The Arturia Minifuse 2 is a compact audio interface rapidly gaining recognition among podcasters, especially musicians. Despite its modest size and price, this device is a powerhouse of features and capabilities that can enhance the audio experience for both novices and professionals alike.
While the Minifuse 2 is an excellent choice for beginners, it is also a reliable backup for seasoned professionals. Its sleek design, sturdy build, and exceptional audio quality make it a worthy investment for any music enthusiast.
In the following Arturia Minifuse 2 review, we delve deeper into this amazing audio interface’s features, performance, and overall value. Whether you are an experienced podcaster or an aspiring music producer, this review will provide a comprehensive understanding of why the Arturia Minifuse 2 is a standout choice in the audio interface market.
At a Glance
The Arturia Minifuse 2 is a compact audio interface that embodies quality and innovation. Its sleek, sturdy, user-friendly design features two combo 1/4”-XLR inputs, a +48V phantom power switch, and direct monitoring capability.
The Minifuse 2 is bus-powered, ensuring portability and ease of use. It offers a USB port Type C connection for fast data transfer and a USB Type-A hub for connecting additional devices.
With its high-quality preamps and 24-bit/192 kHz converters, the Minifuse 2 delivers studio-quality sound, making it a versatile tool for any audio enthusiast.
Another outstanding feature of the Minifuse 2 is the Loopback function, which captures voiceovers alongside in-app or in-game audio for quality content in one take.
Design and Build Quality
Arturia had musicians in mind when designing this interface, as it exudes durability, practicality, and elegance.
At first glance, the Arturia Minifuse 2 immediately stands out with its rugged metal casing, promising an impressive build quality that should withstand the rigors of heavy use.
The plastic front and rear panels are elegantly designed and well-labeled. The overall aesthetics of this audio interface are simple but pleasant looking, with backlit buttons adding a touch of sophistication that would make it look right at home in any music or streaming setup.
It’s a no-frills, high-quality device that packs a punch in its petite frame. It’s available in black and white models, allowing musicians to choose the one that best fits their studio aesthetic.
The unit is rather slim and compact, making it easy to carry and perfectly suited for mobile recording scenarios.
Input / Output Connections and Connectivity
Arturia certainly didn’t skimp on connectivity when it comes to the Minifuse 2. With two analog inputs, MIDI I/Os, and a headphone output, this audio interface is ready to connect various instruments and devices.
The Minifuse 2 has a USB-C bus-powered port, which supports USB 2.0, ensuring fast and reliable data transfer to your PC or Mac. It’s worth noting that, even though this is not officially mentioned on Arturia’s website, the Arturia Minifuse 2 (and other variants) can work with an iPad that has a Type C USB connection. However, be aware that this may deplete your iPad’s battery more rapidly. A USB cable from Type C to Type A is also included inside the package.
One of the unique features of the Arturia Minifus 2 is its USB hub, which can be used to connect additional devices such as an iLok, power a MIDI controller, or other USB devices requiring less than 250mA. This extra USB-A port is especially useful when your computer has limited USB ports.
The interface boasts two combo inputs (Mic/Inst/Line XLR-1/4”) with 48V power, allowing you to connect a variety of microphones and instruments. The instrument button allows you to switch between line and instrument levels when using the 1/4” input, providing flexibility for different recording scenarios.
The Minifuse 2 also features two balanced 1/4” monitor outputs on the back for your studio monitors and a 1/4” stereo headphone output on the front, giving you multiple options for monitoring your sound.
The Arturia MiniFuse 2 also has a unique Loopback Recording feature that simplifies recording any audio playing on your computer directly into your recording application. This eliminates the need for complex software workarounds, streamlining your workflow.
This feature operates through a pair of virtual inputs on the MiniFuse, which can capture any computer audio. This effectively broadens the range of sound sources that can be incorporated into your projects.
Many budget audio interfaces fail to deliver when it comes to sound quality, but the Arturia Minifuse 2 interface doesn’t compromise audio performance. Its wide dynamic range offers a crisp, clear, and accurate sound that rivals its competitors.
The Minifuse 2 is equipped with 24-bit/192 kHz converters, delivering a studio-quality performance that is a cut above the rest. To put this into perspective, CD-quality audio uses a sample rate of 44.1kHz, while some multimedia formats like games and films use 48kHz.
