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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54 Visitor comments
September 26, 2013 @ 1:07 pm
Amazing amount of control and one of the only synths that have cv in/out. It can be tame and warm or it can shred speakers and eardrums, The osc section is by far one of the best features. Also it has velocity and after touch witch an analog synth is basically useless without if you cant route your mod sources to AT. Take a LONG HARD look at the competition for the price point, it will leave all others in the dust, If mine breaks or fizzes out in a 5 yrs ill go buy another. Good enough for Vince Clarke and Adrian Utley of Portishead is good enough for me! Dont expect a Ferrari for Honda prices
September 26, 2013 @ 1:00 pm
To the person below... Analog oscillators drift and its part of what happens with analog.try keeping a 30yr old moog modular in tune, The good things is that all of the problems described in those forums are generally user error or can be fixed via OS upgrade.
Mine stays in tune just fine and I will have to say that for the price point you cannot beat this synth. The one reason it shines its its actually its own beast, very unique but it can be tamed and warm like an older analog should be. Nyle Steiner himself approved the circuits in this thing so it has some serious clout behind it.
drizzle fixer
September 22, 2013 @ 10:32 am
A WORD OF WARNING!! To potential buyers. I've owned this synth for 4 months and the tuning is becoming erratic. Even after warm up period and in ambient temperature I have to keep retuning. Also the top octave is slightly sharp, out of tune. This is a quirk of the synth and not a one off but a characteristic of the VCO itself. I now have issues with key weights falling off!

If you goto you will find alot of user problems. Not just the synth but with the lack of help from technical support.
August 11, 2013 @ 10:27 pm
The Minibrute is a fantastic little synth. The "bang for your buck" here is the greatest of any synth in history. While I like the multimode SP filter, it is not what defines the sound of the brute. The filter is very useful and gets the job done. But the osc section is where this baby truly shines. The wavebender (metalizer) on the Tri wave is a stand-out feature. Great sonic flexibility and overall functionality offered at a very reasonable price. Not to mention, it includes weighted keys with aftertouch!
July 26, 2013 @ 4:04 pm
In reply to an earlier post regarding velocity control of the Minibrute, the keyboard transmits midi velocity and the synth is equipped with an Amp CV input. So using a MIDI/CV box with appropriate facility the MIDI velocity data could be converted to a suitable CV to feed the amp CV input... This setup 'should' give the desired velocity control. (I may be missing something, perhaps someone else could confirm/deny this idea.)
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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