Arturia MiniBrute Reviews4.5/5.0 based on 11 customer reviews
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March 8, 2013
A Beast of a 'Brute!If you like the warm tones of early Kraftwerk or the chirping arpeggio of YMO, you'll love the MiniBrute. It's got colossal sound in a small package and, speaking from experience, you don't need to have serious technical knowledge of exactly how analog synthesis works, because the user's manual explains that in detail and shows you (almost) every function and use of the MiniBrute. Absolutely worth every penny.
from WILSON, NC
January 4, 2013Music Background:
Former touring musician and sound designer
innovative and fun!this synth is perfect for not only beginners for the fact that it makes learning synthesis ever hands on and easy but great for even high end synth players. The Minibriute has features usually only found on modular synthesizers (like a sawtooth animator). Also i am able to interface it with modular and vintage synth gear through its CV outs as well as additional modulation though the CV in's, a very rare and valuable option on modern synths. Also even though it has a very aggressive sound, it also is great for subtle and beautiful sounds as well.
Damian Justin Kandalec
from Venice, FL USA
December 25, 2012Music Background:
MiniBrute = Great little boardWith only having the Minibrute for a few hours, I can say it it is going to be a main piece for me. For those who are into instant sound tweaking and experimenting with sounds without menu diving this is going be impress.
December 21, 2012Music Background:
Past player now Hobbyist
My Arturia/Sweetwater JourneyMy Arturia MiniBrute journey. I hope it helps and inspires you.
First Arturia. I had never heard of Arturia. I started my Arturia MiniBrute journey with a used Yamaha KX-25 (trust me this will add up). It included a sample version of Arturia's Analog Factory software with 100 sounds which I was instantly impressed with, but I wanted more great sounds!!! I then decided to buy a used Arturia Analog Experience The Factory, which I also fully enjoy. (Please note hands down Arturia is a great DAW company and the first reason to use their products are that they sound great!! I also salute them for allowing the transfer from one owner to another as long as you show them all the proper paperwork and codes and that you do indeed own all of it . Reason number 2 to love, and use Arturia products). So stage one complete. I know who Artruia is and how cool their products are.
Now the MiniBrute.
The reason I found out about the MiniBrute are the great video's posted by Sweetwater. Very informative, HD quality and just an A+ effort. I quickly knew I had to have one. Then as you will find out these are so popular you can't get them. :-) So of course I placed my order with Sweetwater, they held my place in line, my rep Wayne kept up the great communications Sweetwater is known for with me and I now have my unit.
If you are interested in really understanding how classic and modern synthesizer sounds are created and how you can be creative with them this is your synth. You are not playing someone else's sound vision, you create your own, and it is easy! Lack of presets is a good thing!!! (but some are included in the manual and also on paper templates).
Yes is would be great to own a stable of Moog's, Oberheims, Rolands, Korgs, Yamaha's, Access Virus, Dave Smith, etc. etc. etc.
But for only $500 this synthesizer will feed your need for real-Phat- hands on analog. It stimulates sound creativity, is portable, built well and just plain fun.
Do yourself a favor and get one.
PS, yes I will be on the look out for more products from Arturia and Sweetwater!
July 27, 2012Music Background:
producer, performer, DJ
best $500 I ever spent!just finished up 2 remixes using this. superb!
July 10, 2012Music Background:
pro touring musician,producer
this thing rocks!love this little guy! first thing you'll notice is the build is much more robust than u expect. i was expecting the usual Arturia controller type build.but this has got some weight and all pots and sliders feel tight not cheap.
right out of the box this thing was spitting wobbling and growling. love the old school vinyl preset sheets !. a knob for every function like it used to be. this synth gets low has sub osc gets aggressive and the filter is a nice alternative to the moog stuff..the arppegiator has a tap function swing and step.. throw in midi over usb and some key patch points for vco gate ect on back and u have a bad ass powerful little synth!
from Durham, NC
July 9, 2012Music Background:
A Must-have!If you are in the market for affordable and versatile analog goodness look no further. Every little bit of this guy has blown me away! The oscillator is unique and endlessly nuanced thanks to the wave shape mixer and the shaping circuits on each. With the sub-osc mixed in there you can get some really low-down tones but it is also capable of some very delicate sounds as well.
