The Microbrute is a monophonic synthesiser with a true analog signal path. It’s small and easy to get to grips with. It contains the standard oscillator, filter, envelope generator modules that made analog synthesis so great but it’s also added a few other things to make it even better and it’s great for beginners and experts alike. The ARTURIA MicroBrute doesn’t suffer from the tuning problems of older analog synths; it’s always in tune unless you don’t want it to be!
Take the oscillator, it’s got controls to mix all three wave forms together, that’s triangle, saw-tooth and pulse, which is good enough but then you’ve got a sub oscillator that can also produce fifths. You’ve got an ultra-saw control, an overtone control and a metalizer! To have one of these extra controls would make most die-hard synth fans happy but to get all of these extras is pretty mind blowing. Especially when you consider what you can do with them. It seems impossible to turn the knobs and not to produce a fantastic sound. These extra controls warp, fold and twist the sound to new extreme. When you create them you can’t help but imagine them in your own songs.
Most filters will only give you low pass filtering but the MicroBrute gives you band pass and high pass, not only that but you also get the brute factor control. A sort of feedback/distortion but more, again you really have to hear it to believe it.
The envelope generator is one of the fastest I’ve heard for a long time, it’s great for percussive and snappy sounds and the low frequency oscillator can also be synchronised enternally.
People with other gear will love the Microbrutes interfacability. Apart from midi in and out and the audio input that goes through the filter, you also get modulation outputs from the envelope and the lfo and modulation inputs for pitch, filter, pulse width along with the more esoteric sawtooth, sub and metalizer, you can even link them together in various ways to give you even more possibilities. You even get a couple of little patch leads to start you off.
As if you weren’t already impressed enough the icing on the cake is the sequencer, monophonic synths go hand in hand with step sequencers so that’s exactly what Arturia have given you here on the Microbrute except as with the synth they’ve gone further and given you 8 different sequences of up to 64 notes.
Arturia started out as a music software design company, mainly producing emulations of vintage analog gear. They covered the Minimoog, the Arp 2600 and the Moog modular V, pretty impressive stuff. Having achieved success in the software world they branched out into the hardware one staying true to what they love and produced a cracking little monosynth.
The fact that the Microbrute can’t be run from batteries has been mentioned as a criticism. I cant really imagine why you would want to? There’s no internal speaker so you would have to use an external amplifier anyway. This is a serious piece of music making equipment, not a toy! If I were to be picky and criticise something I would have to say I’m not a fan of the small keyboard but then I know its a small device and you cant have everything.
The ARTURIA MicroBrute comes from a time when synthesisers didn’t have patch memories; it means you won’t sound like everyone else. You even get patch sheets like the old days.
In next to no time you’ll be creating fantastic original sounds. It is so much fun to play with and it makes the type of sounds you will love.
The feeling of turning the knobs and sliders and getting an immediate response is something you really have to try. Using a softsynth won’t ever be the same after you’ve played with one of these.
You can be confident that having one of these synths in your studio will enhance your music making experience significantly.
If you’re interested in synthesisers you can’t fail to be seriously impressed. I know I was.