Any thoughts on what Arturia may be planning as an evolved MB on a higher turn of the spiral, so to speak
Honestly I have no idea. It's one thing to take a design that's pretty much existing and implement it into an analog monosynth to give people what they've been asking for. It's an entirely different thing to design an preset or polyphonic analog synth. For the MB I think Yves did all the analog schematics once they decided on the module versions they liked best. I think Bruno at Arturia did the PCB layout and some of the peripheral design. I'm not sure who designed the digital control including the firmware for the NXP ARM mcu. They really hit a home run with the MB I think. From the estimated numbers of units sold it sounds like they've sold quite a few of them as far as synths go. The price, timing, sound, everything was just right. I would bet against them taking the risk that would be involved in hiring the right people and putting together a team to design a polysynth or maybe even a preset mono/duophonic synth. It would be awesome though. I will say it seems they're not too big yet, meaning they're not 100% about quarterly earnings ($) like you almost have to be (to grow) when you're a bigger company (see Roland, Focusrite/Novation etc.), so if the right passionate people are managing it could happen.
Do you think it's possible to mod the MB to introduce CV OUT/INs for most of it's knobs and EG, LFO etc... In other words, a modular MB. I'm having dreams of such a synth.
There's no way to mod the minibrute to have CV control over every knob parameter. The controls are analog potentiometers, they're part of the analog circuit, so they're not scanned digitally. Hence there's no need and no way to 'send' CV's for each parameter to control each corresponding function. This would require every continuous (control knob) parameter to be controllable by a CV from the MCU/MIDI or external cv inputs. For designs that are mostly discrete this would require implementing VCA's for most parameters. This is something the MB lacks versus the preset analogs such as the Sub Phatty and Bass Station II which are indeed littered with VCA's. There are a few exceptions in the MB, because of the mod wheels controls there are VCA's for the Filter envelope, Vibrato, LFO, and Glide amounts so you should be able to implement CV controls over those ones (not sure but there may already be control of those via MIDI?).
You can also easily mod it to have a basic complement of CV & Audio I/O. In fact there's already some patch points on the PCB to solder to. An example of some existing patch points are:
- Filter CV Input
- VCO Exponential CV Input
- VCA CV Input
If you are good at soldering you could easily add even more I/O
- VCO Outs
- Filter Audio In
- VCA Audio In
- Filter Audio Out
- Filter & Amp Envelope Outs
- LFO Out
- VCA and Filter Envelope gate/trigger inputs
In fact most of the MB analog synth section conforms well enough to typical modular standards.