Et tu, MicroBrute…us?

It’s small, it’s analog, and it’s a follow-up to the MiniBrute – very likely, called the MicroBrute. Arturia has a new analog synth; they’re not talking details yet, instead posting a site with blurred-out photos and a countdown to a release date later this week. But between leaked information and images, and some tidbits from the teaser site, it’s not so hard to piece together a lot of details of the instrument they’re referring to only as “IT.”

It’s definitely an analog synth with keys (seen in the blurred shots) in a compact form factor. It’s also:

  • “Practical”
  • Has no presets
  • Based on “the original” – here, MiniBrute
  • Has some kind of connectivity. Adrian Utley from Portishead notes “You can get all kinds of crazy and musical interactions going on with other analog gear and drum machines.” This appears to be a description of the matrix/patch bay described below.
  • And it may have some new sound possibilities relative to the original.
  • It also keyboard tracks – to eleven? “More than 100% values of such things as keyboard tracking.”

If you hate spoilers, um, sorry. One of my favorite sites, the German-language sequencer.de, gets hold of an image.

Arturia’s New Tiny Synth / Neuer Arturia Synth

microbrute-image

It appears this is also a one-oscillator synth, with an uncommonly complex oscillator section. And Synthtopia reports on rumors that the price will be US$300 – which could make this a stellar success, a kind of analog answer to the microKORG, which was one of the most popular synths ever.

Ironically, the surging popularity of analog synths leaves the field wide open for new instruments with digital oscillators, and a reminder that they’re capable of other sounds. But that’s why things often go in cycles. We’ll see (and hear) what this ‘brute is like soon enough.

  • Joshua Schnable

    I’ll admit, when that teaser email from them hit yesterday, my first thought was “oh, can we have a 2 osc minibrute (maybe with sync/ring/fm) now?” Alas.

    I love the minibrute – it’s very much like the SH-101, in that you can do a lot with a little. I’m not sure if this is maybe going to far into condensing that architecture, but we’ll see. The only thing I’m curious about is the lack of a tuning knob (maybe it’s that thing sticking out of the back). The minibrute definitely stays in tune when warmed up, but I do have to make minor adjustments here and there.

    Honestly, if they threw this into a desktop format, with two proper pitch knobs (coarse and fine, +/- 1 oct), it would make a fine add-on for the minibrute. In this, though, tougher sell.

  • syntheticjuice

    If it sounds just like the minibrute and its $300, i may consider picking one up to be a second osc for my minibrute.

  • heinrichz

    Yes, looks like the hardware folks are finally getting their price point right. The stuff really should not be much more than some midi controllers.

  • http://vrpr.org/ Henry

    It kind of leaves me underwhelmed – again – after DSI just released the next episode in the Mopho story. But, this time mostly, because I really started to dislike those small keys. I’ve tried and tried and tried, but I never made friends with the microKorg, the MiniNova, and neither that trusty LPK25 – just because of that. And no, I don’t have particularly large sausage fingers – quite the contrary. It’s just not my cup of tea for playing…

  • http://vrpr.org/ Henry

    Btw, *this* leaves me excited tonight: http://www.synthtopia.com/content/2013/10/19/dsi-prophet-12-synthesizer-module-coming-at-2014-namm-show/
    I just hope the final version will come with a few more knobs to twist and turn. And yes, this monster of a synth is indeed proof of your last paragraph above being more than valid, Peter.

    • Daniel

      Chris Hector responded to a post on the Prophet forum, saying that the interface is miles better than i.e. Mopho or Tetra desktop. He said that it will take you at worst two button presses to get to a parameter. The picture shows what’ll likely be the final interface though.

    • http://vrpr.org/ Henry

      That would indeed be quite nice. I always hate those unintuitive, menu-diving user interfaces.

  • papuna

    they announced something big, but if it is true, it is something SMALL

  • itchy

    if a company can get polyphony in this form factor.
    i will def give them my money.

