As a seasoned sound designer, versatility is one of the most important things I look for in a synth — I want to get a lot of different textures out of it. The synth also has to be tweakable, but I don't want the controls to get in the way of my creative flow, and the MicroBrute totally fits the bill. Arturia laid out each section in a logical signal flow, so I can jump right in, without having to get my bearings first. When it comes to versatility, the Brute Factor is a major part of what makes the MicroBrute so satisfying. It lets me dial in anything from a simple sawtooth to a warbling, growling bass. I also love starting off with three independent oscillators I can mix to create a ton of different tones.
The first thing I noticed about the Arturia MicroBrute is how intuitive it is. Hands-on controls and a straightforward layout make everything accessible, so I could dive right in. It's perfect for any synth novice, while the Mod Matrix provides the CV routing I need to create complex patches. This 25-key synth may only have a single VCO, but the sound I can get from it is far from "micro!
As a musician, there are times when I'm more interested in making music than I am in tweaking knobs. The MicroBrute is the perfect synth for nailing some of those great, warm analog synth sounds while being straightforward enough to get right to working on the song. The all-analog signal path with tons of variations on basic oscillator shapes plus the incredibly innovative filter let me get anywhere from a simple lead to incredibly dirty, out of control tones, plus the mod matrix lets me tie it in with other analog gear.
Great Product & Experience
Wow couldn't be happier... The Microbrute is a beast but I'm a noob so I'll leave the tech specs to the pros & just speak on the service. Ordered this bad boy 4:00pm on Monday with the regular free delivery & it came the very next day before noon!! A Rep (wassup Spencer) called me 10 mins after I placed the order to see if I had any questions/concerns with the product, process, or just synthesis in general... best experience I've ever had ordering anything online, period. I'll be using these guys again in future for sure & highly recommend them to everybody. Thanks again for the candy too lol Rock on!!
Exactly what I was looking for
This is small but it sounds HUGE! It's no toy either( no built in speakers and no batteries-AWESOME!) If you want to add an analog synth to your musical arsenal, this is it! It's affordable, easy to use, has a small foot print and can be easily built upon (CV ins and outs to go to other synths/modules) it's simply amazing! I had tried a Korg MS-20 mini and Minilogue but both had an obnoxious learning curve (because I'm a guitar player). However, The Microbrute gives you immediate gratification but as you dig deeper you find that the possibilities are endless....just buy it already!
Surprisingly thick sound for such a cheap price.
First of all, the folks at Sweetwater have done an awesome job with their customer service. Not only were they helpful, but someone actually called after I placed my order to thank me. Never had that happen before. They even put a SMALL BAG OF CANDY in the shipping box which my son absolutely loved. I will be using Sweetwater exclusively for my gear from now on.
I was getting tired of VSTi's and so I decided to begin an all hardware setup. While not my first synth, this is my first venture into true analogue and WOW. This thing blew my socks off. I was not expecting such a fat sound from something that cost $299! I have no clue how Arturia was able to pull this off and I don't care. I think once I start hooking effects up to this thing, my head will literally explode. That's how good this thing sounds. The filter is aggressive, coherent, and very distinct. I was able to create a good sounding bass patch in less than 5 minutes and within 10 I was creating weird analogue gurgle and pops. I was able to use the LFO to create an electro style octave arpeggiator type effect. I experimented with the sequencer a little bit but the patterns that came with it sounded interesting and I'm looking forward to experimenting with it some more, but I was having more fun plating the keys.
Only issue I had was that since I'm new to true analogue, I didn't know you need to warm the synth up and had some instability with staying in tune for a few minutes. Not for very long though and it wasn't that much.
I can see why this got good ratings.
Awesome sound/features alone, even better in a modular rig!
I've been a guitarist/bassist for 19 years who used to play punk/metal/ska... but when I first heard The Prodigy about 16 years ago, I got addicted to electronic music, especially the darker, heavier industrial sounding stuff. I couldn't (and can still barely) play keyboard, but I fell in love with rhe Roland JP-8000 at a local music store as a teenager, and spent hours tinkering with it every time I went there. Even goofing around with single notes, I made some cool noises and loved playing with the knobs and sliders to make new sounds, but alas, I couldn't afford one, so I settled for a MicroSoft instead. It's a great synth with some great sounds, but it was lacking the hands-on feel with single function sliders and knobs, with menu knobs to select different parameters like filter cutoff, resonance, etc. I got bored just using the presets and being confused about finding the right way to sculpt sounds, and didn't really learn or understand the basics of synthesis. I gave up on synths for many years.
