The Next Big Thing Is A Small Thing: Arturia Microbrute

Arturia, Microbrute, Analog Synth
Microbrute is Arturia’s even smaller followup to the massive sounding Minibrute.
Squeezing the same 100% analog electronics into a more compact body, Microbrute gets rid of a few knobs and faders in favor of a patchable modulation matrix and a new step-sequencer. Read the press release for all the details, then check out sexy pictures and videos:
Arturia’s award-winning MiniBrute Analog Synthesizer rapidly reset the price/performance ratio benchmark when soaring through the subtractive synthesis sound barrier last year to much critical acclaim and subsequent success. Today it is joined by its equally as big- sounding little brother, the MicroBrute Analog Synthesizer. Putting all the basic building blocks of an analogue synth classic into an even more compact and bijou package that’s pure hand-ons fun at an affordable price, the MicroBrute is guaranteed to bring big smiles to go with those big sounds!
But the MicroBrute Analog Synthesizer is actually anything but basic. For starters, just like its big brother, the OSCILLATOR that beats at its musical heart features SAW, TRIANGLE, and SQUARE waveforms that are all mixable to help shape the resulting sound without the limitations imposed by comparable contemporary and vintage synths alike. Additionally, the new Overtone oscillator generates additional harmonic content, ranging from one octave down to a fifth above the base OSCILLATOR pitch, while the Sub > Fifth control can continuously sweep spectrum. Moreover, Metalizer adds complex harmonics to the TRIANGLE waveform for creating harsh, harmonically-rich sounds, while Ultrasaw adds a lively and bright ensemble effect to the SAWTOOTH waveform — perfect for crafting sounds suited to dance anthems. And let’s not forget the all-important Pulse Width control for creating nasal-thin tones or rich square sounds. Simply speaking, never before has such a small, single-oscillator synth sounded so big!
Of course, filtering helps shape any analogue synth’s sound — be it big or small, and here the MicroBrute does not disappoint. Indeed, its distinctive-sounding Steiner-Parker FILTER plays a big part in helping give the MicroBrute a unique sound — again, just like its big brother. This filter design dates back to the Steiner-Parker Synthacon, an analogue monosynth built by the namesake Salt Lake City-based synth manufacturer between 1975 and 1979. Its HP (high-pass), BP (bandpass), and LP (lowpass) modes make for far more filtering flexibility than that found in synths many times the price! And that’s before factoring Arturia’s acclaimed Brute FactorTM into the equation, adding anything from subtle overdrive to full-blown intermodulation havoc — choose your settings, and let the fun begin!
Speaking of modulation, the easily accessible, front-panel mounted MOD MATRIX is a Volt per Octave-standard patchable system of modulation routing with ENV (envelope) out, LFO (low frequency oscillator) out, Ultrasaw modulator in, PWM (pulse width modulation) in, Metal (Metalizer) in, Overtone/Sub modulator in, Filter cutoff in, and Pitch in — meaning more in-depth, inbuilt sound-sculpting possibilities, as well as allowing Arturia’s own MicroBrute to be easily brought into the interfacing mix, or mixing and matching with third-party modular synth systems for far-out sonic explorations! Dig as deep as you need or dare to go with the MicroBrute!
Similarly, the new eight-Pattern step SEQUENCER is an almost endless source of inspiration and rhythmic creativity — step input notes and rests to create storable sequences that can be played back and switched between on the fly at a variable Rate or synchronised to external MIDI clock. Meanwhile, MIDI, USB, and CV GATE connectivity, of course, combine to ensure that the MicroBrute is ready and willing to talk to the outside electronic musical instrument world wherever it may find itself. It’s even blessed with an external audio Input with Input Level control, so why not use it to process whatever you feel like sticking into its 1/4-inch socket — within reason, of course!
With a space-saving 25-note mini-keyboard and weighing in at only 1.75kg, the MicroBrute Analog Synthesizer is truly compact and bijou, but punches well above its weight with a rip-roaring analogue sound spanning woofer-flapping bass, screaming leads, ear-opening effects, wave-folded growls, punchy drum sounds galore, and much in-between and beyond. Pick one up from an authorised Arturia dealer today!
Arturia, Microbrute, Analog SynthArturia, Microbrute, Analog Synth Arturia, Microbrute, Analog Synth

Moog Minifoogers!

Moog, Minifoogers, Moogerfooger,

Moog is jumping into the downsizing game, with the release of its new line of Minifoogers.  These are the slicker, smaller, tighter versions of Moogerfoogers, which have long been at the top of my want list. Moogers are sort of like the Cadillac of guitar pedals; powerful, large, and a bit pricey. Now that the classic sound shapers are stuffed into a mini package, at a mini price, I’m not sure how long I can hold out!

The Minifooger family –  MF Drive, MF Boost, MF Delay, MF Ring, and MF Trem are all 100% analog, true bypass, hand assembled, and cost under $200. They can be controlled with an expression pedal or CV.

Queens of the Stone Age guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen demonstrates:

Minifooger Analog Effects Pedals

The MF Drive is a filter-based overdrive pedal employing a Moog Ladder Filter, boutique FET amplifiers, and OTAs in its drive section making it highly reactive to picking dynamics. The panel features a bi-polar tone control and sweepable filter that work dynamically with input gain to offer each player unique and customizable sounds that retain the core timbre of their instrument. A filter Peak switch shifts harmonic content to the filter’s cutoff position, adding new tonal creation and dirty wah performance possibilities not found in other drive pedals. MSRP: $179.