  • Daniel

    A French forum did an approximation of the Microbrute’s size compared to the Minibrute. The Microbrute looks to be not much larger in than a sheet of A4 paper (in depth x width): http://imageshack.us/a/img10/1314/0dzq.jpg

  • THAT guy

    another compact monosynth. how groundbreaking and exciting.

  • Cod

    THE MICROBRUTE OVERVIEW

    LOOKS TINY. SOUNDS MASSIVE.

    MicroBrute is the tiny analog synth with vast possibilities. Based on
    the award-winning designs of its little brother, the MiniBrute, the
    MicroBrute puts all the essential building blocks of an analog classic
    into a package that’s pure hands-on fun.

    If you’re new to synths, you’re looking at one of the easiest to use and
    most unique sounding synthesizers we think money can buy. And if you’re
    a synth veteran, we think it won’t have escaped your attention that
    MicroBrute is also a seriously capable semi-modular sequence-able beast.
    Wait till you hear how it sounds.

    Rip woofers from their housings with bass. Spend years coaxing different
    pads, leads, effects, wave-folded growls, vintage tones, modern tones,
    punchy drum kits
    and glittering sequences. Process audio. Sequence analog gear. Give
    your modular a new LFO and Envelope Generator. Hook up to your DAW and
    make whole tracks. Hook up to your Drumtracks, open your door, and play a
    whole gig.

    Tiny in size, tiny in price, huge in sound, and vast in potential. We’ve had so much fun with MicroBrute: Now it’s your turn.

    ANALOG POWER

    The voice path on MicroBrute is 100% analog. This makes for superior
    sound quality and warmth. The MicroBrute will inspire your tracks. The
    purity of signal allows it to sit in the mix well.

    VINTAGE SOUND WITH MODERN CONNECTIVITY

    The MicroBrute allows you to connect to vintage gear via standard 1-Volt
    per octave CV/ Gate. The MIDI In jack makes the MicroBrute the perfect
    sound module expansion to a MIDI rig. The USB/MIDI interface will allow
    your MicroBrute to connect with your favorite software application.

    This combination of interfaces makes MicroBrute a great companion to a
    monolithic modular system, a classic MIDI equipped keyboard or a modern
    laptop

    OSCILLATOR

    The oscillator is the heart of the MicroBrute and it does not
    disappoint. It features 3 waveforms that are mixable. This allows you to
    shape the sound in limitless ways not found on any other synths. Along
    with the SAW, TRIANGLE and SQUARE waves,
    MicroBrute features waveshapers which modify and animate the sound, to
    create an even wider pallet of sonic possibilities. The new Overtone
    Oscillator will generate additional harmonic content, ranging from one
    octave down to a fifth above the base Oscillator pitch. The Sub-5th
    control will allow you to continuously sweep spectrum. Never has a
    single oscillator synth sounded so big.

    STEINER-PARKER FILTER

    The Steiner-Parker filter helps to give the MicroBrute its unique sound.
    This filter design was first used on the classic Synthacon synthesizer
    in the 1970’s. With Low pass, Band pass and High pass modes, you will
    not find more filter personalities from any other synth in this
    price…even in many synths at 3 or 4 times this price.

    STEP SEQUENCER

    Our new step sequencer is a source of endless inspiration. You can step
    input notes and rests creating rhythmic patterns that you can playback
    and switch between. Transpose your sequences up and down using the
    keyboard and you will have a new composing tool that will open up fresh
    ideas.

