Arturia Intros MiniBrute SE Analog Synthesizer


At Musikmesse 2014, Arturia today introduced a ‘special edition’ of their MiniBrute synthesizer, the MiniBrute SE.

The MiniBrute SE shares the same physical footprint as the original MiniBrute, but adds:

  • The SE edition features brushed aluminium casing with wooden sides
  • An all-new step Sequencer expands playing options with the MiniBrute SE, with six Pattern sequences with up to 64 steps Users can create new musical phrases from existing ones by changing the playback Mode, Gate Len (timing), and Swing settings in real-time.


  • Monophonic synthesizer
  • 100% Analog Audio Signal Path
  • Steiner-Parker Multimode Filter (LP, BP, HP and Notch)
  • Voltage Controlled Oscillator with Sub-Osc
  • Oscillator Mixer (Sub, Sawtooth, Square, Triangle, White Noise, Audio In)
  • LFO1 with 6 waveforms and bi-polar modulation destinations
  • LFO2 with 3 vibrato modes
  • Brute Factor delivering saturation and rich harmonics
  • Ultrasaw generating shimmering sawtooth waveforms
  • Metalizer bringing extreme triangle harmonics
  • Two ADSR Envelope Generators
  • 25 note Keyboard with Aftertouch
  • Brushed Aluminium Enclosure
  • Wood side panels
  • External Analog Audio Input
  • CV In/Out controls: Pitch, Gate, Filter, Amp
  • MIDI In/Out with 5-Pin DIN connectors
  • USB MIDI In/Out
  • 1/4″ Audio Output and 1/4″ Headphone Output
  • Gate Source Selection: Audio Input, Hold, Keyboard
  • Sequencer :
    • 6 Sequences with 64 steps each
    • 4 Swing settings
    • 4 Gate settings
    • 6 play modes

The Arturia MiniBrute SE will be available at the end of May for €549.00 EUR/$599.00 USD. See the Arturia site for details.

46 thoughts on “Arturia Intros MiniBrute SE Analog Synthesizer

  1. Instead of coming out with an SE version of this keyboard, maybe they should focus on servicing their customers who bought the original model and are stuck with a sub-par keyboard which breaks under normal use. Check the Arturia forums – tons of Minibrute users (including myself) are suffering with defective keybeds and keys with broken weights. Arturia claimed they were “working on the issue” a few months ago, but have been silent ever since. Their customer support reps have stopped responding to technical tickets.

    Very shameful practices. I can’t see myself ever buying a piece of Arturia gear again.

    1. When you buy a discount synth, that’s the build quality you should expect. Synth keys are cheap mechanical parts.

      It would be wise to learn to fix synth keys anyways. It’s going to happen on every synth eventually. And it’s dead simple. Why would you submit a support ticket? You could fix the problem in 10 minutes with some glue.

      1. It’s never happened with any other synth I’ve had, and I usually buy “budget” equipment because that’s all my finances really allow right now. Never happened with a Micron I had a few years ago, never happened with a Korg Microstation I had a few years ago. Didn’t happen with a super-cheap p.o.s. yamaha that I’ve had for years and even loaned out from time to time to friends. Heck, I recently had to return a Korg DW 8000 I acquired off eBay – tons of electrical/system problems . . . but the keyboard at least operated fine.

        Plus, this a Minibrute I purchased in September and it broke in February . . . so . . . five months. In my book, that’s not just budget build quality, it’s faulty build quality. My unit is under warranty too, but when Arturia never responds to its tickets and its customer, the warranty doesn’t really do me any good.

        1. Fair enough. I actually knew nothing about the issue, not having owned one nor investigated too deeply into it. But after my comment I researched it a bit more, and you’re right, it’s beyond budget build quality. So my apologies to you sir.

          But it may still be worth the time to look into replaced the keybed yourself. All in all, keybed issues are at least “easier” to live with than, say, faulty electronics. It would be nice if arturia (at the absolute, VERY least) could provide a source or specs for higher quality replacement keys that would sit properly in the build.

          1. I totally agree! If worse comes to worse, I’d at least like to have the ability to buy replacement keys.

            It’s really a shame because the synth has such a fantastic sound, and the knobs and sliders all feel super solid to me, but such a horrible build quality on the keys. The sound is exactly what I like, so I can’t see myself getting rid of it anytime soon. Oh well, I suppose I could always find an external MIDI keyboard that transmits aftertouch and just use the Minibrute as essentially a desktop module.

