Arturia Minibrute Analog 550USD synth

First impression based on online sound demos

Arturia who is known for making software versions of old analog synths have announced their first physical analog synth at NAMM. It’s a small machine with two octaves keyboard and lots of knobs, and should be available in april.

I don’t need another monophonic analog synth, but my first impression about the minibrute from hearing samples online is that the sound is what I would expect. That is new analog, meaning more one dimensional, colder sound compared to the older analogues. I have experienced this with many of the newer analog synths. I don’t know what it is exactly that makes this. I think it has to do with that people that makes synths are engineers, and engineers always want to improve the technical design of the product. I think many of the older synths sounds better because they are technically worse. As the engineers tried to improve their products in the early 80’ies we lost the depth and personality of the sounds in the synths.

Another issue is that components today are different then in the 70′ and 80′. Componentstoday are “computer components” made with high precision and low variation margin. Older components had more variation and was also often made of differnent materials. Today audio entusiasts/freaks are debating similar component materials used in high end or DIY audio amplifiers and other audio equipment, and a condensator of different brands/materials that will technically do the same job can range in price from $0.1 to $500.

I do like about the minibrute that it has lots of knobs, but I see the two octaves keyboard as a major limitations. I think 3 octaves with mini keys would be more useful.

Specs from Arturia :

  • Monophonic synthesizer
  • 100% Analog Audio Signal Path
  • Steiner-Parker 2 pole Multimode Filter (Low Pass, Band Pass, High Pass and Notch)
  • Voltage Controlled Oscillator with Sub-Osc (Square, Sine, -1 & -2 oct)
  • Oscillator Mixer (Sub, Sawtooth, Square, Triangle, White Noise, Audio In)
  • Signal Enhancers :
    • Pulse Width Modulation
    • Ultrasaw generating shimmering sawtooth waveforms
    • Metalizer bringing extreme triangle harmonics
  • Brute Factor™ delivering saturation and rich harmonics
  • LFO1 with 6 waveforms (Sine, Triangle, Sawtooth, Square, Random Square, Random Sine) and bi-polar modulation destinations (to PWM & Metalize, Pitch, Filter, Amplifier)
  • LFO1 clock syncable to Arpeggiator (Arpeg, or free).
  • LFO2 with selectable rate and 3 vibrato modes (trill up, trill down, sine)
  • Two ADSR Envelope Generators with selectable slow/fast speed (from 1 millisecond to more than 10 seconds)
  • Keyboard Tracking on the VCF Cutoff
  • 25 note semi-weighted keyboard with aftertouch (assignable to Cutoff or Vibrato amount)
  • Mod Wheel (assignable to Cutoff, Vibrato, or LFO amount)
  • Pitch Wheel (with selectable bend range)
  • Octave selector from -2 to +2 octaves
  • External Analog Audio Input
  • CV In/Out controls: Pitch, Filter, Amp
  • MIDI In/Out with 5 pin DIN connectors
  • USB MIDI In/Out
  • CV Gate source selector (Audio/Hold/Keyboard)
  • 1/4” Audio Output and 1/4” Headphone Output
  • Full Function Arpeggiator:
    • 4 modes of arpeggiation
    • 4 octave range control
    • 6 step divisions
    • 6 Swing positions
    • Hold function
  • Tempo knob
  • Tap tempo
  • MIDI Sync
  • Rugged Aluminium enclosure
  • 12V DC 1A power
  • Instrument size : 325 x 390 x70 mm (12.79 x 15.35 x 2.76 inch)
  • Instrument weight : 4 kg (8.8 lbs)


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