Arturia MatrixBrute Analog Synthesizer Brings Back Matrix Synth Patching

Arturia_MatrixBrute-closeup_hands

Music software and hardware developer Arturia has introduced its MatrixBrute Analog Synthesizer at the 2016 NAMM Show.

The MatrixBrute is a programmable monophonic / duophonic analog synthesizer, outfitted with three ‘Brute’ oscillators, Steiner-Parker and ladder filters, three envelope generators, analogue effects and a matrix-style modulation matrix.

Arturia_MatrixBrute-front

The modulation matrix at the heart of MatrixBrute offers thousands of potential modulation routings: assign any of 16 modulation sources to any of 16 modulation destinations (in MOD mode) and set the amounts of each modulation routing using the dedicated data encoder. Four of these destinations are user-programmable and can be seen in MaxiBrute’s E Ink (Electronic Ink) display.

The matrix also allows presets to be recalled at the touch of a (dedicated) button, in PRESET mode. 256 pre-programmed professional presets are available (or recall one of your own original sound creations).

Finally, the matrix can also be used as a 64-step sequencer, with separate STEP, ACCENT, SLIDE, and MODULATION options in SEQ mode.

To help maintain a 100% analogue signal path, MatrixBrute also incorporates true analog effects to its stereo output. You can chose from chorus, delay, and flanger with five operational modes. And you can use any of the analog effects as modulation destinations in the matrix.

Arturia_MatrixBrute-wide-view

The MatrixBrute isn’t just a bigger MiniBrute. It’s been maxed out to deliver better sound and more sonic options.

Some of its features include:

  • Four-mode STEINER FILTER (upgraded to support both 12dB/oct and 24dB/ oct slopes.
  • Dedicated Drive control for creating thicker sounds).
  • Three-mode LADDER FILTER, with 12dB/oct and 24dB/oct slopes, alongside another dedicated Drive control.
  • Three VCOs, each equipped with a sub-oscillator, as well as Saw, Pulse, and Triangle waveforms, with the ‘Brute’ sound of the MatrixBrute’s smaller siblings, the MiniBrute and MicroBrute synths.
  • 49-note (full-size) keyboard (featuring both velocity-sensitivity and aftertouch).

Arturia_MatrixBrute-back-view

Around the back, the MatrixBrute is designed with some serious connectivity:

  • Control voltage interfacing in abundance (12 CV inputs and 12 CV outputs to interface with any standard 1V/oct modular gear);
  • AUDIO IN (line and instrument levels allow for adding an external oscillator from a favourite modular synth or processing a guitar or other instrument through the filters, VCA, and analogue effects);
  • GATE In and Out (to trigger external gear or trigger the internal envelopes remotely);
  • SYNC In and Out (to synchronise the internal sequencer and arpeggiator with external devices);
  • Standard MIDI In, Out, and Thru (to connect to both modern and vintage gear alike);
  • USB I/O (to interface to a computer-based DAW directly and also use the free editor/librarian software);
  • PEDALS (Expression 1, Expression 2, and Sustain inputs to provide realtime control); and
  • MASTER OUT (stereo master outputs on 1/4-inch jacks).

Here’s the official intro video:

Pricing and Availability

The Arturia MatrixBrute Analog Synthesizer is expected to be available for purchase in Spring 2016 directly from Arturia online, or via Arturia’s network of dealers and retailers. Official pricing is TBA. For more detailed information, please visit the MatrixBrute Analog Synthesizer product page on the Arturia website.

85 thoughts on “Arturia MatrixBrute Analog Synthesizer Brings Back Matrix Synth Patching

    1. Yves Usson (designer of the Brute series) said the list price would be $1800. I’m not sure if that’s a confirmed price or an approximate estimation.

    1. Interesting. I’m going to wait for the Eurorack version, though.

      Kidding! If they can indeed deliver that for $1800 – that’s extremely impressive.

      BTW – I was also very impressed with the demo video: it was short, fast-moving, excellent production values and snappy music that gave the synth an opportunity to shine, and I loved how they showed off each set of controls and even the I/o on the back. It’s like they’re saying “We’ve got nothing to hide! Look at all of this great stuff!” And also, they compressed about an hour’s time reading a manual into a few minutes. If there’s an Academy Award for demo videos, this one deserves it.

