Damn you, Minibrute!

Back in 2013, when I bought the Arturia Minibrute, my first analog synth, I really thought this beauty would somehow propel me to another level of creativity and warm analog bliss.
Well, it didn’t. Don’t get me wrong, the Minibrute is fun to play with. If it works and if you have the time, that is.
Half a year into my relationship with the Brute, I returned from a two-week holiday and found that the first key on the right stood up at least 5mm more than every other key on the keyboard. Fun fact: nobody was in the apartment in those two weeks.
After a litte back and forth with the Berlin music store they “allowed” me to send it in for repair. It turned out the bumper of the key “just fell off” – which seems to be a quite common problem among the Minibrutes. At least that’s what Google says.
The Synth returned fixed after about six weeks. Of course, all dials and faders were turned and shifted. Quite a setback for the track I was working on at that time, however I know that not noting their position before sending the Minibrute in was rather stupid of me.
The Minibrute, unlike for example Novation’s Bass Station 2 (same price level), doesn’t allow you to control a lot of parameters via midi, so you have to rely on blank interface printouts with skribbled dial positions for a certain sound and ball pen indications of where to turn how far in order to get, say, a decent wobble effect. (You’ll have to do this “live” while recording the Brute’s audio output into your DAW and when you bugger it: better luck next time, there’s no automation.)
The thing is: this fully analog approach might be fun but it takes a lot of time – which I do not have as making music is just a hobby for those rare evenings when there are no other appointments. Sure, I understand that finding ideas for tracks is a lot easier with a device that actually has knobs you can touch and turn than with a cold software plugin that is anything but hands-on. But again, you need time for that.
And when I do have time for that, it seems the Minibrute decides it’s a good time to break again. As it did four weeks ago. Since then, the ADSR that controls the VCA has turned into a real bitch. You turn on the Brute, the ADSR works as intended, but slide down and back up just one of the four faders and there’s no sound at all from the Brute. At least as long as you turn it off and on again.
So the Minibrute has actually turned into an arguably attractive but non-functional prop for my home studio. I don’t really want to got through all the communication that is necessary before sending it back again, and anyway I’m not sure if I’m still within the bounds of the warranty.
Let’s just say that at least my specimen of the Minibrute is giving a rather lame performance for its 500 bugs.

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