ARTURIA MINIBRUTE What a Dirty Brute

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The MiniBrute is Arturia’s first step into the world of analog circuitry. A company that’s well known for its soft-synths and MIDI hardware is finally entering a market in which competitors like Moog, Korg and Waldorf have long reigned.

What is it?
The MiniBrute is Arturia’s first fully analog monophonic synthesizer that features a single Oscillator that makes Sawtooth, Pulse, Triangle and White Noise waveforms. A critical winning factor is that they can be mixed together simultaneously for harmonically rich tones, as well as providing an audio in case you want to use just the Filter. The three waveforms are supported by respective waveshapers. A switchable Filter, dual Envelopes and an analog LFO provide basic modulation, while an onboard Arpeggiator gives swell motion.

Who’s it for?
The MiniBrute is clearly marketed at the entry-level analog synthesizer, with a reasonable price tag. But its ability to generate interesting concoctions of waveforms under the influence of the Filter and LFO makes it a great toy for all ages.

Style
I’ll be honest: it’s not very stylish, because that’s not its objective. It’s simple, ergonomic, and presents everything you need up front. It’s small and slightly heavy, all of which gives it a rather crude character, which I believe works in its favor. It’s dirty! You’ll like it.

Usability
Everything you need is in front of you. It’s the sheer simplicity of this synth that makes it a win for me. The knobs have a nice feel to them. The faders feel a bit fidgety, but you won’t worry about that when you’re making noise.

The Upside
Its simplicity makes this a great synth to understand the sounds of individual waveforms. There’s a great feeling in making visual connections to what you’re hearing, and the lack of a digital interface gives the synthesizer just that. Warm tones and dirty characters are the MiniBrute’s forte, making it ideal for edgy leads and warm bass tones.

The Downside
You could say the lack of a digital interface for Envelope and LFO assignments is annoying as that would only increase your sound palette; but then again, the MiniBrute manages quite well even without. The keys may start to loosen as it ages, so make sure it’s handled with care.

Final Call
The MiniBrute will surprise you. It’s a simple and good-sounding additive and subtractive synthesizer. It can be a bit limiting at times, but so long as you know that and accept it, you’ll be happy with this machine.

What’s in the Box Tech Specs
• MiniBrute synthesizer
• User manual
• Preset sheets
• Power supply
• Monophonic Synthesizer
• 100% Analog Audio Signal Path
• Steiner-Parker 2 pole Multimode Filter (Low Pass, Band Pass, High Pass and Notch)
• Voltage Controlled Oscillator with Sub-Osc (Square, Sine, -1 and 02 oct)
• Oscillator Mixer (Sub, Sawtooth, Square, Triangle, White Noise, Audio In)
• Brute Factor delivering saturation and rich harmonics
Approximate Price: INR 41,000
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