Arturia MiniBrute: Feedback Wanted

Discussion in 'Production' started by lostnthesound, Apr 23, 2013.

  1. lostnthesound

    lostnthesound Burns Easily in the Sun

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Messages:
    1,393
    Likes Received:
    190
    Location:
    Washington DC
    During my lunch break I popped into the local music shop and took the Arturia MiniBrute for a test-drive. I've always wanted an analog synth in my setup, mostly for the hands-on experience and "warm" sound, but never felt comfortable paying a couple thousand for something I might toss on the shelf (or become bored with) in a month.

    Having said that, I was really into the MiniBrute, and the price point is definitely nice. Within minutes I was able to familiarize myself with it and was creating some rather heavy noises.

    I wanted to poll the forum for feedback and see if anyone owns it and furthermore, if they'd be willing to share their thoughts on it. For example: are you still using it or did it quickly become stale after a few uses, pros and cons, etc.

    Thanks in advance for your feedback.
     

  2. Menosance

    Menosance aka OSOI

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Messages:
    2,073
    Likes Received:
    323
    Location:
    Malta
    I was also looking at it tbh and I did really like it. I am like you also looking into having an analog synth for bass since I am tired of using the same Minibrute samples I got from sound animals. Also I am creating my sounds based on analog bass synths so if I own one is better.

    The only problem that I see is the price for me and the fact I am still freelancing at releasing music. 500 euros is quite expensive for me and I don't want to spend that amount of money on it with no guarantee of getting released. But I did a little search on the net and found a sub-size synth at 200 euros called Waldorf Rocket and I am getting that one supposedly.

    Like I said, I do have a file full of royalty free samples from the brute and they sound fat and pure (i.e. simple A or C notes with nothing added on) and I really love them, just tired of always using them, so if you have the money for the brute I suggest that you go and make that purchase. :)
     
  3. lasiien

    lasiien Meh

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    Messages:
    319
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    Chester, UK
    Hiya lost,

    I have one, bought it a couple of months ago for much the same reasons - to get a flavour of analogue without buying an absolute ton of gear. Overall, I don't regret buying it as it's been a pretty fun instrument to play around with.

    Here's a summary just from my own pov after a couple of months of use and experimentation:

    Pros:

    - For just a single oscillator it's true that they do manage to make it sound much bigger, including sub oscillator
    - The ultrasaw is especially good imo, and can get some fanataisc detuned sounds with it
    - You can route an external source into it and combine with the other waves types in the mixer, I haven't used this as much as I should have but plan to experiment a bit more !
    - The brute factor is pretty nice for providing feedback on itself, and can lead to some pretty wild results
    - I love the fact that it has to warm up, really show's its all analogue as you cant use it for the first 5mins :)
    - The keyboard has a very nice feel, and aftertouch is sweet. I also run it via midi cable to my pc and can use it as a midi controller if I want to which was unexpected !
    - The arpeggiator is pretty damn good for the price of the unit
    - The low pass filter is nice
    - Again for the price of the unit the modulation options are plentiful (inc mod wheel and pitch bend, I think it's pretty good for the price, you barely get that on some midi keyboards just below this price point!!)

    Cons:

    - The other filter types I am getting on less well with (BP HP and Notch). they deliver some crazy results but often are a bit un-usable imo. I've since started using filters with it 'in the box' which i worry takes away some of the analogue goodness!
    - Whilst the lack of digital presets was already known to me before purchase it is a bit of a pain to be honest. Often you'll find a useable sound but tweak it just a bit too much and then find you can't get back to where it was sounding good!
    - The LFO is good, but it still is lacking compared to what I can do in the box.
    - I come across delay issues when recording especially in a reasonably filled out track in my DAW. I find its usually it's best to sample the minibrute on it's own and bounce it down but then it's difficult to 'play along' with anything remotely complex. I'm a guitar player so used to these kind of issues, but it is a PITA compared to a soft synth. So workflow-wise for me it's not really ideal. Maybe i'm not using it right though (would be interested to hear how other people with outboard gear handle these issues).
    - It's still a monosynth, so obviously doesn't handle chords (I know you already know this, but it is something to consider, wouldn't be shocked if upon the success of the minibrute they release a polybrute for a couple of hundred extra soon).
    - The keyboard, whilst nice, looks like it is a bit fragile to me, I imagine it's quite easy to break but hopefully I won't be doing that ! :)


