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Arturia Microfreak Experimental Hybrid Synthesizer
Old 29th June 2019
  #1471
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
So... this doesn’t seem to exist. I can change where it looks for MIDI clock, but not where it looks for MIDI overall. I’ve got it working now by just abandoning USB MIDI, but that’s definitely a bug that they need to address in the future.
Ya, definitely, sounds like. If you have the details/time, let them know. If not, if it’s a common problem I’m sure they’ll address it.

Is it a question of MIDI channels, maybe? Grasping at last, greasy straw....
Old 29th June 2019
  #1472
Gear Addict
 

With 3 Blofeld keybeds and a module I will have to pass,
but a Virus module would be nice. The Microfreak will be researched
with due dilligence.

With the polyphonic pressure, I am sure I can fab up a
pressure to lfo to envelope to wavetable
(i assume you can series stack modulations on a microfreak??)


Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post

Go for a Blofeld, or Virus TI. If you want something quirky and interesting, the Microfreak could be your synth.
Old 29th June 2019
  #1473
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by realtrance View Post
Or a Quantum!

There are two camps of synth players, those who have pre-cooked ideas of what they want to do and then look for synths to do it, and those who go with the spirit of each synth’s design, to see what they can learn from it.

I’ve never met a synth I haven’t learned from, but I do understand the frustration of a synth not entirely filling your bowl of expectations.

I’ve never found the latter, actually, either, come to think of it.

OM.
It’s hard when you’re like me and you use a lot of software tools. A lot of modern software sort of just let’s you do almost whatever you can think of... well a lot of what you can think of. Going back to the world of even flexible hardware can seem a bit limited, but creativity can come from that as well. Where the Microfreak stops, I’m using effects to keep going. More of like how I approach a guitar.
Old 29th June 2019
  #1474
Gear Addict
 

Ok, so we know that pressure is per voice and so are the envelopes.
By taking pressure and lagging it through an envelope by controlling the sustain,
where the decay=lag amount, it should be possible to have pressure
controlling wavetable per voice with a lagged effect as you add and remove more skin.

pressure>lagged envelope>wavetable
Old 29th June 2019
  #1475
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GAF Vu Master View Post
Ok, so we know that pressure is per voice and so are the envelopes.
By taking pressure and lagging it through an envelope by controlling the sustain,
where the decay=lag amount, it should be possible to have pressure
controlling wavetable per voice with a lagged effect as you add and remove more skin.

pressure>lagged envelope>wavetable
This is slightly different from what you're describing, but in the clip below (processed with a little ReplikaXT delay for panning effect), what I've done is take one of the early presets, "Trance" (again, bog-standard), and done a couple of quick things to it:

1. Switched from the Superwave engine to the Wavetable engine;
2. Recorded in real-time manual modulation of the Wave knob by using the sequencer (using the preset's default sequence) to record Wave knob movement;
3. Also assigned Pressure and LFO in the mod matrix to Wave.

Playing the keyboard using pressure while the sequencer is running makes the Wavetable wave changes even wilder, but I hope you'll agree this no longer sounds like "Trance" <G>:

http://soundcloud.com/electronicbaby...nolongertrance

I hope that helps?

But yeah, software offers so much these days, that it's getting harder to sell _both_ new software and new hardware on features alone.
Old 29th June 2019
  #1476
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
It’s hard when you’re like me and you use a lot of software tools. A lot of modern software sort of just let’s you do almost whatever you can think of... well a lot of what you can think of. Going back to the world of even flexible hardware can seem a bit limited, but creativity can come from that as well. Where the Microfreak stops, I’m using effects to keep going. More of like how I approach a guitar.
Yeah, definitely, what the MF feeds after itself is also a big part of the fun!
Old 3rd July 2019
  #1477
Deleted c985153
Guest
Just had one of these delivered today. Had to quick go with it and I am pretty impressed by the build quality, layout, and range of features. Very easy to use, it did not take me long at all to figure out how it worked.

Can't say too much about the sounds until I really dig in and start designing my own, but the basic waveforms and modal sounds stood out to me. Can't wait to experiment more
Old 8th July 2019
  #1478
Here for the gear
 

For MicroFreakers that like that wavetable sound, but don't like those MicroFreak wavetables: https://www.reddit.com/r/synthesizer...es_to_arturia/

tl;dr: I made an open source tool to replace wavetables in the MicroFreak firmware.

Direct link: https://youtu.be/_UPwNXIb_7o
Wavetable replacement tool (wavetabula): https://github.com/dcower/mf-utils

Feel free to hit me up here or elsewhere if you have any questions or run into any issues with the process. (And despite the giant scary warning, it works great for me. )
Old 13th July 2019
  #1479
Gear Head
 

The main out of my mF is super low (lower than the headphone out)
Compared to my other MicroBrute I can hardly hear the mF without crancking up the gain. I'm using the TRS cable btw and the preset volume is set to max.

