OK, who ARE these guys?? Arturia has just been killing it! Every time a box come to our office from France, the lot of us fights like cats-and-dogs to see if it’s a French Kiss from Arturia. The company, behind the Beatstep Pro, labeled the “most fun” product of 2015 by one of our staffers, was rumored to be working on a “bigger Brute” – but what they delivered is beyond explanation: three ‘Brute’ oscillators, Steiner-Parker and ladder filters, three fast envelope generators, analog effects, built-in sequencer, argpeggiator, and a mind-blowing modulation matrix. The blue pill. I’ll WANT THE BLUE PILL!!! No! That’s the red ONE, I said Blue!!!
The company has trotted out the MatrixBrute Analog Synthesizer, basically what Neo would have used if he was going to play at that club, instead of just flirting with Trinity in the first movie. This programmable monophonic/duophonic analog synthesizer with 3 VCO’s contains a fascinating modulation matrix disguised as a Tenori-on sequencer. The modulation matrix is at the heart of MatrixBrute, making the most of each ‘module’ through a matrix that offers thousands of potential modulation routings. Assign any of 16 modulation sources to any of 16 modulation destinations (in MOD mode) and set the amounts of each modulation routing using the dedicated data encoder; four such destinations are user programmable and can clearly be seen in the E-Ink (Electronic Ink) display.
That multifaceted matrix also allows presets to be recalled quite literally at the touch of a button when in PRESET mode. Go grab one of the 256 pre-programmed presets or recall one of your own original sound creations. Indeed, MatrixBrute packs the power of a modular synth system with an all-important ability to save each patch. AWE-some! Furthermore, the matrix can also be pressed into action as a 64-step sequencer with separate STEP, ACCENT, SLIDE, and MODULATION options when in SEQ mode.
To help maintain a 100% analogue signal path, MatrixBrute also adds true Analog Effects to its stereo output — choose from chorus, delay, and flanger with five operational modes — any Analog Effects controls can be set as modulation destinations in the Matrix. Analog effects feeding into the arpeggiator??
It’s a given that any analog synthesizer only sounds as good as its VCFs (Voltage-Controlled Filters) and VCOs (Voltage-Controlled Oscillators). The MatrixBrute Analog Synthesizer features an upgraded four-mode Steiner Filter that supports both 12dB/oct and 24dB/oct slopes, alongside a dedicated Drive control for creating thicker sounds, and three-mode Ladder Filter, known for creating punchy bass and fat lead sounds with 12dB/oct and 24dB/oct slopes alongside another dedicated Drive control. The three VCOs are each equipped with a sub-oscillator as well as Saw, Pulse, and Triangle waveforms with the unique wave-shapers that are the trademark of the beloved ‘Brute’ sound of the MatrixBrute Analog Synthesizer’s smaller siblings, the MiniBrute and MicroBrute monosynths. But by pairing a 49-note (full-size) keyboard (featuring both velocity-sensitivity and aftertouch for a musical feel with plenty of expression) with a beautifully-designed, solid chassis featuring a helpfully-hinged, hands-on capacious control panel, the road-ready MatrixBrute Analog Synthesizer is both bigger and better, boasting more connections than Ari Emanuel.
Arturia MatrixBrute Features:
» Three Analog Oscillators
— Sawtooth, Pulse, Triangle, waves with the unique waveshapers that have become the trademark of the ‘Brute’ sound. There is also a sub-oscillator on each of the two Brute oscillators.
» Combination VCO/LFO Oscillator
— The third Osciallator can be used for both audio signals and LFO modulation at the same time.
» Noise Generator
— Noise generator with White, Pink, Red and Blue noise types.
» Audio Mod
— The AUDIO MOD section allows for complex oscillator and filter FM
» Performance Controls
— Pitch bend and mod wheels and 4 Macro encoders which can be assigned to any of the modulation destinations for instant hands on performance playing.
» Voice Modes
— Multiple keyboard modes for mono, paraphonic and duo-split modes. Split oscialltors for paraphonic mode or use the duo split mode to play a sequence while playing notes over the top of it.
» Three LFO’s
— Two standalone LFO’s with 7 waveforms and trigger modes allow for complex modulations. The combination VCO/LFO adds a 3rd LFO in the system.
