Arturia MicroFreak

211

Hybrid Synthesizer

  • Touch keyboard with 25 keys
  • Velocity dynamic with polyphonic aftertouch
  • Digital oscillator with synthesis methods like Karplus Strong, Harmonic OSC, Superwave and Texturer
  • Analog state variable filter (-12 dB/oct.) with selectable lowpass, bandpass and highpass characteristics
  • LFO with 6 vibration modes
  • 2 Envelope generators
  • Modulation matrix with 5 sources and 7 targets
  • Arpeggiator
  • Step sequencer with 4 automation tracks and random parameters
  • Paraphonic mode
  • OLED display
  • Mono line output: 6.3 mm Jack (balanced)
  • CV / Gate / Pressure Outputs: 3.5 mm Jack
  • Clock In / Out: 3.5 mm Handle
  • MIDI In / Out: 3.5 mm TRS jack
  • USB port
  • Dimensions: 311 x 233 x 55 mm
  • Weight 1.02 kg
  • Includes 12V DC power supply unit
  • Suitable bag: Article Nr. 485323 (not included)
available since May 2019
Item number 457192
sales unit 1 piece(s)
Number Of Keys 25
Touch-Sensitive Yes
Aftertouch Yes
Split Zones No
Modulation Wheel No
Number of simultaneous Voices 1
Sound Engine Digital Analog Hybrid
MIDI interface MIDI In/Out
Storage Medium Internal
USB-port Yes
Effects 0
Arpeggiator Yes
Number of Analog Outputs 1
Digital Output No
Display Yes
Pedal Connections None
Dimensions 311x233x55mm
Weight 1,0 kg
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$275
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Le freak, c'est chic!

Anyone who loves extraordinary synthesizers simply has to experience the Arturia Microfreak. This compact hybrid synthesizer includes a digital oscillator with various synthesis processes. This unique audio source is combined with an analogue multi-mode filter and flexible modulation options. Other unique features include the velocity-sensitive, capacitive touch keyboard that offers unique modulation options while playing as well as the polyphonic step sequencer with a parameter recording facility. This produces unconventional sounds that are full of character and give each track its own individual touch - so despite its diminutive size, the MicroFreak gives you plenty of room for experimentation.

An oscillator like no other

The heart of the four-voiced paraphonic Arturia Microfreak is its digital oscillator, which handles 12 different synthesis processes including standard waveforms, wavetable synthesis, and FM as well as rare and extraordinary processes such as Karplus Strong synthesis, granular formant oscillator, and modal resonator. This guarantees an impressive variety of sounds, which is further enhanced by the fact that the oscillator type can be modulated. Modulation in general is one of the top features the Arturia Microfreak delivers: Modulation sources and targets can be easily connected with each other via a flexible matrix. What is more, the sequencer has four tracks for modulation data, so that fader movements can be recorded and played back.

Get your "freak" on!

The Arturia Microfreak is a great tip for all synthesizer freaks who like to experiment with extraordinary synthesis processes and unique sounds. With its many different types of sound generation, it can create sounds that cannot be obtained from most other synthesizers, so if you want your music to get a very special touch, the Arturia Microfreak is the right choice. And thanks to the Microfreak's many operating elements, this variety of sounds can be easily explored without having to delve into endless menus. While other synthesizers with such a complex sound generation are often complicated to use, the Microfreak invites you to experiment right away.

About Arturia

Arturia's success story began with software emulations of well-known analogue synthesizers such as the Moog Minimoog, Sequential Prophet-5, and Oberheim SEM. The popular software instruments included in the V Collection are still flagship products of the French developer today. Over time, Arturia has gradually expanded its range and now also offers a host of hardware devices, ranging from synthesizers and keyboard controllers to sequencers. Since then, the former software developer has thus also become a household name in the world of analogue synthesizers and other equipment.

A must-have for adventurous tone chasers

The compact Arturia Microfreak can be easily integrated into any setup. It has USB and MIDI interfaces, via which it can be connected not only to DAW software but also, for example, to an external sequencer such as the Arturia Keystep. What's more, it is a great addition to an analogue modular system thanks to its CV/gate outputs and clock input/output and, with its extraordinary touch keyboard and its powerful sound, it makes a great impression on stage. A bold synthesizer for those who like to experiment and are looking for new sounds and ways of expression.

In the spotlight

1
My first hardware synth
1TooZz 11.10.2019
I'm used only bunch of good VST before, i'm totally satisfied with them. But once i wanted to have a not virtual, a "real" instrument to have another workflow style, and, therefore, different paths thinking of creativity. Portability was a big criterion too.
After long researching of some variants, microfreak had becomes my choice. I had bunch of fears and skepticism about it, but price of the synth is a very tasty.
Also it's hard to estimate all possibilities with only dry sound. I was thinking, good additional effects will make the sound very awesome, but wasn't too sure. Sound demos, what i found in internet almost all was with dry sound or slightly slurred to me.
When i received and try it on my own- all good expectations were confirmed.

This little thing can a lot of things, but at first it's not so evident. It's really cool to play with it, i understood how to use it very quickly. In some ways It's not so easy, as using virtual instruments, but it's a lot more pleasant.
Microfreak has its own sound style, and this is awesome, because uniqueness is advantage. Some aspects, with comparison with some my VSTi's i have not so powerful, but microfreak has its own powers and possibilities, what i'm haven't before.
Microfreak does not have its own effects. Some patches obtaining good without it. But If use third party effects, sonic possibilities and power increasing a lot.
I'd advise to buy good effects with the synth, gear or plug-ins, at least one good reverb, this really worth it.

