Arturia MicroBrute Analogue Synthesizer

Arturia

$679.00 
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The MicroBrute is new but carries the award-winning heritage of its big brother, the MiniBrute.

The MicroBrute was designed to be small but still retain an amazing sound quality. With a 100% pure analog voice path and advanced interconnectablity via MIDI, USB, CV/GATE, this machine is a true powerhouse synthesizer that takes your sound to a new level.

The largest Oscillator sound around

The VCO on the MicroBrute is unique in the synthesizer world. It features the ability to mix waveforms in variable amounts as opposed to simple ON/OFF switches that are found on many synths at four times the price. The sound possibilities don’t stop there. Each waveform has wave modifiers that allow even further tonal variations. While many synths need two or three oscillators to get a somewhat big sound, the MicroBrute is able to achieve a much wider tonal range with its one oscillator.

Overtone

For the MicroBrute we redesigned our sub-oscillator from the ground up. The new OVERTONE sub allows for the typical -1 octave square wave that thickens up the bottom end but goes beyond this with the Overtone control. The Overtone control allows you to bring in more complex harmonics that when turned all the way up result in the oscillator changing pitch to a 5th above the root. This allows for some classic sounding leads and fatter basses. This control can even be modulated with the ENVELOPE or LFO via the mod matrix which creates some amazing new sounds never heard from a synth oscillator before.

Ultrasaw

The Ultrasaw builds two phase-shifted copies of the basic sawtooth signal. This effect, when turned up, gives you a slight thickening of the sound as it udplicates the sound of two saw oscillators close to the same pitch. You can then use the MOD MATRIX to route the LFO to the SAW which will add a third saw sound and allow to simulate a wider detuning effect. This one saw wave can now sound like a three oscillator synth by itself.

Metalizer

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 a hard sync sweep type of sound that is perfect for hardcore bass sounds or tearing leads. The ENVELOPE has a default routing to this parameter via the MOD MATRIX. Just turn up the ENVELOPE amount control, adjust your envelope to an interesting setting and you will hear the effect take hold.

Modulation Beast

The MicroBrute comes with a full featured LFO and a standard ADSR type Envelope. The routing of these modulation sources are configured in the MOD MATRIX. No other synth in this price range allows for this kind of flexibility.

The MOD MATRIX allows you to control many aspects of the voice for different internal sources as well as opening the door to controlling them by external synths and modules. The MOD MATRIX has two default routings :

  • ENV > METALIZER
  • LFO > PITCH

This allows you the typical LFO/MODWHEEL vibrato control as well as having the envelope add modulation to the Metalizer.

NOTE that the ENV is always routed to the filter and there is a separate ENV AMOUNT control in the filter itself.This default routing can be overridden by simply inserting one of the patch cords into either the mod output or input jacks. You can then patch in your own routings.

The mod wheel allows for manual control of either the filter cutoff or the LFO amount. This allows you to play the modulation in real-time adding character and interest to your musical passage.

A standard ADSR (Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release) envelope can be used for controlling the filter cutoff and the amplitude directly. You can then patch the output via the mod matrix and use the AMOUNT control to effect the pitch, Metalizer, pulse width or any other control destination in the MOD MATRIX.

Steiner-Parker Filter

So what does MicroBrute sound like?

MicroBrute 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 gives you a Lowpass mode like most other synths, but also Bandpass, and High-pass, making it a highly versatile and praised boutique filter.

The MicroBrute 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.

Many synths at well over twice the price of MicroBrute come with only a single low pass filter and many modular synth companies sell their version of this classic filter for more than the total price of the MicroBrute.

Brute Factor™

The Brute Factor™ was inspired by a patch made on a famous vintage synthesizer. User would connect the headphone output to the external audio input resulting in a kind of feedback loop that is ideal for raspy and grungy sounds. This patch has been adapted and implemented internally first in the MiniBrute and now in the MicroBrute.

With low Brute Factor™ settings, you will hear a gradual depth and roundness to the bottom end. When turned up above about 65% however, the MicroBrute 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!

Microbrute as an Audio Processor ?

