After some consideration and watching many videos I decided to get the Access Virus Snow. (Awave in South Yarra sold the unit. I can recommend the store and they are keen to get you trying the many synths on display.) While the most expensive of the synths I considered, the Virus just looked the most comprehensive and came with software integration. For what I can use it for and afford the Snow was the best option in the Access range.
I really like the sound and the variety. The setup documentation is a bit scattered in various guides, song files, and manuals but once I grasped the 4 channels to 1 instance of the Snow it worked. I use the MOTU Ultralite for my soundcard rather than the Virus because there are more routing options. The documentation also came with a guide by Harold Scarr on “Programming Analogue Synths” which is good starting point for Virus programming. I just wish they had updated it for the latest Virus iterations.
Ableton Live is my preferred standard DAW because all the connections are obvious. There are is a MIDI track for each of the 4 parts which send their MIDI to different MIDI channels (though they could be the same) in a track which contains the plugin.
Five12’s Numerology can run the Virus plug in. What you need to do is have four note generators each on a different channel and one AU plug-in for the Virus. You need to manually connect a wire from the MIDI out of the generators to the MIDI in of the plug in.
Nodal can send the notes over a IAC connection to the Virus with its instruments to the four channels but I find it easier to use Live as a central router for MIDI and as a host for the Virus AU. Speaking of Nodal I am playing around with drum patterns like the Amen Brother break to see how Nodal can work at creating standard patterns and then being a starting point for variations. It works in a stardard file but I failed to get MIDI triggering of instruments in separate Nodal files which is said to be possible.
Reason:MIDI is a bit inconsistent with Reason (the program not an explanation). Numerology 2 can be set up a control surface for Reason. This setup works well. Reason responds to MIDI and CC data from Numerology and can also record it just like any hardware interface.
The negative thing is that Reason applies all MIDI event data to the selected controller so that multiple controllers in Numerology will send out all their data to the one selected instrument in Reason. This means you would work with one instrument at a time.
Alternatively if you have Record you can use Numerology as a software interface with Advance Setting in Reason and route different channels to different instruments. The audio from these MIDI channels can be routed to Audio channels for recording.
The other disappointment is that the Maschine controller works with Reason only with difficulty which is really not worth the effort.