Published On January 25, 2019 | News

Nothing ‘me-too’ about this new Arturia release. Say hello to the MicroFreak, Arturia’s first digital hardware synthesizer. 

Combining the best of both worlds, MicroFreak includes a multi-mode digital oscillator with an Oberheim SEM-inspired analogue filter. Seven of the oscillator modes are the result of a collaboration between Arturia and Eurorack specialists Mutable Instruments, and let users control the sound of the Plaits module in the comfort of an all-in-one hardware synth. The modes include Superwave, Harmonic Oscillator, Karplus-Strong, Wavetable, Virtual Analog, Waveshaper, FM, Grain, Chords, Speech, and Modal. 

One of the most striking features of MicroFreak is its PCB keyboard. Despite having no moving parts, it’s pressure sensitive and, according to Arturia, lightning-fast, and also offers poly-aftertouch. This functionality will also let you experiment with polyphonic express-enabled software instruments when MicroFreak is used as a USB-MIDI controller. 

On top of its oscillators, filter, and interface, MicroFreak offers some advanced features you won’t find on other low-cost instruments. A multi-point modulation matrix; a unique sequencer-arpeggiator with controlled randomness ‘Spice’ and ‘Dice’ parameters; a cycling envelope; 128 factory presets, and space for 64 user sounds; and a crystal-clear OLED screen. 

MicroFreak will contain 11 oscillator types at launch, but Arturia have made the unit capable of using new oscillators through official firmware updates in the future. 

At US$349, MicroFreak is a worthy “my first synth” contender, as well as an ‘what the heck, I’ll take it’ 2nd, 3rd, or 15th synth for the collector or experimental sound designer. 

CMI: (03) 9315 2244 or cmi.com.au 

Arturia: www.arturia.com

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