Arturia PolyBrute Morphing Analog Polysynth A Flagship Designed For Expressive Synthesis

Arturia today introduced the PolyBrute, a new 6-voice polyphonic analog synthesizer that’s designed for expressive synthesis.

At its core, it offers 6 analog voices, based on Arturia’s ‘Brute’ oscillators and dual filters. The synth features two Brute oscillators per voice, feeding into dual filters, a Steiner filter and a Moog-style filter. The filters can be patched in series, in parallel, or as a mix of both.

The PolyBrute also offers extensive modulation options, including three LFOs per voice and a matrix modulation patching system.

At the end of the voice path are 3 types of effect – Modulation, Delay, Reverb – that let create effects from Chorus to BitCrusher, Karplus to BBD delay, Plate to Dreamy reverb.

The Arturia PolyBrute synth engine features an A & B ‘state’ for every patch, saving two variations on the parameter settings. When you sweep between those two states, you’re simultaneously altering all relevant parameters – like turning all the knobs at once. You can map PolyBrute’s envelopes, LFOs, aftertouch and sequencer to change the morph position between the two states in real-time.

But what makes the synth unique is the variety and expressive control options it offers.

It starts with a velocity/pressure-sensitive keybed, pitch wheel and assignable mod wheel, and foot pedal controller inputs. Performance options include an Arpeggiator, Matrix Arpeggiator and a 64-step polyphonic step sequencer.

The PolyBrute panel also offers knob-per-function control, for immediacy in performance and sound design. A Morph knob lets you dynamically move between the A & B states for each patch.

The PolyBrute also features the Morphée controller, a sensor that captures three dimensions of expression. You can map the X and Y touch axes, plus the Z pressure axis, to any destination parameters available in the Mod Matrix. You can also use the Morphée to randomize your sequences or arpeggios with spice, dice, and ratcheting effects.

The PolyBrute also includes a ribbon controller. Positioned directly above the keybed, you can assign it to your chosen modulation destination.

For computer integration, Arturia has created PolyBrute Connect, a standalone Mac/PC app and a plugin that lets you organize your patch library and enjoy bi-direction visual editing between software and hardware. This makes it possible to control every PolyBrute parameter via MIDI tracks in your DAW.

Features:

  • Analog Morphing Synthesizer
    • 6 voices of Polyphony
    • Mono, Unison, Poly voicing
    • Single, Split, Layer modes
  • 61-keys with Velocity and Aftertouch
  • Pitch Bend, Mod Wheel, Ribbon controllers
  • Morphée touch and pressure sensitive 3D controller
  • Sound Morphing capability, part A and B for each preset
  • Two Analog VCO’s
    • Saw
    • Triangle + Metalizer
    • Square + Pulse Width
    • Sub
    • Linear FM
    • Hard Sync
  • Noise Generator
    • Continuous tone from rumble noise to white noise
  • Osc and Noise Mixer with Filter routing
  • 12dB/Oct Steiner Parker Filter
    • Continuous LP>Notch>HP>BP morphing
    • Cutoff, Resonance, Brute Factor
  • 24dB/Oct Ladder Filter with Distortion
  • Three Envelopes
    • Two ADSR
    • One DADSR
    • Looping capability
  • Three LFOs
    • LFO1 and LFO2 with waveform selection
    • LFO3 with waveform shaping using Shape and Symmetry
    • Rate control & Tempo Sync
    • Various retrig options
  • Three stereo digital effects
    • Modulation FX : Chorus, Phaser, Flanger, Ring Modulation, …
    • Delay : 9 algorithms including BBD, Digital delay, …
    • Reverb : 9 algorithms including Hall, Plate, Spring, Shimmer, …
  • 768 preset slots
  • 12×32 Modulation Matrix
  • 64 step polyphonic sequencer
    • Notes, Accent, Slide per step
    • 3 tracks of automation
  • Arpeggiator and Matrix Arpeggiator
  • Stereo audio output
  • MIDI and USB i/o + analog clock i/o
  • 2 expression and 1 sustain pedal inputs

Pricing and Availability

The Arturia PolyBrute is available to order now, priced at $2,899 USD.

61 thoughts on “Arturia PolyBrute Morphing Analog Polysynth A Flagship Designed For Expressive Synthesis

  1. I’m floored by this announcement – really impressive and beautiful implementation, and it addresses a lot of wishes, gripes, dreams, and grumblings i’ve seen in comment sections over the years. really a masterful move on the part of Arturia. I’ve always preferred the workflow of arturia’s hardware to a number of alternative manufacturers, and this expands on so much of what i like about arturia’s synths.

