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Arturia Microfreak

Experimental Hybrid Synth (2019)


"Tiny portable synth with hybrid analog digital synthesis and analog multimode filter, all made in France"

Overview and synthesis

KEYBOARD The main keyboard is pretty .. surpring not really professionaly-oriented, similar to AKS and awful EDP wasp based on finger conductivity  the display is pretty nice based on OLED technologyThe ICON strip replace a traditional bend and modulation and these can be freely assigned. 

SYNTHESIS First of the series "non brute" the main core oscillators are digital based on open source project from MUTABLE (great producer of modular stuff). This time filter is not based on steiner parker! basically the Microfreak is monophonic, but it can be used as paraphonic but a little more advanced, using different VCA and enveloppe but still sharing a single VCF.
 The digital oscillator has 12 algorithms with variable sub section called wave timbre and shape; 7 out of 12 algorithms are derived from modular PLAITS and 5 others by Arturia.  Algorithms are: superwave (roland JP8000) wavetable (ppg) harmonic osc (additive), karplus strong, waveshaper, 2 OP FM like dx, formant (kinda granular), chord and speech (formant phonems like old 8 bits stuff)


Filter, EG and LFO

FILTER The filter is analog and based on iconicmachine from Oberheim, the SEM! but using more traditional LPF, BPF and HPF

ENVELOPE:4 stages ADSR AMP + aux with special cycling 3 stages (Rise, Fall e Hold/Sustain) and can be assigned to any parameters in a special matrix modulation (like the LFO). The cycling mode also features a special legato mode for TB303 sounds in bassline.

LFO features six shapes (sine, triangle, sawtooth, pulse, random, smooth random), frequency can be slaved to midi clock with variable time dividers.  Also special retrig mode of free flown. Destinations can be set freely also to matrix modulation

Arpeggiator,  sequencer and memory

ARPEGGIATOR with 3 modes (up, order -4notes you play - and random. Can be synched and slaved to clock with variable dividers.  Special random functions can alterate notes, lenght, gate and more.

SEQUENCER 2 patterns of 64 notes called A/B can be recorded in real time or step mode with tie/rest function.

MEMORY 128 rom sounds + 128 USER FREE with 11 family instruments for quick retrival. a free utility called  MIDI Control Center  can be downloaded for free from arturia website. 


MICROFREAK Technical Data

Size & weight

  • Instrument size : 12.2 x 9.2 x 2.2 inches (311 x 233 x 55mm)
  • Instrument weight : 2.3 lbs. (1.02 Kg)

Main Features

  • Synthesizer with 256 preset slots and 160 factory presets
  • 12 Digital oscillators with variable modes, with integrated open source Plaits engine created by Mutable Instruments
  • Analog State Variable Filter, 12dB/octave, resonant, Low Pass, Band Pass, High Pass
  • ADSR envelope
  • Cycling Envelope offering two modes
    • Envelope
    • LFO
  • LFO with Sync: Sine, Tri, Saw, Square, Random, Slew Random
  • Modulation matrix with 5 sources and 7 destinations (3 custom destinations)
  • Monophonic or Paraphonic modes - Up to 4 voices
  • 25-key capacitive keybed with polyphonic aftertouch
  • Capacitive touch strip
  • Crisp OLED display for editing and parameter values
  • Powerful arpeggiator
    • Up, Order, Random, Pattern modes
    • Spice & Dice Gate randomizers
  • 64-step sequencer
    • 2 patterns per preset
    • 4 automation tracks per preset
  • CV / Gate / Mod outputs
  • USB, Clock and MIDI in and out
  • 6.35mm master and 3.5mm headphone output

Do you use this machine ? do you like it? You do not agree with our review?  Let us know in the comment field just below 



Audio demo and video 

75 out of 100 based on 1 user ratings
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