The ARP 2600 is a semi-modular analog subtractive audio synthesizer, designed by Alan R. Pearlman and manufactured by his company, ARP Instruments, Inc. Unlike other modular systems of the time, which required modules to be purchased individually and wired by the user, the 2600 was semi-modular with a fixed selection of basic synthesizer components internally pre-wired. The 2600 was thus ideal for musicians new to synthesis due to its ability to be operated either with or without patchcords, and was, upon its initial release, heavily marketed to high schools, universities, and other educational facilities.
Three basic versions of the ARP 2600 were built during ARP's lifetime. The first, dubbed the "Blue Marvin", housed in a light blue/grey metal case, was assembled in a small facility on Kenneth Street in Newton Highlands, MA during ARP's infancy as a company. They were often mistakenly referred to as "Blue Meanies," but "Marvin" is the correct name as named after Arp's then CFO Marvin Cohen. Later ARP 2600s were built in a vinyl covered wood case and contained an imitation of Bob Moog's infamous 4-pole "ladder" VCF, later the subject of an infamous, threatened (though ultimately nonexistent) lawsuit. Finally, in order to fit in with the black/orange theme of ARP's other synthesizers, the ARP 2600s were manufactured with orange labels over a black aluminum panel. Little known is that the mid-production grey 2600 models featured many changes amongst themselves. Various panel lettering and circuitry changes provided not one, but at least three different grey panel models.
Alan R. Pearlman was just as innovative as a salesman as a synthesizer designer, as he provided synthesizers to famous musicians, namely Edgar Winter, Pete Townshend, Stevie Wonder, and Herbie Hancock, for their celebrity endorsements.
The enduring popularity of the ARP 2600 has led to software companies such as Arturia and Way Out Ware releasing software emulations for use with modern music equipment such as MIDI devices and computer sequencers. Although technology has progressed to the point where the ARP 2600 can be emulated fairly accurately, the idiosyncrasies of analog circuitry make an exact digital replica arguably impossible.
Hands on - Sound - Perfect synthesis. Create fresh and original music by editing sounds using a software synthesiser.
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