a unique 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.
At a glance
- 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
What we think
MicroFreak is a bold step in the right direction for Arturia, a truly brand new synthesis architecture which borrows inspiration from all over the place to form an affordable, yet deep sound design powerhouse.
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 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 keyboard's 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 has 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 way you like.
Microfreak also packs in a super powerful sequencer, a multi-wave LFO, and did I mention it’s also a 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 Arturia's hardware portfolio, bringing some obscure elements together to make a unique and interesting machine quite unlike anything else on the market.