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Arturia Microfreak Experimental Hybrid Synthesizer
Old 17th July 2019
  #1501
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trick fall's Avatar
 

I'm a tweak the presets kind of person and I too wish there were more presets that didn't have a sequence, or the arpeggiator. It is a joy to tweak presets on though. It's very easy to get around.
Old 17th July 2019
  #1502
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It's also kind of easy to turn off the sequencer/arpeggiator, yes? Push one button?

At first I thought the Arturia presets were kind of showoff; but as I've worked with them, I've found they're actually almost all quite clever (there's only one kinda dud, by Ken Flux... I'll forgive him <g>). There are lots of easy ways to tweak them and make them sound quite different.

Heck, just turn off the sequencer and switch an Engine (Type) and you're off to a roaring start!
Old 17th July 2019
  #1503
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by realtrance View Post
It's also kind of easy to turn off the sequencer/arpeggiator, yes? Push one button?

At first I thought the Arturia presets were kind of showoff; but as I've worked with them, I've found they're actually almost all quite clever (there's only one kinda dud, by Ken Flux... I'll forgive him <g>). There are lots of easy ways to tweak them and make them sound quite different.

Heck, just turn off the sequencer and switch an Engine (Type) and you're off to a roaring start!
Yeah, I’m among the preset haters too. I thought the Peak’s were bad! ...but you’re right. It’s easy enough to find one of the inits and just get going. I haven’t even used the sequencer yet!

I’m glad you can overwrite them, at least.
Old 17th July 2019
  #1504
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trick fall's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by realtrance View Post
It's also kind of easy to turn off the sequencer/arpeggiator, yes? Push one button?

At first I thought the Arturia presets were kind of showoff; but as I've worked with them, I've found they're actually almost all quite clever (there's only one kinda dud, by Ken Flux... I'll forgive him <g>). There are lots of easy ways to tweak them and make them sound quite different.

Heck, just turn off the sequencer and switch an Engine (Type) and you're off to a roaring start!

I get what you're saying, but I'm sequencing the freak from my Squid and like to have a sequence running and flip through the presets so it just gets kind of annoying. I also just wish there were more presets.
Old 17th July 2019
  #1505
Yeah, if you have an already written synth part playing back and want to skip through the Microfreak presets until something inspiring comes up, having all the sequenced and arpeggio pre-sets just gets in the way. Often the basic sound is bleh and they've used the sequencer to modulate the sound - which is great if you want to use their sequence.

It reminds me of the old Korg Wavestation - where all the factory sounds were so signature and so tied to a preset rhythm, it was hard to use any of them without a lot of undoing - all of which gets in the way of instant inspiration.
Old 17th July 2019
  #1506
Quote:
Originally Posted by bax View Post
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...
Dont hold your breath. Matrixbrute owners have been waiting over 2.5 years for simple bugs to be fixed. They've promised many times that the firmware would be released and did not deliver.
If you look at Arturia's track record for their past products, it's the same pattern: they release hardware with buggy and incomplete firmware, maybe do one firmware update shortly after release, then ignore the issues forever and move on to another product.
They have great concepts for gear, but do not follow though to get the gear's full potential.
Old 17th July 2019
  #1507
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DrJustice's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by standingwave View Post
Dont hold your breath. Matrixbrute owners have been waiting over 2.5 years for simple bugs to be fixed. They've promised many times that the firmware would be released and did not deliver.
If you look at Arturia's track record for their past products, it's the same pattern: they release hardware with buggy and incomplete firmware, maybe do one firmware update shortly after release, then ignore the issues forever and move on to another product.
They have great concepts for gear, but do not follow though to get the gear's full potential.
The MxB firmware update is being worked on as we speak, as we already know (latest update here). We all agree that it's late, but it's happening
Old 17th July 2019
  #1508
I still have the initial firmware on my Microfreak.
It's usable as-is and I've been afraid to possibly break that by updating.
Old 17th July 2019
  #1509
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by standingwave View Post
Dont hold your breath. Matrixbrute owners have been waiting over 2.5 years for simple bugs to be fixed. They've promised many times that the firmware would be released and did not deliver.
If you look at Arturia's track record for their past products, it's the same pattern: they release hardware with buggy and incomplete firmware, maybe do one firmware update shortly after release, then ignore the issues forever and move on to another product.
They have great concepts for gear, but do not follow though to get the gear's full potential.
This is true. Same with the Minibrute. If you don’t like the MicroFreak the way it currently is, sell it and move on. There’s little chance it’ll ever be fixed. I like it a lot, and I can live with any of its issues, but I have no fantasy that the bugs will be dealt with.
Old 17th July 2019
  #1510
Gear Maniac
What are the main bugs remaining after the latest update?
Old 17th July 2019
  #1511
bax
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by standingwave View Post
Dont hold your breath.
Oh yeah, for sure... Don't mistake my "hoping" for "actual optimism" or "faith that they might do the right thing"... I learned my lesson on that score a long time ago.

