If you’ve been looking to break into the rapidly expanding world of modular Eurorack synths, but are understandably intimidated by where to start, Arturia is aiming to give you a helping hand.
Their new line of RackBrute Eurorack cases gives you an affordable, adjustable, and portable housing system to start building your snaking maze of comb resonators, CV/gate sequencers, and multi timbral sample modules. You can get either a 3U unit, or go big and get the 6U, both of which include a built-in +12V, -12V and +5V power module.
A Eurorack case itself is not necessarily anything new or exciting, but Arturia has implemented some key design logistics with the “Link fixture” system, working in the modular concept into the case itself. The basic silver base system has 3 arms, one as a base, and two with quick and easy thumb screws, letting you, add more racks, stack them together, combine them in different orientations and even attach the new MiniBrute 2 and MiniBrute 2S synths, which also launched along with the RackBrute. A really clutch element is the two fold-out red plastic spacers that keep enough distance between the two Eurorack cases when folded together in portable mode, so that you can keep all your patch cables in place when you move it. Which will do away with the ingenious hack of taking a photo of your set up before you break it down, and then just re-patching and setting controls with a cell phone photo reference.
As mentioned, along with the RackBrute, the MiniBrute 2 and MiniBrute 2S tagged along for the release. Both integrate easily into the Link Fixture system, so depending on your needs, Arturia gives you options. Both units feature the same synthesis section, complete with patch bay to patch into itself, or into the rest of your Eurorack. From there, the main difference between them is that the MiniBrute 2 is built for live performance, with a 2 octave keyboard and mod wheels, and the 2S is all about sequencing.
Considering the application of the RackBrute as a Eurorack platform, most people wanting to really embrace the boutique Eurorack lifestyle will probably opt for the sequencer-heavy 2S. It digs deeper into user customization, the arguably most fun feature of which being that you can disconnect the velocity and pressure mini tracks and run them independently, which really opens up the gate to let you get weird.
That being said, both can handle either job, they’re just more “specialized” in their respective fields. The MiniBrute 2 has a simple sequencer in it, letting you record, tie note together, incorporate rests and then overlay onto your recorded sequence, but that’s about it. Where with the 2S, you can play live with the velocity and pressure sensitive pads and octave control, but you’re better off connecting an external midi keyboard.