      I confess that when I first saw the ad, I thought it was a softsynth. Then I was like “is it April already?” I think that the only thing they got wrong is the tag line – I’d propose “when was the last time an analog synthesizer gave you an erection?”

  1. Could they implement a midi clock send in their old products first, please? Support for the MiniBrute was horrible.. they abandoned it as soon as the MicroBrute was out… I doubt this will receive the support it needs, and it’ll probably prevent them from ever fixing the remaining problems in the MiniBrute.

    1. I’m sure you’ll love your Sub37 anyway but if you were on the fence and didn’t have the foresight to wait until after NAMM, that wasn’t great planning. You know there is always going to be something offered there that really excites you. The NAMM coverage for the Sub37 is why I ordered that they next day.

    2. Don’t freak, man – I’ve got a Sub37 and I love it a lot*. But if Arturia can really deliver this beast for circa $1800 – I’ve got a *lot* of love in me.

      * seriously: you will never regret buying a Sub37. (The Usual Disclaimers, I shill for no-one).

    3. Never regret buying a Moog. I guarantee you the Sub 37 is better quality. This thing seems a little gimmicky IMHO. I’d wager in the long run the Sub 37 is going to hold up better.

  2. Like many others, this wasn’t what I expected to be the next synth in the Brute-line. My wallet is already afraid.

    But since there needs to be a balance to the brute force and not just love: I wish they played som more Rush-like stuff in the video.

  3. Good job, Arturia with your “mic drop” announcement. Going to say this is an instant contender for synth of the year. Can’t wait for sonic state review.

      1. Well…breakdown is the right word.

        Because this thing will never work up to specs given Arturias past. And it will never be supported.

  4. it´s BIG….ahm…minikeys?…ohh no minikeys..i don´t buy.

    ( if…then i would be interested in a smaller version without the keys…)
    but seems to has a lot of possibilities to connect with other gear including CV/GATE/MIDI…and well the matrix is kind of nice…

    not that bad…could be interesting for some people.

  5. gotta say, on first impression this looks like a lot of fun….. price point will be a factor, and arturia (as mentioned above) have had issues with updates and customer support, hopefully this will deliver!

  6. You have to wonder how Arturia wil support this synth, i had an Origin and it was a nightmare. And the CEO told me point blank at Messe that they nearly lost the company because of it and thus any future OS development has been halted. A $2800 piece of gear that I had to hack to resolve some of the most egregious bugs.

  7. i need to hear more audio demos

    and a few demos with other Arturia products hooked up to it
    – the mini and micro brutes + the beatstep pro

    i love the fact that they went BIG …..
    instead of releasing
    a tiny synth with micro controls only a child could use

  8. Yes, the Origin was a dream in concept, but a nightmare in reality. If it worked as promised, it would have been the best polyphonic / multitimbral synthesizer ever, but it didn’t, and Arturia buried their heads in the sand about it.

  9. You have to wonder how Arturia wil support this synth, i had an Origin and it was a nightmare. And the CEO told me point blank at Messe that they nearly lost the company because of it and thus any future OS development has been halted. A $2800 piece of gear that I had to hack to resolve some of the most egregious bugs.

    As for this, it seems interesting and it is one of the worst “professional” adverts I have seen

  10. As much as I like synths, the face that most of them are monophonic these days is a same. I really want to play chords on top of melodies, not just make cool one note octave bass lines.

  11. I can see why Moog halted production of the Voyager; they’re going to be building this synth for Arturia instead. Nice.

    Despite the striking physical design similarities, this looks like a bad ass synth. Looking forward toward the reviews and will watch and see how the support goes.

    1. Me too, but if that sequencer has a couple of simultaneous tracks and can drive external gear, this is even better for me.

    1. HA, in the “I Dream of Wires” documentary the guy who invented Eurorack, Dieter Döpfer, makes this point. He keeps selling all these weird boutique synths, but who is making music with them. He even said something like “I hope that sometimes these guys press record.”

      So let’s hope for some killer synth tracks in 2016!

  12. Best sign for the future: E Ink displays. Been waiting to see this for years. Looking forward to a nice labelable MIDI controller laid out like a synth from Arturia now.

    1. this is why i still use my Novation X-Station to this day – cannot understand these guys who make synth controllers then just lay it out like, here’ s 8 pots, 8 sliders and 8 buttons. give us controllers that are laid out like actual synths!

