by Robin Vincent | 4,7 / 5,0 | Approximate reading time: 4 Minutes
Arturia MiniFreak V

Arturia MiniFreak V  ·  Source: Arturia

Arturia MiniFreak V

Arturia MiniFreak V  ·  Source: Arturia

Arturia MiniFreak V Advanced

Arturia MiniFreak V Advanced  ·  Source: Arturia

Arturia MiniFreak V Matrix

Arturia MiniFreak V Matrix  ·  Source: Arturia

Arturia MiniFreak V sequencer

Arturia MiniFreak V sequencer  ·  Source: Arturia

Arturia MiniFreak V

Arturia MiniFreak V  ·  Source: Arturia

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Arturia has released the MiniFreak V as a standalone software synthesizer for everyone – no hardware synth required.

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Update 18/01/23: Arturia released the software version of the MiniFreak synthesizer in December last year. It was given free to all owners of the hardware MiniFreak. I said at the time (see my original article below) that it was a strange thing to do. I thought the software version would be largely wasted on someone who has the hardware sitting in front of them. Well, now Arturia has released the MiniFreak V as a standalone and VST Instrument for anyone. This is great news.

The retail price is €199, which is a third of the way to the hardware synth. However, it’s available for a limited time for €99, which feels like a good deal considering the versatile and fascinating nature of this pretty unique synthesizer.

Original article from 1st December 2022:

MiniFreak V

There’s something slightly strange about generating a software emulation of your own brand-new synthesizer. And this is far more than an emulation. It’s essentially the same synthesizer engine in a software interface. You could think of it more along the lines of the Roland ZEN-Core or the ACB plugins. The idea is that it mirrors the hardware and brings all your sound design and user presets into your DAW and a like-for-like VST Instrument.

The key thing to understand is that MiniFreak V is only currently available to owners of the MiniFreak hardware synth. It doesn’t require the synth to be plugged in for it to run, and you can load multiple instances just like any other VSTi. So, while there is a connection between the two for sending data from one to another, MiniFreak V will happily run by itself.

Arturia MiniFreak V

Arturia MiniFreak V

It’s Freaky

On the other hand, if you do own a MiniFreak then MiniFreak V could be a really convenient way of bringing that hardware experience into your DAW. It does away with having to record layers or worry about multitimbrality because you can just load another instance. The sound is the same.

Arturia MiniFreak V Matrix

Arturia MiniFreak V Matrix

The GUI offers you a massively expanded view of the hardware. The visualisations of the oscillators are fabulous, which then spills into the filter, FX and a whole row of animated modulations. You get full access to the modulation matrix and the two macro controls, which you can assign to the touch strips.

On the Sequencer page, you get a proper piano roll with velocity and automation lanes. And you can still spice it up with the roll of a dice.

Arturia MiniFreak V sequencer

Arturia MiniFreak V sequencer

It is all there, and in the time I’ve spent with it, it sounds exactly the same as the hardware and is a great companion to it if you get bored of fiddling with things physically.

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Hard or soft?

MiniFreak V is a super software synth that uses the engine from an innovative and fun hardware synth. Arturia seems to have gone to a lot of trouble to produce something that makes things a bit more convenient for MiniFreak owners. I don’t imagine the existence of the plugin version is what tipped people over the edge into buying the synthesizer. Many hardware synths come with MIDI editors that would do much of what this does.

So, I’m left feeling slightly unsure about Arturia’s intentions. MiniFreak V would be a great synth for people who don’t have or can’t afford the hardware, but at the moment, it’s only for people who do. And I can’t help feeling it’s a bit wasted on us MiniFeak owners, who are quite happy playing on the hardware. Perhaps in the future, MiniFreak V will become available as a standalone synth; that would make more sense to me. But otherwise, yes, it’s very useful – thanks!

So…. can you buy it? Yes, but it costs €599 and comes with a free hardware synth. Or, if you own the synth already, it’s free.

Update – the MiniFreak V is now available to anyone for €99.

Arturia MiniFreak

Arturia MiniFreak

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Image Sources:
  • Arturia MiniFreak V : Arturia
  • Arturia MiniFreak V Matrix: Arturia
  • Arturia MiniFreak V sequencer: Arturia
Arturia MiniFreak V

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13 responses to “MiniFreak V: software version of MiniFreak arrives for everyone”

    Richard says:
    0

    This is a strangely self-defeating release – or maybe not. Personally I like hardware synths, but Arturia are experts at recreating filters digitally – so the VST probably sounds incredibly close to the hardware, minus the hands-on controls. Really odd strategy. Presumably you develop a sound you like on the hardware, then use the VST when it comes to building a track?

    Nathanael says:
    2

    Dammit, I want to buy the plugin. Take my money Arturia!

      gzzzt says:
      0

      I like that they do this for owners (one step further than the control plugin for the polybrute); as you get the convenience of a plugin with the comfort of the hardware; but yes goddamnit I kinda want the plug-in standalone. Maybe at some point after the unit initial wave of sales? (also it’s probable you’ll be able to find it on certains hu illegal webistes if you catch my drift *wink wink*)

        Ihatewastingmoney says:
        0

        SO can you not “try the Synth ” from amazon and return and keep vst ?? I mean what other option is there?

    G. says:
    -1

    Interesting. I don’t care about the hardware version. I have purchased all Arturia software. I’ll buy it at a discounted price from someone who only needs the hardware…

      gzzzt says:
      0

      the licences will be linked so that wouldn’t be possible (legally at least).
      I wish they would offer it for a price for microfreak owner. You could even use the microfreak as a controller

        G. says:
        0

        Why does the hardware owner need a serial number? I used to have (and still have) several Arturia hardware, but it makes no sense to have their serial number in the Arturia Account. I’m sure there will be someone who sells it to get some money back.

          gzzzt says:
          0

          You absolutely don’t have to; but in this case it gives you access to the software; and generally you can get discounted prices on software if you own hardware.

    Orlando says:
    0

    YOU’RE making sound truly tragic, and I think it’s gonna take a whole lot more than just public opinion to ensure some type of response. As for people who don’t want to be like everybody else, this is a great response to offer more value in an already saturated market. I’m glad Arturia did not choose to make it just another synth, and no virtual-synth collecters shouldn’t be able to have an overall opinion over a hardware synth for so much less as a soft-synth!! 🫵🫵🫵🫵🫵🫵🫵

    Roland says:
    0

    Good news! I already have the microfreak so the hardware mini was not interesting, but always room for another VST.

    g. says:
    0

    I bought the vsti yesterday, I am a repeat customer, so it was only 50 euros.
    That’s not much for it… But…

    The presets are very similar to Pigments! The technique may be different, but the sounds are the same! (But I have about 2000 sounds available in that, much less in this one.)

    I think if someone wants to choose whether to buy Microfreak or Pigmentst, it is clear that Pigments is a much more powerful vsti.

    Little time I’ve had a blast with it, but so far I’m not impressed.
    I’m not sad, because 50 euros was a very friendly price, but it’s not worth more.

      nine says:
      0

      good insights, thanks!

      VengVV says:
      0

      I agree with a few of these comments, Pigments is a go to synth for software because of the flexibility. I bought mini freak V the other day to check out before purchasing the hardware version at some point. Now I’m not so sure about the hardware after finding the envelopes are a little limited, maybe they will update them at some point? The oscillator section is quite fun though and even with its routing limitations its an interesting way to make up new patches very quickly. I think if the hardware gets updated to have the wavetables the micro freak apparently has and the envelopes get some more options, it may still be a good buy as an alternative to something like a PPG or DW8k hybrid, especially if the analog filters sound good.

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