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Arturia Microfreak Experimental Hybrid Synthesizer
Old 3 days ago
  #1621
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wentzelitis View Post
what's wrong with you ? you remind me of a catty high school girl . i mean that in the sincerest way possible
You’ve found me out!

Please try not to resort to ad hominem attacks to express yourself here; it is unbecoming of you, and may get you banned.

I have put you on Ignore, I suggest you do same. Oh and put me on Ignore, too.

[yawn] Beverly Hills is SO dull this time of year; I’m all shopped out, the parties are all the same people, and this year’s upcoming fall fashion trends are a COMPLETE bust! You’d think we all want to look like cowgirls! Yee-haw. Think I’ll go buy a bunch of Behringer, to make it through the evening....

Last edited by realtrance; 3 days ago at 12:01 AM..
Old 3 days ago
  #1622
Gear Addict
 
KingVidiot's Avatar
 

If you pay attention at all these days everything computerized is some sort of beta test.
In the rush to get things to market and the lack of serious QA spending it's not going to go away, probably will get worse.

It's stuff from Microsoft - the recent Win10 patch fiascos are legendary.

It's stuff from Akai - the MPC Live took forever to settle out, now the Force is going through that process - although I still love the Force for what it is doing well now.

Arturia is certainly not alone, and my experience with the MicroFreak has been effortless. Of course, there will always be defective units out there too.
For the MiniBrute and DrumBrute my experience has been flawless.

If you want effortless and no beta testing, stick with real hardware that is minimally computer based or not at all - MiniMoog Model D or ARP Odyssey, or even a Prophet 5. There are modern instruments like this but from what I can tell they are all computer/hardware hybrids or essentailly a "computer VST type thing hosted in a box" like Tiger Shark processor tech, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, FPGA, or a bunch of custom ASICs or something similar.

Embrace the WIP movement of computer based instruments!

Last edited by KingVidiot; 3 days ago at 03:11 AM..
Old 3 days ago
  #1623
Lives for gear
 

Well said!
Old 3 days ago
  #1624
Just for the record.....
I purchased Microfreak mainly for it's controller capabilities. Although having no sound makes it more difficult to compose a sequence before sending it to my modular.
The sound, when it was working, like many new synths I've demoed recently, has a buzzy harder tone to it, which is a little disappointing. The new 'pad' presets the same. Lot's of bright, harder tones.
I've found a little more menu diving is needed than I expected on a fairly knobby synth.
Having owned the synth for three months and used it sparingly, I'm paying to ship it back to the store with the offer of having it repaired.
I think the store might be sending it back to France.
So I'm out of pocket and without the synth for how many weeks?

FWIW, I really don't use midi in my studio. I hooked Microfreak up to the USB port only to update the firmware recently.

So, I think I am genuinely disappointed in my Microfreak experience so far.
Old 3 days ago
  #1625
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingVidiot View Post
If you pay attention at all these days everything computerized is some sort of beta test.
In the rush to get things to market and the lack of serious QA spending it's not going to go away, probably will get worse.
Or.... as a customer handing over hard earned cash, you can kick up a fuss about it and standards may improve?

I may be wrong, but I don't remember Mutable Instruments modules having buggy performance. I own Plaits and Elements and both have performed perfectly from day one.
Old 3 days ago
  #1626
Here for the gear
 

Simple question, if i bought this to use as controller for other synths(my digitone) is there a MIDI to 1/8"/headphone adaptor? Those jacks seems small but im sure there is an adaptor so i could MIDI out? I was thinking of getting a minilogue but this seems interesting.
Old 3 days ago
  #1627
Gear Maniac
 
Bubbleraptor's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Just for the record.....
I purchased Microfreak mainly for it's controller capabilities. Although having no sound makes it more difficult to compose a sequence before sending it to my modular.
The sound, when it was working, like many new synths I've demoed recently, has a buzzy harder tone to it, which is a little disappointing. The new 'pad' presets the same. Lot's of bright, harder tones.
I've found a little more menu diving is needed than I expected on a fairly knobby synth.
Having owned the synth for three months and used it sparingly, I'm paying to ship it back to the store with the offer of having it repaired.
I think the store might be sending it back to France.
So I'm out of pocket and without the synth for how many weeks?

