THE ART OF SOUND DESIGN
PolyBrute comes fully-loaded with a wealth of curated presets, expertly-crafted for your enjoyment and inspiration.
We reached out to trailblazing sound designers, producers, and musicians to push PolyBrute to its limits. To dive deep into its complex architecture and produce sounds unlike any other synthesizer before it. To harness the awesome power of analog for a massive tonal palette. To weave intricate webs of modulation and expression for an unrelenting animated sonic experience.
Read about our sound designers’ personal experiences with PolyBrute; what inspired them, their approach, and what they wanted to achieve with each patch.
Clément Bastiat is a musician and mastering engineer. Starting out on violin at age 5, Clément became heavily involved in electronic music. Always creating new and unusual sounds for his dark psytrance project Cubic Spline, Clément also applies his golden ears and sonic vision at Storm Mastering.
First and foremost, the sound is excellent, but it doesn't stop there! The FM possibilities are crazy but the heart of the instrument is its freely assignable modulation matrix, allowing recursive modulations. Combine that with 6 voices, and you can do the most complex analog sounds!
This sound exploits the arpeggiator with a classic dracula diminished fifth chord with the two part layer possibility of the synth. With some LFO work, one layer seems to be faster in rhythm, but it actually plays the same part. It has a kind of old school gaming vampire vibe which I like and had a lot of fun programming!
Euan Dickinson is a long time collaborator with the Bristol Band Massive Attack, working both in the studio and as a performer on stage. Alongside numerous world tours with Massive Attack, he has co-produced and written music for standard releases alongside scoring films, TV and art installations.
I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of working on the PolyBrute to create some presets. I’ve very much enjoyed my time so far with this machine, and the sounds I’ve been able to create. Every time I sat down with it, I would go on a journey from the original sound that I started with, ending up somewhere completely new and inspiring. The polybrute is instant and accessible enough to be able to get a vibe going quite quickly, but also deep enough to hold infinite possibilities for where a sound could go.
When I make a sound I would start with a scratch patch and build from there - always utilising the Morphée controller - copying the sounds from state A to B, and being quite extreme, safe in the knowledge I can morph back, and usually find something really satisfying and unexpected in between.
A very versatile patch, not just a bass sound. It epitomises what I like in a synth sound. Warm, melodic, expressive and tasteful. It has echoes of classic synth tones from the past, it has a certain vintage quality to it. It came together quite quickly - offsetting one of the oscillators for ex-tra harmonics, and then blending the waveshapes, before shaping the filter to soften the overall tone.
Matt Pike is a sound designer and music producer based in the UK, his current focus is on sample pack production, instrument design, preset design, product testing and wavetable design for various companies including Arturia, Novation, Korg, ASM & Loopmasters. He also has a background as a composer, live performer and interactive audio artist, with music published by BMG Production Music and been commissioned for several multi-sensory interactive projects.
The PolyBrute is a fantastic design which can play many roles. It is very rare to find a synth with so much power and flexibility in its modulation capabilities, which also has a synth voice that has so much character. The oscillator section can deliver a vast range of timbres, the two filters contrast each other very well, but most importantly the cross-modulation, variable sync and filter FM are very well implemented, meaning huge ranges of texture can be achieved. You can find chaos or stability in this synth voice without even touching the modulations. The modulations and performance parameters combine to offer the perfect way to control and tame that complex synth engine into an emotive and expressive instrument. This is a truly unique synth which completely captures my imagination, the kind of textures I always hope to achieve with a synth are found so easily.
I took a range of approaches when creating patches with the machine. As with any synth, I love exploring unique features or combinations of features in search of inspiration. The PolyBrute has so many avenues to explore that this led to many of my sounds, particularly using the matrix to create complex chains of modulation and finding interesting contrasts between Part A & B of a sound. However, what stood out to me is that the synth engine sounded so good it was immediately inspiring and the essence of many of my sounds seemed to just arrive so quickly and my time could be spent finding the most satisfying ways to twist and warp that sound with the Morphée and modulations.
This preset is my favourite example of taking the raw and dramatic character of the synth voice in the PolyBrute and then controlling and twisting it with the matrix, morphing and performance controls. It is rough-hewn without straying into being harsh and unstable without becoming wild and unmusical. The combination of oscillator cross mod, VCO 2 to Steiner modulation and brute factor combine to create a gritty texture which is then tamed by the Ladder filter.
Michael Geyre comes from a family of 5 generations of musicians, and naturally began playing music at the age of 5, with the piano. At the same time, he discovered synthesizers, and, since that day, they’ve never left his daily life - on the contrary… Now a composer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist, he regularly uses synthesizers in his music (more than 40 albums in many musical styles, many concerts, music for commercials, video games, and much more).
I was really impressed by this instrument, both sound and technical. This fully programmable matrix allows such nuances and refinement in the creation of sounds, that we are just limited by our imagination. The sound that comes out of this instrument is always beautiful, and very varied, it can very often approach the sounds of its illustrious ancestors!
