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on Wednesday, 2 Sep 2015
- What does this mean?
Great fun to use, with deep editing control via a simple, fully tactile analog interface, the Arturia MiniBrute is bound to be a hit, coming in at an unbelieveable price! The built in 25 key keyboard with aftertouch and relatively small form factor of the MiniBrute means that you can unhook it from your studio setup and make new sounds wherever in the world you go!
Here's what Arturia say about the Minibrute
MiniBrute is a revolutionary new analog synthesizer from Arturia. Featuring a pure analog signal path and a host of unique features, it sets a new standard for what a hardware synthesizer should be.
Its 100% analog audio signal path features a VCO wave mixer, the classic Steiner-Parker multimode filter, as well as numerous analog innovations such as the Metalizer, Ultrasaw, and the Brute Factor. Boasting a complete MIDI, CV and USB connectivity, MiniBrute is right at home with your computer or your vintage synths, making it the ideal companion to deliver a pure analog blast anywhere you go.
- Monophonic synthesizer
- 100% Analog Audio Signal Path
- Steiner-Parker Multimode Filter (LP, BP, HP and Notch)
- Voltage Controlled Oscillator with Sub-Osc
- Oscillator Mixer (Sub, Sawtooth, Square, Triangle, White Noise, Audio In)
- LFO1 with 6 waveforms and bi-polar modulation destinations
- LFO2 with 3 vibrato modes
- Brute Factor delivering saturation and rich harmonics
- Ultrasaw generating shimmering sawtooth waveforms
- Metalizer bringing extreme triangle harmonics
- Two ADSR Envelope Generators
- 25 note Keyboard with Aftertouch
- Rugged Aluminium Enclosure
- External Analog Audio Input
- CV In/Out controls: Pitch, Gate, Filter, Amp
- MIDI In/Out with 5-Pin DIN connectors
- USB MIDI In/Out
- 1/4" Audio Output and 1/4" Headphone Output
- Gate Source Selection: Audio Input, Hold, Keyboard
- 4 Modes of Arpeggiation
- 4 Octave Range Control
- 6 Time Divisions
- Swing Control
100% Analog Power
Combining the renowned savoir-faire of ARTURIA in designing professional musical instruments, and the expertise of synth "guru" Yves USSON in crafting the finest analog modules, MiniBrute is a revolutionary analog synthesizer
MiniBrute was built with a simple goal in mind: offer great analog sound, through a very easy to use interface, and without ever compromising on quality.
The result of fine R&D and skilled craftsmanship: a 100% Analog Audio signal path, delivering huge basslines, screaming leads, outstanding arpeggios and FX's. Analog synthesizers of yesteryear are highly sought-after on the second hand market for their warmth, fatness, slight instability, and their unmistakable sonic character. Digital synths, on their part, offer more possibilities but tend to sound sometimes sterile and loose musicians in endless menus and boring sound digest concepts.
Today, MiniBrute comes as a bold statement, standing proudly among legendary analog machines like the Minimoog, Pro-One, SH-101, MS-20, and Odyssey. MiniBrute, brings the finest analog sounds as heard on iconic electronic records, whilst imprinting its own unique features and strong attitude.
Forget about tiny LCD screens, forget about menus and sub-menus, forget about double functions and complex control. Minibrute brings back the fun and the immediate hands-on experience of synthesis.
You want to make it stronger- Grab the sub-osc slider and move it up. You want it brighter- Grab the filter cutoff knob and turn it up. You want your sound to grow fangs and snarl like a beast- Grab the Brute Factor knob and turn it up! It's that easy.
Connect to the world
Thanks to its full MIDI/CV/USB connectivity, MiniBrute is designed to fit seamlessly in any modern or vintage studio.
MIDI In/Out : Sequence MiniBrute from your computer's MIDI interface and DAW, or any MIDI gear. Alternatively use MiniBrute as a master MIDI keyboard.
CV Gate In/Out : Chain MiniBrute to your vintage synthesizer to get a beefier sound. Remotely sequence MiniBrute from your vintage sequencer. Use MiniBrute to control your vintage synths (CV/Volt).
USB In/Out: Sequence MiniBrute directly from your computer's DAW without needing a MIDI interface.
Use MiniBrute as a USB-MIDI controller.
Audio In : Process any external sound through MiniBrute's filter, VCA and Brute FactorTM circuit.
MiniBrute can be used as an analog powerhouse for adding warmth, grit and filter effects to drums, guitars, vocals, and more... It will alternatively generate automatic basslines from percussive sounds by switching the Gate source selector to audio.
MiniBrute can also be used as a MIDI to CV Gate interface, ensuring the link between your computer-based studio and your vintage gear.
Sounds with an attitude
So what does MiniBrute sound like?