        2. I actually went to my local (awesome) synth store with the intention of buying either the mini or microbrute. But after playing with them for a little while I thought “Man, these things are cheaply made”, and decided to NOT buy one! After reading all the posts here about key problems, I’m glad I saved my money.

      2. your point is invalid- if it happens on every synth then it doesnt matter if one is cheap or not. and just because something is cheaply priced doesnt mean it needs to be of cheap quality. unfortunately we dont live in a world where “you get what you pay for” unless you are a wealthy republican

        1. Well, I see where you’re coming from. And as I later replied, I wasn’t fully aware of just how bad the keyed issue was on the early MiniBrute models.

          Although, my point was that it will happen on every synth eventually… expectantly sooner on cheaper models. Keys are wear and tear parts. And while a low-cost synth doesn’t necessarily mean cheap materials, I do think a low-cost synth that offers the number of features as a brute series certainly implies it.

          most user feedback supports such a theory in this case, at least in terms of the tactile controls. I haven’t seen or heard many complaints about the innards or how they sound though.

    2. I used a Minibrute to have one key pop up after a week of light use. It was hooked via midi to my master keyboard so I hardly touched it. I contacted Arturia and was told to glue it back. Pro-fesh-uh-null.

        1. Yeah… the keys on the MiniBrute are kind of flimsy… every time I engage the aftertouch I feel like I’m going to break it. Luckily, mine hasn’t had any issues yet. The Minibrute is such an amazing synth… I really needs a better keybed.

    3. Arturia’s customer support is a black hole. Sad to see that their bad software reputation is coming home to roost with their hardware. If this persists Moog will win over their customers, and they won’t go back.

    4. Hello from Arturia.
      We are of course now aware of the issue that affected some MiniBrute units in two specific production batches from 2013.
      We did investigate and found the cause of the issue. (at a certain point during production of the keybed parts, on one of the production lines, the injection of plastic into the mold was not done at constant temperature. This created a weakness in some keys of the keybeds produced on that particular line.)
      This concerns in fact a limited number of products, even if people having issues are naturally more vocal -and have all the rights to be. Less than 4% of the keyboards within these two batches were affected. Still, since the issue was confirmed, Arturia did replace all keybeds in our entire inventory and so did our distributors as well.
      We are aware that some units have reached end-users; this is why we extended the warranty to three years on the MiniBrute keybeds.
      Of course we have also put more quality controls on the production following this problem.
      In any case, the Special Edition as well as any new regular MiniBrute that is being shipped from now on, come with new keybeds that have been thoroughly tested.
      As a conclusion, we understand the frustration of our customers who trusted us and experienced issues with the MiniBrute. We have replaced potentially faulty keybeds as quickly as we could along with our distribution partners, and we will keep on doing so as needed.
      But it should not affect the value of a good product that is otherwise reliable and used by many musicians now.
      Thank you for your understanding.

      1. Thank you for the honest response.
        My problem with the Minibrute had always been the poor quality not only keys, but faders and knobs as well. It’s nice to hear that some of these issues have been or are being addressed.
        I haven’t tried one out in some time.
        I’ll be interested to see what real improvements have been made on this newer model.

      2. Great! What about “Origin” support? 3000$ USD synth that has still yet to receive the features that it was originally marketed with. ( Cs 80 & Arp 2600 templates & where’s the prophet V osc/filters???)
        5 years later, still no answer
        In North America that is called “false advertisement”
        Nice flagship support.

        1. Extend yourself to your customers Arturia! Other companies like Access and Elektron do product support better.
          Customers put their money where their mouth is. Why don’t you?

      3. Arturia:

        I’m one of the end-users who got a defective keybed. I have started two tickets with your customer support, the issue has been identified, but no one has responded to my questions about how to get my keybed repaired or replaced. Your customer service representatives have just stopped responding to emails and support tickets.

        If you say you care so much about your customers that you’re extending your warranty, why will no one with Arturia speak to me directly about the $500 product I bought from your company which no longer operates as advertised? A warranty does me little good if your company never works with me to fix the issue. If you’re waiting for replacement keyboards to be manufactured or delivered, at least tell me so I know what’s going on and have a timeframe to expect.