As you can see, the mF sits around -36db whereas the MB is at -12db.
https://imgur.com/a/fQhmALQ

Any idea maybe?
Old 13th July 2019
  #1480
Lives for gear
 

Read the specifics in the manual about the type of cable to use. The output is mono, a TS cable should solve your problem.
Old 13th July 2019
  #1481
Tbn
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by realtrance View Post
Read the specifics in the manual about the type of cable to use. The output is mono, a TS cable should solve your problem.
I get the best results if I connect the oputpot of the uF to a balanced input using a TRS cable...

..It is important however that the input you're connecting the freak to is balanced. Otherwise a TS (normal instrument-) cable is needed
Old 13th July 2019
  #1482
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tbn View Post
I get the best results if I connect the oputpot of the uF to a balanced input using a TRS cable...

..It is important however that the input you're connecting the freak to is balanced. Otherwise a TS (normal instrument-) cable is needed
Yes, it's kind of the opposite of what you'd expect of an instrument at this price point, but a better approach if you're familiar with what balanced/unbalanced connections are, electrically speaking! And what a balanced connection is good for (used to be a standard approach mainly on higher-end studio equipment, where noise suppression over long runs was critical).
Old 13th July 2019
  #1483
The manual says the output is TRS, so I don't see why you wouldn't use a TRS cable unless you're plugging it into something that can't handle it.
Old 13th July 2019
  #1484
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason moyer View Post
The manual says the output is TRS, so I don't see why you wouldn't use a TRS cable unless you're plugging it into something that can't handle it.
Yes, but if you plug it into an unbalanced input, you get the volume problem the person above is asking about this.

chrisso ran into this early on, and with his experience he is not easily perplexed.
Old 15th July 2019
  #1485
I'm now using my Microfreak with an API DI, which gives me enough level.
I couldn't use my UAD Apollo instrument inputs, with ANY 1/4" cable in my collection, it was just too low level to be usable.
Old 15th July 2019
  #1486
Quote:
Originally Posted by mobe View Post
The main out of my mF is super low (lower than the headphone out)
Compared to my other MicroBrute I can hardly hear the mF without cranking up the gain.
Same here. Headphone out is loud, actual out is super low.
I solved it with a high end DI. I tried every cable, balanced, unbalanced, mono, stereo.
Seems odd one has to jump through hoops with a mainstream modern instrument.
Old 15th July 2019
  #1487
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Same here. Headphone out is loud, actual out is super low.
I solved it with a high end DI. I tried every cable, balanced, unbalanced, mono, stereo.
Seems odd one has to jump through hoops with a mainstream modern instrument.
Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, what do you think of the instrument at this point?
Old 15th July 2019
  #1488
Lives for gear
 
Rob Ocelot's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dillon View Post
For MicroFreakers that like that wavetable sound, but don't like those MicroFreak wavetables: https://www.reddit.com/r/synthesizer...es_to_arturia/

tl;dr: I made an open source tool to replace wavetables in the MicroFreak firmware.

Direct link: https://youtu.be/_UPwNXIb_7o
Wavetable replacement tool (wavetabula): https://github.com/dcower/mf-utils

Feel free to hit me up here or elsewhere if you have any questions or run into any issues with the process. (And despite the giant scary warning, it works great for me. )
You Sir, are my new unsung hero. Bravo, and thanks!
Old 15th July 2019
  #1489
Gear Head
 
veeceeoh's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Same here. Headphone out is loud, actual out is super low.
I solved it with a high end DI. I tried every cable, balanced, unbalanced, mono, stereo.
So does anyone have any suggestions of how to increase gain off of the MF's main out that doesn't involve expensive high-end equipment?

(If it matters, I'm using a Behringer Xenyx X1622USB that has TRS balanced inputs for mixdown without any DAW.)
Old 15th July 2019
  #1490
Lives for gear
 
mpresev's Avatar
Halo World, I promise I will go thru this thread. Question, how is the step sequencer? useable/musical??

thanks
M.
Old 15th July 2019
  #1491
Gear Addict
 

How distorted (if any) is the output from the headphones?

If it is just too loud (and not distorted) how does it sound attenuated?

Thanks
Old 16th July 2019
  #1492
bax
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by veeceeoh View Post
So does anyone have any suggestions of how to increase gain off of the MF's main out that doesn't involve expensive high-end equipment?
You can increase/decrease the output per preset (Utility>Preset>Preset Volume) which is helpful if you have a specific preset that truly needs to be much louder, but this could come around to bite you depending on what you do to the sound in realtime (filter/res adjustments, etc.) so use sparingly.

Unfortunately, that little hack is per individual preset only and not available as a Global setting (or if it is, I sure can't find it). I'd really like to see a Global Gain Adjustment setting added via a firmware update...

