M-Audio Venom Virtual Analog Synth & Editor

M-Audio has been developing Venom for the past few years they recently launched an affordable virtual analog synthesizer.

The Venom 49-key synthesizer combines the character of classic analog synths with modern digital processing to deliver an aggressive, infectious new sound. Even though you can dial up nice atmospheric pad with the Venom, the synth has a more Nord-like brittle edge to its sound, which Avid describes as “angry and downright nasty.” It’s hard to determine where this will sit in today’s music, but there will be quite a few budding and mature synthesists who will have no problem plunking down around $500 (street) for this new entry.

» 49-key, full-size, synth-action keyboard
» 12-voice polyphony, each voice including:
— 3 oscillators with 41 waveforms and 53 drum sounds sampled from vintage analog synths, FM digital synths, and drum machines
— pulse-width modulation, sync, FM, and ring modulation
— resonant multimode filter with tube saturation limiting
— 12 dB/octave (2-pole) low pass
— 12 dB/octave (2-pole) band pass
— 12 dB/octave (2-pole) high pass
— 24 dB/octave (4-pole) low pass
— 24 dB/octave (4-pole) band pass
— 24 dB/octave (4-pole) high pass
— 3 LFOs with selectable sample-and-hold
— 3 AHDSR envelopes
— 16 modulation routes
» 4-part multitimbral operation with independent MIDI-syncable phrase sequencers
» 512 onboard Single patches
» 256 onboard Multi (layered) patches
» 2 global bus effects: Reverb, Delay, Chorus, Flanger, Phaser
» 1 insert effect per multitimbral part (4 total): Compression, EQ, Distortion, Bit Reduction, Decimation
» classic arpeggiator with up, down, and alternating patterns
» tap-tempo and manual BPM control from top panel
» built-in USB 2.0 audio/MIDI interface (USB 1.1 backward compatible)
— 2 x 2 24-bit, 44.1 kHz operation
— mic, instrument, and stereo line level inputs route to DAW
— synth sounds route to DAW
— DAW audio output mixes into main outputs
— stereo main audio outputs (1/4″ TS)
— stereo headphone output (1/4″ TRS)
— master volume knob; instrument and mic gain knobs
— MIDI In and MIDI Out (5-pin DIN)
» large custom LCD
» 4 rotary encoders and 1 button for performance control and editing
» dual-function octave up/down and transpose controls
» assignable pitch bend and modulation wheels
» sustain (1/4″ TS) and expression (1/4″ TRS) pedal inputs

You can even use Venom as an audio interface with Pro Tools M-Powered (Requires Pro Tools M-Powered 8 or higher) and other music software—forming a powerful production machine to take your music in dangerous new directions.

A nice compliment to the Venom is the included Vyzex Venom software editor. This is many users will really get creative with the synth and we have a feeling Avid will be upgrading Vyzex as Venoms fly off the shelves.

Vyzex Features:
» arrange sounds into banks, rename patches, and save backups
» patch collider feature mashes up multiple patches to create new hybrid sounds
» 16-cell modulation matrix offers comprehensive routing configurations

More information on M-Audio Venom.

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