Arturia’s premier collection of classic and vintage instruments has been updated to version 6. The new V Collection adds the coveted Buchla Easel modular system, the 1980’s classic Yamaha DX7, the CMI Fairlight and a Clavinet to the ranks of this amazing bundle of software sounds.
V Collection 6
It now totals 21 instruments and over 6000 presets. The V Collection, with its muddle of pianos, synths and organs, has always felt a little schizophrenic and version 6 does nothing to improve upon this sense of disjointedness. But who cares when you have such great instruments to explore on your desktop and in your DAW. In many ways, the charm of this collection is in the diversity. It takes you to places you probably wouldn’t have thought to go because some of these instruments wouldn’t have appealed to you on their own.
So what’s new?
From the West Coast we have the Buchla Easel. A semi-modular analog synth from 1973. It’s patchable, experimental, perfect for sound design and exploring tone and melody in surprising and interesting ways. It has a way of creating texture that’s hard to emulate on any other platform. Arturia have incorporated something they are calling “Gravity”. It’s a physics based synth engine for modulation caused by collision and bouncing stuff around. a Buchla Easel is not something you often get to play with and so, for me, this is worth the price of the upgrade on its own.
The Yamaha DX7 is so classic that it really should have been in there from the start. So it’s a very welcome addition. People say it’s tricky to program but I cut my teeth on a DX100 and found no trouble menu diving my way to the internals of FM. However, Arturia say they have greatly simplified the interface and expanded on the possibilities with a modulation matrix, extra waveforms, a second LFO, effects, sequencer and other things.
The CMI V is the poorly named Fairlight – if they just call it a “Fairlight” everyone will know what they are talking about. It’s the Godfather of samplers with sounds you’ll recognise from a whole swathe of 80’s hit records. Arturia have improved it (of course) by adding more multitimbrality and polyphony, real-time waveshaping and a synth engine that can scan and mix sections of audio letting you create your own wavetables. I just hope it comes with all the classic library.
Lastly, we have a Clavinet, that weird plucked string keyboard that was made funky by Stevie Wonder. Arturia say that their physical modelling lets you dig deeper into the interior of the instrument and mess with things that probably shouldn’t be messed with.
Hopefully, they’ve redesigned the preset browser as I find that very annoying, but then any attempt to sensibly categorise 21 instruments and 6000 presets is a bit on the futile side. They do now support 5k screens and can scale to 10 different sizes without upscaling.
There are alternatives like IK Multimedia’s Syntronik but Arturia’s modelling technology and flair for instrument and interface design are hard to beat. I’m looking forward to the next version with the Korg M1, Roland modular and some Eurorack? Oh and plus some other ancient organ they dug up from somewhere.
Until the 10th January the V Collection 6 is €399 to new users or the rather pricing €199 to existing users of version 5.
- Arturia V Collection webpage