You’d have to be a monotonous nerd to go through them all . . .
April 26, 2020 3:57 PM   Subscribe

Composer Alex Ball (previously) continues his series on influential early commercial synthesizers with a feature-length documentary: Electromotive — The Story of ARP Instruments. This follows last year’s Land of the Rising Sound | A Roland Retrospective (previously), and The History of the Prophet Synthesizer from 2018. posted by mubba (10 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
Useless ARP Synthesizer Trivia: DEVO used a broken Model III ARP Odyssey on their 1980 tour, and kept a synth tech (Mark's brother Jim, specifically) to make sure the Odyssey stayed broken so they could get the right sounds from it. The song "Pink Pussycat" used a specifically broken Odyssey sound.
posted by SansPoint at 5:06 PM on April 26, 2020 [4 favorites]

This is all so much my jam
posted by nikaspark at 6:05 PM on April 26, 2020

Had access to a 2600 for a while at University. Wanted one so bad, but was never a good enough musician. Got into computers instead.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 7:11 PM on April 26, 2020 [1 favorite]

It's amazing how cheap a repro Odyssey is now that Korg and particularly Behringer are both making them. It is one of the great synth designs. I also really like Korg's Odyssey apps on iOS and desktop.
GForce did the virtual Odyssey first of course.

Behringer's repro 2600 is on the way too. Korg's is basically unobtainable due to a limited run that sold out. There's always the Arturia virtual 2600 of course.
posted by w0mbat at 8:40 PM on April 26, 2020

My middle school music teacher owned an ARP Omni-2 and as a 12 year old kid it was the most amazing thing I had ever seen. These old synths are wonderful things.

My budget was more in the Mego Muson and Casio VL-1 range (I had both), but I lusted over these early keyboards.
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:39 AM on April 27, 2020

Just an FYI for anyone interested in the Behringer clones: the company has a history of being pretty shitty.
posted by Television Name at 9:41 AM on April 27, 2020 [4 favorites]

Back in the 80’s you couldn’t give away analog synths because everyone wanted that DX7 sound. I bought an ARP 2600 with keyboard for $50. I could have gotten two of them from the same place but I was broke. They were so unreliable and noisy. But that spring reverb was hilarious.
posted by misterpatrick at 11:14 AM on April 27, 2020 [4 favorites]

The System 700 video doesn't have a full system.
Also, it's normaled like a 2600, which means you don't need patch cords to make sounds. :)
Those two are my favorite synths for that reason. :)
posted by luckynerd at 12:28 PM on April 27, 2020

Just an FYI for anyone interested in the Behringer clones: the company has a history of being pretty shitty.

I dunno... this is all pretty insider baseball for the most part, and to top it off, Peter Kirn really is a bit of a synth cork sniffer. What does Behringer offer in return? A lot of very affordable goods that simply wouldn't have otherwise come to pass because the original companies like Roland, Korg, Moog, etc have all moved on. Behringer simply offers the goods that are reasonably priced for people who can't afford vintage, or don't want to deal with the hassle of old, precious, usually well used, gear. Having put up with an old Pro-1, I can totally see the value of getting a new, functioning copy with built in connectivity rather than try to keep the old stuff limping along with kluges and hand made adapters and converters, etc. Behringer invested in reviving the IC technology that the other companies left for dead, one reason they are able to offer such good clones. The biggest thing I fault Behringer for is not coming out with an affordable CS-80, or Polymoog, or Rhodes Chroma. Hell, I'd settle for a CZ101.
posted by 2N2222 at 10:25 PM on April 27, 2020

My problem with Behringer is that they're practically exact copies. At least try to mix things up a little?

Oh, and how they tried to sue Dave Smith Instruments and the GearSlutz forum users because they didn't like being criticized.
posted by luckynerd at 1:15 PM on April 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

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