Sound of the synth is digital, and very quality. It's really sound better than some of my vsti's, sometimes even without additional effects.
Microfreak full of good sides of digital sound.
The synth have ability to create analog- style sounds, but i doubt, what they so cool, as true analog. Anyway the synth sounds a very cool in digital sonic style.
But filter here is analog. Some oscillator modes have features, what making filter not so important to use with them, but the filter is real cool, it's work smooth and sometimes making sound "warmer".

Modulation matrix is awesome. It's really easy, if get used to it, and give a lot of possibilities. You can even modulate amount of other modulations!

I love the keyboard. In some ways not so good as "traditional" keyboard, but i'm, as pianist, don't feel conservative negativity about this sensor decision, it's just different way to play.
For me it's comfortably and fun to use. And it's really expressive. I'm sure, this flat keys better, then cheap keys with bad velocity control or without it.

I don't very like a sequencer and arpeggiator, because i accustomed to DAW's with their surgical control of everything, but anyway seem's useful. But i really like a possibility of modulating something from sequencer/arpeggiator.

If you want affordable, little, fun and interesting digital synth- the Microfreak is a good decision, i think.
But if you want just only features, and you not obsessed about possession of real instrument, or about unwonted workflow; or you don't like digital sound- maybe it's can disappoint you.
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A best of this scope, really, for this price?
Zivca78 29.04.2020
First of all let me say I am dealing with synths for more than 30 years.
I am professional music producer and audio engineer, and bulk of my work was always directed towards music synthesis, be it music composing, sound design or just pure love for the machine.
This synth is many types of synthesis packed into one. With 2.0 firmware update, even more features are offered, such as additional oscillator and scale mode. This synth might be too much for a beginner but only because of so many features, but they would witness first hand all classic synthesis they have been reading or being thought about. So entry level can and will enjoy this synth.
Features I love - versatility, cycling envelope, matrix, arp and seq, and so many great things under a hub of this little beast.
Filter is extremely good piece of analog gear and its a shame external devices cannot be connected to use it.
Front panel misses arp gate, it is back in the utility menu, but that is just me asking for too much. Just like connectivity - this thing does everything it is supposed to do.
Great and fun feature, spice and dice is there.
Keyboard is pressure sensitive, and i love all additional settings you can assign.
Think about any, literally any synth with so many options that actually has analog filter!
And to top it all, this esoteric finish/design is making me happy to have this device purely just to look at it.
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JB
Does what some synths 3 times as expensive can't
Jungy Brogus 09.03.2022
The mod matrix is where a lot of the strength and versatility is. For example: assigning pitch to tempo. You record a melody/sequence and you can tell the Microfreak to play the high notes slowly or quickly. Or the low notes, and you can control how fast or slow. There are more things here that much bigger synths can't do so it really is a gem. The 4 orange knobs, where you change the basis of the sound can feel quite limiting compared to a 'knob per function' synth but the mod matrix is too good.

The capacitor keys are brilliant for very quick response playing. Run your fingers across the 'keys' really quickly and lightly tapping in melodies.

The sequencer is fun and user friendly once I got my head around it. Every sequence you make has A and B parts, both have 64 steps. So yeah 128 steps. A 4 note chord is still one step. You can go back and forward and change any step. Listen to it and go back and change it again. I think it's a great little powerful synth and you are going to enjoy it.
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Powerful, versatile and affordable
Musley 13.05.2021
MicroFreak is my first hardware synth - before that I was using VST's but I don't feel like I want to go back.

What's great about it is that it let's you to choose what type of oscillation do you want to use and shape the general sound and then real fun begins with matrix mod, that simply put lets you define the relations between the components of the synth. You can create harsh or smooth basslines, drums, ambient pads, arpeggiated sequences - versatility is what makes it worth checking out.

Moreover it has built in sequencer, that lets you to use it either as a step sequencer or record in real time. There's also a possibility of randomising sequences via slice and dice function.

Keyboard might feel a little weird at first, but it has it's pros - it features aftertouch, you can assign it to control other parameters depending on how you use it, it has hold function that comes in handy while playing live or tweaking with sound texture. It's also super responsive.

The amount of functionalities might seem a bit overwhelming for a beginner, but there are a ton of instructional videos on Youtube that will help you to get through the learning process, Arturia is publishing resources as well and they are still supporting the synth - it had free firmware update in January 2021 that introduced new features. Upgrading process is quick and seamless via dedicated software that you can download from their website. Software also allows you to tweak certain functionalities but I didn't feel the need to make the adjustments yet.

Since I'm a fan of digital gear, I'm really fond of MIDI functionalities (works great when paired with a sampler - Elektron Digitakt in my case) and possibility of saving your own presets. If you create an interesting preset but you want to experiment a little bit, you can always save what you adjusted as a new preset, without overwriting the previous one. The OLED screen might seem a bit small at first but it does exactly what it needs to and helps to navigate through the menus without any issues.

The way the MicroFreak is designed is also very well thought out in my opinion - once you get a hold of it (I totally recommend checking instructional videos or reading a manual), the whole interface gives you a lot of information by just looking at it thanks to all the leds it features which comes in handy while playing live or jamming with friends.

I used it both for music production, jamming and on stage and I'm very happy with how it works and how quickly you can apply all the changes to shape the sound depending on circumstances (I love that it features responsive lowpass, bandpass and highpass filter, so you can quickly adjust it depending on your needs). Moreover even if you think that certain sound that you came up with is not satisfying, try pairing it with effect pedals for completely new flavors - I totally recommend using it that way!
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