Minologue XD or Virus C?

I want to add a hardware poly synth for my Digitakt and Boog to play with. I’ve had my eye on the Virus C forever, though now the XD desktop is really making me question that. Sounds absolutely fantastic, and has a cool sequencer to boot. The Virus does seem a bit more flexible though (after I delete all those hideous trance presets, of course)

Mainly looking to make spacey sort of ambient music/“IDM”/forward thinking jungle/garage sounds. Opinions?

3 Likes

For spacey, ambient music the Virus is probably the winner due to its extra polyphony and general lushness. The Minilogue suffers from having quite limited envelopes too - its longest attack time is something like 2 seconds IIRC and the decay is linear/boring. On the other hand its user oscillators/FX give it a range the Virus won’t quite match - you can add wavetable oscillators, additive oscillators, FM oscillators etc. etc. Actually it’s the user oscillators I like best about the whole synth - and having the sequencer as a modulation source is also pretty cool, even if you don’t do regular sequencing with it.
I still use my Virus Polar sometimes but I’ve used the Virus sound for many years now and the Minilogue’s character and gnarly analogue filter might appeal to you more. You really need to spend time with each and see which clicks.
Last thought: the Virus feels like a deeper, better quality piece of gear generally. Korg fitted decent knobs on the Minilogue but the switches and buttons feel cheap, the buttons especially.

2 Likes

I replaced my Minilogue XD with a nice Virus Snow I found, and I’m very happy with my decision. I missed having a Virus in my setup so badly.

1 Like

Two very different machines! As a Virus lover and heavy user I will give you a few pros and cons.

The Virus is great for pads, mid-frequency range sounds, chords, lead sounds and has a rich modulation matrix, a lot of LFOs and Envelopes and two filters. It is a very flexible machine! The downside is that classic analog sounds and basses have to be tweaked a lot to stand against a modern monosynth or real analog synth. I think that the minilogue covers exactly the sounds that the Virus is not so good at: basses and typical analog sounds.
On the other hand the Minilogue has a lot of restrictions like only one filter, only one LFO and limited polyphony. The filter is very characteristic, it´s a like it or not thing. But the two multimode filters of the Virus C are very interesting imo!
Also (and this is a private opinion) the Virus C is one of the most beautiful synths ever made. The black and red looks amazing. Even though I have the TI I often think about getting a C just because it is so nice.

4 Likes

Haha! I thought the same thing, I do love the color scheme on the C. Your comment also summed up why I’ve been slightly leaning towards the Virus in general. It seems a bit more flexible, whereas the Minilogue has a distinctly “Minilogue” tinge in all of its patches. It does sound fantastic though. The Korg presets are also way more modern and up my alley, which would be fun to tweak, but i’m not buying a hardware synth for the presets.

I think my Boog should cover analog duties just fine for now, and maybe I could even trade it in for a Minilogue at a later point. Good food for thought.

If you have a Boog than the virus will be a much better addition to your setup than the XD!

2 Likes

Update: I went with a Virus C and I’m loving it. This synth can seriously do everything.

Bonus question: I’ve read a few posts from people who like to add pedals to their Virus to “warm it up” or add character. I’m not sure this is necessary tbh, but does anyone have any favorite outboard effects for this sort of synth? Currently running it in to U-HE Satin and Soundtoys Echoboy/Little Plate. Sounds grand.

2 Likes

Analog heat !

1 Like

Thanks, but maybe something that doesn’t cost more than the actual synth :laughing:

1 Like

(another fellow Virus C owner here)

If you go ask for hardware pedals, you will be recommended 300-500€ pedals like Strymon BigSky or Eventide Space. If you don’t really want to invest in pedals, you should either get some cheap pedals like Zoom MS-70CDR or use software plugins.

I connect all my synths including Virus C, directly to audio interface and put FX in the box. I’m also using Soundtoys but also Eventide Blackhole + UltraReverb and some Plugin Alliance plugins.

For managing the presets, you have 2 options for Virus editor:

1 Like

I get you, but AH works wonders in warming up digital sources … one item I could not do without, now I have used it !