    2. yeah surprised it’s taken this long.

      tbh, I love matrices, but I don’t see the point of having so many when they could have 3* with larger buttons, pages and e-ink to remind you what’s going on on the others.

      why 3? 1 is user assignable. 1 takes you the matrix you want and 1 is the matrix. lol

      so I’m hoping for a ‘cutdown’ version that imo would likely actually be more managable.

      1. Is somebody actually asking for less knobs on an analog synth? I’ll take as much hands on control as I can get. With a beast like this space is irrelevant, I’ll definitely make the room.

  13. Now, this certainly dropped as a bomb – I believe the Voyager just got some serious competition! Beautiful design and that foldable panel is just lovely! Even though I am not 100% convinced about the S-P filter, this certainly seems like an incredible music instrument. And with normal sized keys too – amazing! Now what may the price range be here, I wonder….. oh heck, it doesn’t matter, I know already that I would bang my head against the wall if I let this one slip through.

    1. the low end on the brute filters could use some more power but i assume that’s what the drive is for.

      i do love their filters though.

  14. the only thing I think would make this better would be if you could send multiple channels/sequences from the device so you could use it as a control center, plug like a drum and synth to it and be self contained setup still amazingly cool – man this year’s NAMM kinda rules

  15. IF this is really $1800, I’m about to blow your mind:

    You could buy this AND a Minilogue for $2300, just $100 more than a Prophet-6 desktop, and this would come with two keyboards.

    That combo is also (approximately):

    – $200 less than a Modal rack mount
    – $500 less than a Prophet-6 w/keyboard
    – $600 less than a Virus T12
    – $700 less than a Voyager Explorer
    – $700 less than a Prophet-12

    Now, there’s a lot to love in those keyboards that I just mentioned, and I know the Moog and DSI stuff is high-quality and hand-made, but clearly it’s time for some big synth makers to drop their prices if they expect to stay competitive.

    1. And all of those boards will work properly out of the box……unlike this one from Arturia.

      After the Beatstep Pro…I’m done with them.

    1. Cool. The Arturia stuff doesn’t seem to be built well, as others have said, but I do really like how “vintage” all of their analog sounds. It’s just very powerful and raw, like the old stuff.

  16. It does look a bit crazy and fun, but it is making me feel sick looking at it.

    I can see this thing being a pain to use in real application. It is all that re-purposing interfaces, same memory-muscle for matrix and sequencing, and whatever else you need to force into that remit.

    I does really look like an amazing piece of kit, but I can just see people endlessly hunched over these following matrix paths with their index finger trying to figure out a simple patch – I think I’d end up taking an axe to it.

  17. Was thinking of replacing my Microbrute SE and Minibrute, as well as a Novation Bass Station 2 with something new – this is it! Looks amazing and the price is right too. Thanks Arturia!

  18. Nice SPECS!!! Impressive on paper but is impossible to judge the synth without a proper demo… first video is a rock track with the synth in the background behind the guitar and drums and the second is a girl moving randomly knobs with no sens…WHAT IS THESE? really you can create an opinion of the quality of the synth without listening to it?

  19. Gotta say I love my MiniBrute SE but this just looks like the Frankenstein’s Monster of Synths! Will be interesting to see what sounds it’s capable of producing but sorry, from first glance I’d rather invest in a Sub 37.

  20. This looks outstanding, however after my experiences of having to return my brand new minibrute twice due to it breaking then finally getting a refund I’d be a little scared to pay out that much money on a synth to this company- I’m not filled with confidence!

  21. On another video, Sebastien from Arturia mentioned they gonna try to sell it under 2000€ which IMHO makes a good price for such a synth !

  22. If this thing will be priced as the Minilogue, I could buy it. 600$, no more otherwise I think they are out of market. Labour cost (especially in China) is lower and lower, and I am sure they can lower it even more, an higher price tag is unrealistic!!

  23. That 64 button grid sequencer is really all. Want or need. If they sold THAT on its own with multiple tracks/layers I’d be in like Flynn.

  24. I don’t trust Arturia anymore, sadly. I’d rather save another $1K and grab something from DSI.

    I’m sure there are Arturia people reading this thread — you guys have killed all your credibility with your shitty support.