Thanks!
bax
Old 17th July 2019
  #1512
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zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by eighteenisnine View Post
What are the main bugs remaining after the latest update?
Mine continues to stop responding to MIDI over USB.
Old 17th July 2019
  #1513
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Okay so sounds like some of you would prefer a more usable, tweakable soundset/bank.

What are the characteristics that would define this compared to what’s there now, other than arp/seq default off?
Old 17th July 2019
  #1514
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by trick fall View Post
I get what you're saying, but I'm sequencing the freak from my Squid and like to have a sequence running and flip through the presets so it just gets kind of annoying. I also just wish there were more presets.
Flip thru the presets, turn off arp/seq if on, save, repeat.

The way many people expect everything to work exactly how they want it to but don't try thinking about creative ways to work with what they're getting FOR $300 is strange to me.

I know too many people who get hung up on 1 feature that works differently than they would prefer, and think it makes something completely unusable. Challenge yourself to work within limits. Sometimes you might learn something. Or just delete all the presets and get to work. you'll build muscle memory pretty fast the more you use it.
Old 17th July 2019
  #1515
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The people criticizing definitely know how to make their own sounds; it just seems there’s a speed and workflow they’re used to, and used to instruments fitting into, and the MF feels like an outlier to them.

That could be changed easily (well, easily.....ha.....) by creating a more conventional suite of presets, for that audience.

Me, since a lot of present music really is chirps and short impulses and interesting sounds and phrases in collage.... seems like what’s on the MF suits quite well. It’s not designed to make complex, evolving polyphonic pads like Massive X or Quantum or Pigments. Though you can do that, too, if you want; not that hard.

Pro musicians need to get to results fast, as they’re on a schedule. When something gets in the way of that speed, it sticks out like a sore thumb. Understandable.
Old 18th July 2019
  #1516
Gear Maniac
Every piece of hardware this company makes starts out as a cool idea and then falls short in execution and customer service/firmware upgrades.
For instance who remembers the damaged keys when the minibrute first dropped?
It's a keyboard, how do you release a product like that with faulty keys that used cheap tape or plastic as the main component?
I think it's fair to call that officially half-assed.
When you compare arturia to say NOVATION the erroneous elements become magnified and hard to rationally dismiss.
This is the coolest product that they have released and the sweetwater demo really is amazing but I am waiting for the 6 month drop off for them to start appearing used at 200-250 on craigslist and FB market place just like the countless KORG mono and minilouge's I see daily for cheap.
Then in a fit of GAS i will not feel so bad about knowingly buy a faulty piece of kit that can't do basics like transmit MIDI over USB etc.
Old 18th July 2019
  #1517
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heckahecka View Post
Flip thru the presets, turn off arp/seq if on, save, repeat.

The way many people expect everything to work exactly how they want it to but don't try thinking about creative ways to work with what they're getting FOR $300 is strange to me.

