Arturia's PolyBrute is a beastly analog synth with infinite control

Terrence O'Brien
·Managing Editor
·2 mins read

Arturia’s analog Brute series covers a good amount of ground. From the tiny and affordable MicroBrute (a gnarly mono synth built for bass), to the DrumBrute (a performance-friendly love letter to drum machines of the ‘80s), all the way up to the MatrixBrute (a beastly mono instrument loaded with sound design tools). But now it there’s a new flagship — the PolyBrute.

The PolyBrute is a six-voice analog beast that combines Arturia’s signature mod matrix with its digital effects expertise and a some innovative controls in a true polyphonic instrument. The oscillators cover the usual wave shapes (saw, triangle, square) plus the unique Brute Metalizer, along with wavefolding and FM.

There’s also two different filters, including a multistate filter that sweeps from lowpass, to notch, to highpass to bandpass, and a lowpass ladder filter with distortion inspired by iconic Moog sounds. And for modulation there’s three envelope generators and three LFOs that can be routed to countless destinations through the matrix.

The more interesting stuff though, is the live sound-shaping abilities. There’s Arturia’s 64 step sequencer, an arpeggiator and a “matrix arpeggiator”. But there’s also the ability to “morph” between two complete different presets seamlessly. So you can grow a pad into a growling lead as the tension builds in a song. Or keep listeners on their toes by moving between two different bass sounds.

There’s the usual pitch and mod wheel. But also a ribbon across the top of the keyboard, a three-axis “Morphée” touchpad, plus two jacks for expression pedals. That’s an almost unheard of amount of live manipulation controls for a synth. And that’s not even counting the keybed which has aftertouch.

Lastly, there’s a selection of digital effects on board. Including some taken from Arturia’s excellent FX Collection.

The PolyBrute is expected to ship in November and, unsurprisingly, it wont be cheap. List price on the Arturia site is $2,899 which puts it out of reach for all but the most dedicated of hobbyists.