The filter is very different from anything else out there right now and very usable. The Low Pass is sweet, the Band Pass is funky, the High Pass is incredible, and the Notch is a ton of fun!
The LFO is fully fleshed and eminently controllable. The Arp is easy to use and great for jamming. Having ADSR sliders is intuitive and easy to use. The aftertouch is expressive. The outputs and inputs make it easy to integrate into literally any set up. I just can't say enough good stuff about this instrument. Get one now!
from San Diego, CA
March 12, 2013Music Background:
MiniBrute greatBy far, the easiest synth to get the sound I want. The graphic overlays make it nice for learning (and teaching) synth techniques. The MIDI clock just works (so nice). Sometimes you just need a sine wave. I know, that's difficult, but if it had it, that'd push it over a 5...
from Kalamazoo, MI
April 17, 2013Music Background:
First Impression, it's great!I read a lot of online reviews before I bought this, and my first impression is that the positive reviews are right. Excellent build quality, the knobs and sliders feel good, the keyboard is pretty responsive and the oscillatorvis remarkably versatile. You don't really miss having a second oscillator because of the Ultra Saw, Metalizer, etc. The filter can be subtle to harsh, which gives you a lot of options. I do think the "fast" setting on the envelope(s) isn't all that fast, the "slow" is nice and long. It's a blast to program and play, it doesn't sound thin or sterile as some reviews suggest. A great mono-synthesizer, regardless of the price.
from Atlanta, GA
July 9, 2012Music Background:
Recording Engineer, Producer
Pretty great.This little guy is pretty full featured.
Build quality of the overall chassis is sturdy feeling. The knobs and sliders in the oscillator section seem a little fragile - though for the price point they actually seem a little better than I expected.
Sonically the mini brute sounds pretty awesome. All of the tones sound stable (after you let the brute warm up) and oh so very analogue. There are some nice little touches too - audio in, brute factor (a form of feedback looping,) CV ins etc.
It's hard to explain but put the mini brute up to your soft synths (that are designed to do basic analog oscilator style synthesis) and it really sounds noticeably better - especially if you run it through a nice fast preamp/DI (like an API 512.) Sounds so thick. (I also pair it with an Orban analog broadcast EQ which takes this thing to another level entirely)
At this price point you could easily buy two of these things and come up with some really crazy sounds.
It is definitely a must buy for any keyboard or synth enthusiast as well as recording engineers everywhere (the filter section will give you so many new options for your recordings.)
from Santa Fe, NM USA
December 25, 2012Music Background:
30 years, playing metal, rock, country, electronic music, recording and running stage sound.
Poor Man's Mini MoogFirst of all, these are painful to aquire. From almost any mail order music store on the internet, the back order time for one of these will be about two to three months. When the new mopho x4 came out , I had one in three days, but after waiting and waiting I finally got a MiniBrut. So, let me tell you what I think of it. I am 48 years of age, and I am mainly a Marshall half stack Kramer guitar 80's headbanger. I also play rock bass and 70s and 80s pedal steel country music. I bought my first analog synth in 1982, a Jupiter 8, cause we wanted to do 80s MTV new wave songs, and now 30 years later I have about 30 analog and digital synths of all makes and models. Now monophonic synths take some getting used to because you cannot play chords on them, they are like lead guitars with piano keys, playing a phrase or a solo with only one note at a time. But because they are mono, instead of polyphonic, they have a certain feel and sound to them that a poly synth can't give you. With the addition of the MiniBrut I now have three mono synths, my first one was a 1970s EMS Synthi A (the exact mono suitcase synth that Pink Floyd used on Dark Side Of The Moon record) a bass player friend of mine bought it in 1979 when he visited London, and he found no use for it, so I traded him for a huge Ampeg tube bass head in 1986 and that's how I got it. Then when Bob Moog designed and released the Moog Voyager in 2006 I bought one of those. I call the MiniBrut a "poor man's mini moog" because it cost about three thousand dollars less than a Moog Voyager. If you are not ready for a Moog yet. the MiniBrut will somewhat do the job of what a moog can do. The Brut has only one ocillator but it's configured to make three ocillator sounds that you can "mix" together, to make it sound like three. There is also a sub-ocillator for bass tones, which