FWIW, I really don't use midi in my studio. I hooked Microfreak up to the USB port only to update the firmware recently.

So, I think I am genuinely disappointed in my Microfreak experience so far.
So you're criticising the MF because it does or doesn't have sound when you've used it as a controller for modular? None of the touch capacitance modules I had (Synthwerks, MakeNoise) generated any sound. As to the actual sound engines - well that is a matter of taste - one man's harsh and buzzy is another's biting and 'cut through the mix'. Personally I like the raspy digital-ness of the MF as I have more than enough analogues that do warm and full bodied. And the filter can tame that down anyway, surely?
I never had the MI modules, so I'm not sure whether they had bugs and subsequent firmware revisions. The MF has a lot more functionality than the MI modules anyway - sequencers, MIDI, MIDI to CV etc so it's difficult to envisage the MF without menus to manage these.

I think we're all in agreement that there are some bugs in the software - and we all hope that Arturia fix them. As to actual build quality and faulty units - well in my experience there's always some issues with budget gear - of course that's a PITA if it's your kit that's faulty, but let's put things in perspective - the MF is £265. I've had £500 boutique euromodules out the box with faults that got sent straight back to the shop.

Having said all that, I hope you get a new and working MF - that's what I'd expect.
Old 3 days ago
  #1628
Gear Maniac
 
Bubbleraptor's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paistemage View Post
Simple question, if i bought this to use as controller for other synths(my digitone) is there a MIDI to 1/8"/headphone adaptor? Those jacks seems small but im sure there is an adaptor so i could MIDI out? I was thinking of getting a minilogue but this seems interesting.
Yes, there are two break out DIN adapters supplied with the synth.
Old 3 days ago
  #1629
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubbleraptor View Post
So you're criticising the MF because it does or doesn't have sound when you've used it as a controller for modular?
Yes, absolutely, why not?
It came with sound, now it has no sound. It's much harder to use the arpeggiator or sequencer features when you can't hear what you are doing on the Microfreak itself.
Don't tell me about touch controllers, I've owned a 1970 made Buchla model 216 for over 20 years.
Old 3 days ago
  #1630
Gear Maniac
 
Bubbleraptor's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Yes, absolutely, why not?
It came with sound, now it has no sound. It's much harder to use the arpeggiator or sequencer features when you can't hear what you are doing on the Microfreak itself.
Don't tell me about touch controllers, I've owned a 1970 made Buchla model 216 for over 20 years.
Oh well then mate - you win then
I wasn't looking for a spat - just confused by your post.
It wasn't clear that your MF was completely kaput.
Old 2 days ago
  #1631
Gear Addict
 
KingVidiot's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Or.... as a customer handing over hard earned cash, you can kick up a fuss about it and standards may improve?

I may be wrong, but I don't remember Mutable Instruments modules having buggy performance. I own Plaits and Elements and both have performed perfectly from day one.
If you think large companies are worried about negative feedback from a few individual customers I have a bridge to sell you. If they cared in the first place they wouldn't already use the public as test subjects.

Small companies like Mutable Instruments take more care with their customers and take pride in their work. For big companies it's mostly just a business.

But knock yourself out... you may actually get a response and some platitudes.
Old 2 days ago
  #1632
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingVidiot View Post
If you think large companies are worried about negative feedback from a few individual customers I have a bridge to sell you. If they cared in the first place they wouldn't already use the public as test subjects.

Small companies like Mutable Instruments take more care with their customers and take pride in their work. For big companies it's mostly just a business.

