Viral Outbreak:Pt.1 – The Power of Expression
‘Viral Outbreak’ is a compact powerhouse of a synth stacked with an arsenal of sound sculpturing features designed by Jeremy Janzen of Nucleus Soundlab. It is a sample based wave sequencing synthesizer using samples recorded from the Virus TI hardware synthesizer and is based upon the quality of Wusik Station’s engine. Viral Outbreak’s power is rooted firmly in its capacity for multi-sample layering and indepth signal modulation. It features: 6 Oscillator layers, each of which can have 4 DSP filters assigned to them and arranged in either serial or parallel. It has 8 freely assignable envelopes, 8 LFOs, 4 EQs combined in series, plus 42 master send effects. Furthermore, a single insert effect can be added to each oscillator layer. There is also a ‘Master’ window with a dedicated onboard mixer built into the synth (icon ‘M’) where you can mix the output levels of each of the 6 oscillator layers, set effect ‘send’ levels and assign 4 more filters to the master mix if needed. An ‘X-Y’ controller pad gives you the option to modulate many of the synths parameters at once. All of these parameters can be controlled through ‘Viral Outbreak’s’ 6 page modulation matrix.
Viral Outbreak hosts a powerful ‘Wave Sequencing’ engine which is always in sync with the host tempo and accessed via right-click on the ‘W1′ and ‘W2′ layer icons.
The ‘Wave Sequencer’, similar to the wave sequencer of the Korg Wavestation, provides 3 pages of modulation lanes with each lane composed as a series of ‘steps’. Sequenced events are created by drawing step values into the lanes. There are 4 modulation lanes per page with modulation sources and destinations assignable to any oscillator layer or parameter in the modulation matrix. The ‘Wave Sequencer’ can create crossfades between oscillator layers as an evolving linear function; it can beat shift, tune the pitch of a step, control pan, volume and much more.
The ‘Groove Box’ is a dynamic 16 lane step sequencer showing 8 lanes per page, capable of controlling Viral Outbreak or any other midi instrument or midi capable hardware gear including midi CC automation. Each sequence can be between 16 – 64 steps long and saved as patterns using the ‘Pattern Selector’ (image left) with up to 64 patterns saved in one patch. Using the pattern arranger located below the sequencer lanes the ‘Groove Box’ has the ability to build up complete arrangements within Viral Outbreak.
Each sequencer lane in the ‘Groove Box’ can trigger any of the oscillator layers by assigning them as a destination from the drop menu. You can trigger seperate layers to create polyphonic textures or drum patterns. Alternatively, you can assign multiple lanes to the same oscillator layer to create monophonic harmonies or percussive blocks, and indeed, chord melodies too. To enter a step event into a sequencer lane you just simply click. Once a step is created you can right click to assign an event type, choose from; flam – slides (portamento sequences) – note off – note offsets. Holding shift while dragging adjusts the level of a step, such as velocity or use it to assign pitch tones to each step. As a macro feature, there is an adjustable ‘master’ velocity slider for each of the 16 sequencer lanes. ‘Groove Box’ patterns can be saved by right clicking the ‘Global’ button. Here you will also find options for midi export.
Finally, almost all of the parameters that you see can be set to Midi CC by right clicking and selecting ‘Midi Learn’. Values can be fine tuned by holding ‘Shift’ and using the mouse to adjust a source value. Using ‘Middle’ click will adjust values too. To reset a parameter back to the default state hold ‘Ctrl’ and click. A ‘Configuration’ window is available by clicking the Viral Outbreak logo or located in the file browser. These menu options create the default state set-up for Viral Outbreak at every first instance launch,, also, you have the option to switch on/off the onboard Limiter by default too.
Viral Outbreak is a highly detailed workstation synthesizer loaded with enough sound modulation tools and effects to compliment every producer/ sound designers’ worflow. Part 2 of this Viral Outbreak review discusses the amazing preset library.
Brought to you courtesy of Soundwrx Digital