    Thats all I can think of right now, hope it helps you a bit. One other thing I'd point out is that a Virus Ti SNOW is not much more, albeit that it's not analogue and also lacks some of the features of it's bigger brother.....even so it might be worth just saving a bit extra. That's the debate I had with myself but the minibrute won out :)

    las
     
    lostnthesound likes this.
  4. lostnthesound

    lostnthesound Burns Easily in the Sun

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Messages:
    1,393
    Likes Received:
    190
    Location:
    Washington DC
    TOP MAN!! Way to be lasiien, this is exactly the type of insite I was after. I appreciate your well written in-depth review of the MiniBrute, it definitely helped me put some things in perspective, specifically, how much of an impact the lack of ability to save patches would become. I play guitar as well and know what you mean about the impact of even the slightest latency with regards to external instruments. Even with my current interface (Duet 2) there is still some slight latency (probably my own fault) so I have to usually lay down the chords and then go in and do some time flexing.

    After some thinking, I believe I'm going to hold off until June and wait for Novation BassStation II. Same cost as the MiniBrute, but with the ability to save up to 60 user patches...and a second OSC amongst other nice little enhancements.

    Many thanks and a well deserved +1.
     
  5. lasiien

    lasiien Meh

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    Messages:
    319
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    Chester, UK
    You're welcome, and yeah the new BassStation does look pretty tasty doesn't it? Make sure you post us a review once you've had it a while, I'd be interested in how you get on with it :)
     
  6. msmith222

    msmith222 redbeard

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Messages:
    867
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    I'm really looking forward to you getting the BassStation. :)
     
  7. lostnthesound

    lostnthesound Burns Easily in the Sun

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Messages:
    1,393
    Likes Received:
    190
    Location:
    Washington DC
    It certainly does look quite tasty, I'm really into the features and the design aesthetics...and that ACID filter. :) I placed my preorder and was told she'll be delivered to my doorstep the first week in June. I will definitely post a thorough review!

    You and me both!
     
  8. alz

    alz compress to impress

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    2,533
    Likes Received:
    63
    Location:
    Oxford
    I was so close to getting one of these, if I hadn't missed it on ebay then I'd have one right now. But I'm kinda happy I didn't get it. A few weeks later I'd saved a bit more cash and bought a Moog Slim Phatty, I saw the MiniBrute as a bit of a one trick pony.

    Next purchase is gonna be the Dave Smith Tetra, it's a poly modelled on a mono, so it's the best of all worlds, with a sub osc too, BOOM!
     
  9. lostnthesound

    lostnthesound Burns Easily in the Sun

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Messages:
    1,393
    Likes Received:
    190
    Location:
    Washington DC
    I have contemplated the Slim Phatty myself...I just need to figure out how to hide it when my wife's around. :) But seriously, I'm contemplating whether to spend the extra cash and go for a Moog because of it's diversity...

    Dave Smith's synths are seriously beautiful...that man is a mad scientist...and Tetra is proof of that.
     
  10. Paul Ashmore

    Paul Ashmore Audio Animals Mastering

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    London, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    Have one at Audio Animals and it's great for making dnb dubstep electro on. Fully analogue signal chain so you know that sound is going to be warm and full. Brute factor is awesome tears up any sound. Parker filter as well which you can't argue with. Great price think we paid £380 at DV. You'll love it. But the MS-20 mini comes out this month wouldn't you prefer that little beauty ?
     
    lostnthesound likes this.
  11. lostnthesound

    lostnthesound Burns Easily in the Sun

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Messages:
    1,393
    Likes Received:
    190
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Thanks for the input Paul, I greatly value your opinion. I'm curious as to whether MiniBrute 2 is in production yet...

    Do you think the slim phatty (or the new Sub Phatty) is worth the cost of admission in terms of longevity and getting gritty dnb/dubstep/electro sounds?

    Funny you should mention that MS-20...I just finished reading up on it. Hard to believe that relatively low price tag...seems like they'd be losing money offering it that cheap. I will definitely have a go at it once it's available to demo.

    [video=youtube_share;ZUrCOpKGcy4]http://youtu.be/ZUrCOpKGcy4[/video]

    As a sidenote, I'm happy to see a lot of companies stepping up in terms of not only continuing to produce analog synths–but analog synths at price-points that don't feel like a mortgage payment.

    Cheers Paul!
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2013