MATRIXSYNTH: Arturia Polybrute - IT'S FINALLY HERE!! First Few Patches!

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Arturia Polybrute - IT'S FINALLY HERE!! First Few Patches!

video by Lost Clouds

"After a few months of deliberation I decided to pull the trigger on the PolyBrute - here's the first 4 patches I came up within the first hour of working with this thing, it's a dream so far :) Some more general thoughts:

- This thing is HEAVY - 20kg is more than you'd think and I wouldn't dare risk this on the upper tier of my 2-tier stand (rated to 25kg, but no thank you...) or any cheap stands. On the plus side, all that weight comes from incredible build quality - the wood is gorgeous, and the metal is a much nicer look in person. Feels super sturdy!

- Including a paper manual is always a welcome addition, and as far as manuals go this one is fairly nice to look at, there's even colour on the front!!

- As others have noted the keys feel a little spongey - I wasn't too sure about this at first but I'm starting to really like it. It feels nice to play and, imo, makes velocity-sensitive routings a bit easier to work with compared with other, more 'solid' key actions I've dealt with

- The first calibration is slow. I'm hoping this is just a factory-reset sort of calibration and not something I need to do every time I turn the synth on? Haven't turned it off yet since it arrived 4 hours ago...

- The oscillators were initially out of tune and drifted out of tune again after a couple of hours, granted it's been pretty warm in my room today. Had to calibrate the oscillators twice, but thankfully it's a little quicker than the initial calibration. Hoping this is normal and I don't have a buggy unit?

- This thing sounds really, really good - I tried out a few of the presets, and they're fun, but I almost immediately went to making my own because that's where all the fun is! Everything is immediately accessible, the oscillators sound good and quite hefty (see the first part of the video below where the bass notes really cut through and add some weight to the sound). Things are laid out quite differently on Arturia synths compared to others, and this is my first Arturia, so it's taking some getting used to but it's all very intuitive. It's quite a modern sound, I can't get it into vintage, Bladerunner-style territory very easily, but that just means it'll be a nice compliment to the Rev2.

- It is a blast to explore. I've been at it for a few hours and I've barely scratched the surface. Definitely one you can lose yourself in for hours at a time.

- The sequencer is INCREDIBLE - programming and messing around with a polyphonic sequence is easy, and the integration with the mod matrix to show steps, notes and modulations is genius. I'm really not sure there's much more they could do on this to make it better, but time will tell!!

I do have a couple of fairly minor 'issues':

- It would be nice if the screen could display the value a knob/slider is at, like the Rev2 or Peak does, and if there was a "Show" feature like on Sequential synths where you hold "Show", turn a knob and it tells you where it's at

- I'm yet to RTFM but I can't see any way to change the length of a sequence to a number of your choosing (e.g. 5 steps)?

- The output level is a bit lower than other synths I own, which isn't necessarily a problem but I definitely have to use the pre-amps on my Scarlett 18i8 whereas with others (Peak or Sub37 in particular) I can get away with running them into the line inputs. Not a criticism, just an observation.

Overall, very very pleased and excited to keep exploring."

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