But knock yourself out... you may actually get a response and some platitudes.
they're probably already well aware of all the issues seeing as there are so many and so many people are posting about them

now..will they do anything about it ?
Old 2 days ago
  #1633
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingVidiot View Post
If you think large companies are worried about negative feedback from a few individual customers I have a bridge to sell you.
Arturia are not a large company.
In principle many aspects of feedback may be ignored, but I always think it's better to state your case rather than just suck it up in frustrated silence.
I work with music companies, and customer complaints are actually a common talking point, albeit some customer complaints are unrealistic - like a drum machine not sounding enough like a real drum kit, or a $200 soft synth not offering the same features as a $2000 hardware work station.
Old 2 days ago
  #1634
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
albeit some customer complaints are unrealistic - like a drum machine not sounding enough like a real drum kit, or a $200 soft synth not offering the same features as a $2000 hardware work station.
Sounds like an average day on gearslutz
Old 1 day ago
  #1635
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Arturia are not a large company.
In principle many aspects of feedback may be ignored, but I always think it's better to state your case rather than just suck it up in frustrated silence.
I work with music companies, and customer complaints are actually a common talking point, albeit some customer complaints are unrealistic - like a drum machine not sounding enough like a real drum kit, or a $200 soft synth not offering the same features as a $2000 hardware work station.
The question is which venue to discuss issues in.

I always prefer customer support, it doesn't risk the caterwauling of the uninformed on a forum, who are just there to get a rise out of someone, anyone.

Not suggesting you do this; you are professional in your approach.
Old 1 day ago
  #1636
Well the Arturia specific forum, and it's tech issues sub forum are sparsely populated. There seems to be no Arturia employees there, just other users.
Looking at the tech issues sub-forum, very few people have had their issues addressed or answered.
As I said, all I got from Arturia Official Support was 'send it back for repair or replace'.
Places like Gearslutz EXIST to offer user feedback, air issues, share experiences and get advice.
Old 1 day ago
  #1637
Gear Maniac
 

In the beginning i was very excited cause germain from arturia replied here,asked for feature requests and promised help.He replied to my PM with a long and helpful answer.I really thought Arturia has learned their lesson and trying to improve customer support.Well,no.Same old arturia.

you can try to send him PM but he hasn't visited the board since may 20.Maybe he don't care or stopped working there...probably he'll get email notifications so people with problems can at least give it a try...

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/memb...rmain-arturia/
Old 1 day ago
  #1638
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by realtrance View Post
It works as advertised.
I don't think you realize that these threads are not fan threads. People are saying it doesn't work properly, are they lying?

Or, do you work for Arturia?
Old 16 hours ago
  #1639
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Treebase DMX View Post
I don't think you realize that these threads are not fan threads. People are saying it doesn't work properly, are they lying?

Or, do you work for Arturia?
No I don't work for Arturia. I'm free! I'm retired. I have no companies I have to suck up to.

Very few of the "reported issues" here and elsewhere are real issues. They are either user error or the odd defective unit or two, out of many no-one is complaining about.

Unfortunately, people here seem to mostly chime in to whine at Arturia, as many of them have done for years. They'd rather confirm their prejudices than accept reality, an all too common phenomenon these days.

So, people with the synth just ignore GS and go enjoy playing it -- as I do --, and Arturia apparently sees little value participating here, either, understandably.

All of the reported issues on the Arturia forums are logged and considered, as with any other company.

Feel free to whine, though; it's what the internet is now best for.
Old 15 hours ago
  #1640
Gear Nut
 
shmuelyosef's Avatar
I had a bad experience with my MicroFreak...the keyboard didn't seem to like my skin...only way I could play it was to lick my fingers every 30 seconds or so. Otherwise, I go no response.
However, I bought it from Sweetwater and they let me return it for a full refund.

I also own a KeyStep, a BeatStep Pro, and a MiniBrute 2S. These have all been great until the Beatstep developed a flaky MIDI IN port...generated what sounded like ground loop noise throughout my entire setup...disappeared when I unplugged. Not a cable problem but connector internal.

Arturia has (so far) been helpful and responsive; since it was still on warranty, they had me send it to a repair depot and I am waiting adjudication and return.

