MATRIXSYNTH: Electromotive - The Story of ARP Instruments

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Electromotive - The Story of ARP Instruments

Published on Apr 11, 2020 Alex Ball

"Electromotive: The Story of ARP Instruments

Electromotive is the definitive documentary charting the rise and demise of one of the world’s most influential and pioneering synth companies. It dives deep into the world of ARP and their instruments, with fascinating insights from those involved, copious amounts of previously undocumented information, and then debunks many myths. A triumph, a true labour of love and essential viewing for any synth nerd.

Chris Macleod / GForce Software


This was a project that started in the spring of 2019 when I was loaned an ARP 2600. I knew little of the ARP story at the time, but having an amazing instrument to play with piqued my interest. Aware that Alan R Pearlman had passed only a couple of months earlier, I started looking into the articles and history and speaking to a couple of people about it on email. The way things unfolded from there is an entire story unto itself that I’ll probably tell in another video, but suffice to say I was staggered by the generosity, passion and kindness of countless people whose help meant that we were able to feature an amazing array of original instruments and interview many of the original people who were there (on and off camera).

Every single person who contributed to this film did it gratis so that you can enjoy this story free and without even having to sit through a single advert. Isn't that amazing?!

Dina Pearlman has been absolutely crucial to this project and has been industrious in opening doors for me this past year, to the point that we’ve joked she’s the patch chords between the modules. 

Please take a moment to check out the foundation and at the very least, give them a like, subscribe and comment of support.

The Alan R Pearlman Foundation"


  1. Alan Robert Pearlman? Wasn't his second first name Richard? An error like this in the first minute of a documentary? Oh, come on...

    In terms of synthesizers, it's not all things Robert, you know...

    1. That's interesting. I don't think I've ever seen his middle name before. It's always Alan R. Pearlman. Wikipedia has it as Robert but who knows where they got it.

    2. NY times has it as Robert as well:

      What's your source for Richard?

    3. And apparently the "Analog Days" book has him down as Alan Robert as well.

    4. One last reference from the AH list: "I first found it on his World War II draft registration, but it is even here on his findagrave page." It's Robert.

    5. Dear Anonymous,

      There were some posts going around the internet at some point that stated incorrectly that my father's middle name was Richard, but I can safely say that being his daughter for 58 years and having been a major consultant on the documentary, that I do know his correct name to be Alan Robert Pearlman.
      ~ Dina Pearlman / The Alan R. Pearlman Foundation



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