Thanks!
bax
Old 16th July 2019
  #1493
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by realtrance View Post
Read the specifics in the manual about the type of cable to use. The output is mono, a TS cable should solve your problem.
Sure, I tried both (TS and TRS), neither made any susceptible difference to the gain. It really is quite. The gain knob on my UMC 1820 is now set at 12 oclock. Kinda works if you don't mind the noise (but I do).
(btw same goes for wall wart vs USB powered, also no difference. Max preset volume)
Old 16th July 2019
  #1494
Quote:
Originally Posted by realtrance View Post
Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, what do you think of the instrument at this point?
I don't like any of the presets, which makes it a bit slower to use.
In work I tend to find patch pre-sets that are in the ballpark of where I want to be, then start tweaking. 10 minutes later the patch might sound completely different to the preset I started with. But it's quicker and more inspiring than starting from a flat initialised patch. If I want to do that I go with my modular.
Like many modern synths, I find Microfreak a little bright, harsh, buzzy.

At the moment I'm having to adjust many things that are not right for my workflow, like the clock settings in the sequencer etc.
For a synth with 128 presets it's shocking that I can't use any of them. Seems like so many are sequences or arpeggios, which is not a great starting pointing if you are looking for a basic synth sound.
I dunno, it seems like most synth companies make presets to wow customers in a store situation, rather than useful presets as a basis for music making.
They could have included 10 sequences and 10 arpeggios, just to give you an idea, but it feels like every other patch already has a rhythm pattern and tempo dialled in.

Anyway, for the money it's still an incredible tool.
Old 16th July 2019
  #1495
Quote:
Originally Posted by veeceeoh View Post
So does anyone have any suggestions of how to increase gain off of the MF's main out that doesn't involve expensive high-end equipment?
There are cheap DI's. Or go into a mixer first.

It's another crazy curve ball though. I have owned hundreds of synths and sound modules and this is the first I can't get a workable level out of.
Old 16th July 2019
  #1496
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by realtrance View Post
Read the specifics in the manual about the type of cable to use. The output is mono, a TS cable should solve your problem.
I'm sorry. You're right. I had the mF connected to a ADA 8200 which I wrongly assumed would support balanced inputs like the UMC1820 does. What a difference now!

Thanks again.
Old 16th July 2019
  #1497
Lives for gear
 
Polymooger's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by veeceeoh View Post
So does anyone have any suggestions of how to increase gain off of the MF's main out that doesn't involve expensive high-end equipment?

(If it matters, I'm using a Behringer Xenyx X1622USB that has TRS balanced inputs for mixdown without any DAW.)
I'm using a Xenyx 1832FX and while it's not the hottest of synth outputs I'm not having any issues getting the levels up there with the rest of my kit. I've got the channel input gain trimmer at about 12 o clock.
Old 16th July 2019
  #1498
Gear Head
 
veeceeoh's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Polymooger View Post
I'm using a Xenyx 1832FX and while it's not the hottest of synth outputs I'm not having any issues getting the levels up there with the rest of my kit. I've got the channel input gain trimmer at about 12 o clock.
Good to hear, thanks. My μF arrives tomorrow - can't wait!
Old 16th July 2019
  #1499
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
I don't like any of the presets, which makes it a bit slower to use.
In work I tend to find patch pre-sets that are in the ballpark of where I want to be, then start tweaking. 10 minutes later the patch might sound completely different to the preset I started with. But it's quicker and more inspiring than starting from a flat initialised patch. If I want to do that I go with my modular.
Like many modern synths, I find Microfreak a little bright, harsh, buzzy.

At the moment I'm having to adjust many things that are not right for my workflow, like the clock settings in the sequencer etc.
For a synth with 128 presets it's shocking that I can't use any of them. Seems like so many are sequences or arpeggios, which is not a great starting pointing if you are looking for a basic synth sound.
I dunno, it seems like most synth companies make presets to wow customers in a store situation, rather than useful presets as a basis for music making.
They could have included 10 sequences and 10 arpeggios, just to give you an idea, but it feels like every other patch already has a rhythm pattern and tempo dialled in.

Anyway, for the money it's still an incredible tool.
I do agree that it would be good, for instance, if Arturia had the list of “template” patches present at the beginning rather than at the end of the list (you can change that in MCC of course). Those tend to be good starting points for making your own.

I really enjoy the default presets, though unlike you I’m a hobbyist, not a working musician. It definitely sounds like Arturia didn’t focus with this release on making the instrument easy to use in a standard, professional environment. Sorry to hear it’s such a hassle.
Old 16th July 2019
  #1500
bax
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by realtrance View Post
It definitely sounds like Arturia didn’t focus with this release on making the instrument easy to use in a standard, professional environment.
I'm betting Arturia didn't really expect that it would be as successful as it has been at launch and they figured they could grow it into maturity over time. I'm really hoping that the next firmware release comes in a reasonable timeframe and tightens some more stuff up. IMHO, the most recent FW release was purely damage control...
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