    1. I think you’re missing the point of this synth’s design.

      There are 30 years of synth designs readily available that offer more polyphony than this.

      But how many synths can you name that offer similar expressive performance options?

  2. Gut reaction: Pricing is high. That’s almost a Moog price for six voices. It does look like a great instrument and if you think Arturia is a legit boutique synth-maker, you could argue that they are justified in asking that price. Seems high, though. At $2299 this would be a lot more compelling. The last several polysynths that have come out have all made me appreciate and admire what Novation have accomplished with Peak/Summit in terms of quality and value.

    1. Arturia is by no means a “boutique” synth maker. They are not Behringer and lack the scale of Korg, however all of their manufacturing and assembly takes place is China, without exception. They do source some of the components from some Euro zone nations however the idea that they are some boutique maker is simply wrong. All design and software development is conducted in house in Grenoble.

    2. Gut reaction: Complaining about the price being too high is the lazy response to every new synth introduction.

      There are more ‘flagship’ synths available, from more manufacturers, than ever before. Do you really think it’s meaningful to judge them based on cost-per-voice?

      1. @Torgood “Gut reaction: Complaining about the price being too high is the lazy response to every new synth introduction.”

        Err… no actually… I had the same response which was based purely on the fact that I don’t earn very much money and spending this much (on a synth or anything else for that matter) is unjustifiable and pure folly.

        1. @Torgood – I believe people are allowed to argue the value proposition of any given synth at any price point, whether that is based on cost per voice or the build reputation and support after sale of said company.

      2. @Torgood: It’s a gut reaction, and I said so. That’s very different from a carefully considered opinion taking everything into account. Even so, it’s silly to pretend that cost per voice is meaningless. FWIW, I’ve changed my mind, since my gut reaction. I now think this thing is special and unique and might even be worth what they’re asking.

      1. Either I’m missing something or that’s just plain wrong. It’s listed at $2499 on Sweetwater’ss site. Maybe I just need better connections?

  3. This is very exciting. There is a cost to all this real estate and controllerage. Even the effects are more interesting than the usual delay and reverb. I’ll have to get my hands on one to see how all the controllers work but isn’t that the point? You want to get your hands on it?

    It’s the like of the UDO that might stall in relation to this.

  4. This is the most exciting standalone analog synth I’ve seen in some time… I feel like Arturia has absolutely nailed what makes for an expressive performance instrument here. The “morphée” seems really close to the Expressive-E Touché, which is a HUGE step up from any sort of x/y pad or pressure sensitive pad, but it’s the integrated ribbon controller, in particular, that is so brilliant – it’s completely accessible no matter where your hands are on the synth, yet it’s completely unobtrusive. You know someone has come up with a really great innovation when it’s new, yet seems so completely obvious to have done so in retrospect.

    I’m a modular guy for the most part – This is the first standalone synth that I’ve found myself really wanting in some time.

    1. I got the same deja vu about the morphée. It is clearly derived from the Expressive-E Touché, but I don’t see any mention of Expressive-E at the PolyBrute site.

      Is this like the ‘collaboration’ that Arturia did with Mutable Instruments on the MicroFreak?

      If you can get beyond that, though, the MicroFreak and this are two of the most interesting new synth designs in years and it’s pretty impressive that they’re making creative synths at both the entry level and the high end.

      1. ”Is this like the ‘collaboration’ that Arturia did with Mutable Instruments on the MicroFreak?”
        Oh, snap!

        That misdirection about Émilie Gillet’s Plaits and some dubious statements about collaboration on the Buchla Easel soured me about Arturia. At the same time, several of their products really suit my needs and their overall behaviour isn’t nearly as awful as that of some other manufacturers, so I tend to assign those occurrences to inelegant PR work. Also, Pichenettes explained the situation in such a way that it sounds a smaller deal than some first made it.
        Still, if they were to properly credit “inspirations” (including fellow French developers and manufacturers), it could have a positive impact on the whole scene. In fact, they could help energize the ecosystem around France’s technological innovation scene through some fairly simple gestures.

        Having said this, yes, the PolyBrute and MicroFreak are fascinating new synth designs. Bold, in some ways. Design is about making decisions and it sounds like Arturia designers are able to make the right calls at the right time.
        Just wish it supported MPE more actively. Even their Pigments 2 softsynth, which can leverage MPE, doesn’t showcase it in any significant way.

      2. There was no collaboration, The mutable code is open source that can be used by any brand without asking. But “she” did sigh off to use the name.
        Expressive-E made a sound bank for the Matrixbrute and i remember a demo of Expressive-E with arturia 2600. So maybe there is some relations.