        Can you respond and tell me (and us all) what ‘s going on at Arturia?

        1. terriblesounds,
          not sure why you have started 2 support tickets, but if you provide one of your case numbers, we can check its status.
          As mentioned above, we have now received the new keybeds, updated all our existing inventory, and started receiving/shipping new units produced with the new keybeds. We also now have a stock of spare new keybeds to replace faulty keybeds under warranty (for 3 years) for customers who have purchased one of the units with this defect.
          Our goal is to take care of every customer that might be experiencing this issue.
          We are sorry it took us some time to figure out what was happening, but we want to make it right.

          1. Arturia:

            Case 157827. I was bounced from person to person until I finally got an email from a person from Arturia name Rebecca, who told me it was most likely a keybed issue. When I asked what I should do to get it replaced or fixed, she never responded, and hasn’t responded to an email since. That was on February 24th – last contact.

            I started another case in the hopes that it may be looked at if the first case was dropped, but no one ever responded to the second case.

            If you could help me to a resolution, I would appreciate it. If you could provide me an email address to speak with you outside of this forum so we can take this conversation offline, I’d appreciate that as.


          2. Arturia,

            I’m not sure if you’re still checking this board or not, but I’ve yet again lost communication with your company.

            After my post last week, Rebecca with Arturia did respond to me on case 157827. I was presented two options: UPS call tag to send the synth back to you for repair, or Arturia would ship me a new keybed for me to install myself. I selected the latter option, and Rebecca told me should would notify me when the keybed part was being shipped to me. Later that day, I received an email with a UPS call tag, as if the plan was for me to ship the synth back to Arturia for repair. That’s not what I wanted! Rebecca even acknowledged my selection of just having the keybed replacement shipped to me instead.

            This was on the 14th. Since then, I’ve sent multiple emails back to find out what’s going on, but no one has responded.

            This issue now has been lost in emails back and forth and dropped communication for over a month – I originally submitted this case on February 17th. This is all extremely frustrating, and if Arturia is incapable (or unwilling) of responding to simple service requests, I can’t imagine why you would expect other consumers on this website to purchase products from you.

            You created a defective unit which I spent $500 on and you are not responding to me on getting it fixed. All I need is the keybed replacement and I will be a happy customer. What is the issue? Please have someone respond to me!

  2. Are those real wood sides or the same dreadful imitation wood sides used on the Analog Experience controllers? Lets face it, the keyboards and build are not Arturias strong point….

  3. I love their products but they always do breakdown. I bought a Minibrute when they first came out. I never buy those extended warranties at guitar center, but got one for the Minibrute. Sure enough it died almost a year to the day that I bought it. Got my money back and got a Push instead.

  4. PLEASE make a full sized Brute.. . I want to see

    2 micro brute oscillators
    2 micro brute filters
    2 Minibrute LFOs
    3 Minibrute Envelopes
    2 Sequencers
    1 Arpeggiator
    true duophonic
    3 octave keyboard

  5. I had a problem with my brand new MicroBrute over Christmas and I have to say, for me, Arturia support were WONDERFUL. Over the holidays too! I’m not discounting the folks that had/have issues, really I’m not. I just wanted to say I’ve had a great experience with Arturia support.

  6. If you buy a Minibrute with a Broken Keybed there is a fix… a new minibrute….swap the keybeds (easy to do – connected by 1 power cable, 1 ribbon cable and a few screws….

    Return the minibrute with the bad keybed for your money back…the dealer you bought it from will return it to arturia – who should get it back as they are selling bad stuff and unresponsive

    You will have a new keybed…they seem to be shipping w an extra foam insert as their “fix” so the keybed may break again – I would use it as a module or sell it!

    1. This made me laugh my ass off. I did something similar a long time ago with a Roland MV-8080 that had a corrupt hard drive. When there is no customer service available, you best serve yourself I guess… 😛

  7. The MiniBrute was (and is) a very nice synth. it had it’s share of keybed breakages, due to some defective plastic key bumper parts. It’s the most analog of all the $500 monos, and feels high quality and solid.

    But as clever as the oscillator is (multiple waveforms, all mixable, with cool variations like PWM, Metalizer, subosc, etc.) it’s still a single oscillator. So you can never get intervals live. (MicroBrute can dial in a 5th overtone, but that’s no help here.

