Bleep beep burble bwaap bwaap

A while ago majorzed pointed out this ARP 2600 emulator from a company called Arturia to me.

‘ARP’ stood for the company’s founder, Alan R Perlman, who was an alumnus of Worcester Polytechnic Institute. During the time I was at WPI, Perlman donated several synths to the school; and since the music department consisted of one and a half guys with not much interest in electronic music, but there was a physics professor who was interested and had some students working on projects involving building electronic music circuits, the donated synths ended up in the physics building. Any student could sign up to use them (and some associated equipment, like a 4-channel tape deck) for their own recreational purposes.

Perlman also taught an electronic music mini-course at WPI once, and it was there that I used a 2600 and a string synthesizer to record Introduction and Minuet (available online, but the link isn’t working at the moment, which may be just as well… it’s not that good). I also used the 2600 to create electronic sound effects for our magnum opus radio play, Attack From the Third Dimension. (Not available online. I’m not sure why, but I think it’s because we can’t get in touch with all the creative personnel to get their permissions and are unsure whether we have the right to distribute it without such permission.)

Finally a couple days ago I got around to downloading the demo version of the emulator, and the Moog Modular emulator demo too, while I was at it. I’ve had fun playing with the 2600. Definitely brings back memories. I even found the patch diagram and score for part of Introduction and Minuet, but apparently there were different versions of the 2600 and the emulated one was a little different from the one I used, so duplicating that patch is a bit tricky.

The Moog Modular is stunning even in software, but I think I’d need either a manual or a lot of trial and error to figure it out.

Cool stuff. Alas that I am unable to drop a couple hundred bucks or so on each at this time.

What I might spring for sometime is LinPlug Alpha, a much simpler softsynth, but much cheaper, and with one feature of interest to me that the Arturia synths lack, as does the even cheaper (as in free) and otherwise amazing synth, Crystal: microtuning capability. I’ve checked out the Alpha demo and it’s pretty sweet. (There’s a “FreeAlpha”, too, but it lacks microtuning and also is VST only. AU is what I’d want. LinPlug CroniX is microtunable, too, but my old subtractive-synth-tuned brane finds Alpha easier to grok.)

No, I’m not planning on doing any microtonal music for the Cartel… unless… hmmm…

3 thoughts on “Bleep beep burble bwaap bwaap

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