— Mix and blend Oscillators 1, 2, 3, as well as the noise generator and EXTERNAL input sources. Route each mixer input to the filter of your choice using the FILTER assign buttons.
» Steiner-Parker filter
— Upgraded Steiner Parker filter to support both 12db per octave and 24db per octave slopes as well as a DRIVE control for making thicker sounds. The 4 modes, Low pass, band pass, high pass, and notch allow for a vast array of sound making possibilites.
» Ladder Filter
— Included traditional Ladder filter with both 12db and 24db per octave slopes as well as Low Pass, High Pass & Band Pass modes and a Drive control.
» Filter routing
— The two filters can be patched in series or in parallel configurations.
» 3 Envelope Generators
— The two ADSR envelopes and the 3rd DADSR envelope give you plenty of sound sculpting tools.
» 256 Memory locations
— Store and recall your favorite sounds at the touch of a button. You can organize, save and load new banks of sounds using the free MIDI Control Center editor application. MatrixBrute comes with 128 factory presets.
» The Matrix
— Modulation Routing: You can assign any of 16 modulation sources to any of 16 mod destinations. 4 destinations are user programmable and can be seen in the e-ink display. Set amounts of each modulation routing using the data encoder.
— Step Sequencer: The matrix can be used as a 64 step sequencer with separate STEP, ACCENT, SLIDE and MODULATION steps.
— Preset Recall: In Preset mode the matrix allows you to recall any of 256 presets at the touch of a button.
» True Analog Effects
— To enhance your sonic pleasure we have added an analog and Delay/ Chorus/ Flanger to the output. Choose from any of 5 operation modes. The controls in the analog effects can be set as modulation destinations in the Matrix.
» Sequencer/Arpeggiator controls
— The sequencer and arpeggiator add to the playability of the Matrixbrute.
— The 49 note keyboard features both velocity and aftertouch for a musical feel with plenty of expression.
» Master Audio Outputs
— Stereo 1/4″ jacks for your master audio outputs.
» Control Voltage Interfacing
— 12 CV Inputs and 12 CV Outputs allow the Matrixbrute to interface with your standard 1V per octave modular synth gear.
» Audio Input
— Line and instrument levels allow for adding an external oscillator from your favorite modular synth or processing a guitar or bass through the filters, VCA and analog effects.
» Gate I/O
— The Gate inputs and outputs allow you to trigger external gear or trigger the internal envelopes remotely.
» Sync in and out
— This allows you to synchronize the MatrixBrute’s sequencer and arpeggiator with external devices.
» Pedal Inputs
— Experssion and Sustain pedal inputs give you real-time control to expand on your expressive capabilities control.
— Standard MIDI in, out and thru will connect you to both modern and vintage gear alike.
— USB I/O allows you to interface to a computer DAW directly.
Finally, the MatrixBrute’s connectivity is simply off the charts: 12 CV inputs and 12 CV outputs to interface with any standard 1V/oct modular gear); Audio In (line and instrument levels allow for adding an external oscillator from a favourite modular synth or processing a guitar or other instrument through the filters, VCA, and analogue effects); Gate In and Out (to trigger external gear or trigger the internal envelopes remotely); Sync In and Out (to synchronize the internal sequencer and arpeggiator with external devices); standard MIDI In, Out, and Thru (to connect to both modern and vintage gear alike); USB I/O (to interface to a computer-based DAW directly and also use the free editor/librarian software); and Pedals (Expression 1, Expression 2, and Sustain inputs to provide realtime control); Master Out (stereo master outputs on 1/4-inch jacks).
The Future: What??! Do music manufacturers think we’re all make out of money? The Korg Minilogue, the Dave Smith / Tom Oberheim OB-6 lovefest and now this from the greatest French company of all time. OK, we may be biased about the greatest company part…French Onion Soup is pretty good. And then there’s the croissant, that’s pretty yummy. And French Fries. And French toast. But wait! That’s food. All food. Invented by Chefs, not companies. OK, Greatest French Company Of ALL Time!
Arturia’s MatrixBrute will be out this spring, no official pricing has been announced.