    As cool and unique a filter as the Steiner-Parker is (with self-osc, low, high, band and notch modes) it’s still a 12db filter. It sort of thinly rounds off the high end. Yes it sounds bubbly and unstable and decidedly analog when pushed. But no 24db slope means classic deep bass sounds are off the table. Also: the self-osc behavior stays in the midrange, and will vanish at the low end. So you’re not going to get zappy filter kicks or whistles that dive into the subaudio range.

    People say that the mixer overdrives past the halfway point, and I don’t really agree. Pushing past 50% will not give you any more volume, nor does it audibly distort, nor does it make the filter behave differently. It feels and sounds like dead fader range – like incorrect values made it into the design. The same thing with the envelopes: any setting above the halfway point on the slider will not add any more ADSR time. Really. If pushing the attack from 50% to 100% adds any more attack, I can’t detect it. All the range is in the bottom half on all sliders. (Tell me I’m wrong, but I’ve struggled to hear or feel it – that’s simply can’t be anything but an error. Maybe it’s been quietly fixed for new production runs and this woodie version.)

    While the soundpath is analog, there are some digital controls. The Mod and Pitch wheels are digital – you can hear little steps. (Not when turing the filter knob, however.) The LFO is also digital – the last little turn of the speed knob snaps to the highest value – an audible jump or two can be heard as you approach full speed.

    The sawtooth LFO waveform is reversed from its screenprinted depiction, and is double the speed of the other waves. No no slow ramps.

    The Brute Factor knob does neat things to the filter, but not very much when in lowpass mode, other than add some muddy fat midrange – until it reaches a threshold and makes some farty wobbling feedback, impossible to control. In other modes, it sharpens the resonance and drives the circuit in neat ways.

    You can’t beat the Inputs and Outputs (USB! VC! MIDI! Audio In, etc.) and it really is fun to play. But there are some things to consider if this will be your only synth – chiefly, you will be stuck with single-osc sounds (though the best single osc around) and the filter will not really provide access to a wide range of tones. It has a signature growl, and feels like a real instrument. But you might find yourself looking at other gear pretty quick.

    Looking at the nice brushed panel and the wood, it just makes me wish Arturia had gone for better specs and a choice of 12db SP filter, and something more traditional.

    1. In response to the comment about the osc mixer faders and the dead spot:

      I’m not so sure… although the point of overdriving is def not halfwayon the fader… on mine, it’s about a quarter of the way up. As far as there being a dead spot: I agree, but my scope (and ears) can see/hear saturation from 1/4 upward on the fader. It really does change how the filter responds.

      As to the dead spots on the envelopes:

      There is some truth to that; it seems only 3/4 of the faders actually affect the sound on the volume ENV… but the MOD ENV faders work all the way up? It is kind of strange I suppose…

  8. I dont see the benefit of having mini keys on a synth, most people have a midi keyboard controller with full size keys, I would prefer a small desktop like MFB or rackmountable like early Novation synths.

    or even a mini keyboard that can be mounted to the synth, like having a tablet with a paired qwerty keyboard

  9. I play the crap out of my Minibrute and have hauled it all over the place. i’ve had since the second batch and its no no problems at all with anything including my keys.
    anyway this is a pretty dumb “upgrade” for the price

  10. All that matters is the sound – it’s above everything else, if it sounds great then the keys can be worked out, if the sound is not great then I would be complaining too. Does anyone want to return a TB303 because the build quality is crap?

  11. +1 for removing the keys from this altogether – they completely useless for me. If it was a module I may have been tempted, but keys are not for me – I like playing glass!

  12. I own a Mini and Micro-brute, among others, and im quite happy with their sound, a few jiggly pots but they work fine….but Im returning my Mini-SE after less than 15 minutes from opening. A nice new look, a sequencer, but other than that, for a previous Brute owner, it just doesnt hold that much for $550US. The preset sheets were cut a little too long, so i have to trim them to fit the unit, AND i was pretty disappointed they just re-issued the same old patch-cards that came with the Mini. No new SE patches? a strip of scotch tape adhesive on the face? Adios, SE, enjoy the trip back home to Sweetwater.

  13. Are the connectors for the SE keybed the same as they were for the original Minibrute? I just want to buy a new keybed and be done with . I like the way the SE’s keys feel.

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