When the most comprehensive collection of modelled synths and keyboards gets an upgrade it’s always quite exciting. The new version 5 of the V Collection from Arturia adds a ton of cool stuff while at the same time refreshing the existing range of tired old synths that we’re all bored to death with. I’m kidding! We love that old analog stuff but Arturia have done a bit of tinkering to help improve the editing of these legendary keyboards. You just have to cast your eyes over the featured image above to feel that this is an awesome selection of instruments.
What’s new in V Collection version 5?
We have 5 new keyboards in the shape of the Farfisa V organ, Stage-73 V electric keyboard, the B-3 V organ, the Piano V piano (which is a suite of different pianos) and the one synth of the bunch the Synclavier V synthesizer. So mostly Arturia have expanded into vintage keyboards which perhaps gives the V Collection a broader appeal, but for me it fills in the sonic gaps with instruments that you would previously use from elsewhere.
The Synclavier V is an odd one and not something I’ve come across before. The initial interface doesn’t seem to have much in the way of useful knobs – how is it making the sound? You can then expand the interface to show the partials and some envelope controls but it’s still a bit mystical until you click the “SCR” button and this whole CRT style screen appears with all the lovely FM and additive synthesis parameters and display – it’s fabulous.
The Stage-73 and the organs are all dripping with character. The Piano is a surprise and is just as detailed and well thought out as the more electric instruments. From the moment you load up the beautifully rendered interface everything about them puts a smile on your face.
All the other instruments from the previous version have all gone through a revamp. Arturia have created new enhanced editor interfaces to expand on what’s possible. For instance the Mini V, the classic Minimoog, you have an LFO/ARP, Motion Recorder, Modulation and Effects section that all slides out of the main keyboard. The only “fail” is the awful default “Arturia” patch which sounds a bit like a robot saying “ar-tu-ri-a” – just give us a Moog bass sound please.
The GUI rendering is fantastic – I would go as far to say breathtaking, I mean, come on, look at this stuff. It’s completely resizeable from 60% to 200% meaning that they will look good on anything from a tablet to a 4K screen. They are also multi-touchable so you can start getting your fingers all over the knobs and buttons. You can also play the keyboard on the screen although I did encounter some stuck note issues.
Any finally the collection also comes with Analog Lab 2. This is where you can play all the presets from every instrument from a single interface. It employs that lovely image of the instruments to enable you to select what you want to play and you get a bunch of knobs and sliders for some basic editing. It comes with over 5000 sounds and is a great way to just sit down and play. What I’d like to see is a way of combining sounds into some kind layered and zoned “combi’s” so it could be everything you’d want from a stage and performance rig. And that’s of course exactly what you can do – having now looked in a little deeper you can in fact create a “Multi” patch of two instruments and map them across the keyboard – thank you for that.
I remember when I upgraded from version 3 to version 4 of the V Collection and that was all about getting more synths. With version 5 they really have worked to improve the entire experience. Not only giving you some amazing vintage instruments to play with but they given you more control over how they are used and developed the look and usability. I am suitably impressed.
Arturia V Collection 5 is available now for an introductory price of €399 until the end of June. If you already own a previous version then you’ll find a personal upgrade offer in your account. Or if you’d like to update the Arturia synths you already own to the new version you can do those inidividually.
More information can be found on the Arturia V Collection 5 product page.