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Author Topic: Filter distorts if the VCO sliders are at more than 50%?  (Read 1111 times)

Sweep

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Filter distorts if the VCO sliders are at more than 50%?
« on: September 16, 2012, 05:23:31 pm »
Good to know people are enjoying this synth.

Now that people have had the opportunity to use it, perhaps someone could answer a question.

I've been listening to the demos on this site and on YouTube ever since they first appeared, and to be honest I haven't liked the sound of this synth at all.  Most of the demos sound absolutely horrible to me.

Several people on different forums have said the same, though many people seem to like it nevertheless.  But most of the enthusiasm seems to be simply because it's analogue, more or less regardless of tone quality.

It's now come out, finally, that the filter distorts if the inputs are at more than 50%.  At least, that's what's been said, and a couple of much better sounds have appeared along with this statement.  I can understand that some people want that kind of overdrive, and of course variants of that idea have been around for a long time.  But is it true that you have to halve the input levels to get a clear tone on the MiniBrute?  If so, does that limit functionality at all, or is it still perfectly useable for clear, unclipped, non-screaming tones?

I'd like to know because people often ask me about synths, and questions about the MiniBrute are inevitable.  I don't want to say every demo I've heard has been awful, so steer clear of it, if I'm doing it an injustice and the problem is simply due to the natural tendency to try everything at maximum.

washburn

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Re: Filter distorts if the VCO sliders are at more than 50%?
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2012, 06:45:50 pm »
Good to know people are enjoying this synth.

Now that people have had the opportunity to use it, perhaps someone could answer a question.

Even if your question is answered is it going to convince you?  You saw so many demos, been to different forums, read lots of things about it, why do you have to ask in this particular thread?

Sweep

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Re: Filter distorts if the VCO sliders are at more than 50%?
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2012, 07:46:43 pm »
Strange questions.

Even if your question is answered is it going to convince you?

The logical thing is to ask people who actually own this synth, surely?

You saw so many demos, been to different forums, read lots of things about it, why do you have to ask in this particular thread?

I could hardly ask people who posted YouTube demos whether their demo would have sounded better if they'd altered the settings, could I?  And I couldn't ask the people who did the demos on the Arturia site, unless they happened to also read this forum.

The comments about halving the levels were based on limited knowledge, as far as I could see.  It made less sense to start asking those people if they actually owned a MiniBrute than to come here and ask people who actually do.  One demo, maybe two, contained sounds which were purer and undistorted, and people commented on that.  It made sense to ask people with definite knowledge.

So the logical thing was to ask the question here, where people own this instrument.  It's a simple enough question, surely?

washburn

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Re: Filter distorts if the VCO sliders are at more than 50%?
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2012, 04:14:05 am »
this is what yusynth (Yves Usson) posted on Muffwiggler..


Yes that's why we put sliders there ;-)
In the original design of the front panel we intended to draw a red line at the 8th tick in order to indicate that one would enter in the saturation range by trespassing this red line... Below this line smooth one gets gentle warm sounds but would enter the domain harsh agressive sounds above... But just because such a small red line this the cost of the front panel silk-screening would ramp up significantly... therefore we forgot about it...

Sweep

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Re: Filter distorts if the VCO sliders are at more than 50%?
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2012, 07:27:32 am »
Thanks. That does appear to confirm the rumour - but above 80%, not 50%. So if virtuallly all the demos are distorted, that would explain the sound. A bit bizarre, but I'll pass this information on to anyone who raises questions about the synth.

Bruno@arturia

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Re: Filter distorts if the VCO sliders are at more than 50%?
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2012, 10:31:25 am »
Indeed MiniBrute VCO mixer has been tuned to be able to overdrive the filter if used at high level. It's a Brute! But this Brute could be soft too, of course...
So it's very important to know that if you push your Mixer sliders too high, the filter will be overdriven, especially when using multiple waveforms, and high resonance.
It's hard to say what it the threshold not to cross, but for no distortion, it should be around 50% with one waveform. But it could change from one machine to another. So you've better to trust your ears....