is what i found to be the most analog sounding. The other two wave forms are called "metalizer and brute factor" and these are more like distorted sounds on a Virus synth. I found them to be unuseable, and when they are mixed together all that's achieved is a very distorted fuzzy sound. The Brut has total analog architecture. They do not make synths with sliders anymore, and the Brut is full of them and also has many knobs. The knobs are start and stop potentiometers and do not have silent clicks or detents. They are not endless encoders. The sliders for the envelopes have a very tight smooth feel to them also. The Brut has a genuine analog ocillator, because after switching the synth on it must have a warm up time of about ten minutes or else it won't play in tune. My Andromeda works the same way. After the ten minutes warm up time, you then fine tune it with a knob on the control panel. To me this is a strange little synth because there is no lcd display to indicate functions or store presets. So since there is no display there are no factory patches either. By moving the knobs and sliders you simply get one sound, and if you like it there is no way to save or store it! Included are five blank template overlays that you can mark knob and slider positions with a washable pen, but if you come up with say, five different sounds you made on your Brut and you want to use them performing with a band, it will be impossible to call them up quickly enough, if say for instance the song being performed requires three different sounds. So that pretty much makes the Brut more of a recording than performing synth. The Brut also comes with ten factory template overlays that are pre-marked with knob and slider positions so you can make some sounds without building one yourself, but I found them to be mostly distorted unusable rave sounds. What worked best for me was taking a closeup of the control panel with my digital camera each time I made a sound I wanted to keep. The Brut has 25 oversized black and white piano keys which I found to be a bit difficult to play. I have medium sized hands and for a person with small hands these keys will feel very large. Arturia could have made the piano keys at a smaller scale and might of been able to fit 31 keys on their synth. With the tiny knobs and oversized piano keys the Brut looks somewhat mismatched. The Steiner-Parker filter on the synth is ok, but it lacks richness and body. But by blending the three waveforms some usable sounds will be achieved. The most useful feature the Brut has is it's arpeggiator. It is an old school swing and clock style arpeggiator with a tap tempo control and it can animate and move your sounds in some very interesting ways. This is the first analog mono synth I've seen to have an arpeggiator but the Brut does not have a sequencer. On the back of the Brut are many useful inputs and outputs for connectivity, including usb and cv inputs which enable you to connect additional controlling devices. The Brut does come with a software editor, and you can save patches in your computer and call them up by using the Brut as a usb midi controller. So if you want to use the synth in band performance you will have to take your laptop with you. These are made in China and will have some manufacturing imperfections on them. When I unpacked mine it had knobs and slider controls that were looser or tighter than others, and the pitch and modulation wheels were extremely crooked and lopsided. But the build quality is good, as the Brut's housing is aluminum, not plastic. The power supply is not a wal-wart, but more like a lap-top computer lump-line power supply with a cord coming out of each end but is a small power supply, and is very lightweightt. The Brut has a good amount of weight to it and will remain stable on your keyboard stand, it cannot be moved that easily. I have not heard of a carrying case available for it yet, but the factory carton will work for a while because it opens from the top like a carrying case and also has a plastic carrying handle.There is also a very informative information packed user manual included. Also, the Brut cannot be powered by batteries, so that puts a limit on it's portability factor. So in closing, I will say that this a fun and interesting little synth and it will definitely become a collector's piece in a few years! It is not a toy but a real electronic instrument, it has some limations, but for the most part it will make interesting and useful electronic music. It may or may not suit your needs. You decide.
25-key All-analog Monophonic Synthesizer with a 3-waveform Oscillator, a Suboscillator, an External Input, a Noise Generator, 2 x ADSR Envelopes, Assignable LFO, Aftertouch, Portamento, Steiner-Parker 2-pole Filter, and Both CV and MIDI I/O (Including MIDI Over USB)