    MOD MATRIX

    The Mod Matrix is a patchable system of modulation routing. This
    flexible scheme gives you not only new ways to create your own sounds,
    but it allows for excellent interfacing with a

    Minibrute or modular synths

    HARDWARE SPECIFICATIONS

    - 25 Minikey keyboard

    - Octave up and down buttons allow for a full range of transpose

    options

    - Monophonic Analog synthesizer

    - Steiner-Parker multimode filter

    .Low Pass

    .Band Bass

    .High Pass

    .Bi-polar Envelope amount control

    .Keyboard tracking

    - Arturia’s famed Brute Factor

    - Voltage Controlled Oscillator

    - Oscillator waveshapers

    .Ultrasaw for creating dance anthem sounds

    .Pulse width for creating thin nasal sounds or rich square tones

    .Metalizer for creating harsh, harmonically rich sounds

    - Overtone Generator

    .additional harmonics, from 1 octave down to 5th up

    .Sub-+5th spectrum shaper

    - Oscillator Mixer (Overtone, Saw, Triangle, Square)

    - Wide range LFO with 3 waveforms

    .Saw, Triangle, Square

    .Freq range from .1Hz to 200Hz

    .Syncable to external sources, sequencer or internal

    - ADSR envelope

    - VCA with GATE and ENV modes

    - pitchbender

    - Modulation wheel (can control filter cutoff or LFO amount)

    - Mod Matrix – standard 1 Volt per octave

    .Envelope Out

    .LFO Out

    .Ultrasaw modulator In

    .Pulse width mod In

    .Metalizer In

    .Overtone/Sub modulator In

    .Cutoff In

    .Pitch In

    - External Audio Input with Input level control

    - 1/8” headphone output and 1/4” audio output

    - CV/GATE interface

    .Pitch Out

    .Gate Out

    .Gate In

    - MIDI Input

    - USB 2.0 Type B jack

    - Glide time control

    - Step Sequencer

    .Rate control knob

    .Tap Tempo button/Rest input in record mode

    .8 storeable sequences

    .PLAY and RECORD modes

    .Sync to external MIDI clock

    - 12Volt, 1Amp Center pin + DC connector

    - Weight (1.750 Kg)

    - Dimensions (325x221x60mm)

    • http://vrpr.org/ Henry

      Don’t just copy and paste. Provide your source, please.

    • Guest

      Google it! ;)

  • Cod

    THE MICROBRUTE OVERVIEW

    LOOKS TINY. SOUNDS MASSIVE.

    MicroBrute is the tiny analog synth with vast possibilities. Based on
    the award-winning designs of its little brother, the MiniBrute, the
    MicroBrute puts all the essential building blocks of an analog classic
    into a package that’s pure hands-on fun.

    If you’re new to synths, you’re looking at one of the easiest to use and
    most unique sounding synthesizers we think money can buy. And if you’re
    a synth veteran, we think it won’t have escaped your attention that
    MicroBrute is also a seriously capable semi-modular sequence-able beast.
    Wait till you hear how it sounds.

    Rip woofers from their housings with bass. Spend years coaxing different
    pads, leads, effects, wave-folded growls, vintage tones, modern tones,
    punchy drum kits
    and glittering sequences. Process audio. Sequence analog gear. Give
    your modular a new LFO and Envelope Generator. Hook up to your DAW and
    make whole tracks. Hook up to your Drumtracks, open your door, and play a
    whole gig.

    Tiny in size, tiny in price, huge in sound, and vast in potential. We’ve had so much fun with MicroBrute: Now it’s your turn.

    ANALOG POWER

    The voice path on MicroBrute is 100% analog. This makes for superior
    sound quality and warmth. The MicroBrute will inspire your tracks. The
    purity of signal allows it to sit in the mix well.

    VINTAGE SOUND WITH MODERN CONNECTIVITY

    The MicroBrute allows you to connect to vintage gear via standard 1-Volt
    per octave CV/ Gate. The MIDI In jack makes the MicroBrute the perfect
    sound module expansion to a MIDI rig. The USB/MIDI interface will allow
    your MicroBrute to connect with your favorite software application.