The Arturia Minifuse 2 also has high-quality preamps, on par with the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, in my opinion. It has a decent gain range of 56 dB with an incredible -129dB for its Equivalent Input Noise (EIN). This means you’ll get clean audio even when you fully crank up the gain, and there is barely any buzzing or hissing from the audio interface.
Audio Interface Controls
The Arturia Minifuse 2 has two gain control knobs beside the combo jacks on the front panel, each with an LED that doubles as an input metering indicator. The LED indicator provides real-time feedback on your signal condition by turning red when the audio is clipping.
As mentioned earlier, a button below each gain knob allows you to switch from mic-level input to instrument-level input for your electric or bass guitar.
The device also includes a button to activate 48V phantom power for both inputs. While this is generally sufficient, I wish it would have individual buttons for 48V for each input. This feature would be particularly useful in rare scenarios where one might want to use a high-quality condenser microphone and a passive ribbon microphone simultaneously on the audio interface.
Just be sure not to connect a ribbon microphone if you have phantom power turned on, as it might damage the ribbon element. However, we have recommendations for top-notch ribbon mics, one which is an active ribbon mic (the Sterling ST170) that can handle phantom power.
The front panel also houses a main monitor volume knob, giving you full control over the main output.
There is a monitoring mix control knob that allows you to adjust the mix between your input and system audio (PC, Mac, or iPad). Turning the knob all the way to the right lets you hear just the computer audio. However, as long as you mix in some of the audio input, it is essentially having direct monitoring turned on.
The ‘DIRECT MONO’ switch is below the mix knob that turns Input 1 and 2 into mono channels that send audio to both the left and right channels. If you have two inputs connected without activating the ‘DIRECT MONO’ button, it will record in stereo where audio from Input 1 will go to the left channel while audio from Input 2 will go to the right channel.
Lastly, there’s a dedicated volume knob for your headphones, ensuring your monitoring levels are always on point.
Arturia, a company with a rich history in creating affordable software and hardware synthesizers, has packed the Minifuse 2 with a comprehensive suite of applications that will have you making musical compositions in no time.
This includes the Minifuse Control Center, Ableton Live Lite, a streamlined version of the popular digital audio workstation (DAW), and Arturia’s Analog Lab and Arturia FX. You’ll also gain access to Native Instrument’s Guitar Rig 6 LE, and a 3-month free subscription to both Auto-Tune Unlimited and the Splice Creator Plan. Here’s a quick look at some of those great applications and plugins:
Minifuse Control Center
At the heart of the software package is the Minifuse Control Center. This simple platform allows you to update your firmware, monitor the input levels with a VU meter, switch from mic level to instrument level, and activate +48V.
Guitar Rig 6 LE
Guitar Rig 6 is a robust guitar amp simulator and multi-effects processor teeming with presets, amps, effects, cabinets, and modifiers for constructing intricate instrument effects chains. It provides a platform for you to experiment with new tones and effects, either as a plugin on your DAW or as a standalone application, without needing an amp or pedalboard setup.
The software offers a variety of studio tools and modifiers for advanced effects processing, including a low-frequency oscillator, step sequencer, and container, among others.
Whether seeking a clean, crunch, distortion, or lead tone, Guitar Rig 6 enables you to create your desired sound swiftly. It features modern and vintage amp simulators for electric guitar and bass, matched cabinets, control rooms, and a vast selection of different effects, including EQ, compression, reverbs and delays, various modulation effects, wah pedal effects, and more.
In fact, labeling it as merely a “Guitar Rig” is an understatement. It can be used for instruments beyond the guitar or bass, such as piano, keys, drums, synths, vocals, and more.
Guitar Rig 6 LE is a lite version of the Guitar Rig 6 Pro. You can explore the differences between them in this comparison chart.
Analog Lab Intro
Analog Lab Intro is a repository of vintage synthesizer sounds, offering an impressive 500 presets crafted by some of the best sound designers that use the 28 classic synth emulations from Arturia’s V Collection.
The Analog Lab shares similarities with Guitar Rig 6 in that it provides an extensive range of synth presets, while Guitar Rig 6 offers a variety of guitar effect patches.
While the prospect of navigating 500 presets may seem daunting, Arturia has implemented an intuitive browser for ease of use. Users can tag their preferred sounds for quick access and even compile a personalized playlist of favorite tones.
