Sonic LAB: Arturia MINIFreak Synthesizer

US Digital heart, analogue filters      11/11/22

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So here it is, the next in the Freak Range. The MINIFreak has two of those DSP algorithmic oscillators  (with around 20 algorithms) and a total of 6 voices. However, it also operates in a kind of hybrid paraphonic mode, giving you 12 voices. You also get a new digital effects section with three slots, a unique Oscillator 2 set of algorithms which allows you to process Oscillator 1 with AM/FM mod, various digital filters and a Decimator/bit reducer - Oscillator 1 source includes  an Audio Input mode as well. A second LFO which also has a user mod wave slot as well as a bunch of preset shapes, twin Macro sliders/Pitch/mod wheel/seq or arp gate and spice sliders make it a fairly expressive machine - that and the three octave after-touch enabled key mini keyboard.

With a rich selection of oscillator algorithms, there's a huge tonal palette to feed into those analog filters (1 per voice) and then the effects, the results are very pleasing. It majors on unusual, harmonically rich sounds with pads and driven stuff literally falling out of it as soon as you start tweaking. (see our patches on patreon).

I'd like to have seen: LFO fade in (single shot mode is there), MPE over external MIDI.

Bonus feature: Free MINIFreak V plug-in - a plug-in/standalone version of the MINIFreak with patch compatib between. A nice touch and something that could easily cost €99 on it's own.

MINIFreak should be in the stores, very soon, priced at £559/$599.

https://www.arturia.com/products/hardware-synths/minifreak

Good work Arturia, it's an inspiring machine. You'll be struggling to choose between this, the Minilogue XD or Hydrasynth Explorer. 

Note: additional review content on our Patreon - questions answered and a selection of patches to download.

 


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