Ever since buying an iPad, and delving deep into the world of iOS synth apps, I've fought a heroic battle to stay away from hardware synths. I'm up to my eyeballs in synth apps, so why would I need to descend into the money pit of analog synths. I've been good...up until I watched the documentary "I Dream of Wires". That movie inspired me to "just look around a bit" at what was out there. Of course I was familiar with all the main contenders. Novation Bass Station II, the KORG MS-20, etc. But, once I saw the Marc Doty YouTube series on the Arturia MicroBrute, I could resist no further.
So, after receiving back some of my hard-earned money from Uncle Sam, I bought myself a MicroBrute. It's a fantastic machine on its own, but I wanted to see how I could incorporate it into my iOS music workflow. Thankfully, I found out about Brute LFO, a great app from Justus Kandzi (the same developer behind the great Monotone Delay iOS app).
As you can see from the video, you just plug your iDevice right into the CV in mod matrix on the MicroBrute, and you're set. No additional modifications or set up needed.
The main interface contains all your virtual knobs and switches. At the top are the two LFO's for modulating your Brute. You can use both at the same time, or turn off the second LFO. You have a choice of several waveforms, including sine, square, triangle, and sawtooth. Here's where your options begin. You can run both with the same waveforms and detune the second LFO, or play around with the different waveform combinations to get crazy. Of course you can adjust the rate and amount here as well.
The third LFO can be used to add frequency modulation to the other two LFO's. There's a whole lot going on here. A nice touch, that I didn't figure out until reading the in-app manual, is that you can double-tap either "Rate" knob to enter a specific BPM. Cool.
The other performance screen is the pad screen. Here you have two X/Y pads to control both the amount and rate of the LFO 1 & 2 on one, and the mod amount and mod rate of LFO 3 on the other. These pads are great for performing live, rather than having to fiddle with the knobs on the "Module" screen. Another gem from the manual is how the "lock" icons work. If you "lock" them, you can move the dot around, but when you lift your finger, the value jumps back to where it was originally locked. This can create a neat playing option. If you leave them "unlocked", the dot will simply stay in place where you lift your finger.
This is a great addition to any analog synth that allows control by CV in. As I only own the MicroBrute, I can't speak to any other devices, but this worked great with my synth. While the MicroBrute does allow for a lot of modulation through the one LFO and the mod matrix, being able to add different waveforms and multiple LFO's really changes things. If you're interested in adding a little something different to your setup, you really should check out Brute LFO.
If you're thinking about buying Brute LFO, please consider clicking through our App Store link below. Thanks![app 777946925]