I know too many people who get hung up on 1 feature that works differently than they would prefer, and think it makes something completely unusable. Challenge yourself to work within limits. Sometimes you might learn something. Or just delete all the presets and get to work. you'll build muscle memory pretty fast the more you use it.
I've no problem working within limitations and it's really more of a minor annoyance. I've just never understood why synths even come with these kinds of presets. I'd just never use someone else sequence. I mean it's cool as a way to give some guidance as to what can be achieved with the synth, but there does seem to be a lot of them.
Old 18th July 2019
  #1518
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by trick fall View Post
I've no problem working within limitations and it's really more of a minor annoyance. I've just never understood why synths even come with these kinds of presets. I'd just never use someone else sequence. I mean it's cool as a way to give some guidance as to what can be achieved with the synth, but there does seem to be a lot of them.
Right on. And yes I was getting a bit rantye, that's not really what you were doing. I think I have a knee-jerk thing about negative forum posts and I try to watch myself. That said, my comment stands albeit not really about you.

I agree there are a lot of presets with sequences and that they're just supposed to be examples.
Old 18th July 2019
  #1519
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Im thinking about picking one of these up. Would any kind soul care to list the major current bugs in case they are deal breakers for me?
Old 18th July 2019
  #1520
Quote:
Originally Posted by heckahecka View Post
I know too many people who get hung up on 1 feature that works differently than they would prefer, and think it makes something completely unusable. Challenge yourself to work within limits. Sometimes you might learn something. Or just delete all the presets and get to work. you'll build muscle memory pretty fast the more you use it.
85% of the sounds I use in my work are from modular synthesis. That includes drums, chords, atmospheres, fx, basses, leads, sequences etc....
I just love that way of working.
It is intense creating everything from scratch.
So I have a couple of trad synths to use when I just want to be inspired by someone else, or something else.
Around the same time I bought my Microfreak, I picked up a used Sci P6.
Flipping through the P6 presets, almost every sound is usable for something. I very often quickly find an inspiring patch and set to work tweaking it to suit exactly my needs.

It doesn't make it a bad synth, and for £200 (or whatever it is) it's absolutely kick ass. But I often find manufacturers tailor their presets to wow people in store, rather than risk offering 100 simple and usable bass, lead and pad patches that the inexperienced might regard as boring/vanilla.

I know how to make my own sounds, I do that the majority of the time.
When it comes to synths priced such that they appeal to everyone, from learners to professionals, it is a negative in my opinion if the presets are extremely signature and often locked to a rhythmic structure or time.
It just means instead of flipping through inspiring presets I'm too busy trying to undo things.
Old 18th July 2019
  #1521
Quote:
Originally Posted by trick fall View Post
I'd just never use someone else sequence. I mean it's cool as a way to give some guidance as to what can be achieved with the synth, but there does seem to be a lot of them.
Bingo
Offer a bank of ten, later in the preset library. Don't make every second or third preset in a row a sequence or arpeggiator.
Old 18th July 2019
  #1522
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Praxisaxis's Avatar
 

Too late.

Arturia Microfreak Experimental Hybrid Synthesizer-dfa2ad61-eb21-4bb5-a367-7abe0633e734.jpg
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Arturia Microfreak Experimental Hybrid Synthesizer-dfa2ad61-eb21-4bb5-a367-7abe0633e734.jpg  
Old 18th July 2019
  #1523
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
Mine continues to stop responding to MIDI over USB.
Make sure you have it set to use either USB MIDI or DIN MIDi, with MIDI Thru off.
Old 18th July 2019
  #1524
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by controlled_volts View Post
Every piece of hardware this company makes starts out as a cool idea and then falls short in execution and customer service/firmware upgrades.
For instance who remembers the damaged keys when the minibrute first dropped?
It's a keyboard, how do you release a product like that with faulty keys that used cheap tape or plastic as the main component?
I think it's fair to call that officially half-assed.
When you compare arturia to say NOVATION the erroneous elements become magnified and hard to rationally dismiss.
This is the coolest product that they have released and the sweetwater demo really is amazing but I am waiting for the 6 month drop off for them to start appearing used at 200-250 on craigslist and FB market place just like the countless KORG mono and minilouge's I see daily for cheap.
Then in a fit of GAS i will not feel so bad about knowingly buy a faulty piece of kit that can't do basics like transmit MIDI over USB etc.
The keys issue had to do with problems with the plastic created by the Chinese manufacturer they sourced it from. Problem was resolved, keys were replaced, move on.

