MATRIXSYNTH: Arturia Minibrute 2 | Little Monster

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Arturia Minibrute 2 | Little Monster


Published on Sep 3, 2019 Alex Ball

"Arturia kindly sent me a Minibrute 2 and so I made a track with it.

As I’m sure you know, the MiniBrute 2 came out last year and is the successor to the original MiniBrute (2012) with both being modern analogue monosynths with some nice features.

Oscillator 1 has mixable sawtooth with ultrasaw, square wave with pulse width, triangle with metalizer and noise.

Oscillator 2 is simpler with sine, saw and square. It can also run as an LFO.

There is a great sounding resonant Steiner-Parker multimode filter with low pass, high pass, band pass and notch modes. It can self-oscillate.

There’s two dedicated LFOs that can be sync’d or free running.

There’s two envelopes (ADSR and AR) and the latter can loop.

There’s “brute factor” which is an on board overdrive that can get quite extreme (in a good way).

There’s a pitch wheel, mod wheel, aftertouch, an arpeggiator, a sequencer, USB and Midi in and out.

There’s also a comprehensive patch bay that really opens things out and also allows the MiniBrute to connect to Eurorack rigs. In fact there is a whole RackBrute that the MiniBrute can bolt onto via connections on its side panels.

The test for me was “Can I get up and running quickly and get some musical results” and the answer was “absolutely”. I patched in a sync’d bass sound and setup the envelopes and filter and it sounded great. I made a bunch of drum sounds and effects and sampled them for a rhythm track. I also made a couple of lead sounds that you hear in the track and everything sounded really good.

To give a balanced view I’ll list a couple of small niggles. Firstly, I’m not a fan of two octave keyboards, although the Minibrute is designed to be small of course – the clue is in the name!

Secondly the build quality is pretty solid, but the sliders felt a little plasticy (which they are of course) but by contrast the potentiometers were smooth and robust.

Whilst the above is nit-picking really and not really to do with the sound, the one real issue I found was that the tuning would drift and need nudging at fairly regular intervals. I’m not sure if that’s just my unit or that it needs some wearing in or whether they all drift, so let me know if you’ve found the same.

But overall, as an affordable true analogue synth with some instant features and some much deeper ones, I think the Minibrute 2 is a very cool and convenient product that casts a wide net in terms of its potential end users."

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