The MF Boost is a selectable topology boost pedal that allows the player to switch between an “articulate VCA” signal path and a “colored OTA” signal path. Each is tailored to deliver boutique amplifier sound and responsiveness from any guitar/amplifier combination. The design also imparts natural compression to an input signal, which brings out note articulation and significantly increases the performance of other effects pedals. When paired with an expression pedal, the MF Boost can be used as a tone enhancing volume pedal, sweepable-gain boost pedal, and VCA. The expression pedal input also provides access to higher gain values not available on the panel. MSRP: $149

The MF Delay features 35mS-700mS of completely analog delay time. At shorter settings, repeats are fast and bright for creating classic slap-back and plate sounds. At medium and long settings the repeats become darker and naturally trail into reverb-like state. A Drive circuit allows the player to adjust the tone and feel of the MF Delay as well as overdrive the Bucket Brigade Delay line, and the input of a guitar amplifier for bigger sound and feel. Also, the expression pedal input is switchable between feedback for expressive swells and delay time for tape delay and chorus/flange effects. MSRP: $209.

The MF Ring is an analog ring modulator that is based on the world’s best selling Ring Mod, the Moogerfooger MF-102.  Its refined frequency range and tone voicing circuit add new-musical elements to ring modification, making it easy to dial in everything from octaves and choral dissonance to harmonic undertones and synthesized lead lines. The expression pedal input provides hands-free control of the Freq parameter for sound sweeps, pitch shifting effects, and playing between two scales on the fly. MSRP: $159

The MF Trem is an analog tremolo pedal designed around a balanced modulator and Sub Audio VCO. This design creates a wide range of effects that are based on phase cancellation and addition. Players can create classic optical tremolo, hard tremolo, rotary effects and more that react dynamically to harmonic content. A variable Shape control interacts with Tone and Mix to craft subtle swells and gallops to rhythmic percussive, and swirling effects. When pushed, the MF Trem can also approach the beginnings of phasing and chorus. The expression pedal input adds control of the Speed parameter for hands-free swells and rotary effects. MSRP: $189

Minifooger Analog Effects Pedals are available for preorder from all authorized Moog dealers now. We will begin shipping the first units from our Asheville factory in October, 2013. For more information about Minifooger Analog Effects Pedals got to: MINIFOOGER.COM

Bleep Drum Makes Bleep Better!

Dr. Bleep, Bleep Labs, Bleep Drum, Rad-fi, arduino drum machine

Remember the Dam [Funk] Drum from Bleep Labs? Probably not, since it was so limited and sold out immediately. Well you’re in luck, my little sickies, because now Dr. Bleep has a new little bleeping machine to cure the common tone lust: The Bleep Drum.

I’ll take two and call you in the morning, Doc.

Be sure to read the prescription from Bleep Labs:

The Bleep Drum is an Arduino based lo-fi rad-fi drum machine designed by Dr. Bleep.

– Four sounds, two with pitch control
– Four selectable sequences
– Record patterns just by playing them
– Tap tempo
– Reverse mode
– Hyper Noise 30XX mode
– Stereo 1/8″ output

Is it available as a fully built device?
It will be starting early April. You can order it now and we’ll ship it as soon as it’s ready.
The kit currently ships in 1-3 days.

Can I add my own sounds?
Yes but you have to mess with the code a bit. We’ll be releasing a tool to convert .wav into text that can be copied into the Bleep Drum code.

Where is MIDI it should have MIDI and CV and GPS.
It can take trigger pulses for the pads and tempo. MIDI is just a hack away. See the hacking guide for more on the expansion port on the left side.

How is this different than the Dam Drum 2.0?
The Dam Drum 2.0 was a limited edition device for Dam Funk that is all sold out. The Bleep Drum is the same hardware but has different sounds as well as HYPERNOISE 30XX mode.

Dr. Bleep, Bleep Labs, Bleep Drum, Rad-fi, arduino drum machine

Dr. Bleep, Bleep Labs, Bleep Drum, Rad-fi, arduino drum machine

Elektron Analog Four Details Released

The Elektron Analog Four synthesizer has an analog heart and a digital mind.

We showed you the crazy dark Elektron Analog Four teaser vid the other day, and now we have some cold hard facts about the machine itself.

Analog Four is, true to its name,  a 4 Voice Synthesizer. Each voice has 2 analog oscillators, an overdrive circuit, and multiple LFO’s and envelopes. To give this warm analog synth a modern twist, it is augmented by a precise digital step sequencer and controls like parameter lock, kit and sound storage, and effects. The Analog Four also offers powerful connectivity options via MIDI (with DIN sync out) and CV/Gate outputs with dedicated CV/Gate and FX sequencer tracks, allowing control of other analog synths and outboard gear.

The Analog Four list price will be $1149/£899. A limited amount of units will be available for pre-order starting today, November 14th 2012. Shipping starts December 3rd.

Visit http://www.elektron.se/products/analog for the full Analog Four specifications.

And if you haven’t seen the promo video “The Demon Who Wears Me,” watch it here: http://youtu.be/4X7MlbfQJK8