Grenoble-based music technology pioneers Arturia are breaking the mold yet again with the release of their first ever digital hardware synthesizer.
New for NAMM 2019, MicroFreak is a bold, adventurous instrument that will both inspire newcomers with its ease of use and great sound, and also excite experienced players with its unusual, quirky features.
Combining the best of both worlds, MicroFreak includes a multi-mode digital oscillator with an Oberheim SEM-inspired analog filter. 7 of the oscillator modes are the result of a collaboration between Arturia and Eurorack legends Mutable Instruments, and let users control the sound of the iconic 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 innovative PCB keyboard. Despite having no moving parts, it’s pressure sensitive and lightning-fast, and also offers poly-aftertouch. This unique 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 exceptional oscillators, filter, and interface, MicroFreak offers some seriously advanced features that other low-cost instruments can only dream of. A multi-point modulation matrix; an 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 $349 / 299€, MicroFreak is both a superb contender for “my first synth”, as well as an intriguing 2nd, 3rd, or 15th synth for the collector or experimental sound designer.