M-Audio VENOM Synthesizer

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Avid’s M-Audio Venom is a 49-key, 12-voice polyphony, multi-timbral, virtual-analog synthesizer that set a new mark along these lines. The Venom offers a variety of performance controls for real-time tone shaping and can serve as a USB MIDI controller and 24-bit audio interface with microphone, line, and instrument inputs. It can also function as a standalone effects processor. The Venom features free Vyzex editor for Mac and PC, 512 single patches and 256 multi-patch combinations, Two Global Effects; Reverb, Delay, Chorus, Flanger, and Phaser, and 1 insert effect per multitimbral part ( 4 total); Compression, EQ, Distortion, Bit Reduction and Decimation.

The M-Audio Venom uses a newly designed “virtual analog” synth engine intended to offer a unique sonic signature, with the flexibility of digital operation but the warmth and grit of analog-emulation circuitry. M Audio certainly thought hard about how to pack Venom with great-sounding patches. Each one of the 512 single programs has, at its core, at least one sample of a classic synthesizer or drum machine waveform. The architecture of the synth section is three-oscillator, with each able to access any of the 41 waveforms or 53 drum sounds. It is a potent mix and the sounds are wonderful. But, the unique M-Audio Venom twist is that there is a tube saturation stage at the multi-mode filter which can be over-driven. Meaning that as well as being able to offer multiple filter modes; low, high and band, 2 and 4 pole, either 12 or 24dB of roll-off per octave, it is possible to internally distort signals. Additionally, each program can access three LFOs, three AHDSR envelopes and 16 separate modulation routing options, while effects provision comes in the form of two buses effects with Reverb, Delay, Chorus, Flanger and Phaser options.

The three arpeggiation modes are  Standard, Phrase and Drum. To modify the Arpeggiator from the front panel is rather restricted but, you can do more via the Vyzex software. Vyzex software is well designed and opens Venom up to much more sound programming. The immediacy of accessing the sounds and modifying them in real-time is intuitive and impressive. For sound designers, the Vyzex software editor is just for you and M-Audio Venom will exceed your expectations too.  A Phenomenal Synthesizer, indeed!

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