I learned about the WMD Geiger Counter (bit-crushed/down-sampler) and wanted one for my guitar, but didn't want a pedal, and the Eurorack format looked neat and tidy, so I could get a case/power supply and rack-mount it (I have severe OCD). I took the plunge into modular synths and started to aquire new modules to do all kinds of neat things, but I wanted to get away from just a guitar FX unit, and back in to synths, but I needed some way to trigger and play it. I couldn't afford a MIDI to pitch/gate converter and a keyboard and other things like ADSR, Oscillator, LFO, etc.
Then the MicroBrute came out. It had CV in/out for pitch and gate, envelopes, envelope, and all kinds of ways to intermingle with my Eurorack modular setup, all for about the price of a MIDI/CV converter alone. Also, it is all brutal yet beautiful,, rich analog sound. Stand-alone it is fun, hands on, and amazing. Seamlessly incorporating it with my modular setup, it makes it and the modules exponentially more versatile, unique and a blast to patch, tweak, and spend countless hours exploring endless possibilities. Also, the simple, intuitive design quickly taught me the fundamentals of synthesis, as well as advanced patching, and new ways to create unheard of sounds. Thsnks to the MicroBrute, I have tons of knobs and sliders, reminisent of the JP-8000's controls I Spent hours playing with and lusting over. Compact, well laid out, sturdy construction, and killer-sounding, I could go on for a while. Now I can create the types of music I had only dreamed of before. The MicroBrute is pretty much the centerpiece of my synth rig, and home studio in general.
Even with limited keyboard-playing ability, I can whip out sweet-sounding music easily and creatively. Hands-down, best $299 I've ever spent. Thank you so much Arturia, and thanks again Sweetwater for another awesome purchasing experience.
(The free shipping and candy is icing on the cak!e)
This is A LOT of synth for the price, and it's no slouch in the sound department either. You can coax almost anything you can imagine out of this thing. I get lost in sound for hours just twiddling the knobs. The build is super solid and it can interface with lots of other gear. My only wish is that it had a noise wave like it's bigger brother. I like to use that for snare sounds. Other than that, I really want for nothing with this thing! Oh and the manual is really fantastic as well! An excellent piece of gear!
I Bought this synth a few months ago this is my first analog synth.
the more i play with it the more i like it
i would of written this review back in May 2015 but i was to busy playing with it
The beastial noises that howl from this tiny thing!!! Highly recommended. Be warned though ... Highly addicting too. Hours evaporate as I concoct new sounds with this analog powerhouse. I love the fact that there is no "menu diving" because there are no menus!!! What you see up top is what you get.
As usual, Sweetwater service was top notch. Will be in touch with them down the road for sure to add some beats and more to the MicroBrute, as it has modular capabilities.
Great for stepping into the analog world
When I first bought the brute, it was meant to be an affordable synth that would help me learn more about synthesis and give me a truly hands on feel. The microbrute is my go-to when writing bass lines - it's too easy to get those juicy sounds.
After 4 months with it, I'm still finding new ways to tweak the sounds in crazy ways. I find the controls/features are very well thought out and the box is well made. The knobs just feel good to turn. In fact, I've found myself missing a few classes just because I lose track of time fiddling away. The people in my apartment building must hate me for all the strange noises coming out of my room.
I'm also finding new ways to use this all the time. Getting a cable splitter is a good idea ( so you can patch more than one CV out for the LFO and envelope). Most importantly, THIS FILTER. I love running any sort of signal through it - mostly digital keyboards. It gives that warmth that analog heads go crazy for.
This is definitely the wisest $300 I've spent on gear.
P.H.A.T. Sound for a SLIM price
So I have recently made the delicious plunge into analog synths, and my first one was an Arturia Microbrute. This thing is AMAZING! it has a whole lot of sound to offer...everything from seriously stabbing leads to thick basslines to percussive drum lines to R2D2 noises...and a whole lot more! Now I have plenty of digital synthesizers at my disposal, both hardware and soft, and this is so much more fun and so much sweeter and warmer sounding than any of them! And it's semi-modular, which makes it a whole lot of fun to throw my Moog CP-251 at! This little guy offers a whole lot of smiles for the $$ My only wish is that they had given it a real MIDI Out, but what can ya do :-)
There isa nothing micro about the sound from this Brute
In my opinion I like it better than the MiniBrute. I think it sounds fatter and fuller than it's big bro. It has enough control to create some insane sounds. Sweetwater and AJ Petersen deliver once again.
Not nothing wrong with this microbrute
The first MicroBrute I got had something wrong in LFO, I sent it back .The people at Sweetwater sent me a new one and this one works fine.thank sweetwater..
