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.

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53 Visitor comments
April 27, 2013 @ 4:43 am
superb synth, can pick it out in a mix immediately amongst all the "vanilla" synths - incredibly strong, unique and powerful for such a little thing.
April 18, 2013 @ 11:35 pm
Crazy flexible and insanely fun. I Can't believe the sounds coming from a 1 osc mono synth....

^All Minibrute
April 18, 2013 @ 1:53 pm
If all you are getting out of the Minibrute are distorted tones and you can't get any dynamics out of it or work the envelope right... well, you're just doing it wrong. This synth is fantastic and versatile and can easily be made to produce deep basses, twinkling bells and whatever lies between by a competent sound designer. One thing people need to be aware of is not to push all the oscillator sliders to full blast, as they distort past around 75%- working with this in mind, you will find that quieter volumes and subtler changes yield satisfying results.
April 10, 2013 @ 3:16 am
Ok please listen to my review because I own a lot of synths and I know what I'm talking about and not swallowed by hype. This is an okay synth. Its strength is that it sounds unique. Not with a heavy bottom end though like a Pro One. The worst thing is the filter sliders are terrible. Having a fast / slow filter time [beep] s! Also you go from pluck to longer decay in such a short millimeter of a slider movement it makes working with the synth worse than many other synths. Once your slider is halfway up it barely does a thing. Tempo knob has a similar problem. I give the synth a 2/5. Worth 300
Jay B
April 8, 2013 @ 1:25 am
This is way overrated, it has a thin, buzzy distorted sound and does not sound like a quality synth at all, made in China I believe, which is no surprise, sounds like it. Arturia should've stuck to software, that's what they're good at, and of course marketing considering the hype surrounding the MiniBrute. There are many other much better synthesizers at the same price, like for example the Moog Minitaur or the Vermona Lancet, ok so you don't get a 2 octave keyboard with them, but that's cheap to get and the sound of either will blow the MiniBull [beep] (oops, Freudian slip) out of the water.
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VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 4.06 (326 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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