When Arturia brought out the monophonic analogue synthesizer known as the MiniBrute with its relatively unusual and quite aggressive Steiner-Parker filter, punchy envelope generator, and surprisingly wide range of other exciting noise-sculpting possibilities, I was very tempted to buy one but somehow managed to resist.
Then the MicroBrute came out with a lower price tag, a built-in sequencer and semi-modular capabilities, and my level of temptation increased accordingly.
When a special limited edition version of the MicroBrute came out, I knew I couldn’t resist any longer and ordered the white version. I liked the MicroBrute SE so much that I had also ordered a regular black MicroBrute within 48 hours. The white one became known as Good Brute and the black one as Evil Brute.
Having two conveniently tiny and sonically powerful monosynths with the inputs and outputs of a semi-modular system raises all sorts of interesting possibilities. They can be used entirely separately, with two separate sequences playing on their respective sequencers; they can be used separately but with some connectivity between the two with patch cables (e.g. using the LFO on one machine to control pulse width modulation on both machines); or they can be linked together to function as one doubly powerful two-oscillator monosynth.
I decided to film a video of Good Brute vs. Evil Brute demonstrating all of these possibilities and more. During the course of the video I build sounds and sequences to make the parts of a song, and at the end I play the whole thing whilst jamming a lead part over the top. If you don’t care about the geeky stuff and just want to see/hear the final performance, skip ahead to 13:35 in the video:
00:00 percussion parts; 04:00 bass parts; 07:22 bleeps; 09:00 lead sound; 13:35 final performance with all parts playing.
Audio hardware and software used: Arturia MicroBrute, Arturia MicroBrute SE, Apple Mac, Ableton Live, Audio Hijack Pro.
Video hardware and software used: iPhone 5s, Apple Mac, Final Cut Pro X.