The Polyphonic MicroBrute

This video, via Expert Sleepers, shows one way to get a Polyphonic MicroBrute – use four Arturia MicroBrute synthesizers.

The MicroBrutes are connected via MIDI to an Expert Sleepers ESX-8MD module, driven by the Expert Sleepers Silent Way software. Silent Way takes the polyphonic MIDI generated by the controller keyboard and distributes it between the MicroBrutes, so that each works as one voice of a polysynth.

This setup allows the Silent Way/ESX-8MD combination to replace a standalone polyphony distribution box.

Here’s the second part:

For more info, see the Expert Sleepers site.

31 thoughts on “The Polyphonic MicroBrute

      1. From what I can see in this video there are four midi cables connected to the module. The Midipal has only one midi out. Could I chain the four synths together and use the dispatch mode to trigger one note from each synth?

    1. Why doesn’t someone make a feature like this into a midi keyboard with four outs? And then when you’re not playing poly mode you can set sequences to each channel and Write full tracks on the one keyboard plus four external Synths/drummachines. That’d be neat. Like an expanded arterial beat step with a nice 49-key keyboard. and then maybe a 61key version with 8 outs. . . Could replace an whole PC with the right gear connected!

  1. I don’t understand why this isn’t more common. People are always crying for analog poly, while paraphonic gets you most of the way there. If you really need poly, just chain a bunch of monos together… like so… Why make a massive expensive poly machine (I’m looking at you Schmidt) if it’s basically a handful of mono machines being controlled by a single keyboard? I don’t understand what everyone is clamoring for, that isn’t readily available as shown right here

  2. 1200 Microbrute 300 x 4
    – 50 4x 2-octave keyboards => 1x 4-octave or 5-octave keyboard
    – 50 4x Steiner-Parker => 1x Steiner-Parker + 1x other filter (for cascade mode à la MS-20)
    – 50 4x ADSR => 2x ADSR
    – 50 4x LFOs => 2x LFOs
    – 50 4x sequencer/arp => 1x ? 2x ?
    – 50 4x mini-modular bays => 1x much more complete one
    – 100 size-related savings (smaller case, package, cheaper shipping/storing)
    + 100 multi-mode electronics (deals with polyphony, unison modes…)
    + 100 because a 1000-priced synth will always sell much less than a 300 one, so the developments costs have to be higher on each one sold.
    Total : 1000
    Yes, very approximate evaluations. 🙂 Yet I’m convinced Arturia can manage to give us a Polybrute for around 1000€/$ (same thing, as sale tax is around 20% in most of Europe).

    Please ? 🙂

  3. Btw I talked of polyphony by my count is of course for a Paraphonybrute. Really 4-voice poly is harder to price : how much money do you save for example by going from 4 filters with controls to 4 filter-electronics with one set of controls ? Same for ADSR, etc … A full 4-voice Polybrute would cost what ? Probably around 1200 ? Hard to say.

  4. It’s interesting how many people are rediscovering this technique after Korg built it into the MS-2000 series fourteen years ago. And DSI include chaining as a standard feature. Of course, four PolyEvolver rack units bring you into the price range of an Alesis Andromeda, Jupiter 6, and Oberheim OB-Xa. (I exclude Jupiter 8s because they are being pushed up toward five figures, which CS-80s and 2600s exceeded years ago.)

    1. This set up, by way of the Korg MS2000, reminds me of the fantastic Korg Mono/Poly and its ‘voice cycling’ mode, although far more flexible these days.

  5. People often overlook the fact that polysynths require extra control circuitry. The voice parameters are controlled differenty, not jsut . A monosynth can use simple potentiometers to control most parameters. On a poly, several voices have to be controlled in uniison. For example, when you change the filter cutoff frequency, you have to change it on every voice’s filter.

    In short, polysynths require extra control circuitry. There are various solutions to this, but I think they all cost more than plain old pots. Not to mention the extra calibration required with analog polys.

  6. i recently bought single voice juno clone to interface with my microbrute via cv and audio input for another voice. cant wait to try it out, they seem to compliment each other very well going by my juno plugin emulation. i will definately be purchasing a polysynth from arturia if/when they make them.

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