Sound studio

Sound Design with the TI Virus: How Time Agents Use This Powerful Desktop Synthesizer

Plugins and VST synths can have their benefits, but nothing can match hardware gear in terms of warmth, character and spontaneity. And no other synth offers more of that than the timeless Access Virus TI Desktop Synth.

This synthesizer is their weapon of choice for melodic techno band Agents of Time. Using it for everything from up-and-coming leads in their productions to fast, easy-to-use sounds in their live sets, these guys know this synth inside out.

So to celebrate the release of their album, we decided to bring these guys over and chat about how they get the most out of this timeless material.

Stream the Agents of Time universe below

Universe is a sonic representation of the world that the techno-Italian duo have created for themselves. It’s a world of dynamic material and fluid instrumentation that can only be better experienced by listening to the album.

Spanning a wide range of genres and styles, this album runs the gamut of what’s possible in dance music today and is a true representation of these guys’ mastery of their craft.

Universo is an album of fierce beauty, courageous in its spirit, a perfectly balanced meeting point between pop melody and elegant and lush techno: Agents Of Time in perfect shape


access_virus_ti

The size of the musical instrument combined with the countless functions and numerous buttons it contains, makes this equipment very unique.

We’ve been using Virus TI Desktop for all the best melodies in our tracks for many years and can’t give up on it. It is also a point of reference for our live broadcast.

What parameters on the Virus TI Desktop do you prefer to modulate to quickly create complex synth patches?

The way you can combine different oscillators to create more complex sounds is just awesome.

Certainly when designing sound in the studio, the interaction between the 3 oscillators (we especially like the saw waves combined with the sine waves) with the addition of the sub oscillator and the noise modulation, gives us a very rich and defined sound that we can easily use for our melodic parts.

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The most interesting parameter lately for us is the portamento which allows to make the sound more animated. We also like to exasperate this knob during the live act, especially during the drop!

Cloak and Dagger of the Agents of Time

Cloak and Dagger of the Agents of Time

We are very selective in buying our tools, so we buy musical instruments that we are sure can give us what we want.

During the music creation process, we use our Virus for the main melody of the track 9 times out of 10 because over the years we have made a catalog of our personal sound (modified initial patch which has become part of the whole its recognizable AOT).

It’s hard to say how often we use the Virus compared to other studio gear because it depends more on what part we’re looking for (pads instead of leads or bassline), but it sure is. when we need a tune on top, we immediately turn on our baby to help manifest what’s on our minds!

What are your favorite plugins for processing the sounds of the Virus TI Desktop?

echo

We are quite happy with all the effects included in the hardware. Especially the reverb and delay are super detailed and we love having them active during the recording session.

After that, of course, we just give more warmth to the sound mostly using plug-ins like Tantra (especially when we have sequences) or Thermal to add more distortion to the sound.

We also use plug-ins like Echoboy (for extra delay combined with that of the Virus) and Crystalizer (this one to transform our sound through the use of different pitches), and to bring our melody or pads or sound into general from the Virus to another dimension we add Portal to make a more granular sound!

Tell me about a feature of Virus TI Desktop that you wish you had started using earlier in your career.

Well, it’s hard to say. Every time we buy a synth we try to spend at least a week reading the manual and watching YouTube videos in order to get the most out of it.

The reason is that when we started incorporating the virus into our productions, we already understood the equipment inside and out. Maybe the thing we could have done earlier in our career was to start creating our personal sound from the initial patch instead of using the existing patch saved in the synth’s internal memory.

Although it’s a longer process, it’s more satisfying this way and each sound is modeled and created with a specific fingerprint…your personal fingerprint! We only started doing it in the last 2-3 years when we could have done it earlier.

Of course, this can apply to all synths, but we think the Virus has incredible potential for creating some seriously powerful sounds.