Making sense of madness
It might sound a bit wild and crazy, but MicroFreak is easy to understand and quick to master.
Every feature is clearly marked and simple to access and control, letting MicroFreak enhances your creativity rather than standing in its way. On this page, we’ll cover a few of the things that make MicroFreak a truly unique specimen.
The multiple modes of MicroFreak’s digital oscillator can be easily switched and directly controlled with the 4 dedicated knobs in the Digital Oscillator section. The Type knob switches between the engines, while the Wave, Timbre, and Shape controls let you refine the oscillator to suit your taste.
MicroFreak currently contains 12 oscillator types, but we’ve left room for more to be added in the future! Here are the engines featured in the first firmware version:
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.
This oscillator emulates two basic waveforms: the square and the sawtooth. A square wave contains only odd harmonics, and a sawtooth only even harmonics, both having their own unique character.
Take it step by step
Despite its small size, MicroFreak has a modulation matrix and advanced functions that make even giant synths jealous.
With 5 sources and 7 destinations available, you can virtually rewire components within MicroFreak to create totally unique sounds, especially as 3 of the destinations are user-assignable!
With easy programming using the clickable Matrix knob, a clear light-up display, and extra detail shown in the OLED screen, you’ll never be left guessing what changes you’re making. To route any modulation source to one of the destinations, just browse, click, and define an amount. It’s easy, fast, and fun, and gives you super-powerful results that you’d expect from a synth ten times the price.
MicroFreak’s sequencer isn’t just any old synth sequencer, it’s a dual mode arpeggiator/sequencer with innovative features that will keep your creative juices flowing.
Adjusting the level of Spice in your sequence literally spices it up, altering the parameters of the pattern without changing the pitch, and creating something new.
When Dice is selected, using the touchstrip randomizes your sequence by the amount you choose, letting you find inspiration from the unexpected.
The magic touch
MicroFreak’s tactile interface is like nothing you’ve ever used before. A flat, touch-sensitive keyboard with no moving parts may seem alien, but it feels so natural to use.
The 25-key printed circuit board not only track the notes you play with lightning-speed, but can also detect pressure or aftertouch on each note individually. This has some exciting applications within MicroFreak itself, but also for polyphonic aftertouch-enabled virtual instruments when MicroFreak is used as a MIDI controller.
The touch-controls above the keyboard also give you access to the key parameters of the sequencer, while the touch strip can be used as a pitch bender, or to control the amount of “Spice” and “Dice” in your sequences.
So much, for so little
Just as our debut synth MiniBrute set new standards for affordable analog instruments back in 2012, MicroFreak is set to redefine what low-cost digital synths can do.
While exploring a new synth’s capabilities yourself can be hugely fun, it’s nice to be able to quickly flick through some presets to get inspiration. MicroFreak contains 128 preset patches, and lets you create, edit, and save your own, too! The clickable Preset knob makes selection, assigning, and renaming a breeze.
Classic synth features
With two unique envelopes and a syncable LFO, you can truly get hands on with MicroFreak with a dedicated control for each parameter. The Cycling Envelope lets you create an advanced looping mode, twisting it into LFO with variable rise, hold, and fall times, with exponential, linear, or logarithmic curves.
It features CV outputs, letting you send pitch, gate, and pressure signals to any outboard or modular synth that’s CV/Gate compatible. You can also hook it up to your DAW via USB, or use the included MIDI break-out cables. This lets you hook it up to your favorite controller keyboard, or use MicroFreak’s sequencer to control a different synth, for example.
“Yo dawg, we heard you like modulators, so we let you put modulators on your modulators”
That’s right. Working hand-in-hand with the modulation matrix, the modulators can be assigned to each other, letting you get really experimental. This is unheard of in a low-cost synth.
Sure, but what does it sound like?
We know, right? Bla bla bla, look at us chatting away, when what you really want to do is hear MicroFreak in action. This little synth can store hundreds of preset sounds, and here are a few of them that will give you an idea of what this little beast is capable of.
We’re in this together
While it can be fun to play with yourself, things can get more exciting when there’s two.
Among the multiple modes of MicroFreak’s synth engine, you’ll be able to select the open source Plaits oscillators created by modular pioneers Mutable Instruments. Not only that, but thanks to MicroFreak’s unique architecture, you can enjoy these awesome oscillators with added paraphony.
Now you can enjoy the same otherworldly sounds, the same modes, and with the same parameter controls as the iconic Eurorack module, but from a self-contained, performable hardware synth.
- MicroFreak unit
- Power supply
Size & weight
- Instrument size : 12.2 x 9.2 x 2.2 inches (311 x 233 x 55mm)
- Instrument weight : 2.3 lbs. (1.02 Kg)
- Synthesizer with 256 preset slots and 160 factory presets
- 12 Digital oscillators with variable modes, with integrated open source Plaits engine created by Mutable Instruments
- Analog State Variable Filter, 12dB/octave, resonant, Low Pass, Band Pass, High Pass
- ADSR envelope
- Cycling Envelope offering two modes
- LFO with Sync: Sine, Tri, Saw, Square, Random, Slew Random
- Modulation matrix with 5 sources and 7 destinations (3 custom destinations)
- Monophonic or Paraphonic modes - Up to 4 voices
- 25-key capacitive keybed with polyphonic aftertouch
- Capacitive touch strip
- Crisp OLED display for editing and parameter values
- Powerful arpeggiator
- Up, Order, Random, Pattern modes
- Spice & Dice Gate randomizers
- 64-step sequencer
- 2 patterns per preset
- 4 automation tracks per preset
- CV / Gate / Mod outputs
- USB, Clock and MIDI in and out
- 6.35mm master and 3.5mm headphone output