Arturia MicroBrute Oscillator Options In Depth

This video, via Runningonair, takes a look an in-depth look at the extensive oscillator options available on the Arturia MicroBrute synthesizer.

The video covers the basic wave forms and then moves onto their modulation options and combinations, showcasing the rich range of possibilities available from what’s essentially a single oscillator monosynth.

If you’ve used the MicroBrute, share your thoughts on it in the comments!

9 thoughts on “Arturia MicroBrute Oscillator Options In Depth

  1. I chuckled out loud when I saw the Minibrute 2’s second oscillator when compared to the first. Two “Brute” oscillators would have been fantastic. But, it’s still a great synth, and I hope to own one some day.*

    *Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. You generally want to avoid starting a sentence with a conjunction.

  2. I have one and offer this assessment:
    The Microbrute is a marvelous platform for teaching synth basics. The audio chain is clear and easy to follow, and the controls are straightforward and ergonomic (notwithstanding the platform’s small size).
    The sequencer can be a bit limiting, but is plenty effective for someone just starting to explore the instrument.
    The mod matrix is fun to use and provides lots of learning and experimentation opportunities to go along with that signature modular “patch cable experience.”
    I find that the little box consistently produces beautiful and complex sounds without a huge commitment of time and patience.
    It is not hard to add externals to the many points of access into the box.
    I still have lots of fun with my Microbrute even though I have moved on to other monosynths that offer patch memories, multiple oscillators, deeper control, etc.

    Now, on to the viewing the article’s video…

    1. I agree. Microbrute is what led me away from being 100% in the box. Picked one up on a whim when my previous controller keyboard died, and loved how immediate it was yet there’s some surprising subtlety and depth available once you get to know it better.

      It was also kind of a gateway drug into modular. Just adding another oscillator to it was a revelation.

      I’ used it consistently in about 1/3 of my recordings for a couple of years, before my modular synth grew to the point where it nearly completely took over. I finally wound up selling it for a Reface CS, which, even though it’s a digital polysynth, kind of shares a similar headspace in that it’s simple, extremely tweakable, great fun to play, and often underestimated. There are still some days where I wish I’d kept the Microbrute though.

  3. That lil patch panel is golden if you wanna patch another filter into the audio chain. Ran it’s brilliant oscillator through a moogerfooger lowpass filter controlled by the MB’s envelope. Bosh!

  4. The Microbrute has a tight-sounding vibe that’s hard to describe. It really lends itself to creating attack transients with Its zippy envelope and all those wave morphing capabilities. It’s a little too thin to be a desert-island synth though.

    I’ve always wanted, but never really gotten around to patching a second oscillator through its audio input to really get an idea of what that oddball Steiner filter can do. It’s a 2-pole filter like many famous Oberheims, which we almost always hear with two oscillators, and those Obies are quite magical!

    I did have some fun a few years ago patching its gate/CV output into my MS20, while running another MS20 modulator back to the Microbrute. I played a really simple sequence on the Brute while the MS followed and provided modulation back. The recording is long and repetitive but I arrived at lots of really unique sounds. I posted it to YouTube too … if you watch I suggest you skip through it though – it’s long and self-serving :). https://youtu.be/X5MYXv9Cksg

    I’ll add that the Microbrute’s build quality is surprisingly solid considering its size, appearance, and price. Years ago I called it “the no-excuses OTB analog synth”. Even though it has since been trumped in by modules from the likes of Behringer and Dreadbox, it holds a special place both in my rig and in synth history.

  5. I had one and used to put the sound through some pedals and got some really good results. Yes a basic Synth but definitely with hidden qualities

  6. Mine still sits on my desk and gets used fairly often. For whatever reason, I have never found it to give a warm, beefy sound, even with the brute factor knob, but is great fun to work with. My only wish for it would be an analog generated LFO, because the higher rates are in very obvious steps with a fair amount of knob travel between them, making audio-rate modulation a bit unsubtle. That said, I made a Euro breakout panel for mine, breaking out all of the ins and outs, which also allows me to do LFO->VCA modulation, as well as choosing a different filter or LFO quite easily. An HDMI cable was the perfect connector for it.

  7. I love everything Arturia has done with the exception of the Microbrute. The VCO bleed common to so many units makes it unsuitable to record, among its many other quality issues (bad pots, lousy keybed, etc). It’s a shame, because it’s a clever beginner synth.

  8. I had the original Brute, and now have a Matrixbrute and a Minibrute 2S. I wasn’t blown away by the Micro version but I can say that the 2S sounds great and appears well made. If you’re looking for a beginner synth but are put off by the mini keys, consider the 2s.

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