Bruno
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Sweep

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Re: Filter distorts if the VCO sliders are at more than 50%?
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2012, 12:39:17 pm »
Thanks for confirming this. I'd suggest it would be better if some of the demos showed the other range of tones it's capable of getting. You may be alienating a lot of potential customers at the moment.

washburn

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Re: Filter distorts if the VCO sliders are at more than 50%?
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2012, 01:44:32 pm »
Thanks for confirming this. I'd suggest it would be better if some of the demos showed the other range of tones it's capable of getting. You may be alienating a lot of potential customers at the moment.

btw, demos are not a good way to check out synths, they are usually recorderd with tiny mic found in webcams, mobile phones etc and not even properly produced...the minibrute is capable of a wide range of sounds..and yes people are aware it can make softer sounds also, check out this youtube clip at the end http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ME2LDQfvKUg
give the synth a chance in person..

also, this thread was suppose to be a place where you talk about that you like the minibrute etc, so I think you posted at the wrong place bringing negative things like "all the demos I heard were horrible etc"

Sweep

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Re: Filter distorts if the VCO sliders are at more than 50%?
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2012, 08:53:37 pm »

@Bruno  Many thanks for answering my question.

@Washburn  Thanks for your replies.  I'm assuming you thought I was simply attacking Arturia.  Considering the strange behaviour that occurs on synth forums I can see why you may have thought that.  I haven't been around on here for quite a long time, but my previous posting history should show I've been quite supportive to the Arturia community at times, though I don't hesitate to call a spade a spade when necessary.

I agree that demos aren't necessarily a good representation of what a synth can do, but on the other hand the point of a demo is to give some kind of demonstration.  Agreed, it won't substitute for actually testing a synth, but it should give some indication of what the instrument can sound like, and indicate things to try when testing it hands-on.

I never entirely write off an instrument until I've tried it myself, but if every time I hear it I don't like what I hear, it does tend to push it further down my priority list.  To be honest, the only reason I'm still checking out these demos at all is because I have a certain confidence in Arturia, and also I expect a designer who's worked on filters for Synton and therefore presumably worked with Felix Visser isn't likely to produce a filter that pops and squawks much of the time unless it's pushed into it.

I do intend to try the MiniBrute if I encounter one, but in the meantime I'm glad I've had my question answered, because now at least I can suggest to people that they reduce the signal level going into the filter, which is more constructive and more beneficial for Arturia than my previous answer, which would have been that the synth has never sounded good to me in any of the demos I've heard, and that impression may well have been reinforced by the unfortunate person trying it without being forewarned about the levels.

I'm not likely to buy a MiniBrute myself, at least at present, partly through lack of money but mainly because I already have a good range of analogue synths.  But people frequently ask me about budget priced synths, and I'd rather have a positive and correct views of the MiniBrute than a partial one based on hearing virtually everybody pushing it till it screams.  At least now, if someone says they wondered about the MiniBrute but it always sounds screechy and distorted, I can suggest they give it a second chance.

washburn

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Re: Filter distorts if the VCO sliders are at more than 50%?
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2012, 10:40:16 am »
well next time just ask the question, don't mention all the other stuff in such a big post you know?

zedius

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Re: Filter distorts if the VCO sliders are at more than 50%?
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2012, 07:09:57 pm »
I for one appreciate Sweep's perspective and don't have a problem reading the whole post. Just my opinion.

I've seen a few posts recently that state that demos are inaccurate and that one should always play with a synth in person before purchasing. I should note that while there is no shortage of guitars, drums, electric bass, and band equipment at most music stores near me, none of them give a shit about boutique analog synthesizers. They'll have pianos, workstations, microkorgs etc. but nothing really fun to try out in person.

There are no Guitar Centers or Musician's Friends in Canada. I'm sure there are occasional stores in big cities that actually carry synthesizers, but I have no options to try this stuff out. I rely fully on demos and word of mouth on the internet regarding build quality and personal experience.

So it's all very useful info for me, whether it's critical or complimentary.

dexfx69

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Re: Filter distorts if the VCO sliders are at more than 50%?
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2012, 09:26:56 pm »
This is a thoughtful part of this synth's design. If you want a clean sound with much headroom, keep the sliders low. For a fatter sound keep the osc sliders high. Lovin it!  :)

 

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