Arturia has released the latest edition of its instrument packs, V Collection 9. This update includes 33 of the rarest and most iconic synthesizers and keyboard instruments, along with 14,000 presets to get you started. Engineering the Sound reviewed new instruments and updates.
If you’re a seasoned pro or new to soft synths, you’ve probably heard of Arturia. They’ve been making emulations and hardware synths since 2002, including the Yamaha CS-80 emulation they released in 2003.
Taking a leap forward in space and time, this plugin and 3 others received an overhaul in both sound and appearance and Arturia added 4 new instruments to their V Collection 9. Engineering the Sound opened the complete package.
The V Collection 9 packs all your vintage synth and keyboard dreams into one neat, easy-to-install, and reasonably priced package. We say reasonably priced because the original Yamaha CS-80 fetches over $150,000 on the used market. Along with an update to this gem, there’s a new Korg-approved MS-20, Ensoniq SQ-80, Arturia’s own augmented strings and voices, and updates to the Piano V and Prophet. 5 and the Prophet VS. Val 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 previous Arturia releases, not bad for a package already considered the industry standard.
The first notable new instrument is the Korg MS-20. The sound engine and user interface is a replica of the hardware semi-modular synth. Some will say that this emulation is better because Arturia made the plugin with a polyphonic option. You’ll find all of those classic original sounds inside, and we loved that when you “take” a cable for a modular patch, only the possible options light up.
Another exciting new instrument is the SQ 80 V. This is a software supercharged version of the Ensoniq ESQ-1. We found this ideal for all your dreamy 80s sound pads and drones, really giving that iconic Ensoniq sound with hardware drums dying or sound cartridges not working!
The new Augmented Strings and Augmented Voices are a very welcome addition to the collection as they bring in the modern era of vocal sampling, distorted synth strings and interesting textures with their powerful synth and sample engines. If you’ve followed Arturia on their software journey, you’ll notice that even though they do amazing emulations, they don’t release their flavors often, so we found them very refreshing in V Collection 9.
In the V Collection 9, Arturia has made the excellent decision to split the previous Prophet 5 and VS into two instruments. It is with a solemn face that we announce the passing of Dave Smith today (May 2022), however, we are happy to say that Arturia has updated these two Prophet instruments in a way that would make Sequential proud.
The sound engines and user interfaces of the Prophet 5 and VS have undergone a major overhaul, and you can instantly hear the difference as you scroll through presets contributed by some legendary sound designers and musicians.
The Yamaha CS-80 has found new life with an updated advanced tab, tons of extra presets and a much richer sound engine. We dug this plugin deep into the studio and found it to be a great synth for bass and synth pad parts.
The latest update – which we think is long overdue – was Piano V. There’s been a general shrug at Arturia Pianos, with people suggesting it’s better in the effects piano world, but now the V Piano in the V Collection 9 is likely to step into the limelight of sincere Piano virtual instruments.
With the ability to tweak an upright or grand piano in the Model section, you can reproduce a life like piano without the cost of an acoustic grand piano or recording studio.
There’s the action, acoustics, pickups, strings, noises, and keyboard velocity that all add up for a more realistic and lively acoustic piano experience.
We are always learning, aren’t we? We should be, and the much overlooked tutorial section in each of the 33 instruments is an absolute goldmine. When opening the tutorials, you can choose between sections of the instrument which are then highlighted in a timely and straightforward manner.
I’m not going to lie to you, modular synthesis overwhelms me. But with Arturia’s Modular V3 and tutorials open, I feel like I can begin to understand signal flow.
The overall experience
Our overall experience, from setup to inspiration, was so simple it begs the question: why aren’t more companies making our lives easier like this so we can just make good music?
The new Arturia V Collection 9 is an impressive and easy to use keyboard set.
The V Collection 9 costs $599 or around AU$840. Arturia also offers payments of up to four installments on their website if desired.
Stay tuned for full feature Video Sound Engineering.