MicroBrute is more than a synthesizer. It allows a return to audio experimentation by giving you the ability to process external sounds though it. The MicroBrute has an audio input with a pop-up trim pot for level controls on the rear panel. This will allow you to process any other sounds like voice, guitar or other synths through the MicroBrute’s filter, Brute Factor™, and final output stages.

Step Sequencer

We have added a new step sequencer for the MicroBrute. The step sequencer harkens back to some other step sequencer designs of the 80s but updates them in a way that goes beyond belief.

The step sequencer allows for eight different sequences. These sequences can have up to 64 steps each and are stored in internal memory so that when you power down, they are retained.

You input the notes that you want one at a time and can insert rests using the TAP TEMPO button to create rhythmic patterns. Once you have your sequences, you can choose between many different ways to trigger and play your sequences.

NOTE On or continuous play modes allow you to choose whether the sequence will only play when a key is pressed or to start immediately when the control switch is moved to PLAY.

When you change sequences while playing there are options to choose an immediate change to the new sequence or to have it play the current one to the end before changing.

There are even more controls that are accessible via the free editor software that allow you to tailor the sequencer to your particular likes.

So now you have your eight sequences but you want to make more AND you don’t want to lose your current ones ? Simple. Using the editor software you can import and export your sequences to your computer for archiving.

CONNECTIVITY

Audio In

Audio processing of external sources is possible with the Audio Input.

You can run your drums through the MicroBrute's filter and Brute Factor™. Shape the sound or modulate a vocal part. Use the external input along with a sequence that is modulating the filter to get some great rhythmic tonal changes to a guitar solo or bass line. The possibilities are endless.

MIDI/USB

The MicroBrute allows full connectivity to the modern world. We are seeing a wealth of new low cost analog products that are leaving this critical functionality off, which relegates them to the toybox and not the professional studio.

The MicroBrute features USB 2.0 MIDI input and output and responds to MIDI notes, modwheel, pitch bend and will sync to MIDI clock.

The 5 Pin DIN MIDI Input allows you to use the MicroBrute as a sound module with a full sized keyboard giving you a wider range of playability.

CV/Gate

MicroBrute supports the standard 1 Volt per octave format found on most modern modular synthesizers, but also on the MiniBrute. This make the MicroBrute a great addition to both modular users and MiniBrute users.

MiniBrute users can have the sequencer of the MicroBrute drive the MiniBrute via CV/GATE. They can use the envelope and LFO CV outputs to add a third env and LFO to your MiniBrute via the Filter, Pitch or VCA inputs.

Modular users can use the MicroBrute's sequencer, keyboard, envelope and LFO to add a vast amount of functionality to their modulars. Modular users would typically spend more money for a Steiner-Parker filter alone (which you could also use via the audio input) much less the other controls that are available.

Audio In

Audio processing of external sources is possible with the Audio Input.

You can run your drums through the MicroBrute's filter and Brute Factor™. Shape the sound or modulate a vocal part. Use the external input along with a sequence that is modulating the filter to get some great rhythmic tonal changes to a guitar solo or bass line. The possibilities are endless.

MIDI/USB

The MicroBrute allows full connectivity to the modern world. We are seeing a wealth of new low cost analog products that are leaving this critical functionality off, which relegates them to the toybox and not the professional studio.

The MicroBrute features USB 2.0 MIDI input and output and responds to MIDI notes, modwheel, pitch bend and will sync to MIDI clock.

The 5 Pin DIN MIDI Input allows you to use the MicroBrute as a sound module with a full sized keyboard giving you a wider range of playability.

Sequencer details

Import/Export

So now that you have your sequences, you want to save them and clear them out to create some more. Using the software editor, you can import and export your sequences to your computer.

8 Patterns

The built in step sequencer allows for quick and creative pattern making. It has 8 sequences that can be up to 64 steps each. They are remembered on power off so you won't lose them.

Simply put the mode switch to REC, start pressing notes on the keyboard and entering rests using the Tap Tempo buttons. When you are finished, just move the mode switch back to OFF or PLAY when you are finished. It is that easy.

Multiple Modes

The Step sequencer allows for a number of trigger modes and playback modes. These are set in using the free editor software that you can download from the Arturia web page.

