Arturia V Collection 7 adds some iconic synths

A huge release from Arturia with their V Collection 7 adding iconic synths like the Mellotron, Synthi, and more.

If you haven't checked out the Arturia V Collection you're missing out. The little music technology company from France came onto the scene for many of us with their Origin module, a curious little take on modular software emulation in a dedicated box, but they truly broke through with their Minimoog Model D emulation. It became a staple for both the studio and on stage for me in Segue (you can see it in the video footage of sets like our Big Day Out Boiler Room show way back in 2008). And the range has only gotten better since then. Let's jump inside the virtual box and check it out.

What's new in Arturia V Collection 7

This release sees 24 instruments in the collection, with some iconic new additions. I was surprised and delighted to see the EMS Synthi added to this release. The Synthi and it's other EMS siblings weren't just a staple of artist's like Brian Eno, but something of a secret weapon to the early sound of The Chemical Brothers. It's a confounding but uniquely crazy instrument in real life, which I've enjoyed in studio sessions but never been able to source my own. Now here it is in digital form. It's difficult to say how accurate the emulation is, given how unstable and wild any real unit I've used has been, but I can get "crazy Synthi sounds" from this, and it's a creative joy to use.

Likewise the addition of the Mellotron is very welcomed, as the sounds of original have their place in the modern digital studio, without all the hassle that the tape-based sample playback keyboard must have been. There's also an excellent emulation of the Casio CZ-101, which Arturia are calling the CZ-1. This is a surprisingly overlooked digital synth, and is very capable of unique and even nasty sounds. If you reach for a DX-7 emulation, you might want to take some time exploring this instead.

Everything in V Collection 7

There's so much in this release that it's worthwhile listing all of the instruments to appreciate just how crazy it is to have this much (high quality) emulation in one package.

  1. Mellotron V: An emulation of the iconic Mellotron, known for its unique tape-based playback mechanism.
  2. Synthi V: Based on the EMS Synthi AKS, this instrument captures the essence of the legendary British synthesizer.
  3. CZ V: An emulation of the Casio CZ series, known for its unique phase distortion synthesis.
  4. B-3 V: A detailed emulation of the classic Hammond B3 organ.
  5. Mini V: A tribute to the Minimoog, one of the most iconic monophonic synthesizers.
  6. Piano V: A versatile piano instrument with various models and environments.
  7. Stage-73 V: An emulation of the Fender Rhodes stage piano.
  8. Matrix-12 V: Based on the Oberheim Matrix-12, known for its vast modulation capabilities.
  9. Farfisa V: An emulation of the Farfisa Compact Deluxe and Duo combo organs.
  10. Solina V: A tribute to the ARP Solina string ensemble.
  11. SEM V: Based on the Oberheim SEM (Synthesizer Expander Module).
  12. Wurli V: An emulation of the Wurlitzer 200A electric piano.
  13. Jup-8 V: An emulation of the Roland Jupiter-8, an iconic polyphonic synthesizer.
  14. Prophet V: A combination of Sequential Circuits Prophet-5 and Prophet-VS.
  15. VOX Continental V: An emulation of the VOX Continental 300 combo organ.
  16. Modular V: Based on the Moog Modular, one of the first modular synthesizers.
  17. ARP 2600 V: An emulation of the ARP 2600, a semi-modular synthesizer.
  18. CS-80 V: A tribute to the Yamaha CS-80, known for its expressive capabilities.
  19. Prophet VS V: Based on the Sequential Circuits Prophet VS, known for its vector synthesis.
  20. Clavinet V: An emulation of the Hohner Clavinet, a staple in funk music.
  21. DX7 V: Based on the Yamaha DX7, known for its FM synthesis.
  22. Buchla Easel V: An emulation of the Buchla Music Easel, a unique and experimental instrument.
  23. CMI V: Based on the Fairlight CMI, one of the first digital sampling workstations.
  24. Synclavier V: An emulation of the New England Digital Synclavier, known for its FM and additive synthesis.

Do I need this collection of classic synths?

It's become hard for me to argue that the Arturia V Collection is anything other than a must-have. As a synthesizer lover who owned or extensively used many of the instruments in this collection, there's an immense value in being able to reach for something familiar and get the experience and sounds I expect. Of course the vast majority of those sounds could be created in nearly any modern softsynth, even many of the open source or freeware ones, but it's the nuanced way that Arturia emulate the unique settings or affordances of these instruments that makes it worthwhile. Rather than needing to recreate certain quirks of certain instruments to get a certain aesthetic, it's right there. Roland snappy envelopes, Moog filters, Oberheim growls, etc. For sheer joy alone this collection of synths as a reference is very much worth the cost. Whether Arturia can keep up this rate of iconic synth modelling and releasing is a question, but one that will be fun to find out.