Review V Collection 5 by Arturia

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 This was featured in the  Time Travel Tools series with a focus on Vintage and Retro Instruments and Plugins.

V Collection 5 is a soft-synth lovers dream. Arturia have teamed up with some of the biggest names of synth-history to faithfully emulate and package 17 of the greatest keyboards together at a very reasonable price.

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Review V Collection 5 by Arturia

First, I need to preface this review by announcing that I am not a synth guy. I don’t own a room of vintage hardware and I don’t drool over modular or classic gear. But that may all have changed a little after getting to test drive the entire V Collection 5.

Secondly, I want to be sure that you know, that I know, that this isn’t a sample library but a collection of modeled softsynths – even the Piano V included in the collection is a modeled instrument and not a sampled instrument.

Now this isn’t going to be one of those microscopic, in-depth reviews where I go through every part of the collection and examine each  instrument. Nor will this review be one of those that epic reprints of the manual or re-framing of the sales material.

This collection is so vast that each of the 17 instruments would take an entire page to fully vet with actual critical thinking and commentary.

Instead, I have posted my little summary video (above), some of the Highlights (below) and any demos, videos and other reviews I found around the web at the bottom of the page. Here is a link to the official Arturia V Collection 5 page, check out everything you can before you spend your hard earned cash so you can make sure if the V Collection 5 is a good investment for you.

V Collection 5 by Arturia sells for $499 (USD)

Highlights

Lots of PROs in this collection! Let’s start with the big one:  The Analog Lab. This instrument loads up and gives you access to over 5000+ presets from all 17 of the instruments in a single interface. The big win with the Analog Lab 2 is that it allows you to search for sounds based on keyword types, feel and characteristics. This is especially helpful for media composers like myself who search out sound for score and sound design with intention and purpose.

AlalogLab

The second exciting thing for me was getting to play around with the Synclavier instrument. As a child of the 80s I heard this instrument on just about every film score that was sans orchestra.

A special note here is that the hardware Synclavier sold for upwards of $200,000 US – so thinking in terms of getting the software instrument for $499 and getting the other 16 soft synths for free made me chuckle.

I can see myself using this just as much for nostalgia as for using to call back those retro sounds of the 80s or sculpting original sound design.

Synclavier

The other huge PRO is the interfaces. Arturia have created each of the instruments in the collection to faithfully reproduce the actual hardware interface.

Getting to work with the synths with the original knobs, switches, plugs and buttons make the entire experience an adventure.

If there is anything I am going to have to criticize it is going to have to be the Piano V included in the collection. The Piano is modeled and not a sample instrument. I found that the interface was easy to use, the interface very well thought out with options for mic placement, piano type selection and velocity response curve. But for me it just didn’t stand up to the dedicated piano sample libraries I rely on.

PianoV

I wasn’t a fan of the Piano V included in the collection.

Even with this CON I am going to say that I loved 13 out of the 17 instruments just pulling them up and learning about the sounds and controls.

If you’re looking for authenticity in a set of synth software that spans the greatest-hits of classic analog keyboards, look no further.

Facts

Includes 17 software titles: Analog Lab, Synclavier V, B-3 V, Mini V, Piano V, Stage-73 V, Matrix-12 V, Farfisa V, Solina V, SEM V, Wurli V, Jup-8 V, ARP 2600 V, CS-80 V, Prophet V, VOX Continental V, Modular V. V Collection 5 by Arturia sells for $499 (USD)

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Demos of PADS

Videos of PADS