It started with an offer.

Too good to be true?

While this sort of unboxing video is out of character for my YouTube channel, the offer seemed geniune enough. Arturia is indeed in France, and despite a lack of obvious errors, English didn’t appear to be her first language.

As for which product to choose, that was easy: their flagship synth, the $3199 PolyBrute.

I haven’t owned a hardware synthesizer since releasing my Depeche Mode tribute album in 2003, composed entirely on a Yamaha An1x (read about the making of the album here).

I’ve been perfectly content with software instruments like Omnisphere and Diva. They arguably sound just as good as any hardware, with none of the hassles.

As such, I hadn’t kept up with the world of hardware at all. Once I started imagining what I could do with a PolyBrute, I fell head-first down the rabbit hole that is synth YouTube.

My man BoBeats

Getting back to our offer, I replied in the affirmative and offered a couple of suggestions for alternative promotions. Specifically, I mentioned the giveaway I did with ROLI a couple of years back.

Those suggestions were disregarded:

An app?

I wondered why I’d need a catalog app when I could see all their products on the website. Maybe it included heretofore unannounced new releases? Or more likely, it omitted the pricey stuff.

Whatever. I told her to go ahead and send it to me.

I received a PDF with instructions to download a Windows-only installer, along with the criteria for the video:

Did you catch #3?

Why on earth would they want me to play a song on the guitar? I don’t even own a guitar!

I don’t own a Windows computer either, but my son does, so we connected over Discord and attempted to install the catalog.

It didn’t work. Something about the folder structure was off. We spent a solid 45 minutes attempting to install it from within different folders to no avail. I also had a couple of friends try it on their systems. Same thing.

At least it doesn’t appear to be malware.

Two hours later, the Dropbox link to the installer went bad. They probably realized it was broken and removed it.

I replied to ask if they had a Mac installer, and more importantly, why they wanted me to play the guitar.

I have yet to hear back from “Maria,” so I reached out to Arturia on Twitter.

More soon!

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    1. Ha! I totally didn’t, and neither did anyone I sent it to. Now I feel really gullible! I even checked to see if they launched a sale on the 20th.

  1. I’m enjoying reading about your process. Good content. I like the behind-the-scenes info.

    What I’m not enjoying is the realization that your Depeche Mode tribute was twenty years ago….pretty sure that was only like six years ago! Time flies. Glad we have your music!

    1. Thanks George! Maybe it feels fresher thanks to the 2020 reissue? But I can’t escape the fact that my son was born the year of the release and now he’s in college!

  2. This is brilliant — you’re lucky you didn’t get a virus though lol. My bet is this is either cheap overseas labor who doesn’t speak English, or you may in fact be interacting with an AI (Feb. 30th made me think that).

  3. Something doesn’t sound right to me and it’s probably not the VCF.
    We’ll wait a long time to see February 30. It seems a perfect way to launch malware.