You clearly just can’t afford an MF at the current price; griping about it costs you nothing, though.
Old 18th July 2019
  #1525
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by realtrance View Post
Make sure you have it set to use either USB MIDI or DIN MIDi, with MIDI Thru off.
There’s no way to do that. You can only tell it what to look for for clock data.
Old 18th July 2019
  #1526
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
85% of the sounds I use in my work are from modular synthesis. That includes drums, chords, atmospheres, fx, basses, leads, sequences etc....
I just love that way of working.
It is intense creating everything from scratch.
So I have a couple of trad synths to use when I just want to be inspired by someone else, or something else.
Around the same time I bought my Microfreak, I picked up a used Sci P6.
Flipping through the P6 presets, almost every sound is usable for something. I very often quickly find an inspiring patch and set to work tweaking it to suit exactly my needs.

It doesn't make it a bad synth, and for £200 (or whatever it is) it's absolutely kick ass. But I often find manufacturers tailor their presets to wow people in store, rather than risk offering 100 simple and usable bass, lead and pad patches that the inexperienced might regard as boring/vanilla.

I know how to make my own sounds, I do that the majority of the time.
When it comes to synths priced such that they appeal to everyone, from learners to professionals, it is a negative in my opinion if the presets are extremely signature and often locked to a rhythmic structure or time.
It just means instead of flipping through inspiring presets I'm too busy trying to undo things.
True, but unfortunately, particularly at this price point, to get any attention at all you have to show off, to be seen. People buying the P6 are buying it on established reputation and expectations; Arturia are appealing to a different generation than us, who are much more instant gratification in focus. The presets on the MF are perfectly targeted for that market.

Besides, the sequencer and arpeggiator with the Spice and Dice functions and the four tracks of parameter control are an easily overlooked, and amazingly easy to use, central element in the design. The sound designers obviously had a lot of fun using them, and were able to create a lot of interesting variety, fast, in the process.

Do you think the MF would have been better served to have just offered a bunch of basic basses, leads and pads? I don’t; especially since templates for those, and organs, and brass, all the traditional sounds, are provided at the end of the preset bank, and can easily be moved to the front, as I think I’ve already stated multiple times in the thread.

I get your perspective; I just hope you get mine?
Old 18th July 2019
  #1527
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Praxisaxis View Post
Too late.

Enjoy!
Old 18th July 2019
  #1528
Lives for gear
 
trick fall's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Praxisaxis View Post
Too late.


Looking forward to hearing what you do with it. It really is a fun synth.
Old 18th July 2019
  #1529
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trick fall's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by realtrance View Post
The keys issue had to do with problems with the plastic created by the Chinese manufacturer they sourced it from. Problem was resolved, keys were replaced, move on.

You clearly just can’t afford an MF at the current price; griping about it costs you nothing, though.

Totally and easy enough to get cheaper new. I think I paid 255.00 and Arturia has been good to me. Fixed my Drumbrute after the warranty and gave me some nice swag for the bother too.

Last edited by trick fall; 18th July 2019 at 06:13 PM.. Reason: Finishing my thought.
Old 18th July 2019
  #1530
Lives for gear
 

They offered me a very generous repair price when I blew up my Minibrute while disassembling it; I purchased a Minibrute 2 instead. Goes great with the Microfreak! Like having a really portable Eurorack setup.
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