The 2600 is a three oscillator monster that's blazed a trail of sonic mayhem through countless genres for the past 40+ years. And despite only 3,000 units ever produced, the impact this synth has had on music is staggering. Starting with R2D2, The Normal and Herbie Hancock (to name just a few), artists using the 2600 have continued to push the synth's capabilities into the stratosphere, cultivating genres and blowing up dance floors along the way.
At first glance, this legendary synth can seem quite intimidating, but the right patch can get you anything from a beefy bass drum to a snappy snare or church organ, to modular mayhem, or the sound of insects dying en masse. Suffice to say, with a little work, the 2600 can nail almost anything your imagination can conjure up.
Our particular 2600 was one of the first made and houses the coveted 4-pole Moog "ladder" filter (which almost erupted into a messy lawsuit) that gives the synth a unique warm bite.
With all of our synth efforts, we strive to capture a wide variety of patches, covering your bases with raw oscillators and progressing to complex, intricate modulations. Our processing follows this same approach, varying from completely dry and punchy, to warm, saturated and over the top - changing preamps and processing on a patch by patch basis to give you the cleanest clean and the dirtiest dirty.
The 2600 shines because it too, provides a huge diversity in sound, and is equally at home making huge, basic patches as it is with longer, more complex modulation. And once you wrap your head around the synthesis architecture, you can dive in anywhere along this spectrum - starting with a simple, funky saw boogie bass (a la Todd Terje), graduating to dual oscillator house stabs, experimental noise, piercing percussion, and full on drums. The following is made exclusively from 2600 sounds -
With its lighting fast envelope generator, The 2600 can generate some of the snappiest one-shots around. But to get a truly modern club kick, we patched in 3 external Eurorack envelopes for faster control of the Arp's VCA, VCF, and pitch modulation. Dialing in the exact right pitch envelope (amount and decay) gave us a super punchy, club-ready 909 which modulated downward for a fat, tube-saturated sustain. To take things even further, we layered a couple different kicks together. And by combining the S&H, noise generator and LFO, we were able to get even more weird percussion going:
Finally, we went to the island of Doctor Moreau on this guy with the aim of disrupting the genetic makeup of its internal workings entirely. Aided again by third party envelopes, clock dividers/multipliers, LFOs and sequencers we harnessed the 2600's dark side and produced a maelstrom of ARPsanity (get it?). Get freaked out!
There's a reason Vintage Synth says the 2600 is "without a doubt one the finest analog synthesizers ever produced" (especially the Moog ladder filter version 😉 ) - it's a raw powerhouse, capable of uniquely Arp sounds that have remained relevant since almost the 1960s. With 40 extensively multi-sampled instruments, 8 drum kits (WAV, drum rack, Kontakt, Logic) you can definitely get this sound going in your DAW or hardware sampler. So get weird and channel this synth's inner beast into your beats!