The MiniBrute is a great-sounding analog synth with an entirely tactile interface like a vintage synth, but with modern features and flexibility. It is capable of a broad palette of sounds though its strong suit is in the realm of more aggressive tones, particularly given its unique controls for distortions.
The is an analog . It marks the first entry by , predominantly a software company, into the analog synth market. The unit employs a monophonic, single-oscillator design and features a very broad range of sound-shaping capacities and a 25-note keyboard. Enjoying only a four-year run of production, the was discontinued in 2016 with the introduction of larger-format , though has seen a reissue in the limited edition Red.
While the uses only a single VCO, it allows simultaneous use of the three available (, square and triangle) as well as a sub oscillator, noise generator and external audio signal, via a six-slider mixer section. Additionally, each features its own modulator, adding further flexibility to the sound. This includes the for the , which adds two phase-shifted copies of the waveform into the signal, pulse-width modulation of the square wave and the for the triangle, which adds in higher harmonics to the signal. The sub oscillator too can be varied, with the option to switch between sine and square wave generators.
The filter section comprises of a 12dB/octave low pass and 6dB/octave band and high pass filter based on the somewhat uncommon Steiner-Parker design. This offers a substantially different sound to the steeper filters found in many other synths. In addition to the very flexible sound-shaping options within the oscillator, filter and envelope sections, the audio path ends with the Brute Factor control, which internally implements the technique of manually patching the signal output into the external audio input, creating harmonic distortion in varying degrees of aggressiveness.
The marked a breath of fresh air into the synth world. Taking cues from and standing comfortably amongst the heavyweights before it while at the same time carving out its own place with its own sound that truly lives up the the ‘Brute’ part of its name.
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