“A magnificent synth and worth the large outlay if you make the most of the year's All Access content”: Minimal Audio Current review

Deftly side-stepping the subscription saga, we spent some quality time with Minimal Audio’s dexterous flagship. Here’s our findings…

  • £170
  • €199
  • $199
Minimal Audio Current
(Image: © Minimal Audio)

MusicRadar Verdict

Current is powerful, flexible and expandable. It’s expensive for a one-off but that year’s free All Access pass might just get you your money back and some.


  • +

    Very powerful synth engines.

  • +

    Top-notch effects rack.

  • +

    Practical and flexible modulation.

  • +

    Easy to use.


  • -

    A little too ‘EDM’ on occasion.

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Minimal Audio Current: What is it?

At a Glance

macOS: 10.9 and higher
Windows: 10 and higher
Format: 64-bit AAX, AU, VST2, VST3
Buy at Plugin Boutique

Minimal Audio’s Current combines a powerful synth with a cloud-based ecosphere. You can upload samples, presets and wavetables into it from a constantly updated cloud via its Stream tab, and you also get access to Minimal Audio’s excellent roster of effects to help you shape the tones you already own.

Whether this is a future model for all-in-one hub-type synths is to be decided, but it’s fair to say that the model that Minimal Audio originally intended – a subscription-only one – was not met with warm approval by the synth community. So, now you can buy Current outright for the not-inconsiderable $199 (which grants you access to the All Access cloud for a year) or you can still subscribe.

Minimal Audio Current

(Image credit: Minimal Audio)

Subscription or perpetual licence?

If you go down the perpetual licence route, you get Current plus its integrated effects rack. Current has more than 340 presets, 180+ wavetables and over 160 sounds. The year’s All Access that is thrown in offers as many extras as you wish for from the current Current cloud; that’s sounds, wavetables and presets. If you opt for a $15/month subscription, you get Current plus the All Access account and all of the effects to use as individual plugins. 

This is actually a better deal than that might sound, as Minimal Audio’s effects are all excellent – in fact the company made its name on its exceptionally creative plugins before branching into the synth world with Current. Finally on the subscription model is a yearly subscription. This gives you the All Access subscription but only costs $10/month (as a one-off payment of $120) and also gets you a $60 store credit bonus… presumably to buy other MA plugins, since the other content is free under the subscription. 

Minimal Audio Current

(Image credit: Minimal Audio)

Minimal Audio Current: Performance and verdict

Current is, at heart, a hugely powerful synth, before you even get to the subscription extras. You get two wavetable engines, a granular oscillator, plus an additive sub oscillator and sampler at its core, and a couple of multimode filters that can be run in series or parallel.

Also consider...


(Image credit: Various)

Output Arcade
A very different beast but an instrument/sampler also with an expanding library of content.

Kilohearts Phase Plant
Another different concept, but Phase Plant and Current certainly have a similar feel and vibe.

The modulation section is particularly powerful and easy to use. You get a standard amp envelope but then a further nine slots to play with. Each can be selected as an envelope, LFO, curve or follower modulator, plus you also get a set of six keyboard modulators to the right of these. Modulation is simplicity in itself; simply drag the circle from the modulation slot over to any available purple circle next to another destination, and modulation will take place from there.

With the virtual keyboard enabled at the bottom, using the bottom left on/off button you also get arpeggiator and chord generation options which are both fully featured, and each comes with a great set of presets to quickly get you going. You can also lock these to the key of your project with a dial on the bottom right.

As good as the modulation area is, it’s the effects section that wins the deal. You get nine slots and eight effects to choose from, but these are not just bundled effects that you’ll find in many synths, but fully-formed MA effects that have won awards by themselves. These include the Rift distortion/multi-effect, Swarm reverb, Cluster Delay and Morph EQ. Minimal Audio says that further effects (including the recently released Flex Chorus) will be added as and when they are ready. These effects are a highlight of Current, so much so that we’d have loved the option to lock an effects setup that you create and load wavetables/presets into it, rather than a new preset bringing in its own effects in.

As good as the modulation area is, it’s the effects section that wins the deal and is a highlight of Current

The next tab is Stream, and where you access the cloud of extra content which is free for a year on a perpetual license, so the temptation would be to fill your boots in that first 12 months. You get three main tabs of content to search through (Presets, Wavetables and Sounds) and each has a great search system via six main categories and then sub categories.

Audition each one and once you’re happy, load in a Wavetable into Osc A or B, a sound into the Granular synth or sampler, or preset into a preset folder. It’s incredibly easy to do – which you might expect given that this will eventually be paid-for content once your year is up. 

Current fun

All of the fuss about perpetual licences and subscriptions has detracted attention away from how powerful a synth Current is. The engines, modulation and effects alone make it a great sound design tool, and while the existing sounds seem to be geared more for the masses, there’s plenty to get your teeth into if a more experimental vibe is required. That’s where the superb effects enter their own.  When it comes down to it, Current is a magnificent synth and worth the large outlay if you really make the most of that initial year of All Access content. 

MusicRadar verdict: Current is powerful, flexible and expandable. It’s expensive for a one-off but that year’s free All Access pass might just get you your money back and some.

Minimal Audio Current: The web says

"Current is a highly flexible synth with well-designed sound sources and a superb effects section that makes it stand out from the competition."

Minimal Audio Current: Hands-on demos

Minimal Audio

Dash Glitch


Alckemy Neuro

Minimal Audio Current: Specifications

  • macOS 10.9 and higher, including native Apple silicon.
  • Windows 10 and higher.
  • Supports 64-bit AAX, AU, VST2, and/or VST3 formats.
  • CONTACT: Minimal Audio
  • BUY FROM Plugin Boutique
Andy Jones

Andy has been writing about music production and technology for 30 years having started out on Music Technology magazine back in 1992. He has edited the magazines Future Music, Keyboard Review, MusicTech and Computer Music, which he helped launch back in 1998. He owns way too many synthesizers.