Arturia has released the latest edition of their instrument bundle, V Collection 9. This update features 33 of the rarest, most iconic synthesizers and keyboard instruments along with 14,000 presets to start you up.
Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a newcomer to software synths chances are you’ve heard of Arturia. They’ve been making emulations and hardware synths since 2002, including the legendary Yamaha CS-80 emulation they released in 2003.
Jumping forward in space and time, that plugin and 3 others have received an overhaul in both sound and look with Arturia adding 4 new instruments to their V Collection 9. We had a deep dive, let us show you through it.
The V Collection 9 is all your synth and vintage keyboard dreams in one neat, easy to install and reasonably priced package. We say reasonably priced as the original Yamaha CS-80 fetches over $150,000 on the second-hand marketplace. As well as an update to that gem, there’s a new Korg approved MS-20, Ensoniq SQ-80, Arturia’s own Augmented Strings and Augmented Voices, and updates to the Piano V and the Prophet 5 and Prophet VS. Vale Dave Smith.
The new instruments and updates are an improvement on what was arguably the best collection on the market. In terms of price, quality and emulations this far exceeds Arturia’s previous releases, which not bad for a package that’s already considered the industry standard.
The first noteworthy new instrument is the Korg MS-20. The sound engine and user interface are a replica of the hardware semi-modular synth. Some may say this emulation is better because Arturia has given the plugin a polyphonic option. You’ll find all those classic quirky sounds inside and we loved the fact that when you ‘grab’ a cable for modular patching only the possible options light up.
Another exciting new instrument is the SQ 80 V. It’s a supercharged software version of the Ensoniq ESQ-1. We found this great for all your dreamy 80s pads and sound drones, really giving that iconic Ensoniq sound with the hardware battery dying or sound cartridges not working!
The new Augmented Strings and Augmented Voices are a very welcome addition to the collection as these land in the modern era of vocal sampling, warped synth strings, and interesting textures with their powerful synth and sample engines. If you have followed Arturia in their software journey you’ll notice that while they make amazing emulations they don’t often release their own flavours, so we found these very refreshing in the V Collection 9.
In the V Collection 9, Arturia made the excellent decision of splitting the previous Prophet 5 and VS into two instruments. It’s with a solemn face that we announce Dave Smith passed away today (May 2022), however, we are happy to say Arturia have updated these two Prophet instruments in a manner that would make Sequential proud.
Both sound engines and user interfaces of the Prophet 5 and VS have had a major overhaul, and you can instantly hear the difference when scrolling through the presets provided by some legendary sound designers and musicians.
The Yamaha CS-80 has found itself a new lease on life with an updated advanced tab, tonnes more presets, and a much richer sound engine. We gave this plugin a deep dive in the studio and found it to be a great synth for both basses and synth pad parts.
The final update — that we think was long overdue — was the Piano V. There’s been a general shoulder shrug at the Arturia Pianos, with people suggesting it’s better in the effected piano world but now the Piano V in the V Collection 9 is likely to step forward into the limelight of sincere Piano virtual instruments.
With the ability to finesse an upright or grand piano in the Model section you can replicate a life like a piano without the cost of both a great acoustic piano or a recording studio.
There’s Action, Acoustics, Mics, Strings, Noises, and Keyboard Velocity that all adds up to a more realistic and lively acoustic piano experience.
We’re always learning, right? We should be, and the much overlook tutorials section in every single 1 of the 33 instruments is an absolute gold mine. Upon opening the tutorials you can choose between the sections of the instrument that then become highlighted in a point and direct manner.
I’m not going to lie to you, Modular synthesis overwhelms me. But with Arturia’s Modular V3 and the tutorials open I feel like I can start to understand the signal flow.
The overall experience
Our overall experience from installation to inspiration was so very easy that it begs the question: Why don’t more companies make our lives easier like this so we can just make great music?