Unfortunately, the design of the BSP lacks robustness. They (sadly) used 1/8" MIDI inputs and Micro-USB connector, and (from YouTubes and pictures) did not tie the connectors mechanically to the circuit board...just stuck on with surface mount solder pads with no additional support from the case. Just asking for trouble.

I love the functionality of the BSP, however, but I have a nagging feeling that it will not stand the test of time; I'm tempted (when it goes off warranty) to open it up and pour (or spatula) some filled epoxy over the connectors for life extension.

I'm (internally) reminded that they are a software company first and foremost, but I was encouraged by my experience with the MiniBrute 2S (built like a tank with a USB Type-B connector and DIN MIDI plugs, like virtually ALL other music equipment). The Keystep has DIN MIDI but Micro-USB, but is a lot of functionality for very little money. I use it a lot for polyphonic synth sequence generation (OB-6 and Nord).
Old 15 hours ago
  #1641
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shmuelyosef View Post
I had a bad experience with my MicroFreak...the keyboard didn't seem to like my skin...only way I could play it was to lick my fingers every 30 seconds or so. Otherwise, I go no response.
However, I bought it from Sweetwater and they let me return it for a full refund.

I also own a KeyStep, a BeatStep Pro, and a MiniBrute 2S. These have all been great until the Beatstep developed a flaky MIDI IN port...generated what sounded like ground loop noise throughout my entire setup...disappeared when I unplugged. Not a cable problem but connector internal.

Arturia has (so far) been helpful and responsive; since it was still on warranty, they had me send it to a repair depot and I am waiting adjudication and return.

Unfortunately, the design of the BSP lacks robustness. They (sadly) used 1/8" MIDI inputs and Micro-USB connector, and (from YouTubes and pictures) did not tie the connectors mechanically to the circuit board...just stuck on with surface mount solder pads with no additional support from the case. Just asking for trouble.

I love the functionality of the BSP, however, but I have a nagging feeling that it will not stand the test of time; I'm tempted (when it goes off warranty) to open it up and pour (or spatula) some filled epoxy over the connectors for life extension.

I'm (internally) reminded that they are a software company first and foremost, but I was encouraged by my experience with the MiniBrute 2S (built like a tank with a USB Type-B connector and DIN MIDI plugs, like virtually ALL other music equipment). The Keystep has DIN MIDI but Micro-USB, but is a lot of functionality for very little money. I use it a lot for polyphonic synth sequence generation (OB-6 and Nord).
Yes, that can be a problem sometimes with capacitive touch surfaces, especially in very dry environments. Makenoise had a similar issue with René v1 and Pressure Points, if I recall, for some people. It’s a showstopper when it happens.

Arturia’s hardware is still a bit delicate, especially their I/O; making it stronger would require bigger size and more weight. They use those 1/8th sockets I suspect to keep both down. An inevitable compromise.
Old 14 hours ago
  #1642
Gear Nut
 
shmuelyosef's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by realtrance View Post

Arturia’s hardware is still a bit delicate, especially their I/O; making it stronger would require bigger size and more weight. They use those 1/8th sockets I suspect to keep both down. An inevitable compromise.
I spent a good portion of my career designing various pieces of electromechanical equipment. It is common knowledge that most failure mechanisms are from connections and moving parts (i.e. NOT electronic failures). Reinforcement of connectors attached to printed circuits (with some mechanical means) is an ordinary design requirement/constraint. It adds no weight and takes up little space. Surface mount solder pads provide virtually no mechanical integrity.

This was oversight, NOT compromise...but not surprising for a small company that is new to hardware manufacturing and design.
Old 12 hours ago
  #1643
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by retrigger View Post
I am answering myself here, because I found out what was the problem. Mine wasn't exactly the little freak, but my midi keyboard which was sending cc data time to time.

