Arturia MiniBrute

Arturia MiniBrute Image

Announced in January 2012, the MiniBrute created quite a buzz at Winter NAMM 2012 and in the electronic music world. Not only was it the first new mass-market analog VCO synth in quite a while, it was also from a company known for its soft synths. Highly affordable at a street price of $499 and filled with great features, the (almost) all-analog synth filled the desire for a new hands-on analog synth that could compete in price and sound with the well-loved vintage synths. Smartly designed, the unit can neatly fit into an all-vintage, modern MIDI, or modular setting with its CV, USB and MIDI DIN connections. Built in an aluminum body with rubber end caps, the MiniBrute is rugged, with only the knobs feeling a bit on the wobbly side.

Sonically, the MiniBrute is aggressive. Its tone can be tamed for softer textures, but it seems to gravitate toward the raunchy, with its "Brute Factor" control adding rich distortion. The multimode Steiner-Parker filter provides versatility beyond what most vintage mono synths deliver. Taking things even further, Arturia provide "Ultrasaw" control over the saw waveform and "Metalizer" over the triangle wave, allowing the user to create unique new sounds for a VCO mono synth. To make the sound even larger, the MiniBrute's VCO wave mixer lets you combine the waveforms with dedicated volume sliders per waveform, allowing for sounds similar to a polyphonic synth's unison mode. Many of those who were initially unconvinced by the single VCO were quickly swayed by the sonic flexibility of the waveforms and the sub-oscillator.

Arturia MiniBrute Image

With a multimode arpeggiator, aftertouch, velocity-sensitivity, multimode Steiner-Parker filter and many more features, the MiniBrute has few vintage competitors in terms of functionality. And it also holds its own in comparing its sound with that of beloved mono synths of yesteryear, and it even goes beyond the limits of the architecture of most 1970s subtractive synths, making the MiniBrute both a unique homage to the past as well as a new and creative interpretation of it. No menus, no presets. Just a straightforward, hands-on, "knobby" analog mono synth.

Lookup Arturia MiniBrute Prices

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54 Visitor comments
August 6, 2014 @ 9:02 pm
There is gear out there no one talks about that could revolutionize your set up. Guitar pedals, no name brands, stuff that was cool 10yrs ago, all these things are on your side. It's what you do w your gear that'll set you apart so don't be scared to buy what everybody has. I have one of the most provincial, least acclaimed samplers ever and the thing is a godsend. I'd like an MPC, sure but I can do EVERYTHING I'd ever want to do w my 404SX. Don't get caught up in gear and lose the forest from the trees. This is relevant to the Brute, which I want, only in that it is relevant to all.
February 23, 2014 @ 7:21 am
Anyone who talks bad about this synth should use vst-synths instead or have a brain upgrade ;-)

An absolutely wonderful synth, so much character and personality. Sound modulation is really powerful and there is so much sounds one can create, everything from basses, leads, pads or percussions. It´s a forever keeper, a good example of how soft-synths sounds like the walking dead. I got bought mine new for 500 (US), a real bargain!!!
January 28, 2014 @ 3:12 am
Great sound. Haven't had the problems with stability that some people here describe. Amazingly good value for the price - cuts through anything.
January 24, 2014 @ 8:26 am
People please! IF you're getting tuning drift problems with this synth, its not because 'analogue synths drift', its because the unit is FAULTY! FFS it's 2014, not 1970 - solid state analogue electronics today are super reliable (if they've been designed, built properly and use quality components). I second the other comments on this forum regarding Arturia's poor customer service. Having said all that, I like the Minibrute, but like others say, being unable to save presets is a big minus, as is not being able to save patches via midi or receive CC data - is this 100% correct?
January 14, 2014 @ 5:32 pm
The Arturia Minibrute is a great synthesizer for in the studio. I don't take it with me on stage because I find it a bit too unpredictable. It's great to have unpredictability when it comes to creativity, but on stage I would rather have a STABLE synthesizer, and this is where the Arturia lacks a bit when you compare it with other similar synthesizers on the market today. It has to be on for at least 10 minutes to be 'warm' enough to have a stable VCO with no pitch drift. I wouldn't mind it if Arturia would introduce stable DCO's for their POLY BRUTE. One can always hope!
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 4.06 (327 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - Monophonic
  • Multitimbral - 1 part
  • Oscillators - 1 VCO, 1 Sub-Oscillator (square, sine, -1 or -2 Octave), White Noise, External Audio In, Pulse Width Modulation
  • Waveforms - Sub, Sawtooth, Square, Triangle, and White Noise
  • LFO - LFO1: Sine, Triangle, Sawtooth, Square, Random Square, Random Sine. LFO2: 3 Vibrato modes (trill up, trill down, sine).
  • Filter - Steiner-Parker 2-pole Multimode (12 dB/octave Low Pass, 6 dB/octave Band Pass, High Pass and Notch) with Keyboard Tracking
  • Envelope - 2 ADSR Envelope Generators
  • Effects - Ultrasaw, Metalizer, Brute Factor
  • Vocoder - None
  • Sequencer - None
  • Arpeggiator - 4 modes, 4 octave range control, 6 step divisions, 6 Swing modes, Hold
  • Keyboard - 25 note semi-weighted, with aftertouch (assignable to Cutoff or Vibrato amount)
  • Memory - None, patch sheets supplied
  • Control - CV In/Out (Pitch, Filter, Amp), MIDI In/Out, USB MIDI In/Out
  • Weight - 4 kg (8.8 lbs)
  • Date Produced - 2012
  • Resources & Credits
  • Original images from Arturia.

    Review by GuyaGuy.

    Reviewed January 2013.

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