When you see the letter "S" appended to the name or model number of a product, you probably think that it's a slightly beefed-up version with a few more features or better specs -- the past several Apple iPhone iterations are the most obvious example. Things are a little different in the case of the MiniBrute 2S, which follows yesterday's announcement of the Minibrute 2.
The MiniBrute 2S shares the same analog, monophonic sound engine with the MB2: two oscillators, waveform mixing, two LFOs, ADSR and AD envelopes, Brute factor (a feedback loop that essentially creates analog chaos), and more. But it swaps out the black-and-white keys for a sequencer interface with 16 pads and 16 knobs, appealing to those who relate to synths from more of a programming perspective and less of a "keyboard player" one. (As a Gen-Xer who came up wanting to be Thomas Dolby, I have feelings about that, but that's what op-ed pieces are for.) To be clear, the "straight" MB2 has a step sequencer, with notes entered from the keyboard, but the one on the MB2S is more powerful. A sequence can have three layers, and the MB2S can save up to 64 of them as compared with the MB2's eight. Chaining sequences into lengthier songs is also supported.
As on the MB2, the 48-point patch bay supports extensive integration with modular synth gear, as well as letting you alter the synth's own internal signal path. (To be clear, you don't need to patch either the MB2 or MB2S to make sounds; they're "semi-modular" synths in the sense that there's a hardwired, default signal path.)
On the left below is the official teaser video. On the right is a full overview of the MiniBrute 2S by that pesky loopop guy, who as with the MB2 seems to have his hands on one the day of the release:
The MiniBrute 2S looks to be a fantastic synth for people who want more sequencing power than the standard MB2, one of the most innovative monosynth engines on the planet, and patching capabilities that could make it the command center of an existing modular rig. Pricing is set at US $649 and 649 euros. And they tell us they have yet something else up their sleeves for tomorrow, January 17. So stay tuned!