Arturia announces the MiniFreak, a hybrid collision of expression and chaos

The MicroFreak successor welcomes a 37-key velocity-sensitive keyboard with aftertouch

Arturia Minifreak

Image: Arturia

Part of a flurry of new product announcements, Arturia has unveiled the MiniFreak Algorithmic Synthesizer, a six-voice hybrid digital instrument combining two sound engines with analogue filtering and stereo effects.

Promising “sounds that are immediately curious, beautiful, and chaotic in equal measure,” the MiniFreak’s dual engines promise over 20 modes, able to be employed individually, combined or compounded to process one another for what Arturia calls “unique compound sonic behaviour.” These will be configurable in 6-voice polyphonic, 12-voice paraphonic, monophonic or unison modes.

Modulation is another department in which the MiniFreak promises big things. Polyphonic ADSR enveloping, customisable multi-segment LFO shapes, FM and Ring Modulation are all on the bill, as well as Arturia’s Spice & Dice randomisation feature for wild gate, trigger and pitch variation.

The MiniFreak also boasts some serious effects capabilities. Three slots for digital effects are ready for any of ten different effect types, ranging from stereo chorus to three-band EQ and distortion. A velocity-sensitive, aftertouch-endowed 37-note keybed marks a significant step up from the captive keyboards of Arturia’s MicroFreaks when it comes to expressive playability, and its onboard, ‘spontaneous’ sequencer and arpeggiator make for further performability.

The synth also comes with its own dedicated VST, MiniFreak V, for DAW-based editing and recording. Arturia promises “identical sound engines, modelled filters, presets and totally synchronised controls,” for an identical MiniFreak experience in either hardware or software.

The MiniFreak’s smaller predecessor, the MicroFreak, was warmly reviewed by MusicTech upon its release, earning a 9/10 score and a Choice award: “This is a great little synth for use in a number of settings, especially if you’re considering live, working with and triggering sequences, or placing it into a setup with a DAW.” One can only look forward to the litany of upgrades promised by the MiniFreak.

The MiniFreak is available now, priced at €599 / $599. Find out more at arturia.com.

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