By | January 20th, 2016|review|

V Collection 4 is a plugins suite that gathers in an affordable way all the plugins from French hardware/software company Arturia.

V Collection 4 has a total of 13 plugins (VST/AU/AAX) & standalone instruments, with Matrix-12 V, Solina V and Continental V joining the existing lineup. Also, starting with version 4, it contains the new Arturia Software Center, which lets you manage your licenses easily without the need of hardware dongle. With that being said, let’s see what it has to offer.

Arturia V Collection 4 plugins list:

  • Analog Lab – collects all of the presets from every single synthesizer in an easy-to-use interface;
  • mini V – Minimoog emulation offering rich basses, airy pads and full leads;
  • modular V – is an insane tool for creating soundscapes, pads and sound design;
  • CS-80 V – a massive synthesizer which offers endless possibilities to form the sound;
  • ARP 2600 V – is an synthesizer that will keep you busy for hours, capable of unique arps and sound effects;
  • Jupiter-8 V – a faithful emulation of the 80’s synth icon, with pads as strengths;
  • Wurlitzer V – electric piano with plenty of pedals and options;
  • Prophet V – the perfect synth for fat and punchy basses, leads and SFX;
  • Oberheim SEM V – offers some of the best brasses and arps from the entire collection;
  • Matrix-12 V – is suitable for any kind of sound, and fits well in game and film soundtracks;
  • Solina V – with that chorus module, it puts fire on each composition;
  • VOX Continental V – an amazing organ for rock and blues;
  • Spark 2 – a programmable drum machine with 170 kits for EDM, hip hop, pop, dubstep and more.

If you want to dive directly into the sea of sounds, there is the handy Analog Lab.


Analog Lab’s graphic interface

Analog Lab is an interface to all the sounds of all synthesizers, showcasing them in a very simplified way. In the presets window, you can filter your results by instrument, type and features. You can also edit any preset, directly on the synthesizer that generates it, using the “Edit the full plugin” function; a pop-up with current instrument opens, and you can make the desired tweaks.

Sounds varies from single presets to multis, the latter consist of two synthesizers each, they sound fantastic and somehow are meant to sweeten those who think the single presets are too harsh for immediate use. I recommend you to try these multis, they are specially designed for modern musical genres, and are very useful, especially if you’re not too fond of sound synthesis.

Speaking of sound, all the plugins from V Collection 4 (except Spark 2) are real synthesizers emulations, no samples here – the possibilities to design your desired sound are virtually limitless. But this also leads to a huge CPU usage, so you will need a decent machine to run the plugins. I tested them on a i5 4460 Haswell/16GB RAM computer, and in FL Studio I went all the way with Memory usage on red, but no glitches or crashes. At a moment, I had 5 instances opened and playing same time (Solina V, Jupiter-8 V, CS-80 V, ARP 2600 V, and Vox V) among other plugins such as Synthmaster and some freebies, but as I started adding effects, the computer began to show signs of fatigue, and eventually FL Studio gave up. Note that this test was done intentionally, to see the limits of my system, so it is not conclusive.

I never had a synthesizer from those whose emulation is found in this collection, so I can’t argue with analog synth purists regarding how similar or close is the sound of V Collection 4 compared with the real thing. But I can say that my humble ears were thrilled and even spoiled, the sound is fat and convincing. I particularly enjoyed the sound of Prophet V, Jupiter-8 V and mini V synthesizers, as well as the sound of Wurlitzer and Vox keyboards, the latter made me regret even more that I can’t play piano better. Actually all the synthesizers invite you to play and improvise, and even if you use the presets, you’ll be prompted by the multitude of options to experiment and move on to see what each button, switch or fader does.

As interface, everything is good, maybe except the small fonts and buttons which often make you look twice and eventually you feel tired. CS-80 V is the apogee of miniaturization, of course, not in a good way, a bunch of faders, controls, buttons and all sorts of schemes and modules, being crammed into an interface a little bigger than Sylenth. Some plugins have dynamic GUI, with modules expanding, moving cables, oscilloscopes and fans. If you are attracted by the contemporary designs, then you will appreciate the look of Analog Lab, with a big and clear interface, where everything is in its place and well defined.

Learning the V Collection instruments depends on how familiar you are with synthesis; for modular synthesizers you may access the comprehensive tutorials online, while for other simpler such as Prophet V, Oberheim SEM V or the two keyboards, you will not have problems in using them. If you don’t know anything about synthesis and sound designing, you can choose from the multitude of presets, the only problem that you will encounter here is that perhaps there are too many available. I’m obviously kidding!

It would be a lot to say but do not want to be boring. In conclusion, with its collection featuring software emulations of legendary synthesizers from the 70’s and 80’s, V Collection 4 is an essential kit for all composers in need for a bread & butter library of sounds. V Collection 4 represents excellent value for money, offering everything you need when it comes to classic synths, basses, arps, pads, strings, organs, brasses, drums and much more.

More info:

V Collection 4 by Arturia