  25. My twopenneth.

    Obviously we don’t know what ti sounds like but, based on owning a MiniiBrute, MicroBrute and Beatstep, I can hazard a guess at the basic sound. However, added features like the Ladder filter, FM, sync and that almighty Matrix will seriously elevate it above being a two and a bit MiniiBrutes in one box concept. I appreciate that Arturia has its detractors. Im not one, not because I am a fanboy but because I have never had a h/w issue and the couple of s/w issues I have had have been dealt with well.

    I have an M-Audio Venom and the modulation possibilities in that are pretty comprehensive, leading to many interesting patches. I can see the MatrixBrutes Matrix offering the same and perhaps even greater possibilities. Personally I love “one knob per function” synths. Its well laid out, logical and can communicate with the outside world. For me, it could even herald the start of that Eurorack modular I keep hankering after. I was even thinking I could chop off the keyboard from my Mini and Micro Brute to incorporate them into this setup.

    “We” keep asking for new innovative synths from the manufacturers and I think Arturia have delivered. It strikes a balance between existing features but adds a plethora of new exciting ones.

    Yes -I love it! I want it!

    Can anyone lend me a few quid?

  26. I love my Minibrute, and the idea of a duo/paraphonic with a built-in matrix makes me drool. But there are a lot of unanswered questions raised by the marketing. How does a 24 dB/octave Steiner-Parker filter even work? Is the USB I/O just for MIDI and firmware control, or does it send A-to-D audio signals, and if so, at what bit depth and sampling rate?

    Sweetwater is taking preorders for USD2000.

    Also comments seem to be disappearing and reappearing. I think this year’s NAMM broke Synthtopia! 😀

  27. A little disappointed that only 1 effect is possible at a time, and that the FX are not a fixed source (only an assignable one). Also sad that the FM osc is not a source on the matrix either (just dedicated mod destination pots). A little nitpicky, sure, but it won’t stop me from buying this.

    A couple things that I hope they implement:
    1) Initialize to live panel settings. There’s a lot of synth to be lost on if you want to start from scratch, (and not just from an ‘init’ patch). I hope like the Minilogue and Dave’s Prophet 6 there’s a mode where the sound will update to reflect what the panel currently displays. This item I would consider necessary.
    2) Nice touch with the DADSR, but it would be lovely to have a looping envelope mode, either on 1 envelope, or on all three. This item not so necessary, but potentially awesome 🙂

  28. i surely hope that at his pricepoint the sidepanels are made out of real wood unlike the ones on the minibrute SE and some other keyboars of arturia. it is sort like a philosophy statement. If you do this in order to protect nature please don`t use wood imitates cause it causes sensual touch death

  29. This synth looks the s*it imho. Full analog signal path including 3 osc, fm, duel filter, noise, external in, multiple gain stage, duel LFO, mad matrix, sequencer/arp, analog fx, velocity/after touch kyb & fully programmable 🙂 I’ve been craving something like this for ages ( poss 20 years or more!!)
    Now that Namm is done the only real kit of interest was this & the Minilogue, still want to try the Korg but the MB is light years ahead in terms of experiment options. I own a microbrute & think it’s the bomb so this should b awesome. One small caveat is I hope build quality good. Also can the seq send out on multi channels at the same time ie: sep channels per line?
    Cost is slightly high but looking at all those features & it being completely programmable I’m still impressed.

  30. The LACK of aftertouch is what they left out 😉

    But wait, can it sound…OLD?
    From what sound demos I’ve hear, it sounds powerful, but not vintage.
    So it’s a MODERN analog mono synth, then?
    Is that what we want? Interms of sound, I mean; not in terms of supporting functions like presets and USB/MIDI.

  31. One of the most important things is how is the electronics inside ? Since the sound is something, the reliability is something else.
    I had a look INSIDE a mini-brute in a synth repair shop and it was an anwful electronics: plenty of SMD, fully of chinese poor quality components, even the connectors was in SMD (nothing more stupid, since finally they use glue to fix them !). The tech said me it hate it by this point of view, me too.
    When you buy a synth, try to have a look inside, the dark side, with the help of a (vintage) technician
    it will be a revelation…

    1. The twelve CVs IN and OUT on the rear of the MatrixBrute are as follows:

      VCA
      LFO1 Amt
      Ladder cutoff
      Steiner cutoff
      VCO2 Metal
      VCO2 PW
      VCO2 Ultra
      VCO2 Pitch
      VCO1 Metal
      VCO1 PW
      VCO1 Ultra
      VCO1 Pitch

      These correspond to the first twelve mods on the unit’s matrix.

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