Help me choose my first synthesizer... Grandmother or Minibrute 2S?

Modular Synth design and releases (Reaktor, SynthEdit, Tassman, etc.)
Tino Fiumara
KVRist
46 posts since 18 Feb, 2020

Post Tue Feb 18, 2020 1:00 pm

Hi guys, I'm planning to buy my first physical synthesizer, I have seen plenty of videos, read some opinions, etc... But I still can't decide, that's why I need your help. I'm a sample based Hip Hop producer (type''Tino Fiumara - Ayestaran'' on YouTube to get an idea of what I do) but I'm not close-minded when it comes to music styles and I'm getting a little bit tired of the monotony of sampling, so I'm leaning toward using more VSTi in the future and experimenting with synthesis too.

I'm not a complete novice in synthesis, I studied the basis at sound technology school and I have used the Arturia V Collection a few times. I know how to make some chords but I'm not a virtuoso with the keys either, that's why I prefer my first synth to be monophonic and semi-modular to learn more about synthesis and then in the future buy a polyphonic one (but that's another post).

I'm not willing to expend more than 1000 euros on my first synth either, so these are some of the options that I checked: Korg MS-20 Mini, Arturia MiniBrute 2S, Moog Grandmother, Mother 32, Novation Bass Station 2 and Roland SE-02.

Now, the Grandmother and the Minibrute 2S are the ones that I liked the most, but I'm conflicted and I want to spend my money right. On one hand, the GM has a better sound, better build quality, is semi-modular and even though it's relatively new, looking into the future seems to have more of a ''classic status'' value, but it's more expensive.

On the other hand, the MB2S is cheaper, and as far as I have read, is more flexible when it comes to sound design...? Like it has more options...? I don't know, it has more knobs, more patch ports and more capabilities when it comes to eurorack. The sound is not bad and the build quality doesn't seem bad either, but you can't compare it with GM in those aspects.

Which one is the most balanced/complete in terms of sound quality, build quality, flexibility, etc...?

Thanks.

PD: I forgot to mention that I'm not a live performer, I'm gonna work at my studio/bedroom mainly. Probably will connect it to my DAW. I also have a Novation 49 SL MK3, so a keyboard is not an important aspect for me on a synthesizer.

deastman
KVRAF
7403 posts since 7 Aug, 2003 from San Francisco Bay Area

Re: Help me choose my first synthesizer... Grandmother or Minibrute 2S?

Post Tue Feb 18, 2020 1:10 pm

I have the MiniBrute 2s (and an original MiniBrute). I personally like the sound, and it has a lot more functionality than the Grandmother. Having said that, I think it’s a better plan to go with whatever instrument you prefer the sound of, rather than the one with the most bells and whistles.
Incomplete list of my gear: 1/8" audio input jack.

chk071
KVRAF
24090 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Re: Help me choose my first synthesizer... Grandmother or Minibrute 2S?

Post Tue Feb 18, 2020 1:26 pm

Yep. And definitely demo both synths before buying... I think they sound quite different.
Plugins and a DAW. On a operating system. Which runs on a computer.

Tino Fiumara
KVRist
46 posts since 18 Feb, 2020

Re: Help me choose my first synthesizer... Grandmother or Minibrute 2S?

Post Tue Feb 18, 2020 1:48 pm

deastman wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 1:10 pm
I have the MiniBrute 2s (and an original MiniBrute). I personally like the sound, and it has a lot more functionality than the Grandmother. Having said that, I think it’s a better plan to go with whatever instrument you prefer the sound of, rather than the one with the most bells and whistles.
Thanks for your opinion. I wish I could buy both, because both are very interesting hardwares.

I'm planning to do hip hop, funk and soulful beats with the synthesizer and combine it with samples, vsti libraries, etc. But maybe in the future I will go for other music genres.

Tino Fiumara
KVRist
46 posts since 18 Feb, 2020

Re: Help me choose my first synthesizer... Grandmother or Minibrute 2S?

Post Tue Feb 18, 2020 1:49 pm

chk071 wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 1:26 pm
Yep. And definitely demo both synths before buying... I think they sound quite different.
Thanks for your opinion. I'll love to try them both in person.

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thecontrolcentre
KVRAF
27438 posts since 27 Jul, 2005 from the wilds of wanny

Re: Help me choose my first synthesizer... Grandmother or Minibrute 2S?

Post Tue Feb 18, 2020 2:08 pm

Unless the sequencer is important to you I would say go for the Grandmother (if you like the sound) ... a mate of mine has one and it sounds great to me, and the semi-modular nature of it and spring reverb tank are appealing. I have a Microbrute and like it a lot, but haven't tried the Minibrute 2S (the demos sound pretty good tho). Either synth will make you happy I'm sure :)

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foosnark
KVRAF
5192 posts since 9 Jan, 2003 from Saint Louis MO

Re: Help me choose my first synthesizer... Grandmother or Minibrute 2S?

Post Wed Feb 19, 2020 9:10 am

deastman wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 1:10 pm
I think it’s a better plan to go with whatever instrument you prefer the sound of, rather than the one with the most bells and whistles.
I agree with that.

I owned a Microbrute and I loved it, but I've never tried the Minibrute 2. I played a Grandmother for a few minutes at Knobcon and it felt and sounded really good to me. I'd personally go for the Grandmother.

They're both the sorts of synths where you can get more out of them than it seems like on the surface, once you get to know them (and synthesis in general), and neither would be a bad choice.

DJMaytag
KVRist
450 posts since 15 Dec, 2012 from Waunakee, Wiscompton

Re: Help me choose my first synthesizer... Grandmother or Minibrute 2S?

