Technology bringing the joy of music to everyone
France's Arturia has made its mark as a manufacturer of innovative software instruments, drum machines, analog synths, MIDI keyboards, and iPad apps. Distributed in more than 50 countries with the U.S. as the brand’s biggest market, Arturia products are distinguished by the solutions they bring to musicians as well as their hip designs and attractive prices. In recent years Arturia has benefited from the music world’s renewed interest in analog instruments, answering with a diverse selection of feature-rich yet affordable products.
Hot recent additions to the line include the MicroBrute SE, a “small but mighty” limited-edition pure analog synthesizer packed with mixable waveforms, a new sub oscillator design, the classic Steiner-Parker multimode filter, super-fast envelope, syncable LFO, step sequencer, and patchable mod matrix. The Arturia MiniBrute couples a 100% analog audio signal path with a VCO wave mixer, the Steiner-Parker filter, and numerous analog innovations such as the Metalizer, Ultrasaw, and Brute Factor. It also offers complete MIDI, CV, and USB connectivity. And for computer music creators, the iProphet is a virtual synth re-creation of Sequential Circuits’ classic Prophet.
Arturia’s KeyLab series of “hybrid” keyboards, available in 49-, 61-, and 88-note versions, combine the functions of a professional-grade MIDI controller with the company’s powerful Analog Lab software. The KeyLab 88 is packed with the 5,000 TAE synthesizer presets with adjustable filter cutoff, resonance, 2 ADSR envelopes, etc., but it can also be used as a universal MIDI controller, compatible with any third-party software and hardware. MIDI assignments can be customized for any software or hardware using the LED screen or the included MIDI Control Center software.
Arturia was born out of a friendship between two engineering students at France’s prestigious Grenoble Institute of Technology. Both were in the university’s orchestra—Frédéric Brun played violin, and Gilles Pommereuil was the conductor—and both shared a vision that technology could bring the joy of music creation to everyone. In 2003 they set out to re-create legendary analog synthesizers in digital format. Their first product, Storm, was an all-in-one virtual studio, allowing anyone to create music easily, for little money.
Arturia’s first software synth, the Moog Modular V, was critically acclaimed and became a great success, thanks in large part to TAE (True Anlog Emulation), an advanced proprietary technology facilitating accurate modeling of analog circuitry behavior on a personal computer. Developed by the company’s signal processing team, this technology has been employed to successfully re-create the sounds produced by many classic analog synthesizers. TAE continues to evolve as Arturia makes it more precise every year.
Origin, introduced in 2009, was an ambitious hardware synthesizer that has been called “Frankensynth,” “the holy grail of all synths,” and “the most advanced synthesizer ever” for offering a large collection of modules from the past and present that users can mix to create synthesizer patches of their own. In subsequent years, Arturia was among the industry’s first companies to explore the integration of native software and dedicated hardware. As always, Brun’s and Pommereuil’s ultimate goal was to give players a great musical experience at a reasonable cost through very limited complexity. It was realized in products such as Analog Experience the Factory, Spark Creative Drum Machine, and the MiniLab and KeyLab controllers.
Relentless innovation gave birth to the Brute line in 2012, which, rather than being aimed at re-creating classics synths of the past, presented a new look and voice, distinctly Arturia’s. “The MiniBrute,” says Brun, “instantly became a landmark in the industry...a tipping point that brought analog synths back and helped reinvent the product category.”
Arturia’s future goals, he adds, mirror its recent success: “creating great products, instruments that inspire and foster the creative workflow [always] at fair price to ensure that anyone can create and perform—because everyone is entitled to music.”
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