Morphing is a very interesting function for researching and creating new tones, and the matrix is so powerful - you can create a multitude of morphs yourself in a single patch, which makes it possible to obtain lots of different tones and to switch gradually from one to the other, making the machine of an expressiveness hitherto unseen.
I choose my "Pythagoras" patch, which is not the most spectacular, nor the most complex, but simply the one that seems to me the most inspiring. When I went through the different sounds that I had programmed, when I came across this one, I had to reason with myself to continue my work, otherwise I would spend all my time improvising with it…
What I like about this Kristopher preset is the possibility to transpose the sequence while modifying the sound, much like the sounds of old with the modular Moog, like Klaus Schulze or Tangerine Dream.
Influenced by the music of Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream, Jean-michel Jarre and Vangelis, Olivier Briand began to practice the synthesizer in the early '80s after classical piano studies. He discovered a protean style, sometimes similar to that of world music, classical music, and contemporary experiments, jazz, or subtle French melodies. A composer for cinema, television, choreography, theatre, advertisements, and more. He's performed since 1987 on shows events with lasers, light-show and pyrotechnics with the company Oposito. He became the sound engineer for the company Anamorphose in 1990 (specialized in piano recording).
What I like about the Polybrute is its versatility. It can indeed sound like a Minimoog, a PPG, a Prophet 5, a CS80, or an AKS - it’s a real chameleon. Of course there is first the quality of the analog sound, then the power of the modulation matrix, but its main quality is the expression, with the Morphée, ribbon, aftertouch...it’s a very good synth that I think will remain in the history of synthesis.
Throughout this demo I slowly turn the “Morph” knob which allows you to drastically change the texture of the sound in a fluid way. Each preset in the factory bank actually contains two presets in one, it is possible to switch from one to the other using the “Morph” knob. I find this feature very useful in a composition context because it is always interesting to be able to evolve your sounds in an organic way.
Simon Gallifet is a Music Producer and sound designer who has been involved in many projects in close cooperation with Arturia. As a multi-instrumentalist he has been playing drums since the age of 5 and learned classical music theory at university. He has been actively involved in sound design and electronic music production for 12 years.
The PolyBrute has a simple, intuitive and very pleasant workflow. When creating the presets I had the impression of working on a modular without the inconvenience caused by cables, sounds that cannot be saved...all with polyphony!
It has a strong character, it is the type of synthesizer that is bought for the sounds. I have the impression that it has a split personality; he can be very smooth, while becoming extremely aggressive.
Classically trained multi-instrumentalist turned sound designer and engineer, Lily Jordy has been creating and performing organic electronic music as “Lyli J” for the past 10 years. Mesmerized by the art of synthesis and audio sculpting, she creates presets for Arturia’s hardware and V-Collection instruments, her latest work including tribute packs for Aphex Twin and The Weeknd.
Having an A and B side to each preset was so much fun to experiment with; I would create the A and then copy it to B, where I’d then start tweaking key aspects of it to create a contrasting “mirror” for A (for instance: a slow attack, long release and closed filter if the A is a short bright sound with a sharp attack.)
The fact that the matrix also modulates between A and B means that sound design on the Polybrute is meticulous work, but so rewarding in that it offers a whole new dimension of possibilities in sound sculpting. The icing on the cake is that crazy unpredictable “gray area” between A and B!
Definitely “Harpsii”! I could play it all day and here’s why: the arp-style sequence is soothing and timeless and the timbre is beyond organic; because of its modulated “malleable” quality, it sounds different every time the sequence is repeated, and intrigue stays peaked. It also has that tremendous depth and sought-after “imperfection” of vintage analog synths and
A_B Trip - when you hold a chord you’ll get an evolving pad sound using a dynamic morphing sweep from A, and a classical analog pad to B - an evolving deep sequenced sound. For me, this preset represents, on its own, all the expressiveness and the possibilities of transforming the sound thanks to morphing!
The polybrute represents the very essence of what a synthesizer must be.
Sound designer and music producer, passionate about electronics and synthesizers from the 70’s. He started by creating sounds on memory-less analog instruments such as the Oberheim ® 2 Voice and the ARP Odyssey and has never stopped. It allowed him to build a strong experience in sound design on all kinds of instruments and devices, both hardware and virtual which led him to be part of the Arturia Sound Design team since 1999.
I had the chance and the privilege to work on the first prototypes of the machine 3 years ago. From the first notes played (at the time on the MatrixBrute keyboard which controlled 3 synthesis cards which would later become the heart of PolyBrute!) I was won over by the roundness and expressiveness of the sound. The morphing mode was also under study but had also let me hear really new things and ways never previously explored on analog synths.
To this day, I have an enthusiastic spirit on the sound of PolyBrute. The desire to walk in the infinite meanders of the possibilities of creating sounds of the machine has not weakened! For me it’s simply a must have