I’m in love with my MiniFreak but I’m having an issue that totally ruins the spontaneous creation process the synth offers. When I’m perfoming in the arp/seq, some step are randomly turned on and off. Also, when this issue worsens, some unrelated touch buttons start to trigger (Mods, Rec, touch strips, etc).
Did anyone also face this issue?
I’ve already tried contacting the support, but I’m bouncing back and forth with erratic answers for about 2 months now. I hope that here someone might give me some insights. Unfortunately, shipping for a replacement is not an option since I purchased is during a holiday trip, and I’m now based far away from the store.
Some other details:
- I’ve tried everything I could find online (dry air, shoes, grounded plugs, firmware update, factory reset, touch sensitivity, etc).
- I noticed that in some other plugs around the house the issue didn’t happen (at least for the 2 hours I spent playing). Why could that be? What should I do to that one/two plugs that I know are giving issues?
- The problem gets worse near other devices, like my computer… but then how could I reliably connect my minifreak to a DAW?
- I’ve read some users complaining about similar issues with microFreak. Some reported that the only thing that solved the issue was the mysterious “firmware update 4.0.3”, sent by email from Arturia. What actually happened with that update, and couldn’t it be ported to minifreak somehow? Could it point to the solution of the problem?
- I’ve also read that an user opened the microFreak and found some connection insulations to be poorly aligned. Should I try that?
- What about using power conditioners? They are pricey, so I would only buy known to solve the issue.
Thank you all and happy synthesizing,
You probably have tried setting the Touch Sensitivity to Low already (Utility/Controls/Touch Button Sens). I run mine on Low which requires a positive tap on the buttons. Can’t say I’ve ever seen buttons randomly triggering.
What you say about the mains plugs that don’t give you trouble, is a clue of sorts - could be some EMI (Electro Magnetic Interference) hitting the other outlets. Or there could be some ground loop issues in your studio(?) Are the clean ones on a different breaker/circuit? The problem getting worse near other devices like computers, half way supports this. Do you happen to have a radio amateur neighbour? :-p
Apart from opening/inspecting/servicing the synth and working with support, you could take the MnF to another house and test it there, also near other computers. Or if you have a friend with an MnF, take that to your house and test it. Is there a shop nearby where you could compare it with another MnF? Doing some of these tests might yield pretty conclusive results.
Power conditioners could be it (they’re always good to have in a studio in any case), but don’t run out and buy lots of those before doing some of the testing mentioned above.
I hope you get the issue solved!
Hi DrJustice, thank you for your help. All you said was indeed very helpful, and it grew back some hope in me.
I’m not playing (yet) on a studio, but in my home. I live in the last floor of a 15 storey building, in a central neighborhood. There are some (small) antennas nearby, and I believe there are no radio amateurs around. There are many “available Wi-Fi networks”, though.
I noticed that the problem gets worse at night, and out of vacation season. This lead me thinking that “more use of the electric grid → more interference”. Makes any sense? Do you know means to measure this possible EMI intereference?
About the wiring here, the plugs on the dining room (where I mostly play) and in my room give me the issue. I’m pretty sure these two have their own breaker. The plugs in the living room (curiously the only one that the grounding test failed) and the ones in the kitchen (… I was desperate, sorry) seem to work well.
I’ll test for longer playing times at these plugs, plugging some other devices around, and playing MnF somewhere else.
Unfortunately, MnF is not sold where I’m based now, nor I have friends with any. However, I’ll ask around if anyone in the local synth community has one.
Arturia TechSupport suspects this is hardware problem with mine, but I’ve seen many reports on very similar issues in microFreak - mistriggering of notes, phantom adjustments, and such.
Yes, if it’s interference through the grid and/or (some of) your circuits, that could indeed vary with the time of day depending on equipment use and loads nearby. Sorry, I have no direct advice for simple measurements short of getting a professional to do it.
Since you have a clean breaker/circuit, I’d say that chances are that the MnF is fine, but that’s just a “chance” - not going to contradict Arturia support as they have the experience.
Trying out a cheap filter like e.g. this (just a random example, there are lots of devices like this) or a similar device for your outlet standard might be worth it. Perhaps run the idea past support.
It’s always a bit tricky to find faults and solutions when you only have “one of each”, so to speak. It is a solvable issue though, on way or the other. Let us know when and how you have it sorted - might be useful for other MnF and uF users.
Thank you again. I also suspect the hardware is fine and I just need to make my wiring/grid adequate. This place I’m living is famous for having a very unstable grid, with frequent oscillations and damage to electric components. I use basic surge protectors with all of my main gear.
I’ve tried with one of these simple protectors, that has multiple plugs, surge protection and EMI/RFI “attenuation” specified as:
Min. attenuation (150kHz to 100MHz): 40 dB.
However, the problem persisted. Plugging the PC on the same “hub” made the problem worse. Although it’s from a good (local) brand, it is rather cheap so I’m not sure if it is a worthy filter or just a very basic one.
Searching for alternatives, I found one that seems more robust like this one
Do you think it’s worth trying with this, or if it didn’t work with the basic one it might not work with this either?
If you already have an EMI/RFI suppressor, I’m really not sure if another “simple” one would improve things. In our day, we live in a “storm” of radio frequencies, everything is wireless, and the frequency ranges from a few hundred kHz (garage port openers and such) via radio/TV in the 100MHz ranges an up, to several GHz (Wi-fi and cellphones). You’ve probably experienced how you cellphone will make noises in your hi-fi when it’s roaming. Then there’s noise carried via the mains, which seems to be the issue in your case. A different power supply with good filtering could potentially work - anything with 12V DC at minimum 1A, with + at the center pin can be tested.
Unfortunately, I’m at my wits end with remote diagnosis/advice here, but you have some things to try out to confirm or eliminate any fault with the MnF. I think that and Arturia support is your best bet for now.
Thank you for all your help, DrJustice.
If anyone else has some other ideas to try, please let me know.
Ah, just one more thing I forgot. The breaker/circuit that does gives you the problems - unless you’ve already tried it, you could try switching off or even unplugging everything that on the circuit, just to check if the disturbance is generated locally by some appliances connected to it.