There’s no doubting the legacy and lasting impression the original MiniBrute left on the industry, but where could we go next?
The MiniBrute was a statement. An organic, tangible breath of fresh air, a proud analog monument among the slew of sound-a-like synths that had flooded the market. Arturia’s ethos has always been to create exciting, meaningful instruments; instruments that traditional synth companies simply wouldn’t release. If we were going to recreate a legend, the 2nd generation of MiniBrute needed to be raw, exciting, and more than a little bit scary.
Born out of necessity, MiniBrute 2 was designed to bridge the gap between the more traditional synth world and the ever-evolving modular scene. Creating a sort of ‘creative glue’ that would fuse these two creative processes together, making something new and exciting.
Once again, MiniBrute is the catalyst for change.
Meet The Oscillators
It all starts from somewhere, and the Oscillator & OSC Mixer panel on MiniBrute 2 let you create the foundations of your sound.
Since the original MiniBrute, one of the core ‘Brute’ features has been the ability mix and shape multiple waveforms to create a huge variety of sonic results. With MiniBrute 2, now you can even mix in a second VCO as well as an external sound source. This core building block is one of this synth’s most defining features, and the ability to tweak and personalize them makes MiniBrute 2 one of the most capable, versatile synthesizers around. Each standard waveform can even be augmented with a dedicated “sound shaper” parameter, taking basic, age-old synth sounds to the next level.
Adding another level of creative possibilities, the white noise generator can add a little airy texture or rather a stormy buzz to a sound. A little noise here and there can give your patch depth and help push your filter. It also opens up vast synth-drum sound possibilities.
MiniBrute 2 also gives you the ability to apply some frequency modulation to the VCO 1. By default, this can be done from VCO 2’s signal, but you can also use practically any source via the CV/Gate modulation patch bay. Create anything from subtle vibrato and tonal changes to full-blown audio chaos.
The 2nd VCO lets you choose between sine, saw, and square waves. Benefitting from an independent tuning setting, it will either let you add subtle harmonics to the sound, harden it through fine detuning or even create wide pitch intervals from sub-oscillation to high pitched overtones. It can even operate as a third LFO thanks to the appropriate range option. Just like the other sound sources, the level of this oscillator can be adjusted using the OSC Mixer so that you can choose freely between using it only as a sound source, only as a modulation source and anything in between.
Sawtooth & Ultrasaw
The bite of the Brute, the sawtooth is a classic, aggressive waveform with harsh elements that cut through a mix with ease, and its rich harmonic content reacts beautifully to being filtered. The related ultrasaw sound-shaper thickens up the saw wave, changing the profile of its ‘teeth’ with detuned twins of the original wave. This adds a really fat, widescreen feel to the sound, fleshing out your tone and creating an altogether different beast.
The Ultrasaw Amount knob controls the amplitude of the twin waves while the related modulation source, by default LFO 2, controls their level of detuning around the initial saw.
Square & Pulse Width
Another synth standard, the square wave has a sound of extremes. Beefy, sharp, and bright at the same time, the square wave has an energetic, instantly-usable timbre. Widely used in vintage video games, MiniBrute 2 gives you the tools you need to teleport this iconic sound into the 21st century. Alter the Pulse Width to go from a square to a rectangle and even a pure pulse wave resulting in a seamless transition in the harmonic content.
You can determine the pulse width both statically thanks to the Pulse width knob and in a variable way through a modulation source, the LFO 1 by default, and the related modulation amount knob.
Triangle & Metalizer
The triangle wave is generally the go-to waveform for creating softer, more subtle tones. Gentle on the ears, sounds based on the triangle have a sort of dreamy, other-worldly feel. While you’ll no doubt appreciate the softer side and sonic variety of MiniBrute 2, we also included the Metalizer sound-shaper to ruin the triangle wave’s day. Based on the principle of wave folding, it adds shearing, harsh metallic overtones, lending itself perfectly to hot bass sounds and screaming leads.
For that extra level of control, in addition to setting a static Metalizer offset, you can let the velocity or any other modulation source control its level. Imagining the expressive depth of a soft, delicate Triangle waves evolving into raucous, powerful metallic stabs as you play harder.
If the oscillators are a synth’s vocal chords, think of the filter as its mouth. MiniBrute 2 features a powerful 2-pole, 12dB Steiner-Parker filter, renowned for its acidic tone, and capable of wild auto-oscillation.
The filter can be set as part of a patch. You can cut out the low end for a bright lead or pad, mute the highs to make a bass sit nicely in the mix, or notch out mids to leave space for other melodic elements. The filter can also be dynamically tweaked and modulated, giving you a huge scope for animated, expressive sound creation.
