Quick tips: changing oscillators while live jamming with Arturia MicroFreak

Arturia’s pint-sized weirdo is full of tricks. One of the best ways to get maximum freak-age is to make use of its multiple oscillator types, which is why this tip comes in especially handy.

YouTuber VolcaNiced, a name that suggests a fan of other little gadgets we love, comes in with this quick-and-dirty tip, live jam, and accompanying download.

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It’s about changing the oscillator type during the jam. Yes you say now, it’s clear that it works. But have you used it actively? Or did you automate it or what’s even better: Did you set it with the Cycling Envelope or the LFO via the matrix? The good thing about this method is that you can fine-tune which oscillators you want to switch back and forth between. Use the Square Wave LFO for this. Set it to 1/2 or 1/1 so that the switch doesn’t happen too often. Of course you can also set it higher with rhythmic jams to create a kind of flow.

Free Download of my MicroFreak Patch Pack “From the Heart” at Gumroad: https://gum.co/KqyQnr

So yeah, the Cycling Envelope and LFO both allow you to modulate oscillator type – just set that in the matrix as a modulation target. There are a lot of other tricks involving modulation targets, too – reason to read the manual, even – like assigning Press as source for the envelope sustain, or pressure to glide, or unison spread as modulation target.

Also in that video, the Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator PO-33 (the micro sampler) plus a GFI System Specular Reverb v3. (I think that last one is now replaced by the Specular Tempus?)

It’s good fun. I love that little thing; it’s really like having a tiny modular rig squashed into a keyboard, with a matrix instead of cables. And even in a modular or semi-modular rig (or anything with some CV), you get a useful bundle of oscillators and modulation to route into other stuff. I just would do as this person does and add some outboard effects so it isn’t too dry, but at this price, that’s an easy investment to add on.