Arturia synths

In this corner, Arturia puts together the second release of their “best of” virtual analog recreations, now with more samples and a free bundled keyboard. How will the Analog Factory Experience stack up against IK?

IK Moog sample library

In this corner, IK Multimedia rallies samples from the Moog collection, turning to even obscure models like the Moog Source and Concertmate MG-1 and sampling a Moog Theremin and the new models from Moog Music — just in case your road crew goes on strike.

As we discovered when the elevator broke at the 6th-Floor Handmade Music party last month (ahem), actual analog gear is heavy, to say nothing of expense. There’s nothing quite like the real thing, in terms of sound, behavior, and tactile feedback. But the “next best thing” has some definite advantages. And competition for virtual alternatives is heating up. IK Multimedia and Arturia pack an unprecedented number of analog models into a single package for a pretty low price; Arturia now even throws in a keyboard to seal the deal.

Arturia’s Virtual Experience vs. IK’s Moogs: Fight!

The approach of each product is different. IK uses their sample engine, Arturia uses their “TAE” engine from their other virtual vintage products. IK has some additional multi-effects and sound-warping power; Arturia has arguably more hands-on control. IK is entirely focused on Moog and even endorsed by Moog Music; Arturia has a cross-section of classics. And, oh yeah, Arturia is also throwing in an actual hardware keyboard (pictured a little later on).

Arturia keyboard hardware for Analog Factory Experience

Arturia’s twist: throw in an actual physical keyboard.

Hmm… if only we could read the spec sheets for these tools simultaneously. Wait — we can! Go, go, gadget HTML table!

IK SampleMoog

Arturia Analog Factory Experience

Powered by SampleTank sample engine

Powered by TAE engine

Mac VST, AU, RTAS (Pro Tools)

Mac VST, AU, RTAS (Pro Tools)

Windows (+Vista) VST, RTAS (Pro Tools)

Windows (+Vista) VST, RTAS (Pro Tools)

Functions as plug-in and standalone

Functions as plug-in and standalone

1700 sounds from 16 Moog instruments

3500 sounds from 7 Arturia instrument models

32 built-in multi-effects, BPM sync, Mono/Poly/Legato modes with selectable Legato, 2 LFOs, 2 Envelopes, syncable filter section

Filter and LFO sections, 4 Key Parameters differing for each preset, Chorus & Delay mix

  • Modular Moog 3C
  • Modular Moog 15
  • Modular Moog 55
  • Minimoog Model D
  • Polymoog
  • Moog Taurus™ I
  • Moog Prodigy
  • Moog Multimoog
  • Moog Vocoder
  • Moog/Realistic Concertmate MG-1
  • Moog Source
  • Moog Rogue
  • Memorymoog
  • Etherwave Theremin
  • Moog Voyager
  • Moog Little Phatty
  • minimoog V
  • Moog Modular V
  • CS-80V
  • ARP 2600 V
  • Prophet V
  • Prophet VS
  • Jupiter-8V
US$299; US$249 crossgrade

US$349, with a 32-key keyboard

Shipping now

Available “soon”

IK Multimedia Moog screen shot

IK Multimedia’s SampleMoog, as the name implies, focuses on sampled Moog instruments, of yore and … of today.

That’s just an overview, naturally. See also:

IK Multimedia SampleMoog Product Page
Arturia Factory Experience Product Page

What About Arturia’s New Keyboard?

Glad you asked. Arturia has sent us some shots of their new hardware. The keyboard is built by CME, the Chinese keyboard maker that impresses Thomas Dolby and inspires bizarre advertising music video involving paint. (Classic quotes: “I do not mind other’s eyesight / I am self-determined so be crazy with be / Do not say that I am aggressive / I am self-determined and that’s what I am!” Top that, Roland.)

Anyway, the CME keyboard naturally works out-of-the-box with the software parameters in the Analog Factory software, with 1 clickable encoder, 10 encoders, 4 sliders, 11 switches, 1 modulation wheel, and 1 pitch bend wheel. Now, I hear what you’re saying — couldn’t you do that with any keyboard? Yes. Yes, you could. Then again, hard to argue with it when it seems to be a free pack-in, and CME’s stuff is usually quite good. Could make a great gift to a synth lover for the holidays, I suspect.

Here are some shots of the hardware — just mock-ups; the real ‘board was at AES but I didn’t get a chance to snap any shots, so just enjoy this lovely virtual world.

Arturia keyboard hardware for Analog Factory Experience

A move we’ll see start to see from more developers? Hardware exactly mirrors what’s on the screen.

Arturia keyboard hardware for Analog Factory Experience

Back panel: jacks for MIDI (5-pin), expression and sustain pedals, USB, and power.