You dreamt of it; it’s here. Arturia has unveiled a beast of a flagship. More than just a 12-voice version, the PolyBrute 12 is a deep instrument with 3-mode poly aftertouch and MPE for expression and imaginative morphing and control.

This instrument isn’t compact, and it isn’t subtle. It’s a no-holds-barred, sprawling poly in the old mold – but with 2020s-style expressive control. The Brute character is there – 12 dB/Octave Steiner-Parker state-variable filter, plus 24dB/Oct lowpass ladder filter (the latter wen you don’t want to be quite too Brutish), and features like the Metalizer wavefolder.

But this PolyBrute is expressive in a way that sets it apart. Arturia has added a next-generation polyphonic aftertouch keybed that offers three different modes.

First, there’s classic monophonic aftertouch – when you just want this to be a normal synth keybed.

Then, there’s polyphonic aftertouch.

FullTouch mode gives you a full MPE keybed – all integrated with the synth engine.

The concept of FullTouch is, they’ve built modulation control via the full travel of the key, plus the ability to assign that expression per-preset. Combined with the ribbon controller and the return of the XYZ-sensing Morphée controller, and you have a wide range of controls you can map via the 12×32 modulation matrix.

12-voice polyphony, and expression you can map to every hand and finger, A/B morphing, and a 96-point matrix you can use to sequence, morph, and map, and you have the equivalent of a full synth studio in a single integrated instrument. (If that’s overwhelming from the hardware alone, there’s also the ability to work with PolyBrute Connect to edit and manage presets and integrate your work with your DAW of choice.)

Full specs:

  • Analog bi-timbral polyphonic synthesizer
  • Builds on Arturia’s past Brute series instruments
  • 12-voice polyphony with mono and unison modes available
  • 61-note Full Touch keybed, custom-engineered by Arturia
  • 5 aftertouch modes: Mono, Polyphonic, Full Touch, Full Touch Z, Full Touch Env
  • Morphée XYZ controller for preset morphing, expression control, and more
  • Wooden ribbon controller above keyboard
  • Two oscillators per-voice, plus sub oscillator and noise
  • PWM, Metalizer wavefolder, FM, hard sync, and more available
  • Two filters: 12dB/Oct state-variable Steiner filter and 24dB/Oct lowpass Ladder filter
  • 3 ADSR envelopes per voices
  • 3 LFOS per voice
  • 3 stereo effects slots with options for delays, reverbs, chorus, multi-mode drive, and more
  • Master EQ
  • 12×32 modulation matrix with 64 slots
  • 64-step polyphonic sequencer
  • Arpeggiator and Matrix Arpeggiator
  • 768 preset slots: 480 factory presetsSeamless morphing between two presets
  • Chord mode
  • Expression and pedal inputs
  • Stereo audio outputs
  • 5-pin MIDI In, Out, Thru
  • USB-B for computer connection

All of this runs about four grand, but that’s competitive with other flagship synths – and might be more affordable than what a modular rig or even expressive control + modules would cost. (I would however start to look at modules like the Black Corporation stuff in combination with Expressive E’s Osmose for another way to go – or Osmose on its own.)

Here’s the one video review you probably want:

And the official site:

Arturia PolyBrute 12

It’s available to order now:

If you buy something from a CDM link, we may earn a commission.

PolyBrute 12 Polyphonic Keyboard Synthesizer [Perfect Circuit]

Arturia PolyBrute 12 Polyphonic 12-voice Morphing Analog Synthesizer [Sweetwater]

Arturia PolyBrute 12 [Guitar Center]