After the image of this impressive-looking new synthesizer leaked yesterday we now have all the details of Arturia’s PolyBrute 6-voice, 2 oscillator analog flagship polysynth.
The PolyBrute offers 6-voices of polyphonic analog synthesis drawn from a pair of analog VCOs, shaped by a pair of filters and modulated by 3 envelope generators and 3 LFOs. Add to that a modulation matrix, parameter morphing, polyphonic sequencer, onboard effects, a ribbon controller and a weird wobbly expressive controller and you’ve got a very interesting machine. It sounds fantastic:
The oscillators are from the MatrixBrute and feature UltraSaw and Metalizer waveforms along with the sawtooth, triangle and pulse waveforms. The signal path, which includes a noise generator, is 100% analog and feeds into a Steiner-Parker or ladder filter selectable for each sound source. The filters now have a series/parallel blending knob different to the routing switch of the MatrixBrute. There are 3 ADSR envelopes with one acting on the oscillators and one for the filter and a third one to be routed anywhere you wish. The LFOs have a great range of selectable waveforms.
The Modulation Matrix has 32 destinations that can be quickly set on the panel. There’s also a 64-step polyphonic sequencer and arpeggiator for complex patterns and sound manipulation.
Arturia has gone all out on the expressive controls. The 61-note keyboard features velocity and aftertouch with “deluxe-action” which is not that interesting but a wooden ribbon controller, motion recorder and 3-dimensional Morpheé pad most certainly are! Ribbon controllers are always a lot of fun and who doesn’t want to emulate that classic CS-80 slide? The motion recorder is something baked into the sequencer where you can push automation into the steps. The Morpheé pad which looks an awful lot like a Touché controller is apparently “cutting-edge” and “groundbreaking”. It ties in with the new Morph feature that can move every patch between two different states combining multiple parameters. I’m very much looking forward to experiencing that in action.
Other features include a load of digital effects, a software librarian for expanding the presets and rather beautiful black walnut cheeks and accents. Looks like it can take the optional wooden legs from the KeyLab 88.
It’s a great looking synthesizer and not unexpected. People have been talking about the potential of a properly polyphonic version of the MatrixBrute ever since it arrived. Arturia has made significant changes which helps give the PolyBrute more of its own personal character which I think is good. Although it’s also lost an oscillator and all that CV connectivity so maybe not all changes are for the better but this is a different synthesizer and not a new version of an existing one. I never liked the look of the MatrixBrute whereas this is far more balanced and aesthetically pleasing which is a vital ingredient in any big synthesizer.
The price for the Arturia PolyBrute is $2,499 or €2,479 and should be available in November.
Here’s an overview from BoBeats: