We’d suspected it for a while, but it now seems that the Access Virus synth, once the gold standard for virtual analogue instruments, has been discontinued.
A report on Amazona.de cites an interview with Christoph Kemper of Kemper Amps fame, who was also the mastermind behind the Virus. He confirmed that The Virus TI 2, the final model in the range, has been out of production for a few months.
The TI 2 was released back in 2009, the last in a long line of Viruses that included the likes of the Polar, Snow and Darkstar. There were both keyboard and desktop models, and for a long time after the release of the first version way back in 1997, the Virus seemed to be the synth that every producer wanted in their studio.
Times change, though, and with the rise in popularity of ever-more-capable soft synths coinciding with the analogue hardware resurgence, the Virus no longer seems as essential as it once did.
That said, a new version could still have been a winner. These days, the closest you’ll get to a ‘new’ Virus is probably Waldorf’s Kyra, but the Amazona.de story also indicates that Kemper hasn’t totally discounted the idea of producing a TI3. However, as things stand, he’s focusing exclusively on his successful profiling amps business.
The Access Virus is one of a number of synths that can be recreated in software via a Motorola DSP56300 chip emulator - others include the likes of the Clavia Nord Lead 3, Waldorf Q, Microwave II and Novation Supernova - but there is a catch. As is in the case in the video games market, the emulator itself is legal, but sharing the ROMs required to make it do anything definitely isn’t.