MicroFreak - General Questions

Do you have questions about MicroFreak?
You will likely find an answer here:

The oscillators modes are a panel of different algorithms, which lets MicroFreak generate a wide variety of sounds.
The algorithms are:

Find below the brand new algorithms built by our team in Arturia Headquarters:
Virtual analog, recreating traditional synth methods digitally for a mix of classic and cutting-edge tones.
Precisely detuned saw, square, sine, or triangle waves let you create the fattest synth sounds around. Perfect for Trance and lush dreamy pads.
Synthesize your sound from 32 sine waves by modulating their volume. The clue is in the name, it creates harmonically rich, vibrant sounds which can be shaped with the filter.
A much-loved synth method using physical modelling to recreate the sound of string instruments, from soft pizzicato to screeching, zingy chords.
Scan through waveform snapshots to find new, unusual, and evolving sounds. It contains 16 wavetables to explore, with room for more in the future.
We’ve also integrated the open-source Plaits oscillator developed by Eurorack legends Mutable Instruments to bring you 7 additional synth modes.
A triangular wave, processed by waveshaping and wavefolding creating squelchy, aggressive, and often metallic tones.
A simple but powerful twin-operator FM oscillator, with two sine waves modulated each other’s phase to create sharp, acidic tones.
A percussive, granular synthesis engine that is great for adding huge texture and body to sequenced rhythms.
A paraphonic synth engine that triggers duplicates at set intervals, creating defined, static chords with one key, perfect for trance-inspired melodies.
An engine that creates vowel, formant, and simple word sounds. Automate with the mod matrix, and hear MicroFreak come alive!
Recreates the unique inharmonic vibrations and resonance of a hollow structure. Perfect for adding texture, or bizarre overtones to your music.

Noise Engineering presented 3 prototype algorithms designed for their upcoming DSP oscillator platform, offering a choice of 2 to port for MicroFreak.

After some deliberation and quite a bit of French charm, it was decided that all 3 would be used - each one had such a strong identity and exciting sound, that it was simply impossible to choose.

These amazing new oscillators are available for your MicroFreak for free from firmware 3.0. Download here.


A lean, mean, low-end machine. This non-linear waveshaping algorithm uses a quadrature oscillator principle to produce unique waveforms. The result is ultra-heavy digital density and gritty in-your-face bass that demands your full attention.

Controls: Saturate, Fold, Noise

Audio Player

Bass mode becomes a flickering lead with added dusty cartridge character to taste.

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Japan Xeno

Bass mode brings filthy basslines galore with this bubbling detuned monstrosity.


Harm mode combines additive synthesis with wavefolding to produce shimmering textures with heaps of overtone detail. Think of the classic hard sync sound, but from a different dimension - choose dense octave overtones or blow the harmonic series wide open.

Controls: Spread, Rectification, Noise

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Far Away

Peaceful daydream pads with bright overtones and subtle watery swirls, courtesy of Harm mode.

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Harm mode going full octave sparkle, bringing some sonic sunlight to a cloudy mix.


Relatively straightforward sawtooth manipulations with complex sonic results. SawX is the supersaw sound contorted and sharpened beyond recognition. With added chorus and phase modulation, it’ll bring the dirt in no time.

Controls: Saw Mod, Chorus Amount, Noise

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I Saw It B4

A rusty buzzsaw pluck from SawX mode that’s small in size but big in vibes.

Audio Player

Classic video game boss fight basslines, with Bass mode bringing the lo-fi distorted low-end.

The Spice and Dice function works together to let you alter an existing sequence and create an ephemeral variation of it.

It acts on the gates, triggers, velocity, decay and release of the current Arpeggio or Sequence, and randomizes them. It can for example change the distance between two triggers, shorten or lengthen the gates or even mute them.


Determines how much a Dice throw will alter the sequence.
To change its value, select the Spice and set an amount with the touch strip.


Modifies the sequence depending of the amount of Spice defined.
To change its value, select the Dice and set an amount with the touch strip.

In monophonic mode, the Digital Oscillator generates a waveform, which is then sent to the Filter and an analog VCA.

Amplitude Envelope ON

When the Amp Mod button is ON, the ADSR envelope is hardwired to the analog VCA.

Amplitude Envelope OFF

When the Amp Mod button is OFF, the keyboard Gate signal controls the VCA.

Note: In Paraphonic mode with Amp Mod ON the envelope is duplicated several times depending on the number of voices you have specified in Utility.
These envelopes control a number of internal digital VCAs that only become active in Paraphonic mode.

MicroFreak is a paraphonic four-voice synthesizer.
It means that all four voices can be triggered independently, but are sharing the same filter.

Unlike most other paraphonic synths, each voice can have its own amplitude level.
Additionally, some of the MicroFreak modulators are polyphonic, like the main Envelope, the Pressure, the Keyboard, and the Arpeggiator.
When applied to polyphonic destinations, like the parameters of the oscillators for example, each modulation value will be independent from each other.

Note: When applied on a monophonic destination, like the filter cutoff, the value of the parameter will be overwritten by the latest modulation value received.

MicroFreak lets you either change the keyboard response from Pressure to Velocity.
Both modes are polyphonic, which means that each note can have it's own Velocity or Pressure value.


The velocity value is defined by the speed at which your finger touches the keyboard.


The Pressure value varies with the surface area of your finger in contact with the keyboard.

MicroFreak can send MIDI from its controls and receive MIDI from a DAW or any controller.
Please find below the list of each parameter, with its associated MIDI message.
Function MIDI Message Range
Glide CC5 0-127
Type CC9 10-127
Wave CC10 0-127
Timbre CC12 0-127
Shape CC13 0-127
Cutoff CC23 0-127
Resonance CC83 0-127
Cycling Env Rise CC102 0-127
Cycling Env Fall CC103 0-127
Cycling Env Hold CC28 0-127
Cycling Env Amount CC24 0-127
ARP/SEQ Rate (free) CC91 0-123
ARP/SEQ Rate (sync) CC92 0-127
LFO Rate (free) CC93 0-127
LFO Rate (sync) CC94 0-127
Envelope Attack CC105 0-127
Envelope Decay CC106 0-127
Envelope Sustain CC29 0-127
Keyboard Hold button (toggle) CC64 0-127
Keyboard Spice CC2 0-127
Keyboard Pitch Bend Pitchbend 0-127
Keyboard Pressure Aftertouch 0-127
The MicroFreak has its own proprietary Multi-Client USB driver.
On Windows, this makes the usage of the MicroFreak possible on multiple applications at the same time.
MicroFreak can receive program changes from USB and MIDI Din.
Please see below how Bank and Program change messages are handled.
Function Bank Program Change
Preset 1 to 128 Bank 1 0 to 127
Preset 129 to 256 Bank 2 0 to 127


A convenient advantage of the MicroFreak is that it can be USB powered.
However, its touch capacitive keyboard needs a proper grounding to work flawlessly.

Don't worry, in most situations, the keyboard will be working fine.
But if you encounter some irregular pitch changes when playing on the keyboard, or any strange behavior when pressing the arp buttons and touch strip, please power it using a grounded power supply (three pin wall plug) or a USB grounded device.

If you have any further questions, feel free to contact us.