There are lots of ways to get audio in and out of you PC or Mac, but few are as gratifying as M-Audio’s Venom Synthesizer.

If you like your music to have a bit of bite, then this synthesizer/USB audio interface/USB MIDI interface won’t disappoint.

USB Synthesizer

M-Audio have come up with a keyboard that could be the answer to your project studio needs.  For a small computer based set up this really could be the only piece of hardware you need to get you making great music.

Described as edgy and gritty the Venom is packed with samples from classic vintage analogue, modular and FM synths from the likes of Moog, Korg, Roland and Oberheim.

The M-Audio Venom has some seriously impressive attributes.

Combining a 49-key full-size synth action keyboard with a 12-voice polyphonic synthesizer capable of 4 part multi-timbral operation.  It has an on-board global effects processor (each multi-timbral part can also have 1 of the insert effects – you can choose from Compression, EQ, Distortion, Bit Reduction, Decimation) and a classic arpeggiator with the usual up, down and alternating patterns plus a built in phrase sampler to provide instant fun and inspiration.

But the reason we’re featuring the the Venom here is it has impressive connection capabilities.

Built-in USB 2.0 audio (USB 1.1 backward compatible) gives your favourite DAW access to mic, instrument and stereo line level inputs allowing you to record guitars, vocals or other instruments without needing any additional equipment.

You can hook your monitoring speakers straight up to the main 1/4″ TS outputs, your USB connected DAW will then have its main audio outputs mixed with the Venoms synth output.

2 Line Inputs, 2 Aux Outputs and Mic and Instrument Inputs Via USB

All this allows you to record and mix without any further audio interface hardware.  It’s also a ProTools compliant USB audio/MIDI interface (see compatibility info).

Here’s an introduction from the Venom produced by Avid:

Some of the best sound designers in the business have contributed to the internal sounds and patch presets.  There is even a website created by fans, for fans of the Venom which has a large selection of downloadable sounds and patches available.

Here’s a multi-tracked composition using the Venom with ProTools and Ableton Live which shows off what the Venom is capable of!

Venom on your iPad

One last point to make is that the audio and midi implementation on the Venom is compatible with the iPad using the camera connection kit!  So you can even get making music on the go with Garageband and you iPad.

Buy the M-Audio Venom

You can buy the Venom at Amazon for around £324.

Reviews

Mac Life has this to say about the Venom:

‘The M-Audio Venom is an awesome piece of machinery that brings all the sounds and control of the analog world into our digital future without sacrificing sound quality’.

Read the full article here at Mac Life’s website

Electronic Musician had this to say:

‘Beyond its giant tones and powerful programming options, the Venom presents a really plausible solution for I/O, monitoring, and synthesis for artists who work primarily in-the-box and are looking for a high-quality, all-in-one, synth-based workflow’.

Read the full review article here at the Electronic Musician website

Further reading

Link to the Venom product specification pages at M-Audio 

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