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Alan R Pearlman

Alan R Pearlman was an engineering student at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Massachusetts in 1948 when he foresaw the coming age of electronic music and synthesizers. He wrote:

"The electronic instrument's value is chiefly as a novelty. With greater attention on the part of the engineer to the needs of the musician, the day may not be too remote when the electronic instrument may take its place ... as a versatile, powerful, and expressive instrument."

Following 21 years of experience in electronic engineering and entrepreneurship, Pearlman founded ARP Instruments in 1969 with US$100,000 of personal funds and a matching amount from investors.

Throughout the 1970s, ARP was the main competitor to Moog Music in the field of musically useful synthesizers. There were two main camps - the Minimoog players and the ARP Odyssey/ARP 2600 players - with most proponents dedicated to their choice, although some players decided to pick and choose between the two for specific effect, as well as many who dabbled with products produced by other manufacturers. The ARP 2500 was featured in the famous movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The ARP technician sent to install the unit, Phil Dodds, was cast as the musician who plays the alien tones on the synthesizer.

The demise of ARP Instruments, Inc. was brought about by the ill-fated decision to invest a significant amount of money in the development of the ARP Avatar, a synthesizer module closely resembling the ARP Odyssey, but equipped with a guitar pickup and a pitch-to-voltage converter. Although an excellent instrument by all accounts, the Avatar failed to sell well. ARP Instruments was never able to recoup the research and development costs and ended in bankruptcy.


Some notable ARP users and endorsers include:

  • Tony Banks of Genesis played an ARP 2500, an ARP Pro Soloist (on the album Selling England by the Pound) and later an ARP Quadra.
  • Brian Eno is listed as playing "report arp" in David Bowie's album Low.
  • Linda McCartney, wife of Paul McCartney and member of Wings, played an ARP Pro-DGX.
  • Joe Walsh played an "Arp" on the album Barnstorm.
  • Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac played an ARP String Ensemble on the album Heroes Are Hard To Find.
  • Rick van der Linden of Ekseption played an ARP 2600 on the album Trinity.
  • Rick Wright of Pink Floyd played an ARP String Ensemble.
  • Paul Davis played an ARP 2500, an ARP 2600 and an ARP Odyssey.
  • Dennis DeYoung of Styx played an "Arp" on the album Styx II.
  • Pete Townshend of The Who wrote the song Won't Get Fooled Again on an ARP 2500.
  • Stevie Wonder used an ARP 2600.
  • David Bowie is listed as using an "arp" in the album Low.
  • Depeche Mode use an ARP 2600.
  • George Duke played an ARP Odyssey on the album Guardian Of The Light.
  • Chick Corea played an ARP Odyssey on the album My Spanish Heart.
  • Dave Formula played an ARP Odyssey.
  • Steve Hillage played an "Arp" on the album Rainbow Dome Musick.
  • Miquette Giraudy played an ARP Omni on Steve Hillage's album Rainbow Dome Musick.
  • Kerry Livgren and Steve Walsh of Kansas use an "Arp" on the album Song for America.
  • Edgar Winter, on the rock classic Frankenstein
  • Billy Currie of Ultravox played an ARP Odyssey.
  • Gary Numan played an ARP Pro Soloist on the album Telekon.
  • Jean Michel Jarre played an ARP 2500. On the album Equinoxe he played an ARP 2600 and an ARP Sequencer.
  • Joe Zawinul of Weather Report used two ARP 2600s
  • Steven Spielberg used an ARP 2500 in the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
  • Klaus Schulze played an ARP Odyssey and an ARP 2600 in the album Picture Music.
  • Eliane Radigue played an ARP 2500 on the album Triptych.
  • The Grateful Dead
  • Elton John played an ARP String Ensemble in the album Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy.
  • Daryl Dragon of Captain & Tennille played an ARP String Ensemble on the album Love Will Keep Us Together.
  • Dave Sinclair and Rupert Hine played an "Arp" in Caravan's album For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night.
  • Jimmy Page played an ARP 2500.
  • Hugo Montenegro played an ARP 2500.
  • Gerald Shapiro played an ARP 2500.
  • Wendy Carlos played an ARP 2500.
  • Vince Clarke played an ARP 2500 and an ARP 2600.
  • Herbie Hancock played an ARP Odyssey, an ARP Soloist and ARP 2600 and an ARP strings in the album Thrust.
  • Skinny Puppy played an ARP 2600 on their early releases and an ARP 2500 and 2600 are currently in use at Subconscious Communications.

Source: Wikipedia

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