        1. Not sure what “sigh off” means. They used the mutable logo to suggest a collaboration or investment that wasn’t there. In my view, that’s not ok, because open source really thrives when profit-making companies invest a bit back in terms of consultancy fees etc..

          I’m hoping they’ve paid some patent or consultancy fees to expressive-e. We need to encourage as much as innovation as possible in this area.

  5. 5 octaves! MIDI IN/OUT/THRU! Standard power cable!

    With all of the lovely control options and Arturia’s general CV friendliness, seems a little odd to have omitted a few CV outs.

  6. I wonder if they addressed the crosstalk within the original model’s matrix grid? Seems likely, with all of the other improvements. The better display is a plus. So are the serious touch strip & Touche/morphee candy dish on the left. Nice and intuitive.

    Six voices are not a liability here; eight would be welcome, but at twelve, it’d be overkill. The Poly- and MatrixBrute are really monosynths in multi-voice clothing. They just straddle the analog line differently than anyone else.

    I’d be surprised if it had come out for much LESS than $3K. Don’t whine about the price. Nut up and buy a proper uber synth anyway. Then whine about the jacked-up accessories and the cheaper gear you plug in and out of it. That’s more synth-normal.

    1. Knowing Arturia they put the least number of voices of a poly vs the possibility of complaining.
      8 would be more expensive to manufacture (for a brand that manufacture in china every cent count) 4 could piss many.

    1. The new wave of polysynths that are about to emerge in the coming years will hopefully address expression and real time control, following the road that the CS80 had shown back then …. then we will really witness some interesting synth performances … this Polybrute is certainly a step in the right direction.

  7. Got dammit. Just paid off my Sweetwater card!

    But the price seems fitting for what it has to offer. Can’t stand how out of touch folks are about the price of some things. Lamborghini- no complaints, you know you cant afford it, you move on. Beats by Dre headphones, move on. Synths, the world ends when its more than $500. It ain’t free to live or make synthesized music.

  8. that morphee looks an awful lot like Expressive’s Touché. I hope they licensed or co-worked on that with their French friends in the music biz, and didnt bite the design. The former would be sweet! The latter would be dissapointing to hear.

    1. Unlike behringer Arturia keep it legal, I guess Expressive-E is in the loop
      Arturia started by making VST’s of analog synth like NI, Then midi keyboards like novation (not excatly but they did based on their business module to expend to hardware) The brute are based on Ives usson design, He helped but i heard there were some issues,
      the Freak OSC on mutable open source code…

    2. I really don’t understand this complaint about the implementation of the morphee – the resemblance is obviously there and im sure was an inspiration, but the idea that Expressive E somehow has a monopoly on an XYZ complex expression device because of the touche is weird. just because it looks similar doesn’t to me qualify as “biting” the design and would only be legitimate if there was a collab or a licensing deal – Arturia had to build this up on its own for its own synth and implement the whole thing to work for this specific synth – the morphee likely doesn’t even communicate with external gear the way the touche does, it doesn’t jiggle side to side like the touchee, it’s just a different thing. (this is all, of course, on the assumption that Arturia didn’t just pinch Expressive E’s coding or something, which again i think is unlikely given that this needs to work in the polybrute specifically, internally.

      1. If it’s without permission, it’s clearly a rip-off, No matter how you twist it.
        If it lucks some the touche features, It’s just a bad rip-off

  9. $2899USD will probably work out closer to $4000 AUD + here in Australia – so effectively a high end item, but damn… I want one. I’d been pining for a Matrix Brute – and this just replaced it on my ‘to buy one day’ list. Time to get a part time second job then…

  10. Morph patch feature is on my trusty Yamaha an200, I cant think of where it appears earlier in synth history. This latest offering from Arturia seems to have little competition in terms of spec (not price), I can’t think of any other synths with this feature set, would love to know what the community thinks on that. It’s all to easy to complain it’s too expensive, but there doesn’t seem to be a direct comparison. This isn’t another mono synth clone after all

    1. This is a “showoff synth” with “showoff features” made in china.

      Rev2 is a more matured synth from a much more experience designer
      It’s smarter, complex, better quality all around, made in usa
      but cost about the same 🙂

  11. Reminder: this has parallel Steiner Parker and Moog filters. The closest poly with Moog filters is the Moog One ($6.5k for 8 voices). The closest poly with Steiner Parker filters is… NOTHING EVER MADE. I’ve already talked to my Sweetwater guy.

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