NAMM 2005: Way Out Ware introduced the TimewARP 2600 plug-in, a virtual recreation of the Arp 2600. The first release of the TimewARP 2600 is an RTAS plug-in and runs under Digidesign Pro Tools 6.1 and later versions, on either Apple OSX or Windows XP and is available at http://www.wayoutware.com.
Future platforms including TDM, Audio Unit, Standalone and Windows VST are planned for release in the first quarter of 2005.
By developing proprietary and optimized virtual analog oscillators and filters, Way Out Ware brings accurate digital reproduction of the original 2600’s fat analog sound to the desktop. Way Out Ware’s Lead Developer Jim Heintz explains that “The success of any great analog synthesizer emulation relies on accurately modeling the behavior of the Voltage Controlled Filter module. Not a trivial task, Way Out Ware has created a new industry benchmark with its TimewARP 2600 digital VCF. It must be heard to be believed.”
The Way Out Ware TimewARP 2600 is the only ARP 2600 emulation product endorsed by its creator, Alan R. Pearlman. Heintz notes “We have been in contact with Alan Pearlman for most of the development of the TimewARP 2600 and his comments and assistance helped shape the final product. He has endorsed the TimewARP 2600 because he is pleased that we have faithfully reproduced his original design.”
Heintz adds “We have been careful to not remove features (even subtle ones) and we have consulted the original designers prior to adding things that were not part of the original. Our goal is to bring the user of this program back in time, but with modern tools.”
“I am consoled to reflect that what Way Out Ware are doing with the TimewARP 2600 is an important evolutionary step in analog synthesis,” says original ARP founder Alan R. Pearlman. “Way Out Ware’s software package not only makes analog synthesis affordable, but also opens the way toward continuing evolution of functionality.”
In addition to all of the original functions of the ARP 2600, Way Out Ware’s TimewARP 2600 takes advantage of the computer workstation environment to include many new features:
Extensive Patch Manager
There is no limit to the number of patches you can create and save with the TimewARP 2600. In addition to comprehensive import and export abilities, the TimewARP 2600 also includes a sophisticated Patch Manager for sorting presets. The TimewARP 2600 also responds to MIDI bank-select and patch-select commands for total control.
Use As Part Of An Effects Chain
The TimewARP 2600 allows the customer to use the plug-in as an elaborate signal effects processor to manipulate any signal present at its input. With an I/O bridge, users can plug in a guitar, microphone or other sound source to provide an additional signal feed to be used in the TimewARP as an oscillator, LFO modulator, control voltage and more. Create one-of-a-kind vocoder effects. For example, Pete Townsend used this ability to drive the guitar sound in The Who’s “Who Are You.”
Trigger From MIDI Tracks
Running as a track plug-in, the TimewARP 2600 can also process prerecorded MIDI tracks. Under MIDI control, the Internal Clock may be synchronized to an incoming MIDI Beat Clock.
Evolving Textural Patches
The TimewARP 2600 comes loaded with hundreds of great patches right out of the box, and due to the TimewARP’s unique sonic environment, users can create “evolving textural patches.”
8 Voice Polyphony
The hardware ARP 2600 is a monophonic instrument. In addition to faithfully reproducing the original’s monophonic operation, the TimewARP 2600 is able to create up to 8 simultaneous voices by running multiple individual instances of the panel settings. This affords complex and evolving polyphonic performance.
Virtual Patch Cables
The TimewARP 2600 features Virtual Patch Cables to help users construct all of the 2600’s distinctive sounds with an intuitive interface that works just like the original. Simply “grab” a cable and plug it in where needed–the TimewARP 2600 will automatically mimic the proper effect in real time.
The TimewARP 2600 sets a new standard for soft-synth live performance by providing incredibly smooth sounding sliders and controls. User can tweak any and every knob on our control surface to hear what is now possible in real-time sound manipulation.
Extensive Velocity and Aftertouch Control
Besides globally assigning any slider, knob or switch to a MIDI controller, users can also extensively fine tune the velocity and/or aftertouch parameters of incoming keyboard events. The control’s response curve can be set to respond as linear, exponential, or logarithmic with an option to invert the polarity. You can also set custom range limits for any parameter. Also, an unlimited number of TimewARP 2600 sliders, knobs or controls can be assigned to respond to a single MIDI control.
TimewARP 2600 Synth Features:
- 3 VCOs – all capable of generating audio band and Low Frequency (LF) signals.
- 1 Lo-Pass Resonant Filter – supports variable-depth self-oscillation and audio band and LF control modulation.
- 1 Sample & Hold – driven by either an internal, external, or MIDI Beat Clock. Can also be used as LFO source.
- 1 Ring Modulator.
- 1 Noise Generator – adjustable from white to red noise.
- 2 Envelope Generators – 1 ADSR, 1 AR.
- 1 Envelope Follower.
- 1 VCA – 2 audio inputs, 1 linear control input, 1 exponential control input. Also has initial gain control.
- 4 plug multiple module.
- Stereo Reverb.
- Output Pan.
- Electronic Switch.
- Lag Processor – LF filtering from 1.2 to 1200Hz.
- 2 Inverter Modules – both with attenuable inputs.
- Preamp In – mono or stereo.
- TimewARP 2600 Keyboard Features:
- Virtual ARP 3620 Keyboard.
- Variable-rate portamento, octave switch, pitch bend, LFO controls including delayed sine wave vibrato depth and speed.
- LFO Outputs – include square, triangle, and sine waves.
- External LFO-In – allows keyboard voltages to be modulated by any signal present on the TimewARP 2600.
- Interval Latch Switch – will latch a two note interval for use as single key play.
- 2 Upper Voice Outputs.
- Multiple or Single Trigger Mode – provides for single or multiple gates for slurred notes.
- Keyboard Repeat Mode – provides auto repeat or repeat on key-press synchronized to keyboard LFO and MIDI Beat Clock.
- Square wave is syncable to MIDI Beat Clock.
“Until trying the TimewARP 2600, I hadn’t found any analog modelling synth that could do what real analog can do,” comments famed synthesist Robert Rich. “My acid test for all of these models is audio rate filter modulation, the Achilles heel of DSP. Because it lets me “break” it in musical ways, I rate TimewARP’s analog emulation among the best that I have ever heard. This is a very deep tool for sound design, with a tone that comes very close to the original 2600 (although the spring reverb doesn’t go “boing” when I bang on it.)”
“The ARP 2600 was one of the first synthesizers that I had an opportunity to use in college and it shaped my future direction as an engineer and programmer,” says Heintz. “When producing this product it was important to stay focused on the full recreation of this wonderful instrument. You can expect to see a wide range of products from Way Out Ware in the future. The TimewARP 2600 is just the first.”
The TimewARP 2600 can be downloaded for a free 15 day trial from the Way Out Ware web site: www.wayoutware.com. Purchase price for the TimewARP 2600 is $249 and includes two serial numbers. The TimewARP 2600 manual, written by Jim Michmerhuizen (author of original ARP 2600 manual), and including a complete synthesis tutorial, is available as a free download from the Way Out Ware web site.