Cutoff & FM controls
The filter’s cutoff is used to control the frequency of the filter’s effect, where it starts making the ‘cut’, where the magic appears, so to speak. The cutoff frequency can be set statically, thanks to the dedicated knob, as well as dynamically, by letting a modulation source impart a fluctuation. Assigned to the ADSR by default, or any other source you choose through the patch bay, including audio signals. How far and in which direction the cutoff will move around its offset value will depend on the setting of the FM knob. Furthermore, you will be able to superimpose a second source of modulation through the entry point of the Attenuator 1. Manual 100% under-control variations, slow automated sweeps or audio-to-cutoff anarchy, choose your side and change as often you want!
The filter has 4 unique modes giving you an epic level of creative flexibility. Of course, it includes the standard lowpass and highpass modes you find on most filters, but also a bandpass mode, allowing some wah-wah sweeping effects, and a notch mode that brings string-inspired patches to life. Each playing their unique role, you’ll quickly consider all of them as indispensable elements of your own sonic signature.
Resonance & Modulation
The Resonance control boosts the frequencies around the Cutoff point, modifying the harmonic profile of the sound, and adding an interesting sweep effect when moving the Cutoff. It can also be pushed into auto-oscillation when raised high enough which let a sine-like wave ascend through the mix. When modulated, it can either lead to a periodic harmonic evolution, as it is the case with the natively-assigned LFO 1, or become a vector of additional expressivity for instance using the pressure or velocity as a source.
Push The Envelope
MiniBrute 2 includes not one, but two types of envelopes set to generate a modulating signal that is initiated when receiving a trigger signal, such as the gate related to a new note.
Indeed, aside from the common ADSR envelope, it also features an atypical multi-mode, AD envelope. They can be used to reproduce traditional instruments’ behaviors and in particular the natural evolution of the amplitude and timbre of the sound all along the lifespan of a played note. They can also be used to create sonic structures that only synthesis is capable of: everything from short, snappy hits to slow motion, endless waves or even frenetically-repeated jerky sound.
The well-known envelope filter will be familiar to every synth fan. This traditional, flexible modulation source lets you define the duration or level of different phases: the Attack, the time to reach its highest value; the Decay, how long it will be to return to the Sustain level that can be set and will be hold until the end of the trigger signal; and at last the Release, the lapse the fall to zero will take. By default, the ADSR envelope modulates the frequency of the Cutoff and it is initiated by the reception of a gate resulting from a new note but of course this will only be true until you decide to change it.
You may think the AD envelope is simpler than its big sister ADSR. Yet the possibilities it offers are unique thanks to its multiple modes, creating a huge variety of sonic possibilities.
- Gate + Once: pushing and holding a note engages the Attack, and holds the maximum amplitude as a sustain value. Releasing the note engages the Decay, working as a traditional ‘release’ at this point. If the note is released before it reaches its maximum position, it will immediately engage its decay from this point.
- Trig + Once: no matter if the note is held or released, playing a note engages the complete Attack / Decay cycle with no sustain in between.
- Gate + Loop: loops the attack and decay cycle as long as a gate signal is received, from a note being held, for example.
- Trig + Loop: loops continuously, whether or not a gate signal is received or not.
No synth would be complete without an LFO, and MiniBrute 2 doesn’t disappoint, it has two of them!
Featuring 6 selectable waveforms with rate control, and the ability to sync with its clock to add a rhythmic feel, or run free they are the ideal supplier of periodic modulations. No matter what role you assign them, they will always give you usable results.
Even if the only things you connect to MiniBrute 2 are the power adapter and headphones, you’ll still be able to create out-of-this-world sounds. Every component and feature has its own dedicated assignation, set by the exceptional synth minds at Arturia. If you want to break the mold and go off the beaten track, you can start patching and creating exciting, and often surprising connections.
Your first option consists in overriding the default, internal assignments by connecting a patch cable from one of the white-highlighted sources to any destination you choose. Let’s say you want something else to control the Metalizer amount other than velocity, LFO 1 for example. Just connect the related CV connections and you’re done. Is there anything easier? Probably not, so go ahead, experiment, and find all those new connections that send shivers down your spine. There are practically limitless combinations and exciting sounds to discover, and that’s even before we start to involve external modular equipment.
Fully compatible with all Eurorack modules and CV/Gate-enabled audio gear, you can simultaneously bring in signals to alter the sound of MiniBrute 2, and affect other modules using MiniBrute 2’s sources.
This synth has been designed from the ground up to become your hub of creative experimentation.