MiniBrute is certainly not capable of producing all the types of sounds, but it does very well what it is designed for : classic analog sounds, including powerful basses, hypnotic drones, screaming leads, acid sequences, ethereal monopads, 80's arpeggios, mind blowing FX's and fascinating sonic experiments.
If you are more into deep funky basses, mellow leads, clavinet or woodwind-like sounds, Minibrute can produce them as well, but the danger zone is always at a twist of a knob…MiniBrute delivers a deep bass and a lead sound using the glide function.
Your sounds, your attitude
MiniBrute comes with no electronic presets. You build yourself every sound you hear. Believe us, this is fun, this is creative and this helps make better music (and honestly, this is not harder than browsing sub-menus).
Now of course you can still play sounds made by other programmers. And you can store your sounds. How is that -
Arturia delivers preset sheets that fit on the surface of the MiniBrute. Following instructions set on the preset sheets, you get a preset sound in a minute. And if you want to store your sound, just take one of the blank sheets and write your marks.
Oscillator on steroid
VCO. No DCO (Digital Controlled Oscilator) is used in MiniBrute, but only pure VCO (Voltage Controlled Oscillator) ensuring that classic analog sound. MiniBrute's VCO is classic in its sound and modern in its shape, allowing you to mix individually 4 different waves, as well as white noise and audio in. Add to that a sub-oscillator and several analog signal enhancers such as the Metalizer and the Ultrasaw, and you get custom shapes that currently no other analog hardware synthesizer can match.
Sequence played while mixing different waveforms
Minibrute's Sub Oscillator generates sine and square wave. It will allow you to rattle the house by descending as low as two octaves down.
Deep Bass Sub Osc
Minibrute’s Sub Oscillator generates sine and square wave. It will allow you to rattle the house by descending as low as two octaves down.
The Ultrasaw brings shimmering sawtooth waveforms that will considerably enrich your tone. It basically builds two phase-shifted copies of the basic sawtooth signal. These copies have independent and ever-evolving phase shifts with respect to each other, and are eventually mixed with the sawtooth signal.
This results in a lively, rich, and bright ensemble effect whose character depends on the modulation rates of the phase-shifted copies. This is the first time such a feature is offered in analog format.
The Metalizer takes the basic triangular waveform and "warps/folds" it to create very complex jagged waveforms that are rich in high harmonics. This results in "metallic" pitched sounds that are ideal for harpsichord- and clavinet-type tones. Dynamic modulation (LFO or envelope) of the warp/folding parameters opens up a realm of "klangorous" sounds that will nicely cut through your mix.
Modulations are key to widen a synthesizer's sound palette. But too many synths offer limited possibilities and in the end very few different sounds, MiniBrute opens the door to a world of combinations that will allow you to create your unique and original sonic signature.
LFO1 waveforms include a collection of sine, triangle, sawtooth, square, random square and random sine. The moulation amounts are bipolar towards 4 destinations : PWM & Metalizer, Pitch, Filter, and Amplifier. This means you can really get creative and start, for example, modulating the Filter with a negative slope, while increasing the Pitch.
LFO range stretches from 0,1 Hz to 100 Hz allowing you to go anywhere from progressive evolutions to wild frequency modulation effects.
2 ADSR ENVELOPES are available on MiniBrute. The Filter Envelope and the Amp Envelope. Filter Envelope can be routed to modulate the Pulse Width of the Square wave and the Metalizer Amount. The Envelope fast/slow switch allows you to command ultrafast 1 millisecond responses for snappy electro basses and leads, to more than 10 seconds responses for slow evolving soundscapes.
To extend the modulation routings further and link them to your expression of playing, MiniBrute benefits from Mod wheel and Aftertouch controls. Each one of them can be set to modulate either the Cutoff or the Vibrato. Mod wheel can also be set to control the general LFO amount.
MiniBrute embeds the legendary Steiner-Parker multimode filter.
Introduced for the first time in the Synthacon synthesizer, back in the 70's, this marvellous filter not only brings a Low pass mode like competitive designs, but also Band pass, High pass and Notch positions, making it a highly versatile and praised boutique filter.
The MiniBrute filter is based on the core of the legendary Steiner-Parker multimode filter and has been improved to deliver an even wider range of cutoff and resonance. Nyle Steiner himself has validated and approved these improvements .
Teamed up with the Minibrute multiwave oscillator, and the wide modulation capabilities, the Steiner-Parker filter brings an extreme versatile and agressive edge that will make your sound stand out.
The Brute Factor was inspired by a patch made on a famous vintage synthesizer connecting the headphone output to the external audio input. The result is a kind of feedback loop that is ideal for raspy and grungy sounds. This patch has been adapted and implemented internally in the MiniBrute.
For low Brute Factor settings, the distortion is smooth and gentle but becomes harsher as you turn up the knob. When turned up above about 75% of the way, the MiniBrute can go berserk and produce barely controllable, crazy feedback sounds.
