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Sounds and Presets: Hands-On With Arturia, Moog and ARP


Inspired by Arturia’s MiniBrute V and the original’s lack of presets, I decided to pick some great patch sheets to encourage your hands-on sound design.

When I was reviewing Arturia’s latest software synthesizer, the MiniBrute V, it reminded me of the days when synths had no preset memories and the only way to share sounds was to create patch sheets. These sheets were the patch memories of old. We used to hand draw them, synth outlines and all.

Even if you’re copying someone else’s patch sheet, it is a very rewarding experience to create a sound from scratch. In doing so, you learn how each parameter shapes a sound. You begin to understand how that particular synthesizer works.

So I have gathered up some patch sheets from various places. Each can be used on the original hardware or software versions. Resist the temptation to flick through factory presets and get to know your instrument by using your hands, eyes and ears. Happy patching!

Arturia MiniBrute 2/2S Cook Book

As I mentioned earlier, when writing my review of the excellent MiniBrute V plugin, I was reminded that the original hardware had no patch memories. To those of you who dabble in the world of modular and Eurorack, this is nothing new. But until the Prophet 5 arrived in 1978, most of us had to take Polaroids or just use good, old-fashioned pen and paper.

To help get original MiniBrute 2 owners started, Arturia published a ‘Cook Book’ with all the parameter settings laid out in pictorial form. It was a call back to the days when manuals for synths like Roland’s SH-101 had drawings of the front panel in the rear.

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Arturia MiniBrute 2

One huge advantage that the MiniBrute 2/2S has over its previous iteration is the inclusion of a patch bay. This makes the synth a true semi-modular powerhouse. Whether you use it standalone, or hooked up to a Eurorack set-up, it’s a real analogue powerhouse.

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Whilst the Arturia ‘Cook Book’ is for the MiniBrute 2 and 2S, and many patches use the patch bay area, much of it will still be relevant for the original hardware and its new software sibling. Give it a try and see what you come up with!

Moog Music Minimoog Model D Patch Sheets

Ah, the Minimoog Model D. That most revered of synthesizers. The perfect distillation of the rudiments of electronic synthesis. Bereft of patch memories, writing down patch settings was de rigueur for Minimoog users.

Of course, many Model D players simply retained the information in their heads. Some even committed sacrilege by marking positions with liquid paper or pieces of masking tape. But this was of no use to man nor beast when it came to sharing. Huzzah for patch sheets!

Bob Moog Foundation raffle Minimoog
Moog Minimoog Model D · Source: Bob Moog Foundation

Lurking towards the back of the latest Minimoog Model D user manual, on page 54 to be precise, are a healthy number of Minimoog patch sheets. These can be used on the hardware or even the software version, such is the universal compatibility of the printed page! You could even use them on your hardware or software clone!

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A little bit of Googling might also yield some more vintage patch sheets, such as the ones I found at SynthZone.com, credited to a now defunct website called Old School Sound. These are clearly copies of some original Minimoog patch sheets. Check them out here.

ARP Odyssey Patch Sheets

Held in the same high regard as Bob Moog’s breakthrough synth, Alan R Pearlman’s legendary Odyssey is another one of the all-time great synths. It too had a similarly simple interface that was capable of making the internals do amazing things.

And just like the Model D, it has been brought back to life in recent years. Be it through KORG’s meticulous recreations in hardware and software (including an iOS version), or Behringer’s hardware ‘clone’, the Odyssey sound lives on to this very day. And it is to the current arbiter’s of ARP’s legacy we turn to for this final set of patch sheets.

ARP Odyssey
ARP Odyssey · Source: Matrix Synth

KORG has done an amazing job of delivering Alan’s legacy to a new generation of synthesists. Through both their hardware and software versions, it is possible to have that unique instrument in your hands, with reliable components and a useful warranty!

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Supporting these efforts is an ARP Odyssey patch book containing 100 newly designed sounds. KORG have used their iOS recreation for the screenshots. The universal nature of the design means these sounds can be applied to the hardware identically.

And if you own GForce Software’s incredible Oddity 3 plugin, why not try these sounds there too?

In Conclusion

I hope you have enjoyed this little nostalgia trip into how patches and programs were disseminated back in the day. But most of all, I hope it has inspired you to get hands-on with your synths.

The beauty of these sheets is that, even if you don’t own the instruments they were created to support, you can use the information contained therein and apply it to almost any equivalent synth that uses subtractive analogue synthesis.

If you know of other historical patch sheet content, why not tell us about it in the comments below. Happy patching!

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John Smith

My John Smith is a seasoned technology writer with a passion for unraveling the complexities of the digital world. With a background in computer science and a keen interest in emerging trends, John has become a sought-after voice in translating intricate technological concepts into accessible and engaging articles.

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