Arturia Minibrute

[Picture of the Arturia Minibrute synthesiser]

This synth had the unfortunate honour of arriving on my doorstep about two days after my Minimoog Model D. As a result, it was somewhat neglected for a while as my undivided attention was given to the Moog. I couldn't split myself in two, could I?

Although this is a one oscillator synth, all the waveforms (saw, triangle, and square) are simultaneously accessible via mixing faders. Each waveform has a neat feature, the most commonly available being that the square has a variable pulse width which can also be modulated via the LFO or filter envelope. The saw wave has an "Ultrasaw" feature which simulates the sound of several slightly detuned oscillators. The triangle has a wave folder which gives a slightly metallic timbre, hence why Arturia named it the "Metaliser". This feature can also be modulated by the LFO or filter envelope. Throw in a white noise source and a sub-oscillator that can produce a sine or square wave one or two octaves below, you have plenty of sound to process with the filter.

Oh yes, the filter. It's a Steiner-Parker diode filter selectable between low pass, band pass, high pass and notch. This means that it has a 12dB per octave slope. This filter is what sets it apart from most of it's current contemporaries - i.e. it doesn't have a clone of the Moog transistor ladder filter. Sure, it's not as fat as the Moog filter but I already have one in my Minimoog as well as my modular. (Admittedly, my modular has many different kinds of filters.) The Minibrute's filter is versatile, sounds great, and can get rather harsh and squirty when its resonance is cranked.

At the risk of sounding like an advertising brochure by going on about its other features like the LFO, arpeggiator, audio feedback, etc, I will end the description by saying that it has both MIDI and CV/gate inputs and outputs. That is damn sweet. It can also be used as a MIDI or CV/gate keyboard and also does MIDI or USB to CV conversion. That is neat!


Am I happy? Yes I'm happy! I waited months for Arturia to release this sonofabitch while I sighed in mild disappointment as the release date got pushed back again and again. Now that I have one, I'm not disappointed. I jack this bugger into my modular, I use it on it's own, it can arpeggiate my Minimoog, I can sequence it with my x0xb0x, and I can piss off the neighbours with it.

Yes, it pleases me to no end that a small and affordable mass produced synth like this is available. Thank you Arturia. Hopefully other manufacturers take notice and follow suit rather than making a virtualised abortion of their analogue past like Roland seems to do time and time again.

I'll shut up now...