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The Korg ARP 2600 M

The Korg ARP 2600 M is a more compact and user-friendly version of the legendary ARP 2600 synthesizer, perfect for synthesizer beginners and enthusiasts alike. With a size reduction of about 60%, this new model offers increased portability and studio-friendliness, all without sacrificing the iconic ARP sound found in countless records, film scores, TV shows, and game soundtracks.

The ARP 2600 M retains the same analog circuitry and components as its larger counterpart, ensuring a faithful reproduction of the classic synth's sound. Korg has even added extra features and functionality, making it an ideal choice for those new to the world of synthesis. 

ARP 2600 M

While the ARP 2600 M may not have the wooden case and lid found on the larger ARP 2600 FS, it still comes with an incredibly robust case for travel or storage. The 2600 M maintains a similar layout and even has those same elliptical speakers, just a bit smaller. This compact synth is perfect for crafting dual or triple-oscillator sounds, very useful for cinematic sounds or making dubby chords! 

The ARP 2600 M is a flexible and powerful pre-configured synth, with surface-mount components and plug-and-play MIDI connectivity, making it an excellent alternative to the more expensive ARP 2600 FS (Full Size).

ARP Case

The ARP 2600 M truly is a great synthesizer to learn synthesis and explore the sonic landscape of semi-modular synthesizers. Here is a video of our friend Ollie Loops getting familiar with the Korg ARP 2600 M for the first time. 


Original ARP 2600 (1971-1980): The ARP 2600 was designed by Alan R. Pearlman, who founded ARP Instruments, Inc. in 1969. The 2600 was ARP's second synthesizer, following the release of the ARP 2500 in 1970. The ARP 2600 was a semi-modular analog synthesizer, which meant that its individual components (oscillators, filters, envelopes, etc.) were wired together internally but could be overridden and reconnected externally using patch cables. This allowed for flexibility in sound design while maintaining ease of use.

ARP Timeline
Rae Lohse Original​​

The ARP 2600 was notable for its distinctive sound, which was characterized by rich and warm tones, and its versatile design, which enabled musicians to create a wide range of sounds. Throughout the 1970s, the 2600 became popular among musicians and composers, and it was used in many iconic recordings and performances. Some notable artists who used the ARP 2600 include Edgar Winter, Pete Townshend, Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, and Jean-Michel Jarre. It was also the voice of R2-D2 in the Star Wars saga.

During its original production run, the ARP 2600 underwent several revisions and updates, with changes in its design, components, and features. These revisions led to variations in the sound and functionality of the instrument, and certain versions became highly sought-after by collectors and musicians.

The droid character R2-D2 as seen in the Star Wars saga. Credit: Wikipedia​​

All in all, the ARP 2600 M definitely captures the essence and sound of the original ARP 2600. Korg has successfully reduced the size of a larger and very formidable synthesizer without sacrificing any of it's legendary sound. It's more than just a hardware synthesizer—it's a complete arsenal of sound-designing weapons for all you sonic warriors out there!

Matthew Piecora, aka EZBOT, is a Seattle-based artist and educator, who specializes in hardware electronic music. In his compositions you’ll discover sounds inspired by 90’s alternative rock, deep house, techno, and jazz. Using experimental live-coding, samplers, synthesizers, and complex sequencers, EZBOT aims to evoke feelings of nostalgia using modern music technology.