You can choose the time base from the following step sizes 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32. You can have the sequences trigger from the Keyboard or start playing right when you select PLAY.

You can have the sequences play to the end when you switch them or have them change immediately... and more.

Import/Export

So now that you have your sequences, you want to save them and clear them out to create some more. Using the software editor, you can import and export your sequences to your computer.

8 Patterns

The built in step sequencer allows for quick and creative pattern making. It has 8 sequences that can be up to 64 steps each. They are remembered on power off so you won't lose them.

Simply put the mode switch to REC, start pressing notes on the keyboard and entering rests using the Tap Tempo buttons. When you are finished, just move the mode switch back to OFF or PLAY when you are finished. It is that easy.

SOUNDS

Effects

By using the modulation matrix, the high speed LFO and the audio inputs, you have a great effects machine. It can create great analog drum sounds, hype modulated FM sounding tones, as well as uncontrolled Brute Factor™ kaos.

Bass

Huge, deep, round, cutting, thin, sharp, full, nasty, brutal... these words barely scratch the surface of ways to describe the bass sounds that you can get from MicroBrute

Leads/Sequences

The MicroBrute has a wealth of sound possibilities, more than any analog synth in its price range and even above. The voice layout, number of oscillator tonal possibilities, filter combinations and modulation routings will keep you going for years.

Effects

By using the modulation matrix, the high speed LFO and the audio inputs, you have a great effects machine. It can create great analog drum sounds, hype modulated FM sounding tones, as well as uncontrolled Brute Factor™ kaos.

Bass

Huge, deep, round, cutting, thin, sharp, full, nasty, brutal... these words barely scratch the surface of ways to describe the bass sounds that you can get from MicroBrute

Why did you leave off batteries ?

When you see the small size of the MicroBrute it is natural to say “They should have made it use batteries ; I can’t believe they didn’t think of this”.

Well, we did think of this but decided to leave this option out for really good reasons.

Sound quality was key. Using high current parts with larger voltage rails to get real sound means that more power is required. This is why so many battery powered synths sound like toys and not like speaker destroying monsters of sound.

After looking at battery options and realizing that most people have accessible power, want to protect the environment and don’t want a small synth that weighs 20 pounds, we decided that it was not worth the sacrifices needed to have it battery powered.

Box content

  • MicroBrute synthesizer.
  • User manual.
  • Preset sheets.
  • Power supply.
  • 2 mini jack patch cords.

Size & weight

  • Instrument size : 325x221x60mm
  • Instrument weight : 1.750 Kg

Main Features

  • Monophonic synthesizer
  • 100% Analog Audio Signal Path
  • Steiner-Parker 2 pole Multimode Filter (Low Pass, Band Pass, High Pass)
  • Analog Voltage Controlled Oscillator
  • Oscillator Mixer (Overtone, Sawtooth, Square, Triangle, audio in (on rear panel))
  • ‘Overtone’ sub oscillator/5th generator
  • Signal Enhancers :
    • Pulse Width Modulation
    • Ultrasaw generating fat sawtooth waveforms
    • Metalizer bringing extreme harmonics
  • Brute Factor™ delivering saturation and rich harmonics
  • LFO with 3 waveforms (Sine, Sawtooth, Square)
  • LFO clock syncable to Arpeggiator (Arpeg, or free).
  • ADSR Envelope Generator
  • Keyboard Tracking on the VCF Cutoff
  • 25 note minikey keyboard
  • Mod Wheel (assignable to Cutoff, or LFO amount)
  • Pitch Wheel (with selectable bend range via software)
  • Octave selector from -2 to +2 octaves
  • External Analog Audio Input
  • CV In jacks: Pitch, Filter, sub-harmonics, pulse width, metalizer, saw animator
  • CV Out jacks: pitch, envelope, LFO
  • MIDI Inwith 5 pin DIN connector
  • USB MIDI In/Out
  • 1/4” Audio Output and 1/8” Headphone Output
  • Full Function step sequencer :
    • 8 memories
    • up to 64 steps per memory
    • tap tempo
    • rate control
    • step divisions (via software)
    • trigger modes (via software)
  • MIDI Sync
  • Steel bottom panel
  • 12V DC 1A power supply

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