One synth enthusiast got quite a surprise yesterday (24 August) when they went to purchase an Arturia MicroFreak and walked away with a mysterious white version equipped with a vocoder.
The lucky buyer took to Reddit to elaborate on what happened: “I was asking the dealer of my local shop to see if the MicroFreak [was] still available; he said that the original version was out of stock and they don’t know that they will be available anymore, but they have the one with a vocoder. I was so confused that I thought they [got confused] with the MicroKorg. However, when I went to the store, [I] realised they were right! They have a MicroFreak in white and there is a mic for the new vocoder function. In addition, it is just around 25 dollars more expensive than the original, so I bought it without any doubt”.
Now, Arturia have revealed the mysterious synth to be the MicroFreak Vocoder Edition, which was officially announced today in conjunction with the synth’s 2.1 firmware update. The update adds a 16-band vocoder to the MicroFreak, and unlocks TRRS audio input which was previously hidden in the headphone jack.
The new MicroFreak Vocoder Edition features 14 digital oscillator modes, analogue filters, a plethora of modulation/randomisation controls, and a powerful vocoder engine. The MicroFreak Vocoder sports a 16-band mode to transform your voice, with three waveforms, Timbre and Shape knobs to adjust the response of the 16 frequency bands.
The most obvious difference to the original – other than the gooseneck mic, of course – is the bold white makeover. Other than the aesthetic differences and new mic, the MicroFreak Vocoder’s inner-workings will be just as familiar to users of its predecessor. Namely, its analogue filters, digital and wavetable oscillators, poly-aftertouch PCB keyboard, arpeggiator and sequencer.
Check out the full specs below.
• Synthesizer with 256 preset slots and 224 factory presets
• 14 variable digital oscillator modes, including Mutable Instruments Plaits engines and new Vocoder mode
• Gooseneck electret microphone
• Analog State Variable Filter, 12dB/octave, resonant, Low Pass, Band Pass, High Pass
• ADSR envelope
• Cycling Envelope offering two modes: Envelope & LFO
• LFO with Sync: Sine, Tri, Saw, Square, Random, Slew Random
• Modulation matrix with 5 sources and 7 destinations (3 custom destinations)
• Monophonic or Paraphonic modes – Up to 4 voices
• Chord mode lets you program a chord shape and play it on any note
• Scale Quantize lets you set a specific scale for the white notes for easy performance
• 25-key capacitive keybed with polyphonic aftertouch
• Capacitive touch strip
• Crisp OLED display for editing and parameter values
• Powerful multi-mode arpeggiator: Up, Order, Random, Pattern modes
• Spice & Dice Gate randomizers
• 64-step sequencer: 2 patterns per preset, 4 automation tracks per preset
• CV / Gate / Mod outputs
• USB, Clock and MIDI in and out
• 6.35mm master and 3.5mm headphone output
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