Sunday, October 20, 2013

Updated with video: Arturia Microbrute- First pictures, rumored price, and info here!

Sorry to burst Arturia's bubble nearly a week early, but we seem to have official confirmation that the Microbrute, which was first teased earlier this week on Arturia's site, is their new hardware synthesizer. The Microbrute is a 25 mini-key monosynth with a rumored retail price of $299.  Other rumors suggest that the Microbrute is virtual analog, but these rumors are very unlikely, considering that the image above clearly states "analog" and features a mini patch bay and no presets, which would be unusual for a digital synth.  The Microbrute includes the Minibrute's waveshaping oscillator, multimode filter, a single LFO and envelope, a sequencer, and the aforementioned mini patch bay. which is currently unreadable due to the size of the above picture.  The official Arturia site says "modern connectivity" so there's even a chance this synth could be USB powered, which could be a nice feature for those working in a small space.

(Thanks to user Slujj for the video!)

So who is the Microbrute for?  There is probably a very small constituency of synthesists and bedroom producers who can't afford the already cheap Minibrute, and it appears this is an attempt to cater to them, and perhaps do battle with the DSI Mopho module, Korg Volca series, and Waldorf Rocket.  This will probably be a skip for Minibrute owners.

I think many people will be disappointed that this is not a a polysynth, seeing as how the low price point could be an indicator of how reasonably priced a 4 or 5 voice synth could be.  Months ago, Arturia was looking for a hardware engineer, which could indicate this elusive polysynth is in the pipeline but still months away, or years worst case scenario.  The Microbrute is, after all, just a repackaged Minibrute, so the engineer's expertise really wouldn't be needed for this project.  So I guess that's my official prediction on the matter-- I think we will see the Arturia Multibrute, or whatever name it may be called-- sometime in 2014 due to the existence of this synth and the Volca keys.

What do you think? Tweet at me.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Moog Minifoogers Official; check out descriptions and price comparisons to the originals here

Following last week's leak of the new pedals, Moog has officially unveiled the new Minifooger line, 5 stomp boxes utilizing Moog's classic analog circuits but with a smaller price tag and footprint.  They're meant for "guitarists and bassists" but I doubt that'll stop synth heads and producers from grabbing these because of their great price.

Here's a quick comparison:
Minifooger Delay: $199/ Moogerfooger MF-104M: $611
Minifooger Ring Mod: $149/ Moogerfooger MF-102: $260

The other 3 pedals don't quite have an analog to their big brothers, but you can see there's a tremendous savings if you're looking for true Moog sound, especially for the Delay.

Expect a ton more about these in the coming weeks-- more video demos, most importantly.

From the Moog site:

"The MF Drive is a filter-based overdrive pedal employing a Moog Ladder Filter, boutique FET amplifiers, and OTAs in its drive section making it highly reactive to picking dynamics. The panel features a bi-polar tone control and sweepable filter that work dynamically with input gain to offer each player unique and customizable sounds that retain the core timbre of their instrument. A filter Peak switch shifts harmonic content to the filter’s cutoff position, adding new tonal creation and dirty wah performance possibilities not found in other drive pedals. MSRP: $179.

The MF Boost is a selectable topology boost pedal that allows the player to switch between an “articulate VCA” signal path and a “colored OTA” signal path. Each is tailored to deliver boutique amplifier sound and responsiveness from any guitar/amplifier combination. The design also imparts natural compression to an input signal, which brings out note articulation and significantly increases the performance of other effects pedals. When paired with an expression pedal, the MF Boost can be used as a tone enhancing volume pedal, sweepable-gain boost pedal, and VCA. The expression pedal input also provides access to higher gain values not available on the panel. MSRP: $149

The MF Delay features 35mS-700mS of completely analog delay time. At shorter settings, repeats are fast and bright for creating classic slap-back and plate sounds. At medium and long settings the repeats become darker and naturally trail into reverb-like state. A Drive circuit allows the player to adjust the tone and feel of the MF Delay as well as overdrive the Bucket Brigade Delay line, and the input of a guitar amplifier for bigger sound and feel. Also, the expression pedal input is switchable between feedback for expressive swells and delay time for tape delay and chorus/flange effects. MSRP: $209.

The MF Ring is an analog ring modulator that is based on the world’s best selling Ring Mod, the Moogerfooger MF-102. Its refined frequency range and tone voicing circuit add new-musical elements to ring modification, making it easy to dial in everything from octaves and choral dissonance to harmonic undertones and synthesized lead lines. The expression pedal input provides hands-free control of the Freq parameter for sound sweeps, pitch shifting effects, and playing between two scales on the fly. MSRP: $159

The MF Trem is an analog tremolo pedal designed around a balanced modulator and Sub Audio VCO. This design creates a wide range of effects that are based on phase cancellation and addition. Players can create classic optical tremolo, hard tremolo, rotary effects and more that react dynamically to harmonic content. A variable Shape control interacts with Tone and Mix to craft subtle swells and gallops to rhythmic percussive, and swirling effects. When pushed, the MF Trem can also approach the beginnings of phasing and chorus. The expression pedal input adds control of the Speed parameter for hands-free swells and rotary effects. MSRP: $189"

Friday, October 4, 2013

Leaked catalog shows new Moog Minifoogers

If you've been eying up a Moogerfooger but just couldn't justify the price tag, Moog might have something in store for you this fall.  The Minifooger series has leaked out in a picture from a Sweetwater catalog, showing 5 different models of miniature modules - Ring, Delay, Drive, Boost, and Tremelo, for $149, $199, $169, $139, and $179, respectively.  The smaller modules seem to have fewer options to accommodate the better price point, but since many of these features were extreme for some users (i.e. CV), the Mini's should be a big hit.  As much as I love Moog gear, I was never able to justify the price of the regular Moogerfoogers, but the Minis definitely have me interested.  Moog Music seems to be making a run for the pockets of analog lovers everywhere for this holiday season-- I imagine these would fit right in with a Sub Phatty, MS-20 Mini, or the Volca series!  Expect to see these officially unveiled by Moog in the next few days.

Here's a quick rundown of features:

"Moog Minifooger - Delay ($199.00)
A Bucket Brigade based 100% analog delay that delivers over 650ms of rich, blooming repeats. Adding an expression pedal to the MF Delay allows you to control feedback swells dynamically or adjust the delay time completely hands free.

Moog Minifooger - Tremolo ($179.00)A lush, transformative, and unique wide-range tremolo pedal that employs a balanced modulator circuit and Sub Audio VCO.. Add an expression pedal for beautiful, hands-free swells.

Moog Minifooger - Boost ($139.00)A tone enhancing, twin topology boost pedal that allows you to select between transparent VCA or clipped OTA signal paths. When paired with an expression pedal, the MF Boost can also be used as a volume pedal or sweepable-gain boost pedal.

Moog Minifooger - Drive ($169.00)A unique, filter-based overdrive pedal that employs a classic OTA and Moog Ladder Filter in its drive section for completely customizable sounds from creamy overdrive to cranked tube amplifier. Plug in an expression pedal to add a dimension of tonal and performance possibilities not found elsewhere.

Moog Minifooger - Ring ($149.00)A balanced Ring Modulator based on the best selling Ring Mod in the world, the Moogerfooger MF-102. Add an expression pedal and the MF Ring creates hands free sound sweeps and octave style jamming, to robotic and whammy effects."

from forums.