.

      best instrument makers of all time, my foot.

        1. 5.1.3 is for mac. 5.1.1 for win.
          Version mismatch that kills its being multiplatform, having to upgrade-downgrade everytime you bring the same Virus from a mac to a win computer.
          Making a simple “fake” 5.1.3 release would need a less than 20 minutes effort and is all Access have to do to let us use it in both platforms.
          And they are not doing it.
          Why? Why this shit?
          Anyway, sounds GREAT and it’s still the synth I use the most !

  10. It is old, but I love it. It sounds absolutely great and still inspiring.

    The only problem is, there are no officially supported drivers for last few versions of OS X.

  11. My experience with the ACCESS VIRUS TI2 POLAR is the worst … I sell mine after two months of total caos and problems with the USB integration in OS X and the drivers big mistake buying that instrument in the first weeks it was available … do they every fix that?

  12. Had a TI2 and have now a hybrid JD-XA. The Roland may be technically limited compared to the Virus, but such a HUGE step forward soundwise.

  13. Sorry to hear that. I was hoping they would finally come up with a new virus with new engine, USB2.0 or even USB-c and more Audio channels directly in the plugin etc. etc. There is so much to improve, the Virus is completely obsolete by now. It’s aliasing is terrible.

    But no. they release their decade old synth with UBS1.0 in a new colour. Seriously. this is ridiculous at worst and embarassing at best.

  14. I look to Virus as legacy (which is still in production), but love it anyway. And as noted above, Virus Ti is still pinnacle of VA hardware synthesis (in 20 years no one on the planet Earth was able to build something better/more powerful) – in my opinion there is still no any competition for Virus TI desktop. For keyboard version at least there is Kronos (which in my opinion actually tops Virus) and probably some more alternatives.

  15. Reading all this makes me glad I run Windows. I really haven’t had any problems with the drivers or the software. It’s a fabulous synth and I turn to it again and again.

    My biggest complaints would be UI related but there is only so much space available. Most stuff is still pretty logically laid out and primary parameters are right up front.

    It’ll be interesting to see how these sell at that price point when many can be found on the secondary market for much cheaper. Mine was one of the best used purchases I’ve ever made.

  16. How can something come back when it was never gone ? It has always been available in the stores. To make this feel like a comeback of a classic is quite hilarious .

    The technology/processors in Virus are the same as in the Nords and is the last survivor of a long phased out series of decade old processors. What is inside almost cost nothing and R&D investments have been recovered for long.This is all just MILKING consumers.

  17. Bust it up into modular bits that as a whole cost twice as much. Release it in ugly white and then tell people there is a black version, which they will snap up because white is so horrible for a synth.

  18. I have one and think it has a unique tone to it that I can’t find on software but it has lot of limitations that should have been resolved.

    Access its very distasteful you maintain this stupid branding policy, shame you won’t sell it on to a corporation who will make good use of it. Move on!!!

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