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Author Topic: Current state of the MicroFreak?  (Read 915 times)

mch2021

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Current state of the MicroFreak?
« on: January 23, 2021, 08:31:34 am »
I saw the recent announcement about the v3.0 firmware of the MicroFreak and became interested in this synth. The new oscillators from Noise Engineering sound really cool.

Reading over past reviews and comments on many sites, it seems that the MF has come a long way in terms of features and stability since its release. How do current users feel about the instrument as it stands right now with the latest firmware when it comes to sound quality, ease of use, bugs, etc?

I am thinking of mainly using the MF for basses and leads. I am not too sure about the keys and may use it more like an outboard device with Live 10 (Ext. Instrument). If I send MIDI out (USB) from Ableton to the MF, can I later overdub modulation changes by twiddling the pots on the MF? Thanks for any comments and feedback. 8)

Netmammal

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Re: Current state of the MicroFreak?
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2021, 04:51:08 pm »
I have had my MicroFreak for a week and have not run in to any problems yet.  Of course, I am not a musician, I do not have a lot of other MIDI or other synth gear that I am trying to interoperate with.

I did update my firmware to 3.0 successfully with no trouble.

Speaking as a person who comes at this from an engineering background instead of artistic, I find the lack of more nitty-gritty documentation of settings etc to be lacking.  Of course, I understand that compared to Arturia, Roland and Korg give you idiotic 1-page sheets, so I guess I should be happy with the 100+ pages of their manual.  I just wish there was a table listing the values assigned to all of the presets, or a way to print that out.

Airlane1979

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Re: Current state of the MicroFreak?
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2021, 02:19:46 pm »
I am thinking of mainly using the MF for basses and leads. I am not too sure about the keys and may use it more like an outboard device with Live 10 (Ext. Instrument). If I send MIDI out (USB) from Ableton to the MF, can I later overdub modulation changes by twiddling the pots on the MF? Thanks for any comments and feedback.
I've had the MF since the first firmware version. It's an exceptionally versatile synth but it has a massive flaw when using it with a DAW. The MIDI implementation barely exists and none of the firmware updates has changed that. The MIDI CC numbers are few and mostly non-standard. There's not even a way to control the volume. So it's a frustrating experience in that regard. The keyboard is fun and expressive to play but the two-octave limitation is a pain and because of that dreadful lack of a proper MIDI, playing it remotely is little better.

The panel pots send MIDI CC so you can record them in real time as on other synths. It is really annoying to see the MIDI output in the Arturia MIDI Control Centre software showing the realtime flow of values from most knobs - but not the volume control. From the manual:

17.10. MIDI CC# values: an overview
Below an overview of the MicroFreak CC# values.
Parameter CC# Value
Glide 5
Oscillator Type 9
Oscillator Wave 10
Oscillator Timbre 12
Oscillator Shape 13
Filter Cutoff 23
Filter Resonance 83
Cycling Envelope Rise 102
Cycling Envelope Fall 103
Cycling Envelope Hold 28
Cycling Envelope Amount 24
ARP/Sequencer Free running 91
ARP/Sequencer Sync on/off 92
LFO Free running 93
LFO Sync on/off 94
Envelope Attack 105
Envelope Decay 106
Envelope Sustain 29
Keyboard Hold (toggle) 64
Keyboard spice 2

Aturia hasn't published a proper MIDI implementation chart, so other aspects of MIDI are found by trial and error.

csurieux

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Re: Current state of the MicroFreak?
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2021, 09:51:19 am »
The MIDI CC numbers are few and mostly non-standard. There's not even a way to control the volume. So it's a frustrating experience in that regard. The keyboard is fun and expressive to play but the two-octave limitation is a pain and because of that dreadful lack of a proper MIDI, playing it remotely is little better.
... Arturia hasn't published a proper MIDI implementation chart, so other aspects of MIDI are found by trial and error.
+100

 

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