So, I finally took my time to get used to the little keyboard and I have to say it was worth it!
I’ve got an old Novation with a squirrelly encoder that messes me up in the exact same way.
Old 10 hours ago
  #1644
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shmuelyosef View Post
I spent a good portion of my career designing various pieces of electromechanical equipment. It is common knowledge that most failure mechanisms are from connections and moving parts (i.e. NOT electronic failures). Reinforcement of connectors attached to printed circuits (with some mechanical means) is an ordinary design requirement/constraint. It adds no weight and takes up little space. Surface mount solder pads provide virtually no mechanical integrity.

This was oversight, NOT compromise...but not surprising for a small company that is new to hardware manufacturing and design.
i wouldn't try using logic or facts with that dude. he'll just put his fingers in his ears and call you an arturia "h8er"
Old 10 hours ago
  #1645
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by wentzelitis View Post
i wouldn't try using logic or facts with that dude. he'll just put his fingers in his ears and call you an arturia "h8er"
Well, you have to take into consideration the selling price of any piece of gear you purchase. Every decision can add time or additional cost to a device. We expect miracles from things that don’t even break the $300 mark.
Old 4 hours ago
  #1646
Quote:
Originally Posted by realtrance View Post
Very few of the "reported issues" here and elsewhere are real issues. They are either user error or the odd defective unit or two, out of many no-one is complaining about.
I don't really get why you insist on making this a non-issue.
I'm not anti-Arturia, I'm not anti-Microfreak either. I have found the product disappointing that's all.
The first disappointment was the presets. As mentioned before, I use pre-sets as initial inspiration. Microfreak's presets are so signature, or tempo based, I find very few are usable without a lot of work.
Fine. But the blank presets are at the end of the pre-set library. So to start you have to menu dive to initialise the pre-set, or scroll to the last few presets in the library. On my P6 for example, I think preset 00 is a blank preset ready to be programmed.
The second disappointment was the extremely low output.
With every single hardware synth I own, it's enough to plug the synth into one of my Apollo's line inputs - and I'm ready to record. Only with Microfreak do I need to patch into my Api DI first to get enough gain to be even audible.
I have a lot of one man made Eurorack modules, and yet they all work like everything else in my studio. Only Microfreak needs special treatment.
Final disappointment was the synth completely failing on me after only three months of once or twice a week use in a home studio.
**In all cases I posted both here and on the Arturia user forum in the hope I had made some kind of user error and with a bit of advice from another user I could get on with using my Microfreak**

But no, I hadn't made any mistakes it turns out.
Old 3 hours ago
  #1647
Gear Addict
 
Bodde's Avatar
 

Did you address these issues with Arturia? Is the low output something other users experience as well?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
Well, you have to take into consideration the selling price of any piece of gear you purchase. Every decision can add time or additional cost to a device. We expect miracles from things that don’t even break the $300 mark.
The lower price doesn't justify any bugs. Even if it was only $100 it should be working as advertised. I would rather pay
$100 more if there were no bugs. That also goes for other budget stuff. I don't get it why it should be that cheap. It's a trend these days.
Old 3 hours ago
  #1648
Lives for gear
 
Rob Ocelot's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by shmuelyosef View Post
This was oversight, NOT compromise...but not surprising for a small company that is new to hardware manufacturing and design.
They've been in the hardware synth game going on seven years and built a high-end no-compromises synth to boot. I think we can dispense with the 'new to manufacturing' free pass now and I'm pretty sure Arturia has figured out where pennies can be pinched.
Old 7 minutes ago
  #1649
Gear Maniac
 
Bubbleraptor's Avatar
 

The output level of the MF is dependent on the preset, but generally it is lower than expected on a new design. Hiking up input gains doesn't bring up any attendant noise, so it's not an issue for me. No DI box needed.

All presets can be overwritten, so I have the first one as a template. I can't see how this is a problem really. There are very few presets that I'd want to keep as they're not to my taste, but that's what I'd expect in any patch saving synth. Any of the bugs that might or might not be there haven't affected my fun with the MF - either as a controller or a synth. Long term durability? Time will tell, I guess. (As long as it doesn't brick one week after the warranty expires).
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