The Arturia MicroBrute Analog Synthesizer may be minuscule, but it delivers a staggering range of sonic possibilities. The MicroBrute features a single VCO with three waveforms you can mix at will, three waveshapers, an overtone generator, a classic Steiner-Parker filter, and Arturia’s infamous Brute Factor. You also get a step sequencer and a Mod Matrix that gives you tons of modulation options and connectivity with other synths. This is real-deal, hands-on, semi-modular mono synth mojo at an unbeatable price! With all this going for it, the Arturia MicroBrute makes an ideal first synth.
Arturia Microbrute Review
The Arturia MiniBrute was Arturia’s first attempt at producing an authentic analog synth.
The MiniBrute wasn’t perfect but it had a distinct sound that brought plenty of charm to the table.
The MicroBrute looks a lot like its predecessor but it is smaller.
However, that doesn’t mean it is inferior.
Yes, the MicroBrute has a smaller footprint. But all its controls are reasonably sized.
The fact that it is so small is beneficial because it can fit perfectly within a small home studio.
You also have the option of adding it to your EDM/DJ Stage setup.
From the MicroBrute, you can expect:
1). 1/4-inch Audio output
2). 1/8-inch headphone output
3). Steiner-Parker Multimode Filter
4). USB MIDI In/Out
5). Voltage Controlled Oscillator
6). Step Sequencer
7). Analog Signal path
8). LFO with three waveforms
9). Pitch, Gate, LFO, Env CV outputs
This small analog synthesizer has a solid build boasting a thick plastic bezel and mini keys that are well made.
Though, if you have a full-size controller, you can connect it using a DIN MIDI input.
A high-speed USB Port (MIDI Output) gives you access to digital devices like tablets and computers.
There are octave buttons in the left corner, three mixable waveforms on the right along with a metalizer knob, the Steiner-Parker filter section with its Brute Factor knob, and the mod matrix, used for extensive and imaginative patch customization.
The keyboard has 25 keys. You will find the step sequence above, constituting a tap/rest button, eight preset patterns, and a rate knob.
Move left and you will see the ADSR Envelope Controller’s four sliders.
The programmable LFO section comes next followed by the glide knob, wheel selector switch, and the modulation and pitch bend wheels.
The collapsible tuning knob, headphone output, instrument input, and level knob, and other I/O and tuning features are found at the back.
The MiniBrute still has a few advantages over the MicroBrute.
For instance, its Metalizer effect delivers a better range of timbres.
But the Arturia MicroBrute is also said to have the largest oscillator sound.
This claim is made by the manufacturers but it is difficult to dispute. The product does a lot with basic monosynth sounds.
Audio experts will call the quality of its sound adequate, clean and perfectly controlled.
The 12dB/oct filter keeps the synthesizer in an inferior position when compared to the Moog but you can still trust the MicroBrute to produce a quirky yet aggressive sound
The device will mix triangle, sawtooth, and square waveforms of a similar pitch at the same time, producing more sophisticated results and inviting comparisons with the Roland SH.
The three waveform volume knobs will add depth to the sonic character of the synthesizer.
The filter is fully resonant, availing a number of options (Highpass, lowpass, and bandpass)..
1). The device is small and portable.
2). The price tag is favorable, especially for the features offered. You get plenty of value for your money.
3). The sound it produces is loud, fun, and of sufficient quality
4). There are a multitude of connectivity options
1). There are no battery power options
2). Some people might find the small keys stressful to use.
3). There is no preset storage
The MicroBrute is an interesting addition to Arturia’s line.
It offers additional parameters like the Brute Factor that will force you to keep exploring your abilities and talents.
The sound it delivers isn’t pretty but the aggressive quality it avails is bound to bring the sort of meaty character to your work that you will appreciate.
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