Last month we’ve had a series of new launches with regards to DJ equipment. This month, however, Arturia, the French electronics company specializing in electronic music equipment and mobile apps has just come out with its latest experimental hybrid Synthesiser – the Microfreak. Known for making affordable software synthesizers, the company has come up with another MIDI system. Let’s have a look at the features of the Microfreak.
Arturia: Dj Course, Music Production

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What makes this MIDI system different is that this little guy operates on touch which is a novel idea by itself. Now isn’t that something cool? I recently checked the video uploaded on the company site and I definitely was impressed. We have touch screen tabs and phones so why not a cool synth? It has a 25-key printed circuit board that can not only track the notes you play but can also detect pressure and aftertouch on each note individually. Another cool feature is the touch-controls above the keyboard that can be accessed to the important functions of the sequencer, so the touch strip can be used as a pitch bender, or can be used to control the amount of “Spice” and “Dice” in your sequences.

What I don’t dig about its look is the branding over a monochromatic design strip. It could have improved the branding by using a contrast colour which would make the Arturia logo pop up. Leaving the looks aside, the functions of this midi are well labelled which makes it easier and accessible. Speaking of Functions, the MicroFreak synth has 16 wavetables which can be expandable in the future and 4 knobs in the digital oscillators, analog filters, a modulation matrix, an unconventional but highly expressive touch plate — and tons of sonic possibilities. MicroFreak’s powerful digital oscillator features a palette of unique modes such as Texturer, Karplus strong, Harmonic OSC, and Superwave which are perfect or trance as the waves allow the user to create the fattest synth sound, enabling everyone from adventurous newbies to experienced synthesists to explore new sonic frontiers.

Arturia has integrated with renowned Eurorack manufacturer Mutable Instruments to include their acclaimed Plaits wavetable oscillator with added paraphony(to play up to 4-voices at once.)

MicroFreak is an extremely versatile little beast that can sound sweet, deep, hypnotic, chaotic, volcanic. Whatever sounds you can dream up, MicroFreak is up to the task. And MicroFreak lets you work fast, too, with advanced features like real-time sequence creation and randomization.

So the product will be available in the market during the spring season i.e. between March to July. With the cost being 349$ or €299 and in Indian Rupees the conversion amounts to 24500 (round figure). I feel the Microfreak is a dealbreaker in terms of technology, size and price (I know I would definitely put it in my ‘to steal list’.)

Key features –
  • Tech Specs
  • Type:Paraphonic Synthesizer
  • Sound Engine Type(s): Wavetable Synthesis, Digital Oscillators
  • Analog/Digital: Digital with Analog Filter
  • Number of Keys: 25
  • Type of Keys: Touch-sensitive Capacitive Keybed, Polyphonic Aftertouch
  • Other Controllers: Capacitive Touch Strip
  • Polyphony: Monophonic, Paraphonic mode (up to 4 voices)
  • Presets:128 Factory, 64 User
  • Oscillators:11 x Digital Oscillators (engine type, wave, timbre, shape)
  • LFO: 1 x LFO with Sync (sine, sawtooth, square, triangle, random, slew random)
  • Filter: Analog State Variable Filter, 12dB/octave, Lowpass, Bandpass, Highpass
  • Envelope Generator:1 x ADSR, Cycling Envelope
  • Arpeggiator: Up, Order, Random, Pattern modes, Spice/Dice Gate randomizer
  • Sequencer: 64-step, 2 patterns per preset
  • Audio Outputs: 1 x 1/4″ (master out)
  • Headphones: 1 x 1/8″
  • USB: 1 x Type B
  • MIDI I/O: 2 x 1/8″ (In/Out)
  • Other I/O: CV out, Gate out, Pressure out, Clock in/out
  • Features: 5 x 7 Modulation Matrix
  • Power Supply: 12V DC 1A power supply (included)
  • Height: 2.2″
  • Width: 12.5″
  • Depth: 9.2″
  • Weight: 2.5 lbs.
  • Manufacturer Part Number: 570101

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