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Arturia MicroFreak Digital Hardware Synth

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Description
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.

MicroFreak is currently in production, and is expected to arrive at retailers worldwide from April 1st, 2019. Arturia promise MicroFreak isn’t an April Fool’s joke.

Official Product Information

An affordable digital hardware synth with unusual oscillator modes, an analog filter, “Spice and Dice” sequencer, and a unique PCB keyboard. Featuring an exciting collaboration with Eurorack legends Mutable Instruments, MicroFreak offers many of the Plaits oscillators with added paraphony, and lets users explore and save presets, and experiment with a modulation matrix. This is a budget synth like no other.

Whether you’re looking for your first, affordable hardware synth or are collector looking for original sounds and unique interface, MicroFreak is the synth you need.

This out-there little music machine features a versatile digital oscillator so you can create rare and interesting sounds with ease. Modes like Texturer, KarplusStrong, Harmonic OSC, and Superwave give adventurous musicians the chance to explore totally new, unheard possibilities. Like having dozens of synths in just one instrument, both wild-eyed newcomers and seasoned professionals will fall in love with MicroFreak’s flexible, powerful synth engine.

MicroFreak packs so much in to such a compact instrument, you'll wonder how we did it. We'd love to say it was magic, but it was pure skill and passion.

Physical modelling, wavetable synthesis, virtual analog, there is nothing as complete and exciting as the MicroFreak oscillator on the market. It's hard to believe from such a small synth, but here it is, ready for you to explore. Excite your creativity and reward your curiosity with a large, diverse sound palette. MicroFreak features 13 awesome oscillators, 5 bespoke Arturia engines, and 8 modes from our partners at Mutable Instruments.

Even though MicroFreak has a digital oscillator at its heart, “opposites attract” as the saying goes. That’s why we’ve included a lush-sounding analog filter.

Inspired by the trailblazing 12-dB Oberheim SEM filter, you can make MicroFreak’s filter scream or whisper to taste. The filter is state-variable, and can even auto-oscillate! You can use this is any way you like, from taking the edge of the razor-sharp wavetable sounds, or automating the cutoff by modulating it with keyboard pressure or the in-built sequencer.

Wait. Did we mention that MicroFreak has a sequencer? And a mod matrix? Things are about to get seriously interesting...

MicroFreak is packed with unique, exciting features that let you create music with a fresh perspective.

Record up to four automations, edit notes per step or use the innovative Spice and Dice sequencer functions to find happy accidents. Add randomization to create evolving, original patterns, and virtually rewire and reconfigure its signal chain and controls with the 5x7 modulation matrix.

That’s right, it is. It isn’t really even a keyboard. It’s a PCB. Super-flat, with no moving parts. Will it track lightning-fast synth solos? You bet. Better than a traditional keyboard, actually.

Will it let you be expressive? Of course, it’s not only pressure sensitive, but also offers poly-aftertouch. This means each key can control parameters in a different way depending on how much you touch.

You can also use its USB, MIDI, and CV outputs to control instruments in your DAW and modular synths. This also means that you can also use MicroFreak as a controller to experience polyphonic aftertouch with cutting edge software instruments.
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Technical Specifications
Type: Analog, Digital
Synthesis: Frequency Modulation, Granular, Karplus–Strong, SuperSaw, Virtual Analog, Wave Shaping, Wave Table
Oscillators
Oscillators: 11
Oscillator Notes:
11 Digital oscillators: Superwave, Harmonic Oscillator, Karplus-Strong, Wavetable, Virtual Analog, Waveshaper, FM, Grain, Chords, Speech, and Modal.
Variable modes
Mutable Instruments designs
Envelopes
Envelopes: 2
Evelope Paramerters: Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release, Freerun, Looping, Triggered
Filters
Filters: 1
Types: 12dB Slope (2-pole), Band Pass, High Pass, Low Pass, Resonance
Filter Modulation: Envelope, Input, Keyboard, LFO, Sequencer
Filter Notes:
SEM Style Filter
LFO
LFO: 1
LFO Parameters: Noise, Sample & Hold, Saw Up, Sine, Square, Triangle, Key Sync
Polyphony & Tuning
Polyphony: 4
Timbrality: 1
Tuning: Standard
Modes: Mono, Paraphonic
Patches
Patches RAM: 64
Patches ROM: 128
Storage: Internal
Editing: USB
Arpeggiator
Powerful arpeggiator
Up, Order, Random, Pattern modes
Spice & Dice Gate randomizers
Sequencer
64-step sequencer
2 patterns per preset
4 automation tracks per preset
Case
Case: Keyboard
Keyboard: 25 keys, Touch Plates, Metal
Controls: Buttons, Knobs
Display Type: LED, OLED
Dimensions (WxDxH): 12.2 x 9.2 x 2.2 inches / 311 x 233 x 55 mm
Weight: 2.3 lbs. / 1.02 Kg
Connections
Audio Output Connections: 1/4" Phone Jack, Stereo Main
MIDI Ports: IN, OUT, USB
CV Ports: CV IN, CV OUT, Gate In, Gate Out
Production
Year Released: 2019

Product Links
Company Product Sites:
[+] www.arturia.com
Pricing
Retail Street Price: $329 - convert
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