The synth presets in Analog Lab are created using various effects and modulations such as chorus, phaser, delay, reverb, compressor, distortion, etc, which can all be customized using control dials.
Similar to Guitar Rig 6, there are graphics for each effect that facilitate a more straightforward visualization of the effect chain. You can also stack the presets, which can significantly alter the sound, similar to mixing and matching different clothing items in your wardrobe for a unique look.
Analog Lab operates standalone and in VST/AU/AAX formats on both PC and Mac, making it a versatile addition to any music production setup.
The software bundle also includes four premium Arturia effects plugins, recreations of studio classics such as the Reverb Plate-140, the Pre-1973 preamp, Delay Tape-201, and the Chorus JUN-6. Each of these plugins boasts beautifully curated presets. It may be a surprise that these plugins would cost around $50 if purchased individually. However, they are included free of charge with the purchase of the Arturia Minifuse 2.
The Pre 1973 plugin is an emulation of the legendary British 1073 preamp. Many other cloned 1073 preamp plugins exist, but this one is particularly good. It offers a rich, vintage tone with analog distortion and sweet-sounding tone controls.
The Delay Tape-201 plugin is an authentic recreation of a space echo, ideal for use with drums, guitars, and synths. This tape delay allows you to introduce a spacious, reverberating echo to your sound, and even create otherworldly, haunting pitch changes in the delay.
Features include the ability to sync the tempo with your DAW project, enhance the stereo width of the audio, adjust the signal from dry to wet, and even apply some basic EQ to the sound.
The Chorus JUN-6 plugin emulates the beloved chorus effect from the iconic ’80s Juno synths. It delivers the warm, rich stereo width that made the original famous, with the simplest set of controls you could imagine. Despite having simple controls, this plugin pampers you with great presets so you wouldn’t need to meddle with the controls.
The Reverb Plate-140 plugin meticulously recreates the iconic EMT®️ 140 reverb and its vacuum tube preamp. This plugin delivers the resonant tones of vintage plate reverbs that have shaped countless iconic performances.
It offers a full-bodied studio plate reverb with a lush tail, ideal for enriching vocals and adding that sought-after spatial dimension to your mix. It sounds structural and is incredibly immersive, almost like being placed inside a manhole.
The plugin excels in creating a soundstage with precise instrument placement, allowing you to discern the exact location of each instrument in a three-dimensional space.
To sum up this Arturia Minifuse 2 review, for a budget price of $149.00, it’s hard to overlook the sheer value this audio interface provides. The combination of excellent build quality, impressive sound performance, and an abundant software bundle makes it a formidable player amongst other budget audio interfaces.
The Minifuse 2 is packed with features and functionality that cater to a range of needs, from recording your first song to adding professional flair to your home studio. Its sleek design, sturdy build, and exceptional audio quality make it a worthy investment for any music enthusiast.
Despite being a relatively new contender in the audio interface market, Arturia has put a lot of thought into the Minifuse 2. Whether you’re a veteran audio engineer or a budding musical producer, the Arturia Minifuse 2 has the features, sound, and value to make it a standout choice.
- A/D Resolution: up to 24-bit/192kHz
- Computer Connectivity: USB C bus powered & USB hub type A
- No. of channel: 2
- Number of Preamps: 2 x mic
- Gain range: 56dB
- Equivalent Input Noise (EIN): -129dB typical (A-weighted)
- 48V Phantom Power: Available
- Analog Inputs: 2 x Combination XLR/ TRS input for vocal or line input
- Analog Outputs: 2 x 1/4″ TRS output, Headphones: 1/4″ Headphone output,
- MIDI I/O: 1 x DIN 5-Pin Input / 1 x DIN 5-Pin Output
- 5-year warranty
- 1 x stereo virtual loopback channel for capturing computer audio
- 1 x headphone output with volume control and input/USB mix knob
- Additional USB-A Hub port
- 6-stage level meter
- Traditional 5-pin MIDI DIN I/O for synths, drum machines, and MIDI-enabled processors
- Software bundle: Ableton Live Lite, Analog Lab Intro, Arturia FX, Native Instruments Guitar Rig 6 LE, Splice Creator Plan, and a 3-month subscription to Auto-Tune
Arturia Minifuse 2