Analog is all the rage these days, but modern digital synths clearly have an edge when it comes to their core feature: being software-based, they can be updated and enhanced even long after their release. KORG is leading the way with their Multi-Engine technology (that allows users to load custom oscillator and effects plugins) but Arturia is not fooling around either. The French company has announced the 2.0 firmware update for their little yet powerful MicroFreak synthesizer, adding several exciting new features and functions, refining some existing ones, and fixing a few minor bugs.
MicroFreak users will be happy to know that they can now count on a new noise oscillator, which can come in handy to generate sharper, percussive sounds. Also, the update brings scale quantization and chord modes, two helpful new features for performers.
Let’s find out more about the new features and improvements.
- New Noise oscillator: morph between particle noise, white noise, and a metallic noise that’s reminiscent of a synth cymbal.
- Chord Mode: by holding the Paraphony button and playing some notes, you program the chord, then replay the shape with a single key.
- Scale quantization: In the Utility settings, you can activate scale quantization to your favorite scale. When activated, the “white notes” on the keyboard play whichever scale you have selected. No more wrong notes!
- Sequencer streamlining: in 2.0 firmware update, you’re now able to easily copy Pattern A to Pattern B in an instant.
- Matrix initialize: before 2.0 firmware update, if you wanted to clear the Matrix of all routings, you’d have to manually do it. Now you can just hold the Shift and perform a long press on the encoder, and it will clear!
- 64 New Presets: Loads of exciting sounds to explore using the new oscillator and features.
- MicroFreak now displays visual feedback even when Local Control is off.
- The release of currently playing presets are now cleared when switching to a new one.
- The synth’s Local Control now also translates USB to MIDI Out.The Record LED now blinks on each beat, instead of on 16ths.
To update your synth, simply connect it to your computer, load up the Arturia MIDI Control Center, and hit the “update” button for MicroFreak. To learn more, visit the official web page.
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