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
October 18, 2013 @ 11:27 am
Simple and pretty good synth at a very affordable price. Well built, well designed. Filter sounds great, oscillators are versatile. I also use it as a glue for Midi-to-CV to sync MIDI, analog sequencers/arpegiators.

ex: Computer -[MIDI]-> DSI MEK -[MIDI]-> MiniBute -[gate]-> Korg SQ10 -[gate]-> Korg Poly61.
David C
October 9, 2013 @ 3:51 pm
When I bought my Minibrute last week I had it, a Korg MS-20 mini, Moog Minitaur and Novation Bass Station 2 all lined up next to each other and moved between them using headphones for about an hour. My preconception was that I would try the Minibrute but most likely buy the Minitaur, but I was very surprised at just how much bass and sonic quality the Minibrute kicks out and the Minitaur seemed very one-dimensional and without the superior sound I expected to get. The Bass Station 2 seemed too hidden and the MS-20 felt very cheap compared. I think the Minibrute really is superb and well built
October 1, 2013 @ 8:39 pm
Arturia makes great software but hardware is shipped broken and good luck getting them to fix it. Minibrute was shipped with the pulse width envelope amount knob loose and sloppy in movement while others are tight and slow in motion. Service department said it was normal. Keylab was shipped with a broken knob and I have been waiting for replies to send a new one for 43 days. SparkLE touch screen is very jumpy unless pushed very hard. It is kind of useless. Lost trust in Arturia's hardware. I have bought gear over the years from Roland, Korg, Moog, and Dave Smith and never had a problem.
drizzle fixer
October 1, 2013 @ 2:56 pm
analogman80 just to let you know i have owned various VCO based synths in my time and none ofthem ever had notes sharper at the top octave like this synth and i mean seriously sharp, almost a semitone out! My Moog Prodigy is 33 years old after 20 minutes its in tune and stays there, across the whole range of notes. I really wanted to love this synth. It does sound awesome it is very flexible and it is cheap for what it does. There unfortunately lies the problem. Give it 2-3 years these will be falling to bits cos of the cheap build.
September 26, 2013 @ 1:12 pm
What Arturia has Achieved for the price point is nothing short of astounding! Fantastic, unique and Value packed synthesizer! Take a look at the build quality on the over priced MS-20 mini (its terrible) that lacks more than a dozen of the features that the brute holds and you will see the value, if you don't then have fun with your korgs! Get a wood side kit for The MB and you have one sexy synth.
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 4.07 (329 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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