Good analog synth
This is a good little analog synth I still use my 1984 Roland SH 101 found out I can use the CV cable s in both
Little Synth with a lot to offer
With the right patching (i picked up one of those multi output hubs for the 1/8th cables for more possibilities) you can get a lot of cool sounds from this little guy. the sequencer is great and easy to use. it has cv in. to me, it sounds better than the minibrute. it is built really well, however, my middle C key is higher than the rest. I had a minibrute with the same issue. it sounds great along with other synths in a mix.
Free MicroBrutes Instead of Healthcare!
I am very pleased with the MicroBrute! As everyone else says, the build quality is pretty darn good. The envelope faders are a hair squirrely- just a hair- but the rest of this little Brute is very will built. Everything feels tight and solid.
As for the sound- VERY NICE!!! It has it's own vibe. I've got a Moog Little Phatty Stage II sitting next to this guy in the studio and there is a very distinct difference between the two filters and sounds you can create-which is why I bought it- I wanted the Arturia Brute family sound. The Steiner-Parker 12dB multimode filter is very different sounding (in a good way). The Brute factor was a pleasant surprise too! It adds some girth to the bottom end and just kind of gives some smudge that you'd want in today bass lines. I have dialed in some very contemporary and modern sounding leads and basses as well as some very old school and vintage sounding patches on the MicroBrute.
The sequencer works fine. No complaints here.
The Mod matrix is implemented very nicely on this synth! You can do a lot to the sound when patching the two little orange patch cables through to different destinations.
All in all, this is a darn fun synthesizer to create with. There is nothing like one-knob-per-function on a synth. The MicroBrute has a character that I haven't heard before which makes it special. So far, it has been a great addition to my studio set up! Way to go Arturia! Can't wait for the next member of the Brute family.
Great synth with massive bang for buck. I bought it for a backpack midi controller, since it has mod/pitch wheels, usb midi, and an analog synth attached. Has some quirks, reminiscent of an Arp Axxe IMO from the squirmy glide to the slower envelopes. I wish it was bus-powered, but it's $300, so i can't complain.
Excellent First Impression!
I just purchased this little guy and at first glance was pretty impressed with the build quality.The knobs are really tight, connections are solid. After I plugged it in and played it for about 20mins or so, I realized the reviews I read on this brute were true. It also sounds pretty cool. The layout is really simple and easy to tweak. It took no time to create a little pattern using the sequencer. I kind of wish it had full size keys but the minikeys are decent and play really well. If you own a microkorg then it's not far from the feel of those keys. All in all it seems like you get a good bang for $300. I was about to buy the Bass Station II or the Minibrute until I saw this and I'm glad I went with it because it seems to offer a little more character and uniqueness. In time, I will own a BS2 though.
Swiss Army Knife
The MicroBrute sounds great and has an incredibly dense architecture. It reacts dynamically and makes it very easy to shift the design of a patch quickly. The sequencer and envelope are extremely playable and really remind you that this is an instrument (even though the cost makes it hard to think of it as anything other than an amazing deal for the sequencer and S-P filter). I was worried that it would feel cheap, but the knobs and faders are super-solid and responsive.
The patchbay also makes it incredibly easy to hook up with Eurorack gear, making this a no-brainer as a portable controller / "heart" for any modular system. Kind of like a tiny, modern-day Roland Synthesizer 101. When you get it out of the box, program in the bassline from the end theme to Blade Runner, start tweaking, and never look back.
Powerful rig in tiny footprint
I was intrigued when the MicroBrute showed up in the wake of the MiniBrute. I had played the Mini and thought it a bit too 'raw' and metallic for my tastes. I had heard that the Micro had a different sound, so I grabbed one. It is true that this sounds different--the overall general feel and sound is much warmer than the Mini. The sequencer is a nice addition, much more useful than the arpeggiator of the Mini. This alone might make Mini owners jump to add the Micro. The small modular patch bay is also a nice touch, Random connections can make some very unexpected results, and that is only within the synth. It can also interface with other gear. The build is extremely solid and pro level. It fits in a laptop case, which makes transport extremely efficient. A+ for build and portability. A- for sound. If you need an analog synth to fancy up your rig and you are on a budget, you should try one of these out first.
Sounds great, but I had to calibrate it
I'd probably give this five stars if everything worked properly out of the box, but the pitch bend wheel didn't work right at first. It worked fine for bending the pitch down, but when I moved it up, it would jump down to the step below, then jump up to the step above. I had to search through forums to find a calibration utility for PC to fix it. However, minus that initial hassle, it's a great little synth. It sounds warm and fat and analoguey, and it's easy for me to figure out as a newcomer to true analog synthesis. And even though you can't save your patches, it comes with a nice little set of overlay cards that you can mark knob positions on. Would definitely recommend, but just know that you may have to download some PC software if things don't work properly out of the box.
My fingers are trained for a piano keyboard - mini keys just don't work! Otherwise great!