I confess… I know nothing about analog substractive synthesis, LFOs, Oscillators, Filters…

Strangely, this has not stopped me from indulging in a strange fetishism:
Moog window-liking, salivating over knobby contraptions, such as this latest cutty (sorry, phatty), the Moog Sub 37:moog_sub_37_tribute_angle

Maybe it is the shear optimism of having owned synths with presets. Maybe it is the frustration born of turning plug-in knobs with a mouse for so many years. Maybe it is the promise of warm bass lines and cut-through leads. Maybe it is the promise of putting my guitarist friends to shame with my solos 🙂

In anycase, action had to be taken!
But how does one validate the hypothesis that this kind of synth is it… without breaking the bank?

That’s how I took myself to the local pro-audio store.
After spending 5 minutes helplessly trying to get a sound out of a 2500 Euros/Dollars Moog Voyager, I looked around. Even if I had gotten beyond the shame of being clueless, there was no salesman to be seen (maybe they don’t know either). Taking to the door was tempting… But I had only been here 5 minutes. So, I moved over to its simpler and less expensive siblings. That’s how I ended up on a Arturia’s MiniBrute SE.

MiniBruteSEI had heard a lot of good things about it via the web… Especially from my 80s friend, Vince Clarke (Depeche Mode), and my 90s friend, Adrien Utley (Portishead):

This was confirmed by the first minutes of playing on it!
I had no mastery over the sounds it produced, but it was fun and sounded good. Promising.
“If it all went wrong, this would only be a 550 Euros/Dollars mistake.”, I reasoned…

So, I am now the owner of this little analog beauty… And the learning has begun. Hello oscillators, hello filters, hello resonators, hello envelops, hello ADSR…

The manual is well written, but it is a good thing patient YouTubers have created some instructuve detailled tutorials. If you speak french, I can’t recommend Franco Lamuerte’s “tutoriels” enought!

Taking control is quick as the MiniBrute is simple and very well layed out. This is what makes it such a good introduction to analog synthesis. Educational at all ages. Here is my son Elliot going at it 🙂

ElliotPlaysMiniBrute

A lot of analog goodness for hours of fiddling and discovery.
Graduating to a Moog is a possibility, but there is no longer any hurry 🙂