My Arturia MiniBrute Synthesizer Review
Founded in Grenoble, France, in 1999, Arturia specialises in the development of music software and hardware for professional and amateur musicians.
They create original and different instruments, imagine new experiences and reinvent products.
My Initial Thoughts
The Arturia MiniBrute is truly something special.
Arturia eschews the modern trend of moving all synth controls to the virtual world, and opts instead for an approach that seems anachronistic at first, but reveals itself to be thoroughly modern on further inspection.
An impressed user could write many pages about this product, but this review will attempt to boil things down to only the most important characteristics.
With that in mind, let us get started.
Check the Price on Amazon
Feel, Specifications, Dimensions, and Integrations
As previously mentioned, this is a very old-fashioned analog synth, designed to be used on its own, as it is crammed full of all the classic features one would expect from a synth.
In terms of hardware, the primary surface of this synth is subdivided into two main sections.
The keyboard takes up the lower end of the front surface, with 25 piano keys.
These are made to feel luxurious and high end, and are velocity and pressure sensitive.
On the left hand side, just above the keyboard, octave controls can be found, which allow you to shift the keyboard to the pitch of your choosing.
The more important features of this synthesizer, are located above the keyboard, and they are organized into thematic clusters, according to functionality.
Let us take a look at some of these features in more detail in the next section.
Advanced Features and Performance
There are a number of fascinating controls on this synthesizer that really make this product stand out, both in terms of design, as well as the functionality it offers.
The first major sound processing feature are the oscillator controls, which also include controls for sub-oscillators.
This will allow you to fine tune complex sounds exactly to your liking.
The next array of knobs controls the high and low pass filters, which allow you to control the intensity and timing of your filtering effects to perfection in any performance.
The special feature of the Arturia MiniBrute is an effect called the Brute Factor, which adds drive to the sound, as well as modulation effects.
There are also two stage 4 envelopes, which allow for extra sharp attacks, or extra long release times.
Next to this array is the Arpeggiator, which allows for instant melodic phrases, and it even syncs to the MIDI clock in order to be in time with the track.
Pros & Cons of MiniBrute
Great piano keys
A great variety of different controls
Old school design
Too few keys
No screen at all
Controls not backlit
A bit too clunky
My Final Thoughts
The Arturia MiniBrute really lives up to its name in terms of the shear power it delivers at the user’s fingertips.
This experience is further enhanced by the tactile sensation of all the different knobs and controls, without sacrificing the possibilities that come with digital software.
This review couldn’t fit all the features of this synth, so you should definitely check it out in more depth for yourself.