It almost goes without saying, but no matter how complex or full-featured a synthesizer is, inspiration often comes with a few simple notes.
Arpeggiator & Loop
The multi-mode arpeggiator lets you quickly create looping patterns that flow from the notes you play using the pads. The pattern can play forwards, backwards, in an alternating combination, and randomly, and at multiple time resolutions.
Another exciting creative element that’s guaranteed to inspire you is MiniBrute 2’s built-in step sequencer. With an interface and operation that will be instantly familiar to fans of the Arturia KeyStep, the sequencer lets you intuitively create monophonic, melodic sequences that can be synchronized to your daw via USB, any other hardware devices like DrumBrute via MIDI, or to the clock input signal on the patch bay.
MiniBrute 2 features a high quality 25-note keyboard, with the same feel and action as the keyboard found on Arturia’s flagship MatrixBrute. This step up in terms of quality and calibre typifies MiniBrute 2, a refined analog instrument, a future classic. Whether you want to play expressive, delicate pads, or lightning-fast solo lead lines, MiniBrute 2’s silky, responsive keyboard will bring your music to life.
Velocity sensitive and aftertouch enabled, MiniBrute 2’s modular matrix also gives you patch points for the keyboard’s pitch, gate, velocity, aftertouch, and mod parameters so you can rewire their default settings. Control the filter’s frequency modulation with aftertouch, make the Ultrasaw depth change as you player harder and softer, now you can rewrite the rules of what a synth’s keyboard does.
The Sound Follows You
The MiniBrute 2 has sound and build quality that ensures it will stay with you on every creative journey, project after project, gig after gig.
By industry standards, Arturia is still considered to be ‘young’; a vibrant upstart, a passionate go-getter. As we progress and mature, so do our instruments. MiniBrute 2 has been created with great care and attention, and is made to last, with a quality feel to match its sound. Another level in terms of build quality and reliability.
The synth also incorporates the new Arturia Link system, letting you connect to an Arturia RackBrute. This adds 3U or 6U of powered Eurorack space for your modular equipment in a secure, stable housing. Not only can the system be configured in multiple positions, it can also be folded up and carried safely and securely. For extra protection, the RackBrute Travel Bag adds precious piece of mind when you need to safely transport your precious synth and modules.
Should you wish to hook this synth up to your DAW or other MIDI-enabled equipment, MiniBrute 2 features both dedicated MIDI In and Out connections, as well as MIDI via USB. However you like to connect, Arturia has made it possible.
The MiniBrute 2 is fully compatible with the Arturia RackBrute system, letting you add 3U or 6U of powered Eurorack space for your modular equipment in a secure, stable housing. The system can be configured in multiple positions, so however you prefer to tweak your synths and modules, RackBrute puts everything at the perfect angle for you.
In The Bag
For when you want that extra level of protection and portability, we created the RackBrute Travel Bag to guard against the inevitable scuffs and scratches that come with life on the road. Made of tough, durable fabric and designed to perfectly fit the MiniBrute 2 and RackBrute system, this optional extra will keep your precious gear in tip-top condition.
- MiniBrute 2 unit
- Power cord
- 8 patch cables
- a “Cook Book” jam-packed full of superb sonic recipes for you to try out, put together by some of the most illustrious synth-chefs around.
Size & weight
- Instrument size : 19 x 13.2 x 2.3 inches (484 x 336 x 58mm)
- Instrument weight : 10.6 lbs. (4.8 Kg)
- Analog Synthesizer
- 2 Analog VCO’s:
- VCO1 : Saw + UltraSaw, Square +Pulse width, Triangle + Metalizer. (Waveform mixing)
- VCO2 : Sine, Saw, Square waveforms (three tuning ranges).
- VCO 2>1 Hard Sync, VCO1 linear and exponential FM
- White Noise Generator
- External Audio In
- Steiner Parker filter (12dB per octave): Low Pass, High Pass, Band Pass, Notch modes.
- 2 LFO’s with Sync: Sine, Tri, Saw, Square, Random, Slew Random
- 1 ADSR envelope
- 1 AD envelope
- Trig, Gate modes
- One shot or Loop
- Attack and Decay times CV controllable
- 48-point CV and Gate patchbay
- Inputs and Outputs for the voice and sequencer
- Utility modules: inverter, attenuators, VCA
- 25-key velocity and pressure sensitive keyboard
- Arpeggiator types : Up, down, inclusive, exclusive, random, note order, double up, double down modes
- Sequencer mode:
- 8 step-sequences with Rest, Tie and Legato note entry
- Each sequence can have up to 64 steps
- MIDI and USB I/O