5 things we like, erhm, love about the Arturia MicroFreak

Nov 20, 2022 | Review

Don’t let the size of the ‘Bird’ deceive you

We were so fortunate to design sounds for the Arturia MicroFreak since firmware 2.0 and on. At first glance you think “what is this?” but after playing with it and giving it some reasonable amount of time you can hopefully imagine how much we love this little ‘Bird’! Here are – just – 5 reasons why:

Cross modulation via the matrix

It is possible to cross modulate via the matrix. An easy way to set this up is by assigning via this simple setup in the matrix.

  • LFO to Pitch
  • CycEnv to LFO.rate
  • LFO to CycEnv.Amount

Adjust value to taste. In this way and when used subtly you can get some more interesting modulation than via the standard LFO.

Paraphonic mode <3

This mode lets you play the MicroFreak with up to four voices, but just with one filter and envelope. Unlike most other paraphonic synthesizers each voice can have its own amplitude level. It sounds beautiful with long sustained sounds especially when combined when cross modulating like mentioned earlier. Then add some reverb, for example with the excellent ValhallaDSP SuperMassive. Be sure to check out our ‘Earth & Stars’ expansion, with 136 free reverb patches for it, in our shop.

Unison mode

There are 2, 3 and 4 voice modes available.
Hold [Shift]+[Paraphonic] Button to get in the Unison Mode. Via Utility>Preset>Unison Count you can change the voice count. You can even detune the voices via ‘UnisonSpread’ from a couple of cents to a 5th, or even up to an octave, how cool is that?!

You are also able to modulate the ‘UnisonSpread’ by setting it up as a destination in the matrix. Here is how:
Hold one of the [Assign] buttons & press [Shift]+[Paraphonic] to set it up.

The arpeggiator and sequencer

These two are really ace, especially with the hold function, the 4 modulation lanes, spice&dice and custom sequence lengths they are incredible!

Oscillator type as destination

The oscillator type is available as a destination in the mod matrix. Together with this just mentioned arpeggiator and sequencer it can be very inspiring. With a slow retriggering S&H LFO you can retrigger this type randomly. Retriggering of the LFO is setup via Utility.


Be sure to check out the video for these tips and a bonus tip 🙂

More Information

For more information about the MicroFreak, visit the product page on the Arturia website: https://www.arturia.com/products/hardware-synths/microfreak/overview

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