Note: the Brute Factor feature alters the filter characteristics, so expect highly unpredictable results at extreme settings. You have been warned!
A real arpeggiator
MiniBrute comes with a 25 note keyboard fitting the modern musician's need of mobility. On the other hand, it offers a very nice arpeggiator that will allow you to create complex melodic patterns without needing to be a skilled keyboardist.
Minibrute's arpeggiator boasts a full set of features, from octave range, to play mode, tap tempo, step size, not to forget the swing control to change your groove on the fly. In addition, the arpeggiator is fully synchronizable with the MIDI input and with the LFO1 (using the clock switch), enabling perfect timing during your performance.
When playing live, you can also get in sync with your drummer using the handy "tap tempo" button.
A keyboard tailored to your needs
MiniBrute features a quality keyboard including velocity, aftertouch and 25 lightweighted keys for a fast and accurate performance.
Aftertouch can be routed to the Cutoff or Vibrato amounts for maximum expression.
Warranty Registration To register your Minibrute, please enter the serial number placed underneath the machine and not placed in the installation document. This is a misprint. The serial number written in this document is the first to be released for the product Minibrute and is obviously already registered.
Anonymous review via Feefo | Purchase date: 30 May 2015
Still getting to grips with the minibrute but so far it's exceeded my expectations!
Anonymous review via Feefo | Purchase date: 21 May 2015
Some interesting sounds possible with this little synth. Superb warm tones.
Anonymous review via Feefo | Purchase date: 16 May 2015
Excellent. So versatile and good value.
Anonymous review via Feefo | Purchase date: 01 January 2014
Exactly as expected, a great analogue synth.
Ian | Purchase date: 15 June 2013
Awesome. Simply Awesome... well that was the one and two word reviews, now a bit more detail. This is a truly inspirational product for so many reasons, some may look at the spec and see one oscilator sub and one voice. But this machine sounds huge, and delicate and complex, expressive etc etc .. especially when you put it though a decent delay. The synth is simple enough to program but offers lots of dept and modulation options and the filter sounds fantastic in all of its 4 modes. It is also a great little Analog / midi toolkit with both USB, MIDI In/Out and Gate/CV connections to hook up to other real analog gear. Its a nice little keyboard to play and a great little package - all for less than the price of the MS-20. Just buy one you will not regret it.
Andrew | Purchase date: 14 June 2013
A great little synth that's marketed as harsh sounding, but is just as capable of gentle patches too. Very flexible, and surprisingly thick-sounding for a single-oscillator monosynth (there are several features to thicken the sound, including a sub-osc, ultra-saw, pulse width and metallizer).
The build quality seems very good. It's a hefty synth with a metal/hard plastic case. I don't like the feel of the knobs so much (rubberised), but they are solid.
Worst things about it: 1 .Lack of MIDI thru (which is a bit annoying in my set-up, but you can also control it via USB, so this is a minor issue). 2. Its phatness tails away a bit in the higher octaves.
Best things about it: 1. Tweakability (one control for every function). 2. Nice sound (once you have got used to it). 3. Portable (although you can't save patches, so it might not ideal for gigging, unless you don't change the sound much). 4. The arpreggiator is great fun (and the PC software allows you to set it to "note order played", giving you far more flexibility).
I just got a Korg MS-20 Mini, and was a bit worried that the MiniBrute might sound weedy by comparison as the Korg is a two-oscillator synth, but the MiniBrute (while not quite as phat) holds its own in the mix.
Overall, it's a good synth for arpreggios (run it through some delay for Berlin-school style beauty), basses and leads. Best of all it's full of character and charm, making it great fun to play and tweak.
Audrey | Purchase date: 22 December 2012
Great synth. I've spent hours just running the arpeggiator and tweaking, instant D.A.F. The filter is great, can do smooth but really comes to life when pushed, it really has teeth!
Keyboard feels good, No velocity sensitivity (although it does transmit) but I don't miss it, the aftertouch and mod wheel are fine.
Nice solid build, the knobs and sliders feel sturdy. I grew up using various analogue synths and this as much fun as them, if not more!
I love it, quality all the way.
Howard | Purchase date: 25 September 2012
This is a great piece of kit, does all I'd hoped for and more. It fits in seamlessly with all of our vintage gear but mixes with the digital stuff well too. It definitely lives up to the name and is brutal when pushed but is also capable of a lot of subtle timbres too. An utter bargain, well worth the wait!
digital midgets | Purchase date: 22 June 2012
This little synth is an instant classic.
Really amazing sound. Very powerful. Very creative.
The filter sounds lovely and gives it a personality of it's own. Despite only 1 oscillator you can make it sound like it's got 3 oscillators.
Arturia has done a brilliant job. Well done.
I will own this with pride forever.