December 2021 - 22

REVIEW
Arturia: MiniFuse 2
Light the fuse with this compact, streamlined interface
REVIEW BY ALEX HAWLEY
M
iniFuse represents a brand new line of interfaces from Arturia.
With a simplified feature set and affordable price points, they're
meant to serve as entry-level interfaces as well as basic portable
rigs. The objective: high-quality sound and the core features needed to
capture it. The line currently consists of two units: the 1x2 MiniFuse 1,
and the 2x2 MiniFuse 2 on review; according to plan, a 4x4 MiniFuse 4
will emerge in 2022. I've been a fan of Arturia interfaces ever since I had
the opportunity to record with the AudioFuse Studio (reviewed November
2020). I've been using the MiniFuse 2 as my primary interface for the
better part of a month, so let's dive in.
Overview
MiniFuse 2 is a bus-powered 24-bit /
192 kHz USB-C interface. It includes two
XLR combo jacks, 5-pin MIDI I/O, 1
monitor outputs, a 1/4
/4
"
" headphone output,
and an additional USB-A (250mA) slot.
The combo jacks accept mics, line-level
inputs and instrument-level inputs. The
gain knobs are backlit and go red upon
clipping. The front panel also features a
large monitor level control, a color-coded
output VU meter, and a monitor mix control
which balances direct inputs and USB
levels (the computer output). Direct input
monitoring is helpful if you're tracking into
a session that already has plugins and other
processing loaded up, allowing you to
monitor your inputs without latency.
It ships with a USB-C to A cable and
comes in black or white. I was sent the
white option, which feels right at home
in the Mac aesthetic (if that's your thing).
The housing is lightweight aluminum; it
feels durable-perfect for bus-powered
grab-and-go action.
22 RECORDING DECEMBER 2021
While not equipped with the flagship
DiscretePRO preamps found in the AudioFuse
line, the MiniFuse preamps still
boast impressive specs, such as 110dB
of dynamic range, equivalent input
noise (EIN) of -129dB, and a 56dB gain
range. These figures are very competitive
with other top interfaces in its class,
either matching or slightly edging out the
competition in nearly every category.
Mini Workflow
This interface is remarkably streamlined,
it's reliable, and it fosters the creative process.
It has everything you absolutely need
(yes, you do need the included additional
USB jack!) and nothing you don't. The
sound quality is superb; I found the preamps
to have very low noise, a clean and transparent
sound, and plenty of gain on tap for
most sources. It's worth mentioning that the
gain range is evenly distributed across the
dial; often with entry-level interfaces you'll
find what's called 'gain-bunching' where
the majority of (typically) required gain is
bunched together in the upper range of
the knob. [annoying, illogical on its face...
-Copy Ed.] This is certainly not the case
with MiniFuse 2-the ramp is smooth and
even throughout the range, bringing solid
precision to the workflow.
The MiniFuse Control Center is a software
companion mainly used for firmware
updates. You can also use it to toggle between
mic/line and instrument-level input
modes, and engage phantom power. I suppose
this would be a handy feature if the
unit isn't positioned close to your computer,
but the lack of gain control in that scenario
limits its potential in that case. It's best to
keep the unit close by for hands-on control.
There is an additional Loopback feature
if you need to record your computer
outputs into a DAW. This can be done
by navigating the audio system preferences
(outlined in the user guide).
Wait, there's more!
MiniFuse 2 comes bundled with one of
the most generous software collections
in its class. You get the Arturia Analog
Lab Intro (an awesome soft synth), an Arturia
FX Pack featuring four plugins from
the Arturia FX Collection 2 (reviewed
last month; this alone covers the price of
admission), Ableton Live Lite, Native Instruments
Guitar RIG 6 LE, a three-month
subscription to Auto-Tune Unlimited, and
a three-month subscription to Splice.
Wrap-Up
MiniFuse 2 is an easy-to-use and
great-sounding little box, and at $149 it's
an excellent deal for anyone who needs
a clean sound in a compact format along
with a comprehensive software package.
Price: $99 MiniFuse 1;
$149 MiniFuse 2
More from: arturia.com
http://www.arturia.com

December 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of December 2021

Fade In
Fast Forward
RECORDING’s 2021Holiday Buyer’s Guide
Arturia: MiniFuse 2
AKG: Ara Professional Two-Pattern USB Condenser Microphone
A day in the head of Still Woozy: Making modern pop and beyond
Austrian Audio: Hi-X15
Plugin Outlet: Black Rooster Audio OmniTec-67A
Inside the Box with Joe Albano: Free and Entry-level DAWs
ART: Project Series USB Pre IV Audio Interface
Plugin Outlet: Reverb Foundry Tai-Chi
Audeze: Euclid Closed-Back Planar Magnetic In-ear Monitors
Session Log: The AngelHeaded Hipster, Part 12 Mastering and Beyond: The Final Steps…
Genelec 8361A
Focusrite: Clarett+ 8 Pre
Inside the Studio with Mark Hornsby From the Studio to The Stage
Pioneer DJ VM-80 Active Monitor Speaker
Fade Out: Don’t Wait—Create!
December 2021 - Intro
December 2021 - Cover1
December 2021 - Cover2
December 2021 - 1
December 2021 - 2
December 2021 - 3
December 2021 - Fade In
December 2021 - 5
December 2021 - 6
December 2021 - 7
December 2021 - Fast Forward
December 2021 - 9
December 2021 - RECORDING’s 2021Holiday Buyer’s Guide
December 2021 - 11
December 2021 - 12
December 2021 - 13
December 2021 - 14
December 2021 - 15
December 2021 - 16
December 2021 - 17
December 2021 - 18
December 2021 - 19
December 2021 - 20
December 2021 - 21
December 2021 - Arturia: MiniFuse 2
December 2021 - 23
December 2021 - AKG: Ara Professional Two-Pattern USB Condenser Microphone
December 2021 - 25
December 2021 - A day in the head of Still Woozy: Making modern pop and beyond
December 2021 - 27
December 2021 - 28
December 2021 - 29
December 2021 - 30
December 2021 - 31
December 2021 - 32
December 2021 - 33
December 2021 - 34
December 2021 - 35
December 2021 - 36
December 2021 - 37
December 2021 - Austrian Audio: Hi-X15
December 2021 - 39
December 2021 - Plugin Outlet: Black Rooster Audio OmniTec-67A
December 2021 - 41
December 2021 - Inside the Box with Joe Albano: Free and Entry-level DAWs
December 2021 - 43
December 2021 - 44
December 2021 - 45
December 2021 - ART: Project Series USB Pre IV Audio Interface
December 2021 - 47
December 2021 - Plugin Outlet: Reverb Foundry Tai-Chi
December 2021 - 49
December 2021 - Audeze: Euclid Closed-Back Planar Magnetic In-ear Monitors
December 2021 - 51
December 2021 - Session Log: The AngelHeaded Hipster, Part 12 Mastering and Beyond: The Final Steps…
December 2021 - 53
December 2021 - 54
December 2021 - 55
December 2021 - Genelec 8361A
December 2021 - 57
December 2021 - Focusrite: Clarett+ 8 Pre
December 2021 - 59
December 2021 - Inside the Studio with Mark Hornsby From the Studio to The Stage
December 2021 - 61
December 2021 - Pioneer DJ VM-80 Active Monitor Speaker
December 2021 - 63
December 2021 - 64
December 2021 - 65
December 2021 - 66
December 2021 - 67
December 2021 - 68
December 2021 - 69
December 2021 - 70
December 2021 - 71
December 2021 - Fade Out: Don’t Wait—Create!
December 2021 - Cover3
December 2021 - Cover4
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