Post Mon Mar 09, 2020 7:39 pm

foosnark wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 9:10 am
I owned a Microbrute and I loved it, but I've never tried the Minibrute 2. I played a Grandmother for a few minutes at Knobcon and it felt and sounded really good to me. I'd personally go for the Grandmother.
I was lucky to get to try the Matriarch at Moogfest last year, and that is SUCH an amazing synth. In a lot of ways, it’s like getting 4x Grandmothers in one box. Definitely something to look into
If you like the Grandmother.

Good to see mention of Knobcon. If anyone is within driving distance of the Chicago area, it’s definitely a great show to check out. LOTS of cool gear and the ability to try things out AND talk to the reps instead of a GC/store salesman is really nice. I’ve gone each of the past 4 years and I’m likely getting a booth to display some stuff I have for sale this year (I do vintage synth repair & sales, plus build stuff like RE-303’s and Eurorack modules).

Back to the OP: in theory, I should want the Minibrute 2S. I have a pair of RackBrute 6U’s that could pair up with the 2S nicely, but there’s a level of “not so intuitive” with the 2S I can’t wrap my head around. The sound is just OK, but I know the YT videos show some cool things being done with it. I guess I have enough stuff to learn as it is, so I tend to shy away from stuff that’s not very intuitive. I love hardware because of its ease of use. If I want sheer power... that’s what VST’s are for.

I’d say go for a Moog, but I have a personal connection to that company, so I’m a bit biased in my desire to see them supported. That said, I love my Arturia SEM V, Jup8V, RackBrutes, Keystep, & DrumBrute Impact, so I’m quite the fan of Arturia stuff too.

Hope that was somewhat helpful! :)
Reason 10 | ABL3 | RE-303 | Eurorack modular | Roland Juno-106, JP-8000, JX-10, & TR-606 | Moog Minimoog | SCI Prophet-600 | OB Matrix-1000 | Korg MS-20M | Arturia RackBrute 6U (x2) & DrumBrute Impact | Yamaha TX-81Z | RME Digiface USB

Meffy
Skunk Mod
21314 posts since 10 Jun, 2004 from Pony Pasture

Re: Help me choose my first synthesizer... Grandmother or Minibrute 2S?

Post Mon Mar 09, 2020 7:51 pm

DJMaytag wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 7:39 pm
I was lucky to get to try the Matriarch at Moogfest last year, and that is SUCH an amazing synth.
Envy rays are beaming out of my eyes. Lucky duck!

I'm a Moog nut myself, but the styles of music I favor are pure electronic, rock, classical, jazz, like that. Love old-school soul and funk. I enjoy, and have been influenced by, hip-hop's complex rhythms but am far from an expert. "Try both" is certainly the best route.

Tino, whichever you pick you'll end up with a wonderful instrument.

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Distorted Horizon
KVRAF
3852 posts since 17 Jan, 2017 from Planet of cats

Re: Help me choose my first synthesizer... Grandmother or Minibrute 2S?

Post Tue Mar 10, 2020 12:26 am

Demo demo demo.. If you have a music store available, go there and play with everything they have (semi modular or not) and you'll quickly find the one for you.

kvotchin
KVRist
429 posts since 9 Aug, 2018

Re: Help me choose my first synthesizer... Grandmother or Minibrute 2S?

Post Tue Mar 10, 2020 2:30 am

The BS2, especially used, is amazing value. Add the relatively new AFX mode (free update), and it's killer.

In terms of raw sound, out of those, the GM is probably my favourite. Moog tends to be good for that.

Personally, I would consider picking up the BS2 and at least one other to complement it. You've easily got the money for that.

Oh, by the way, what hardware do you currently have?

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Distorted Horizon
KVRAF
3852 posts since 17 Jan, 2017 from Planet of cats

Re: Help me choose my first synthesizer... Grandmother or Minibrute 2S?

Post Tue Mar 10, 2020 3:45 am

I have BS2 too, and I can tell that you won't like it :lol:

It's a very good synth and definitely a workhorse.. But seems like you're after character and BS2 has none. It just does what it does and doesn't make a big number of it.

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ThomasHelzle
KVRAF
5447 posts since 9 Dec, 2008 from Berlin

Re: Help me choose my first synthesizer... Grandmother or Minibrute 2S?

Post Tue Mar 10, 2020 4:28 am

We settled on a Korg Minilogue XD in the end as our first analog+ synth here recently. Very versatile, affordable, great tone, very delicious filter, four voices, beautiful effects on board, Midi & USB both, 16 Step Sequencer, great Arpeggiator, very good build, beautiful design and the digital user oscillator makes it so much more versatile with many free and paid options available already.
The user effects also add a lot.

I know it isn't on your list, but maybe worth a look anyway :-)

Cheers,

Tom
"Out beyond the ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there." - Rumi
ScreenDream|Thomas Helzle 8) Twitter

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foosnark
KVRAF
5192 posts since 9 Jan, 2003 from Saint Louis MO

Re: Help me choose my first synthesizer... Grandmother or Minibrute 2S?

Post Tue Mar 10, 2020 6:07 am

DJMaytag wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 7:39 pm
I was lucky to get to try the Matriarch...
There was a Matriarch at Knobcon too, but I kept myself away from it because I didn't want to be heartbroken knowing that it was too far outside my budget. I could still theoretically make space for a Grandmother if I decided to go that way. :D

Robmobius
KVRAF
3524 posts since 10 Sep, 2010 from A shit hole (Ireland).

Re: Help me choose my first synthesizer... Grandmother or Minibrute 2S?

Post Tue Mar 10, 2020 6:51 am

I'm not a big moog fan but I love my Minibrute2.

It's solidly built, very easy to use and sounds very good... A great sound design tool also. You can't go wrong with one.
Last edited by Robmobius on Tue Mar 10, 2020 7:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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