Skip to content

I Remember MiniBrute

  • Music
Arturia MiniBrute analog synthesizer.

I remember 2012. It was the year that Arturia released the original MiniBrute, the first in what is turning out to be a great series of analog synthesizers. I’d gone down to the local musical equipment emporium to see what things were new and interesting. And, there it was, sitting quietly on a table. A small group of synth nerds were standing around, looking at it, like it was some sort of curiosity to be observed, but not disturbed.

I, on the other hand, confronted it. I pushed at the sliders. I twisted the knobs. I mashed on the keys. It bleeped, blooped, and roared in response. It sounded glorious.

One young fellow came up to me and said, “That was amazing! Do you [already] have one of these? How did you know how to do that?” That was a kind of a surreal experience. I showed him a few things, and left him to have his own experience with the synth. Regretfully, I opted to not buy that MiniBrute. Why? Probably because it didn’t have any way to save presets.

The original did have MIDI and USB connection that allowed the MiniBrute to be controlled by software or a bigger, better keyboard, and it even responded to aftertouch. It also had CV inputs and outputs for integration with a modular setup, and an audio input to allow processing of other signals. Arturia made a software control application for Windows and MacOS available several months after the launch of the synth (it’s still available for download here, along with the MiniBrute manual).

Since then, the ‘Brutes have become a mighty and unique series of synths: SE versions of the original, the MatrixBrute, the PolyBrute, the MicroBrute, the MiniBrute 2 and 2S, and the absolutely killer PolyBrute 12. And now, the original is back, somewhat enhanced, in the form of a VST instrument.

The software version captures all of the characteristics of the original, but kicks things up a notch or two by adding up to eight voices of polyphony, some great sounding effects, and some “Dispersion Controls” that alter the characteristics of the virtual electronics, ostensibly to allow matching the production variations of the MiniBrute over the years. Aftertouch and even MPE are supported in MiniBrute V (one thing I didn’t realize at the time is that even the original MiniBrute had a keyboard with aftertouch!).

So why did I add MiniBrute V to my studio when I already own a PolyBrute? For one thing, it’s kind of hard to carry the PolyBrute around when I travel. Having some Brute on my laptop is pretty compelling. And the MiniBrute is different from the PolyBrute, particularly in the way the oscillator works. So, I see the two as being complimentary.

NOTE: At some point I’ll be adding Arturia’s complete collection of synths to my studio. For now, I’ll continue with Analog Lab Pro and a selection of full versions.

Read the Sound on Sound Magazine Review of the original MiniBrute from March of 2012 here.

My YouTube playlist of videos about the MiniBrute V software instrument:

And one for the original MiniBrute analog synthesizer.

Leave a Comment ...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

error: Content is protected !!
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"Right-Click\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" is disallowed on this site.