Minifreak often sounding flat and a bit boring - What are your sweet spots?

Hi everyone, i’ve been using the minifreak regularly for a year now and I wanted to reach out about a feeling thats a bit hard to describe. I feel like the minifreak looks amazing on paper with all its functions and possibilities and the simplicity of the user interface …BUT i miss the freakiness, the sharpness compared to the microfreak, the little extra in its sound that makes it special and more emotional. Stimming describes something similar in his Review on Youtube - the minifreak sounds “rounded” compared to the microfreak, more conventional and the different machines all share a very similar sounding character instead of being very different.
So I dont know how else to describe it - I am just missing a certain depth and character to the sound. Maybe thats just how digital synths are but when i watch demos of the Hydrasynth or the MegaFM from Twisted Electronics (both digital synths in the same price range) i hear a lot more power and rawness in their sound. Compared to that the minifreak always sounds a bit flat perhaps, or just not as rich in its harmonics.

So my question to you - did anyone have a similar experience and maybe some advice on how to get more out of the minifreak? What are your sweet spots and usual settings with the minifreak when you start a new patch?

Some settings I often come back to:

  • For me one key setting would be to usually turn on the multi comp FX which immediately gives it more grit and especially more high frequencies (often in the sub-setting for high control).
  • Another thing is to edit the velocity routing in the envelope settings and route it to envelope, vca,… which makes the synth sound more alive while playing.
  • Another one would be to pick a core sound with oscillator 1 and then try to enrich it with oscillator 2. i often tune it an octave above or below and try to get something harsh but interesting (without being too noisy in a digital / bit reduction way which can be hard to find within the possibilities of this synth) on a low volume to give oscillator 1 some more character and the filter something to work on.
  • For Pads: I often experiment with using the reverb and delay as send vs return effects (you can find it in the FX settings), which can give it a more lush sounding atmosphere.

What are your favorite settings and workarounds?

Hey, I feel that way too. Great possibilities for sound design, but everything is kind of flat. I would have expected more, especially from the filter, which is supposed to be analog.

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I haven’t really got into it yet, but I suggest adding more in the way of modulation by ways of velocity, envelopes or LFOs. Primarily modulating the Oscillator and Filter controls, but there is other stuff you can do too.

Then there is third part effects you can add after it too.

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Clever modulations create the sweet spots. :upside_down_face:

It’s all about changes, so that you ear does not get bored.

Unfortunately, Arturia has so far failed to provide the device with a firmware that does exactly that without producing errors at the same time.


@elicious Totally, it definitely feels different than using the MicroFreak but I also find it hard to put it into words. I kinda compare it to the difference between the MicroBrute and MiniBrute.

Both have similar internal designs but the implementation for both resulted in a very different feel between them.

For me, the key to make MiniFreak sound HUGE is in the included FX section:

You already mentioned a few tricks that totally help but for me personally it’s all about the saturation you can get with the Distortion using the Soft Clip preset. (see a picture below of an example of the settings)

Screen Shot 2024-05-09 at 16.50.23

It basically adds some extra harmonics that could enhance the sound making it “richer” (?)

I guess you can also add these FXs outside of MiniFreak with your own VSTs but the Soft Clip preset is good in case you don’t have any other light saturation plugins available.

Other than that, all the previously mentioned tricks (modulation, using both oscillators, changing Voice Mode, etc…) definitely will help but I feel these are more part of the sound design process and this apparent “lack” of harmonics will come regardless which settings are set, however, you can always use a bit of extra saturation to spice it up. :slight_smile: