Introducing the Arturia MicroBrute Analog Synthesizer
After building a strong name for themselves in the software world for their analog modeling soft synths, Arturia ventured into the hardware analog synth market last year with the introduction of the MiniBrute keyboard. The company now introduces an even smaller addition to the Brute line, the new “more-powerful-than-it-looks” 25-minikey MicroBrute analog monosynth. Beyond its compact size, the MicroBrute brings affordability and a unique set of features to the table, including a multi-wave analog oscillator with mixable waveforms.
Many synthesizers out there today are advertised as having an “analog” design, but some use digitally controlled or completely digital oscillators. The MicroBrute, on the other hand, boasts a 100% true analog signal path, from the oscillator to the LFO to the envelope controls. This is pretty rare and exciting for a keyboard at this price point.
Although the MicroBrute has just has one oscillator, it is capable of generating sawtooth, square, and triangle wave shapes simultaneously and it allows you to mix them together in variable amounts, as opposed to having simple ON/OFF switches. This feature allows you to create an endless variety of complex timbres to use as your raw sounds. It also allows you to mix a -1 octave sub square wave into the sound, plus it features a separate control that allows you to introduce complex harmonic overtones.
The oscillator also features several signal-enhancement controls for expanding the sonic range, which include the obligatory pulse width modulation control, as well as the unique “metalizer” and “ultrasaw” modifiers. The metalizer works by adding upper-end harmonics to the triangle wave for sharp bass tones, while the ultrasaw makes the normal saw sound as if there were multiple detuned saw waves stacked on top of each other for extra-thick tones. It also has a Steiner-Parker designed filter section with low-pass, band-pass, and high-pass modes, as well as Arturia’s trademark “Brute Factor” control that’s also found on the MiniBrute keyboard. The Brute Factor control adds saturation while enhancing bass frequencies to yield an aggressive, yet controllable overdriven sound.
For further sound shaping and modulation, the keyboard also sports a fully featured low-frequency oscillator (LFO) and ADSR-type envelope. Equipped with switchable square, saw, and sine waveforms with adjustable rate, the LFO affords you the ability to create a wide range of modulation effects. With its destination patched to the pitch of the oscillator by default, the LFO also provides you with an amount knob for controlling the depth of the modulation. The envelope controls, moreover, feature standard attack, decay, sustain, and release controls (ADSR) for crafting the perfect punch to make sure your bass and lead tones cut through the mix.
The MicroBrute’s mod matrix section adds an element of modular synthesis to the equation, allowing you to reroute the default mod destinations of the LFO and envelope controls using the two included mini-jack patch cords. Also, if you already have modular synth components, the mod matrix along with the CV/GATE connections allow you to integrate the MiniBrute into your modular setup as a controller as well as a signal processor.
Arturia has also included a built-in 64-step pattern sequencer, providing a convenient way to create bass lines and riffs. With an internal memory capable of storing up to 8 different patterns, the sequencer allows you to input notes one at a time to create rhythmic sequences. The sequences can then be backed up to your computer using the included editor software. Other notable features include USB MIDI I/O and standard MIDI input, an audio input for using the MicroBrute as an audio processor as well as standard pitch and mod wheels.
For more information on this monosynth, stop by the B&H SuperStore in New York, speak with a sales professional on the telephone at 1-800-606-6969 or contact us online via Live Chat.
|Synthesizer Type||Analog monophonic synthesizer|
|Filter||Steiner-Parker 2-pole multi-mode filter (low pass, band pass, high pass)
Brute factor control
|Oscillator Type||Analog voltage controlled oscillator|
|Oscillator Mixer||Overtone sub/5th generator, sawtooth, square, triangle, audio in (on rear panel)|
|Oscillation Mode||Pulse width modulation, ultrasaw, metalizer|
|LFO||LFO with 3 waveforms (sine, sawtooth, square), clock syncable to arpeggiator (arpeg, or free)|
|Envelope Control||ADSR envelope generator|
|Keyboard Tracking||Yes, on VCF cutoff|
|Mod Wheel||Yes, assignable to cutoff, or LFO amount|
|Pitch Wheel||Yes, with selectable bend range via software|
|Octave Selector||Yes, from -2 to +2 octaves|
|Analog Audio Input||1/4" analog audio input|
|Analog Audio Output||1/4" audio output
1/8" headphone output
|CV In/Out Controls||CV in jacks: pitch, filter, sub-harmonics, pulse width, metalizer, saw animator
CV out jacks: pitch, envelope, LFO
|MIDI||MIDI in with 5 pin DIN connector
USB MIDI in/out
Up to 64 steps per memory
Step divisions (via software)
Trigger modes (via software)
|Construction||Steel bottom panel|
|Power||12V DC 1A power supply|
|Dimensions||12.8 x 8.7 x (325 x 221 x 60mm)|
|Weight||3.86 lb (1.75 kg)|