NAMM 2018: Arturia MiniBrute 2 and RackBrute

We continue to work our way through our experiences from NAMM 2018 with the Arturia MiniBrute 2.

Arturia MiniBrute 2 and RackBrute

The original MiniBrute made quite a splash a few years ago with its all-analog signal path, usability, and low price.  It also had a sound that was distinct from other low-cost analog synths, in part because of the “Brute Factor” knob.  That knob is back in the MiniBrute 2 along with a Steiner-Parker filter that together with the Brute oscillator gives the instrument its sound.  But there is now a second oscillator, and, perhaps more significantly, a modulation matrix and patch bay.

The built-in synthesizer topology includes a lot more modulation than the original, and the patch bay allows for reconfiguration and expansion with the RackBrute Eurorack cases that integrate 3U or 6U or modules with the MiniBrute in a single case.  This does seem to be a trend we are seeing with built-in patch bays to full analog mono synths (the Moog Mother-32 being the prime example).  One can also interpret the MiniBrute 2 as incorporating ideas from the flagship MatrixBrute writ small.  The ecosystem also includes an alternate form-factor, the 2S, which has drum pads reminiscent of the BeatStep Pro instead of the keyboard.

We were only able to scratch the surface at NAMM, and also had a bit of difficulty with our video.  So we are hoping to provide a more in-depth look at this instrument both here and on CatSynth TV in the not too distant future.

CatSynth pic: Runkl and Arturia Microbrute

Runkl and Microbrute

Our feline friend Runkl is back with an Arturia Microbrute analog synthesizer from his collection.

You can see some of Runkl’s previous appearances here.

CatSynth pic: Cat, Arturia, and Nord

From i_radar (Саксаганского Стрит) on Instagram.

Появился новый синт. Пока ищу другой звук кроме “мяу” и “фррррр”…
#vsco #synth #nordelectro #arturia #catsynth #котосинт #музыканаколенке

CatSynth pic: Rupert and Arturia MiniBrute

Rupert and arturia minibrute

By Lee Tizzard via Facebook:

A down to Earth photo of my cat Rupert, relaxing with Conway Pacheco’s Arturia MiniBrute analogue synthesizer…

CatSynth video: ZiggyCat Purr FieldScaper Leaf Blower Orgy Of Noise Bill T Miller Drone Session

From Bill T Miller on YouTube, via matrixsynth.

Published on Jun 16, 2016
Ziggy Cat & Bill T Miller of Orgy Of Noise studio recording session at Headroom Studios Boston on December 5, 2015 (couple days before ZBC Radio appearance) – http://billtmiller.com/12.05.15.bill….

BTM RIG with FieldScaper iPad App with Ziggy Cat Purr & Leaf Blower Drone Samples controlled by Arturia Mini Lab Keyboard & custom BTM Spring-O-Phone instrument with Korg Mini-Kaoss Pad for Delay. (Moog Mother-32 Synth is pictured, but not used on this composition.)

Directed & Edited by Bill T Miller
Cameras: Bill T Miller & Sheri Hausey
Co-Producer / Assistant Editor: Ziggy Cat

X-tra THANX to Ziggy & Sheri
and Igor Vasiliev for creating FieldScaper & SoundScaper apps
and to DJ Deftly-D & DJ Josh B at WZBC Radio.

http://OrgyOfNoise.com

CatSynth pic: Cat, Korg MS-20 mini, and Arturia BeatStep

Cat and Korg MS-20 mini

Cat with a Korg MS-20 mini synthesizer and Arturia Beatstep. Submitted by ‎Randal Darabosh via our Facebook page.

∂J ƒ®åN

CatSynth pic: Lester and Arturia Minibrute

Lester and Arturia Minibrute

Long time reader and fan Jen Grover shared this adorable picture of her young cat Lester with an Arturia Minibrute synthesizer.  We think they make quite a pair 🙂

 

NAMM 2016: Arturia MatrixBrute

When first saw previous of the MatrixBrute from Arturia, I was sure it was a hoax. The synthesizer in the images was huge and monstrous mix of everything, and I figured it must be a riff on Arturia’s well received compact analog synths, the MiniBrute and MicroBrute. But the MatrixBrute is in fact real, and his here at NAMM.

Arturia MatrixBrute

And it is a beast! It has a fully analog signal path headed by three “Brute” oscillators (the same ones found in Arturia’s smaller analog synths), plus both a Steiner filter and a traditional ladder filter. It has a lot of knobs for controlling…everything, as well as 12 CV inputs and outputs in addition to Trigger CV, and of course MIDI. The place where this machine gets both very powerful and a bit overwhelming is in the modulation matrix. The matrix is literally that, an array of 256 LED buttons that can be used to route from anything to anything.

Arturia MatrixBrute closeup of modulation matrix

This is not new, modulation matrices have been part of synthesizer architecture for a long time. But seeing it laid out on a panel like this in more unusual. It makes it both powerful and immediate – one can just press any of the buttons at any time. But it also a bit difficult to get the hang of. It’s challenging to keep track of and predict what a particular matrix configuration will do. In this video, you can see my attempt to play this instrument, including the matrix points.

It’s quite difficult, but presumably someone one can master with patience and practice (and a quieter listening environment). One thing that I would have expected from a synth of this magnitude is polyphony, like the much more modest Korg Minilogue. The MatrixBrute is monophonic/duophonic. Polyphony in an analogue synth is no small feat, but I would have liked to see it. Nonetheless, coming in at just under $2000, it does have quite a lot to offer.

CatSynth pic: Slinky and Synths

Slinky and synths

From Steven Franks‎ via our Facebook page.

“Slinky, my big boy, guarding my gear.”

Slinky has a quite a synth collection. How many of the synths can you identify? 🙂

CatSynth pic: Sweet Spot (Arturia MiniBrute)

Cat with MiniBrute

Submitted by ⓉⒺⒸⒽℕ⌽▃ⒾⒹ●⒞⒪⒨ via Twitter.