ARP 2600

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ARP 2600
Steve Fisk's ARP 2600 (Without keyboard)
Steve Fisk's ARP 2600 (Without keyboard)
Manufactured by ARP Instruments, Inc.
Dates 1971-81
Technical specifications
Polyphony Monophonic
Timbrality Monotimbral
Oscillator 3
LFO 1
Synthesis type Analog Subtractive
Filter 24 dB/octave low-pass (1)
Attenuator ADSR and AR
Aftertouch None
Velocity sensitive None
Memory None
Effects Spring reverberator
Input/output
Keyboard 49
External control CV/Gate

The ARP 2600 is a semi-modular analog subtractive audio synthesizer, designed by Alan R. Pearlman with Dennis Colin, and manufactured by his company, ARP Instruments, Inc. as the follow-on version of the ARP 2500. 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 patch cords, 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", was housed in a light blue/grey metal case with a keyboard that mated to the synthesizer, and was assembled in a small facility on Kenneth Street in Newton Highlands, Massachusetts, 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-CEO Marvin Cohen. Later ARP 2600s used vinyl covered wood construction with metal corners for both the synthesizer and keyboard making it a more durable and portable instrument. Early versions contained an imitation of Robert Moog's famous 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. The mid-production grey 2600 models featured many changes amongst themselves. Changes in circuitry and panel lettering provided at least three different grey panel models.

Alan R. Pearlman was just as innovative as a salesman as a synthesizer designer. He provided synthesizers to well-known musicians, such as Edgar Winter, Pete Townshend, Stevie Wonder, and Herbie Hancock, each in exchange for his endorsement as a professional user.

The enduring popularity of the ARP 2600 has led software companies such as Arturia and Way Out Ware to release software emulations for use with modern music equipment, such as MIDI devices and computer sequencers.

An ARP 2600 was used to create the voice of R2-D2 in the Star Wars movies.[1]

Gallery[edit]

Notable players[edit]

The following is a partial list of artists and musical groups who have used the ARP 2600:

References[edit]

External links[edit]

YouTube links[edit]