    This combination of interfaces makes MicroBrute a great companion to a
    monolithic modular system, a classic MIDI equipped keyboard or a modern
    laptop

    OSCILLATOR

    The oscillator is the heart of the MicroBrute and it does not
    disappoint. It features 3 waveforms that are mixable. This allows you to
    shape the sound in limitless ways not found on any other synths. Along
    with the SAW, TRIANGLE and SQUARE waves,
    MicroBrute features waveshapers which modify and animate the sound, to
    create an even wider pallet of sonic possibilities. The new Overtone
    Oscillator will generate additional harmonic content, ranging from one
    octave down to a fifth above the base Oscillator pitch. The Sub-5th
    control will allow you to continuously sweep spectrum. Never has a
    single oscillator synth sounded so big.

    STEINER-PARKER FILTER

    The Steiner-Parker filter helps to give the MicroBrute its unique sound.
    This filter design was first used on the classic Synthacon synthesizer
    in the 1970’s. With Low pass, Band pass and High pass modes, you will
    not find more filter personalities from any other synth in this
    price…even in many synths at 3 or 4 times this price.

    STEP SEQUENCER

    Our new step sequencer is a source of endless inspiration. You can step
    input notes and rests creating rhythmic patterns that you can playback
    and switch between. Transpose your sequences up and down using the
    keyboard and you will have a new composing tool that will open up fresh
    ideas.

    MOD MATRIX

    The Mod Matrix is a patchable system of modulation routing. This
    flexible scheme gives you not only new ways to create your own sounds,
    but it allows for excellent interfacing with a

    Minibrute or modular synths

    HARDWARE SPECIFICATIONS

    - 25 Minikey keyboard

    - Octave up and down buttons allow for a full range of transpose

    options

    - Monophonic Analog synthesizer

    - Steiner-Parker multimode filter

    .Low Pass

    .Band Bass

    .High Pass

    .Bi-polar Envelope amount control

    .Keyboard tracking

    - Arturia’s famed Brute Factor

    - Voltage Controlled Oscillator

    - Oscillator waveshapers

    .Ultrasaw for creating dance anthem sounds

    .Pulse width for creating thin nasal sounds or rich square tones

    .Metalizer for creating harsh, harmonically rich sounds

    - Overtone Generator

    .additional harmonics, from 1 octave down to 5th up

    .Sub-+5th spectrum shaper

    - Oscillator Mixer (Overtone, Saw, Triangle, Square)

    - Wide range LFO with 3 waveforms

    .Saw, Triangle, Square

    .Freq range from .1Hz to 200Hz

    .Syncable to external sources, sequencer or internal

    - ADSR envelope

    - VCA with GATE and ENV modes

    - pitchbender

    - Modulation wheel (can control filter cutoff or LFO amount)

    - Mod Matrix – standard 1 Volt per octave

    .Envelope Out

    .LFO Out

    .Ultrasaw modulator In

    .Pulse width mod In

    .Metalizer In

    .Overtone/Sub modulator In

    .Cutoff In

    .Pitch In

    - External Audio Input with Input level control

    - 1/8” headphone output and 1/4” audio output

    - CV/GATE interface

    .Pitch Out

    .Gate Out

    .Gate In

    - MIDI Input

    - USB 2.0 Type B jack

    - Glide time control

    - Step Sequencer

    .Rate control knob

    .Tap Tempo button/Rest input in record mode

    .8 storeable sequences

    .PLAY and RECORD modes

    .Sync to external MIDI clock

    - 12Volt, 1Amp Center pin + DC connector

    - Weight (1.750 Kg)

    - Dimensions (325x221x60mm)

  • aux

    A polyphony option would be incredible. To link the minibrute with a microbrute. At the very least, it’s got cv in and out, so if you buy 2 micros, you can have a 3 oscillator monosynth.

  • squaretooth

    There is no MIDI control of any of the parameters on the minibrute and the knobs and sliders can’t send MIDI CCs. I wonder if it’s any different on the microbrute…

  • koenig
  • David LaBrie
  • henry

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