FYI: Hack Arturia’s MiniBrute / MicroBrute for More Synth Options

Looking to get more out of your Arturia analog synth? Hacking is definitely the way to go.

Both synths are of great quality out the box. They are also set at a good price, ranging from $350-400$ US Dollars. The “Hack-a-Brute” website gives great instruction on hacking these synths. What’s cool about the website is that it not only gives you blueprints and schematics for these synths, but it also comes in different languages!  You can even add wooden parts to your synth to give more of a homemade kind of feel.

You can Learn how to add a step-sequencer to your synth by clicking here.

The MiniBrute is already a nice synth. Sure, it’s not as compact as the more recent MicroBrute and lacks that synth’s cute little modulation patching section, but you also get full-sized keys, and it’s still a lovely instrument.

Below is a video of the MiniBrute being tested with Arturia’s BeatStep Pro.

Here is a comparison of the two synths side-by-side.


Thanks to Create Digital Music for bringing this to light.

Are you interested in becoming a DJ or producer, or both? Take a tour of our school and learn how to become oneContact us today and get your music career rolling.

A Rebirth: The MS-20M Module Synthesizer Kit


Legendary synthesizer company Korg has resurrected one of their most powerful and popular synths, the MS-20M, into a compact new kit available for your desktop. Minus the keyboard, it still has all the same functions as the original M2-20M plus a handful of new features like MIDI In and USB connectivity. At nearly 9 pounds and two feet in length, the synth isn’t particularly heavy, yet its size could translate to a tedious assembly process. That’s right: you have to put it together yourself.

You really can’t do better than this.

In regards to sound, the MS-20M has a versatile spectrum of sounds it can produce, from rumbling bass to punchy drum sounds and euphoric leads. The HP and LP filters sweep a huge frequency range, allowing intricate and detailed fine-tuning of its many sounds. Its sonic ability is a definite selling point. Press play on the video below for a nice introduction to this wonderful synthesizer.

You can read the original review of the MS-20M on XLR8R here.

Don’t forget to consider our synthesis courses as well!

Roland Reveals New AIRA Modular

The new system is billed by the company as “modular for the masses”. -factmag

This new System-1m is a standalone synth that features four different effects units.

The SYSTEM-1m is a semi-modular version of the SYSTEM-1 synth with extra features like CV/Gate connections, external input, and more comprehensive signal routing options. Next there’s a range of standalone, table-top and Eurorack compatible effects for next-level sound mangling and experimentation, with distortion, crusher, delay and scatter coming soon.

Bitrazer: is a “programmable crusher effect with CV/Gate and Euroack Compatability.” This allows the DJ to have more control and flexibility over the crushing effect. This effect is programmable via computer, smartphone, or tablet!

Demora: “Programmable High-Resolution delay with CV/Gate and Eurorack Compatability” This allows for more flexibility and control over the delay effect.

Scooper: This effect unit is designed for the Scatter effect. With its 16 million steps of resolution is provides ultra-smooth controls.

Torcido: This versatile modular effect gives you control over the classic distortion effect. Just like the others, it is programmable via computer, smartphone, or tablet.

Click on this AIRA Modular Intro video and get a sneak peak of the new hardware. These units are called the Bitrazer, Demora, Scooper, and Torcido.

To better understand the Roland AIRA Modular and/or learn about this innovative hardware please contact Sarah for any questions and to get signed up for a music production class! You can also call 617.849.9321!

For more click on this FactMag article- “Roland officially reveals AIRA Modular and it’s both Eurorack and smartphone compatible

Top 5 Mini Synths

Synths are a producer’s best friend that hold many capabilities including sequencing drum machines, performative effects, sampling etc. These small pieces of hardware are extraordinarily versatile with any studio set-up and are not going to break the bank either. Through our advanced Synthesis Course you can learn the ins-and-outs of synths to expand your scope of music production/Djing.

…it’s become increasingly apparent that it’s not necessary to spend a small fortune to buy yourself a small, yet highly functional piece of hardware.

This post is inspired by the famous, for all synth specifications click here.

1) Korg Monotron series

Korg series
Small, practical, and powerful. These analog synths by Korg are battery powered that feature built-in speaker and mini jack audio output. The Original, Dual oscillator, and Monotron Delay synths all have their own distinctive personality which adds to the uniqueness of the Monotron collection. Watch the video below to learn the exact differences between the Monotron Synths.

2) Bleep Labs Nebulophone Synthesizer

Bleep Labs Nebulophone Synth
This synth Bleep Labs is small, but do not let that fool you. This synth packs a punch, with its 10 individual keys it spans the capabilities from switching between chromatic modes to modifying between eight different wave lengths. For more information watch the video below.

3) Gakken Analogue SX 150 Synthesizer

Gakken Analogue SX 150 Synth
Simple and affordable, this Gakken Analogue SX 150 Synthesizer uses the sylus to control the pitch. Some criticism is that, with the stylus, you are limited, but with a few cords you can attach this cool synth to a MIDI controller and have no limitations. Watch the video below for a quick demo on the capabilities of this synth.

4) Korg Volca Series (Volca Beats, Volca Bass, Volca Keys)

Korg Volca Series (Volca Beats, Volca Bass, Volca Keys)

This version of Korg Volca Series comes in there different forms. The Volca Beats, Volca Bass, and Volca Keys. Below is a video that demonstrates and explains the differences between the three designs.

5) Mutable Instruments Shruthi 1 Kit Synthesizer

Mutable Instruments Shruthi 1 Kit Synthesizer
This synth is a hybrid that blends digital with analogue in the form of a simple box. Along with these features this synth has a 16 step sequencer, a comprehensive arpeggiator and modulation matrix. Watch the video below to get on in-depth idea into this hybrid synth.

Learn the techniques behind using synths and broaden your music production/Djing horizon by taking out Synthesis Course.

Contact Sarah at 617.849.9321 for more information regarding enrollment and availability.