MATRIXSYNTH: The The Future (?) of the Access Virus

Friday, June 23, 2017

The The Future (?) of the Access Virus

synthmorph has a speculative post up on the future of the Access Virus here. What makes this one interesting is it goes into the reliance of ever obsolete DSP chips. It also lists out the chips used for each Virus. I never managed to pick up a Virus, because every time I was about to be ready a new model would come out. I wanted to pick up one Virus that covered all previous Viruses, which still leads me to the question if the latest can cover the character of previous incarnations. If anyone has an opinion, feel free to leave a comment.

"First we should talk a bit about the special computing chip, the heart of every Virus synthesizer, a certain version of the Motorola 56k DSP (digital signal processors). The origin of the DSP 56000 series came from Motorola's requests to the U.S. Music Industries as to which DSP architecture features they would need to produce synthesizers and other keyboards. This happened in the mid 1980s when the Japanese music industry introduced digital keyboards using ASICs (Application Specific Intergrated ICs), and started dominating this field previously exclusive to US manufacturers. Yamaha, Korg, Roland and others started to outdate Moog, ARP, Oberheim and Sequential Circuits. The result of this request was the birth of the first Motorola 56000 digital signal processor (DSP) generation in 1986. These 56k chips were used widespread also in the audio industry since the mid 90s, not just in hardware synthesizers and effect processors, but appeared as an auxiliary digital signal processor for audio functions in some high-end multimedia computers, like the NeXT, the Atari Falcon or the Silicon Graphics Indigo workstations...

As you certainly know, Virus is a digital synthesizer, with a 56k DSP running software code to generate and modify all aspects of the sounds, these are the exact models:
1997 Virus A - 1 x Motorola DSP 56303
1999 Virus B - 1 x Motorola DSP 56311
2002 Virus C - 1 x Freescale DSP 56362
2005 Virus TI - 2 x Freescale DSP 56367 - 2x150 MHz
2009 Virus TI2 - 2 x Freescale DSP 56321 - 2x275 MHz."


  1. I have both a virus B and a TI desk model.
    The B sits in a rack unplugged and unloved like most of my gear.
    The TI is one of the few pieces of gear I still use.used it yesterday on something I'm working on.
    I love my access synths but since going mostly ableton and plugins I don't use much hardware.
    I have a lot if hardware. Can't bear to sell it since they mostly have little value.

    1. Can the TI cover the same character as the B?



©2018 Matrixsynth - All posts are presented here for informative, historical and educative purposes as applicable within fair use.
MATRIXSYNTH is supported by affiliate links that use cookies to track clickthroughs and sales. See the privacy policy for details.