MATRIXSYNTH: ARP 2600 | Happenstance

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

ARP 2600 | Happenstance

Published on Apr 16, 2019 Alex Ball

"The first ARP synth to ever appear on my channel, and not a bad place to start! This is a straight performance video rather than a demonstration or talk through, but the 2600 will appear again.

Huge thanks to Ian Livingstone for the loan of this rare instrument.

There were nine different iterations of the 2600 between 1971 and 1980 and this is the penultimate model, the 2601 v2. That puts it as having been built somewhere around 1977 - 1979.

If you don't know, the 2600 is a semi-modular monosynth with three oscillators. There's a normalled signal path that can be defeated with patch cables if required with various modulation possibilities, but you can setup loads of sounds without having to reach for the spaghetti.

I think the Roland System 700 is the only comparable synth from the era in that regard, but let me know if you can think of any others.

The 2600 is probably most famous for providing the voice and sounds of R2-D2. Hence the reference and recreation of the sounds in my video.

I also setup a snappy bass sound, ticking sequence and sequenced sample and hold thing. There's a singing lead sound, some chords (created by tuning the oscillators into triads), synth drums, loads of FX and textures etc. But the whole point (for me) is always making a piece of music, so hopefully it's enjoyable on that front.

The video also contains some footage from this Creative Commons video that tied-in nicely as the lady in the video was showing off a brand-new Star Wars t-shirt. This was probably filmed around the time this 2601 was in a factory being built."

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