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January 16, 2012

M-Audio Venom Review

M‑Audio are best known for their hardware controllers and their audio interfaces, so a synth seems like a great idea.

The M-Audio Venom is a very interesting 12 voice virtual synthesizer, that also works as a midi interface and USB 2 audio interface. The Venom has sample-based synthesis engine capable of getting down and dirty...

Features

The M-Audio Venom 12-Voice Virtual Analog Synthesizer has a white and grey color, and looks modern. However, the panel text can be hard to read in low-light conditions, especially those parts that have grey text on grey background.

This keyboard spans 4 octaves and is velocity sensitive. The controls are logically arranged. In the top-left corner, you will find separate gain controls for the mic and instrument inputs, each with level and clipping indicators.

You will also find an arpeggiator, tap-tempo controls, octave-transpose buttons, a mod wheel and pitch-bender plus a front‑loading headphone socket. Next, we have the Performance Controls, which consist of a matrix of six rows of options, four continuous encoders and a button. These encoders are great for quick adjustments of the filter, envelopes, LFOs and other parameter selections. There are 512 single patches arranged in four banks (A‑D). It is also possible to stack or split the patches into their own keyboard regions, and the results stored in 256 Multi patches.

Sounds

The sounds are generated by a 3 oscillator sound engine. The sounds are generated digitally, mostly from sounds samples from classic analogue synthesizers.

There are 94 different waveforms, 6 resonant filter types, and three 5 stage envelopes. The envelopes can also be rerouted. The 16 node modulation matrix, with 3 programmable LFO's and a 4th devoted to auto-pan and tremolo.

The Venom has mostly nasty sounds, very cool ones too. If you are into techno style of music, you will love this one. You can get some more mellow sounds too, but it's the biting sounds that is its glory, and it does this very well.

The Venom is easy to play right out of the box. I should also mention that there are some FM and digital waveforms too, as well as TR808 and TR909 drum kits. It has tons of arpeggiator patterns and four banks of 128 factory patches each. The included software editor really opens up the power of this synth.

The factory patches are very good and will get you up and jamming right away. It is easy to tweak the sounds to your liking. Try layering patches in multi mode, because this leads to some real fun. The ability in the software to blend and mix and morph patches is a lot of fun too, and a quick way to create new and unexpected sounds.

You can also use it as an effects processors, since it has audio inputs. This is very handy!

Have a listen at the sound samples in the video below, the audio examples start towards the end of the video.

The Venom is a unique sounding unit that is fun to play. The added value as an audio interface or effects processor makes it a very good buy.

You can Buy the M-Audio Venom Synthesizer from B&H Photo Video Store.

By Robert Renman - www.dolphinstreet.com

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Posted by Robert Renman on January 16, 2012

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