I'm used only bunch of good VST before, i'm totally satisfied with them. But once i wanted to have a not virtual, a "real" instrument to have another workflow style, and, therefore, different paths thinking of creativity. Portability was a big criterion too.
After long researching of some variants, microfreak had becomes my choice. I had bunch of fears and skepticism about it, but price of the synth is a very tasty.
Also it's hard to estimate all possibilities with only dry sound. I was thinking, good additional effects will make the sound very awesome, but wasn't too sure. Sound demos, what i found in internet almost all was with dry sound or slightly slurred to me.
When i received and try it on my own- all good expectations were confirmed.
This little thing can a lot of things, but at first it's not so evident. It's really cool to play with it, i understood how to use it very quickly. In some ways It's not so easy, as using virtual instruments, but it's a lot more pleasant.
Microfreak has its own sound style, and this is awesome, because uniqueness is advantage. Some aspects, with comparison with some my VSTi's i have not so powerful, but microfreak has its own powers and possibilities, what i'm haven't before.
Microfreak does not have its own effects. Some patches obtaining good without it. But If use third party effects, sonic possibilities and power increasing a lot.
I'd advise to buy good effects with the synth, gear or plug-ins, at least one good reverb, this really worth it.
Sound of the synth is digital, and very quality. It's really sound better than some of my vsti's, sometimes even without additional effects.
Microfreak full of good sides of digital sound.
The synth have ability to create analog- style sounds, but i doubt, what they so cool, as true analog. Anyway the synth sounds a very cool in digital sonic style.
But filter here is analog. Some oscillator modes have features, what making filter not so important to use with them, but the filter is real cool, it's work smooth and sometimes making sound "warmer".
Modulation matrix is awesome. It's really easy, if get used to it, and give a lot of possibilities. You can even modulate amount of other modulations!
I love the keyboard. In some ways not so good as "traditional" keyboard, but i'm, as pianist, don't feel conservative negativity about this sensor decision, it's just different way to play.
For me it's comfortably and fun to use. And it's really expressive. I'm sure, this flat keys better, then cheap keys with bad velocity control or without it.
I don't very like a sequencer and arpeggiator, because i accustomed to DAW's with their surgical control of everything, but anyway seem's useful. But i really like a possibility of modulating something from sequencer/arpeggiator.
If you want affordable, little, fun and interesting digital synth- the Microfreak is a good decision, i think.
But if you want just only features, and you not obsessed about possession of real instrument, or about unwonted workflow; or you don't like digital sound- maybe it's can disappoint you.