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Virtual Analogue Vol. 1

Sample Library By Paul White
Published September 2001

Virtual Analogue Vol. 1

Virtual Analogue Vol 1 Rating: **** 4/5 Stars


Virtual Analogue is a four CD‑ROM library of samples created using the Novation Nova A, Waldorf Q, Clavia Nord Lead and Yamaha AN1X. Many of the patches include multisampled filter sweeps, so you're not entirely at the mercy of your sampler's filters when it comes to tonal accuracy, but to me there's something a little perverse about modelling an analogue synth, then sampling the result, as that takes you two steps away from the analogue roots of the sound. Still, taken on their own merits these samples are very usable.

The Nova disc is divided into Leads, Bass, Pads, Sweeps, Synths, Attack Sounds and FX. These samples really make their presence felt, with wonderfully supportive basses, angsty leads and filter‑sweep 'stringy' sounds. Few of the pads are of the type that lie down quietly behind the rest of your track.

The Waldorf Q samples cover pretty much the same categories as the Nova ones, and again are pretty solid sounds with attitude, some featuring very nice filter sweeps. The basses are really varied and useful, and with most of the programs coming in at well under 5Mb you can afford to make generous use of them. The Q's fast, responsive character comes across well, and because of the economical sample size, there are more examples than for the other three synths.

The Nord Lead collection doesn't stop at leads — there are Basses, Keys, Pads, Rave Sounds, Attack Sounds, Brass, Rezo Sounds, Sweeps and Strange Ambience programs to go at too. Again, the basses are strong, but there are also some useful synth organ sounds and a generous selection of filter effects.

Last up are AN1X programs: Leads, Pads, Sweeps, Synths, Keys, Attack Sounds, Brass and FX. This selection gives a good idea of what the versatile AN1X is about. There's plenty of variation in the pad section, where some of the smoother examples sound rather less 'digital' than many of the samples in this collection.

Overall, this collection is very strong, and true to the original instruments, though many of the patches seem to favour dance music, with fast, aggressive attacks and a cutting quality. Most of the classic analogue bass sounds are covered, and for me the only slightly weak area is the scarcity of silky or mellow pads. Still, if you need an analogue‑ish collection with edge and attitude, this could be the one to go for. Paul White