The Arturia Microfreak is a Hybrid Synthesizer that combines a powerful, complex digital oscillator with a smooth, rich and punchy state variable analogue filter inspired by an Oberheim SEM circuit.
Micro Freak is an unusual little beast to say the very least, nothing about it screams “run of the mill”. Firstly its digital oscillator provides different synthesis 11 algorithms that range from gorgeous glassy wavetables, to FM, through to obscure textures. Some of said algorithms have been taken from the open source code module Plaits, from Mutable Instruments.
Next up is the filter section, which as previously mentioned is based on a classic SEM style filter, state variable between low pass, band pass and high pass, this versatile filter circuitry perfectly complements the digital oscillator section, allowing you to pick out a wide range of harmonics from the oscillator.
You can tell from a quick first glance, that the keyboard on the MicroFreak is again anything less than ordinary. Inspired by capacitance keyboards from other vintage synthesizers, this 25 “note” keyboard is actually an exposed PCB, by which I mean that making contact with it, completes a circuit and the synth is therefore able to detect your position and pressure.
The keyboards pressure detection is polyphonic and can be sent as MIDI or as CV and gate information, it’s also a mod source on the modulation matrix.
Speaking of which there’s a highly configurable modulation matrix which has in part, been inspired by the LED matrix on their flagship MatrixBrute, with 5 sources and 7 destinations, 3 of which are user assignable meaning you can create your own unique modulations to form powerful tones and textures.
And, when it comes to hands on modulation Arturia have included two envelope generators, one of which is cycling, so it can form more complex duties than your average ADSR such as looping LFO’s which can go all the way into audio rates. This complex EG is complimented by a welcome, standard ADSR which can be assigned in the modulation matrix any which way you like.
Microfreak also packs in a super powerful sequencer, a multi-wave LFO and did I mention it’s also four voice paraphonic and can store and recall up to 128 presets….it does so much for a synth that’s so affordable.
Micro Freak is a great leap forward for Arturias hardware portfolio, bringing some really obscure elements together to make a really unique and interesting machine quite unlike anything else on the market.
The main features of the Arturia MicroFreak include
Hybrid synthesizer with a complex digital oscillator and SEM inspired SVF
User configurable modulation destinations
Capacitance keyboard with polyphonic after-touch
11 synthesis algorithms
Crystal clear OLED display
64 step sequencer and fully features arpeggiator