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Arturia MicroFreak

Arturia MicroFreak  ·  Source: Arturia

The MicroFreak’s new Version 2 firmware brings in a Noise oscillator, a Chord Mode, Scale Quantization, nuking the Matrix and you can now copy pattern A to pattern B in the sequencer.

MicroFreak Firmware 2.0

One advantage of digital synthesizers is that they can keep on adding features. With firmware 2.0 Arturia has given us a few tasty titbits along with a bunch of bug fixes and improvements.

Noise

A new Noise Oscillator shows up in oscillator selector and offers particle, white and metallic noise that you can morph between. They’ve also mixed in a simple waveform oscillator so you can blend in a melodic sound along with the noise if you wish. You can’t mix this noise in with the other oscillators like you can on a regular synth – this oscillator has to run by itself so the waveform can be useful. The Timbre knob decimates the noise with some serious bit crushing. It sounds really great through the filter with high resonance while sequencing the cutoff.

Chords

This is simple enough and doesn’t have anything to do with the “Chord” oscillator. Hold the “Para” button and press the keys you want to include in a chord, release and then you can play the chord with a single finger.

Scale Quantization

Dig into the miscellaneous part of the utility settings to activate scale quantize. You have 7 scales to choose from: major, minor, harmonic minor, Dorian, Mixolydian, blues and pentatonic. Notes are then quantized to the nearest note that matches that scale. You can also set the root note. You can do this either globally or for individual presets.

Sequencer

You can now copy pattern A to pattern B. First press the source sequence hold it and press the destination sequence.
So if you want to copy sequence A to sequence B:

  • Hold the icon of sequence A
  • Press the icon of sequence B to complete the copy

Both buttons must remain held down for a short period to confirm the copy.

Also the Record LED now blinks on each beat rather than the annoying flashing of 16ths.

Matrix Nuking

Previously if you want to change the routing in the modulation Matrix you had to go to each active one in turn and turn it off or change it. Now you can hold Shift and do a long press on the encoder and it clears! Yay!

There’s a bunch of other fixes that you can read about in the release notes but here’s a video of me explaining the new features.

The update is free to all users and you load it via the MIDI Control Centre that you can download from the Arturia website.

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