Arturia has been on a bit of a roll these last few years, becoming a major player in the synth game. The brute synthesizers brought Arturia well into the realm of hardware analog synthesizers. But I will be brutally honest, outside of the Drumbrute, which I love, many of the synths they put out were not for me. They were either brutally heavy for me, such as the Matrixbrute, or just were lacking some key features such as the microbrute and original minibrute. (Okay, enough of the puns!)
There is nothing that I love though like a desktop semi-modular or modular synth without a keyboard. I think my review of both the Kilpatrick Phenol and Moog Mother 32 prove that out. Lets put it this way, the Minibrute 2S intrigues me. While the Minibrute 2 features a keyboard, the Minibrute 2 ditches the keyboard for a fully featured sequencer. Both of the new Minibrute 2 models also feature an extensive patchbay as well.
This is very much an updated instrument, featuring many features overcoming some of the originals shortcomings, plus adding new depth. The wave multiplying of the brute is there, but now external signals can be used. Likewise with two LFOS, two envelopes, and two oscillators, and there is also FM on both the principal oscillator and the filter, expanding the timber possibilities. Looking at the architecture and patch points, I am pretty impressed with elegance of the architecture of the synth voice so far. On the 2S however they added a pretty fully featured sequencer. Probably the most full featured sequencer I have seen on an instrument at this price point and size. All of these features are wonderful for those of us who really want to dig into synthesis and experiment a bit more, but can do without a keyboard.
The Arturia Minibrute 2S will sell for $649 in the US.