Arturia Sound Explorers Collection

Plugin Bundle

  • Limited special edition for the 20th anniversary of Arturia
  • Extensive software collection for producers, studios, sound designers and all creative minds
  • Consists of V-Collection 7 with 24 instruments, FX Collection with 15 effects, Pigments 2, 40 additional preset packs and USB-SSD with 250 GB

Specifications:

  • Supported formats (only 64 bit): Standalone / VST2 / VST3 / AU2 / AAXnative
  • System requirements: from Win7 (64 bit), from Mac OSX 10.11, 2.5 GHz CPU, 4 GB RAM, 16 GB HD, OpenGL 2.0 compatible GPU, internet connection

Further Information

Single/Bundle article Bundle
Akustik Keys/Pianos Yes
Beat production / Drum machines No
Wind Instruments No
Cinematic / Effects No
Chorus / Vocals No
Drums / Percussion No
E-Pianos Yes
Ethno / Folk No
Guitars/plucked instruments No
Loops/Construction-Kits No
Orchestra Instruments No
Organs Yes
String Bass No
Sampler No
String Instruments No
Synthesizer Yes
Vintage Instrument Yes
Hardware Controller No
Copy protection Challenge-Response
Stand Alone Yes
AAX Native Yes
Audio Units Yes
NKS Yes
RTAS No
VST2 Yes
VST3 Yes

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5 /5
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Amazing value
Anonymous Sound, 10.08.2020
Even though I'm only a beginner, I've always liked the sounds of 80-s synths (think Stranger Things soundtrack), so I decided to give it a try.

For €600, this collection has an amazing value that costs ~50% of it's individual components. You get:
* the whole V Collection that usually costs €500;
* Pigments of €200 value;
* FX Collection of €400 value;
* 40 packs with 700 presets from the Analog Lab store (no idea how much they cost);
* nice 250 GB SSD with custom print (I think it's Samsung T5 or similar)

Note that if you know you don't need everything, you might be better purchasing just a couple of instruments separately, so do your math first! Also, if you are OK with using only presets, just buy the cheapest Arturia MIDI keyboard that comes with the full Analog Lab (at the time of writing, it was KeyLab Essential 49 for ~€200). Even in this case, presets are partially configurable.

V Collection is a collection of classic analog synthesisers from 1980-s, digital organs/pianos/keyboards, and piano simulations. They say that instead of samples they use analog and physical modelling to recreate the original instruments and sound. That is, instead of recording and processing a sound sample, they simulate analog circuits and/or physical strings and bodies.

I cannot say whether they did a good job, but it's good enough for me (keep in mind that I am a beginner). People on Reddit and forums said that it's not 100% accurate but "good enough", that the accuracy varies from instrument to instrument, and it's a good value for money.

I should also mention that all these synths have an "original" interface with conveniences on top of them for easier programming. However, they still require understanding of the original synths, so keep in mind that there could be a steep learning curve. Also, some UIs look blurry on Retina displays, they don't look terrible, but it's something you cannot ignore.

Pigments 2 is a digital synth made from scratch (that is, it is not based on any existing instrument). It has a beautiful, intuitive interface, and a lot of features. I especially like how they visualise parameter modulations via LFOs and functions. The Internet said that it's on par with Serum/Massive (two other big names in the digital software synth world).

I don't care much about the FX Collection, but it doesn't hurt anyway.

As for the additional presets, Analog Lab 4 already comes with over 8000 presets for all the instruments listed above, so I don't think they are necessary either, but hey, they also don't hurt.

SSD is nothing special, but has a nice custom print. I think the design was inspired by the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover that has been launched by NASA on 30 July 2020. The SSD is mostly empty, as all the software is only ~30 GB in size. Obviously, you also get a serial number that you can register on Arturia website and download everything later in case you lose the SSD.

Pros:
* (Almost) everything from Arturia for a great price
* Nice SSD, maybe even with a collector's value

Cons:
* You might not need everything
* Some synth UIs are not ready for HiDPI displays

Summary:
I lot of value in a single box for retro synth lovers, highly recommended. Don't buy only if you really know you need 1 or 2 pieces from the set.
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NOK 5,444
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