MusicThing’s Tom Whitwell has posted his first impressions of the Arturia Origin synthesizer, and it’s not pretty:
The Origin has crossed that line – it’s not a hardware synth, it’s a computer in a box covered in knobs.
The trouble starts when you turn it on, after first plugging it in, using the OEM external power supply that must have cost 99p. (Seriously, a £1900 hardware synth only really makes sense if you’re playing live. An external PSU only makes sense if you’re desperately trying to cut costs. If Behringer can manage a proper internal universal PSU in £70 mixers, why can’t you?) Anyway, when you turn it on, it takes 30+ seconds to boot. Because it’s a computer in a box.
No, it isn’t a literal PC in a box like an Open Labs Neko or a Hartman Neuron, so it will have taken serious R&D investment to design and build. The hardware was designed – in 2005 – by Wave Idea, a French company who make MIDI interfaces. What’s frustrating about the Origin is that it’s a computer in a box pretending to be an analog synth… and nothing more.
The Origin is a wonderful thing. It looks good, it feels good. I’m sure it’s not overpriced for what it is – a boutique, limited-run machine with a lot of custom hardware and software.
But I can’t imagine who would be willing to pay £1,900 for it. It’s too digital for an analog fetishist, too analog for a sound experimentalist. The potential of this box is immense – DSP power + screen + knobs + blinkenlights + wooden end panels. But at the moment it’s just – tragically – boring.
Read Tom’s full impressions here, and if you’re an Origin owner, I’d be interested in your thoughts on Arturia’s new hardware synthesizer.