Arturia MatrixBrute Noir Limited Edition Synthesizer, Black
Arturia MatrixBrute Synthesizer Noir Limited Edition Synthesizer, Black
Overview by GAK
This is the special edition verison of Arturia’s jaw-dropping mono synth - the MatrixBrute Noir. Sporting a sophisticated stealth black aesthetic, the MatrixBrute Noir has an alluring look all of its own. Arturia are making these in limited quantities so its sure to become a valued collector’s item - if you want one, be sure to snap one up before they all go!
Best Of Both
Within the MatrixBrute, you’ve got the best elements of analogue and digital within one truly astounding instrument.
At its heart, the Arturia MatrixBrute is a pure analogue synth with a beautifully organic and harmonically deep sound. There’s no mistaking the sonic pedigree of the MatrixBrute, as its audio signal path is 100% analogue. The digital aspect of the MatrixBrute gives you the convenience of storing up to 256 presets for instant recall (an essential feature for live and studio use) and the option to automate its parameters with your DAW.
Flexible Analog Oscillators
The voltage-controlled oscillators (VCOs) are a major highlight of the Arturia MatrixBrute, providing a potent sonic foundation for your patches. The first two oscillators share a similar architecture to the MiniBrute 2 and 2S, offering simultaneous Sawtooth, Pulse & Triangle waves and a Sub that can blend between Sine & Square waves.
Each of the waves features its own waveshaping capabilities, including Ultrasaw (creates a brighter, edgier timbre by adding 2 time-shifted copies), Metalizer (folds & adds harmonics to the Triangle wave) and classic Pulse Width Modulation. A huge array of timbres can be created by blending the various waveforms and experimenting with the waveshaping possibilities.
VCO 1 and VCO 2 use an exponential design that’s found in virtually all renowned vintage synths, which imbues them with a character that can be described as “alive” due to the pitch drift. If things are sound a bit too old-school, you can reign it in using the handy auto-tune routine.
The multi-function VCO 3 presents another level of flexibility, as it can be used as another sound source (with 4 waveforms to choose from) and as an additional LFO that’s capable of audio-rate modulation. The best part is, you can use VCO 3 for massive three oscillator patches and as a modulation source at the same time.
The MatrixBrute’s Audio Mod (or cross-modulation) section is a great way to coax out wild, chaotic textures as well as add subtle movement to your patches. With a twist of a knob, you can use the Noise oscillator to modulate the frequency of VCO 1 or the Steiner filter, use VCO 3 to modulate the filters and more to instantly evoke otherworldly sounds.
Multiple Voice Modes
Arturia’s MatrixBrute is far more than a monosynth (though it excels at thunderous basses, singing leads etc). There’s 3 voice modes at your disposal, monophonic (all the oscillators are triggered when you play a key), paraphonic (splits the oscillators so you can play 3 note chords) and Duo-Split.
Duo-Split is a bi-timbral mode that lets you perform with two totally different sounds across the keyboard by splitting up VCOs and filters. This is particularly useful when used in tandem with the sequencer, as you can play over the top of it with the remaining VCOs.
Dual Filter Design
Arturia have bestowed the MatrixBrute with two fantastic analogue filters - a distinctive Steiner-Parker and a thick Moog-stye Ladder - which can be routed in series or parallel. Both VCFs are multi-mode, with 12dB (2-pole) & 24dB (4-pole) slopes and Low-Pass, Band-Pass & High-Pass curves, Drive (which adds pre-filter saturation) and Arturia’s signature Brute Factor. The Steiner filter also features a Notch curve for SEM-style phase sweeps. At high Resonance settings, the filters will start to self-oscillate and can act as additional sound sources.
Throw in the ability to select whether the VCOs, Noise and External Input are routed through either or both VCFs and it’s clear to see the serious amount of sculpting potential that the MatrixBrute’s filters present.
Embrace The Matrix
What is easily one of the Arturia MatrixBrute’s standout features is its modulation matrix. This extensive mod matrix is a sonic playground that’s akin to a serious modular system or a vintage semi-modular such as the EMS VCS3, ARP 2600 or MS-20.
The way Arturia have designed the MatrixBrute’s mod matrix is highly intuitive, with a visual and hands-on approach that makes creating complex routings a breeze. You can see exactly which one of the 16 destinations (including the 3 envelope generators, 2 LFOs & performance controls) is modulating what and you can dial in a specific amount for each “patch point”.
Make sure you download Firmware 2.0 from Arturia’s MIDI Control Centre. Amongst other significant improvements such as the ability to draw your own LFO shapes, preset compare mode and a more refined sequencer, this update quadruples the MatrixBrute’s custom modulation capabilities. As of 2.0, you can have access to 4 pages of custom mod slots - that’s 12 more than before!
The MatrixBrute’s matrix also gives you instant access to the 256 presets and acts as both a detailed visual reference and a rapid way to edit the sequencer data.
Stereo Analogue Effects
To add spacial depth, width and warmth to your patches, you can invoke the MatrixBrute’s built-in effects. The MatrixBrute offers a selection of true analogue effects, including mono & stereo Delay, stereo Chorus & flanger and Reverb.
Powerful Performance Tools
The MatrixBrute is equipped with a 49-note keyboard, which boasts a smooth, expressive synth-action and is both velocity & aftertouch sensitive. In addition to the traditional Pitch & Mod wheels, the MatrixBrute features 4 assignable macro encoders. These encoders are a huge asset for performance as they allow you to assign multiple parameters to a single knob. Using the macro encoders, you can dramatically alter the sound of a patch with one motion.
The fully-featured arpeggiator and 64-step sequencer are the perfect way to spark inspiration and free up both of your hands to tweak the MatrixBrute’s wealth of controls.
When it comes to connectivity, Arturia have pulled out all the stops with the MatrixBrute. The MatrixBrute is primed to become the centrepiece of your synth rig, with full-size MIDI In, Out & Thru, USB MIDI, 3.5mm Gate I/O and 12 CV inputs/outputs. With such comprehensive CV connectivity onboard, the MatrixBrute can generate exciting results when interfaced with external modular gear.
The MatrixBrute’s Audio Input can be used to process external line/instrument signals through the MatrixBrute’s filters, VCA & effects or introduce an external oscillator from another synth.
The Arturia MatrixBrute is certainly a synthesizer that looks as good as it sounds, with its gorgeous wooden trim and tiltable knob-laden panel that evokes legendary synths such as the Minimoog - there’s no question that the MatrixBrute is a premium instrument.
Arturia have crafted what we consider to be one of the top analog synthesizers out there with the MatrixBrute. With an intuitive design, inspiring sound and enormous timbral palette, you’ll be constantly finding new things to love about this marvellous synth.
- Sleek Black Edition of the MatrixBrute
- Pure analog sound: linear VCO & LFO, saw, square, triangle, sine, LFO time divisions, and key tracking
- 49 full sized keys with velocity and aftertouch
- Intuitive sound shaping: UltraSaw, Pulse Width, Metalizer, and SubVCOs can supercharge your tone
- Noise generator with white, pink, blue, and red noise
- 3 unique envelope generators
- Plays nice with others: MatrixBrute features a 5 input audio mixer with filter routing, and awesome connectivity including 12 CV/Gate ins and outs
- Climb the ladder: multi-mode Steiner-Parker and Ladder filters, able to be used solo, or together in series or parallel
- Brute factor: add a little controlled insanity to your sound
- Arpeggiator and 64 step-sequencer
- Analog effects section, including delays, flanger, chorus, and reverb
- Dimensions: 22kg, 48.5lbs
- Weight: 860*432*107mm, 33.86*17.01*4.21 inches