Cherry Audio and MRB have collaborated to deliver the unique module features, stunning sound quality, and overall user experience of the rare and classic ARP 2500 synthesizer to the Voltage Modular platform. All 18 modules originally produced for the ARP 2500 system have been recreated in perfect detail, as well as a couple that were planned but never produced (including a full-function oscilloscope and a spring reverb), and a mixer module that never existed, but should have! We’ve eliminated the matrix-switch I/O scheme and replaced all connections with standard CV jacks, and added bi-polar CV attenuators to all modulation inputs for full compatibility with all Voltage Modular modules. But most importantly, the tremendous analog sound and unique features of the original modules have been retained in their entirety, with a few small tweaks to improve the practicality of these 50-year-old designs. The recreation of the 2500 modules was a team effort, combining Cherry Audio’s extensive design experience with award-winning synth designer Mark Barton’s (MRB) DSP coding sorcery. The result is a virtual time machine of fat, impactful early electronic music history for the ears!
Apr 17, 21
Sweet, sweet sound... with a UX issues that need fixing.
First up, this is a wonderful collection. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to have it. Damn you, Cherry Audio! You are like crack cocaine for my brain. Every time you put out a module, I have to give up lunch to pay for a new fix. And getting into bed with MRB sealed the deal for me. MRB make the freakishly useful Tiny Voice synth module, that finds it way into about half my Voltage setups these days.
When I saw the VM2500 collection, my first thought was "but how can they tell if the sound is truly authentic" and then "who the heck cares, it's only $49 and it'll sound sweet no matter what."
I can't vouch for the authenticity , but this is a beautifully sharp, punchy and at times ethereal synth collection. It's worth giving up lunch for a week. And I can see me mixing and matching the modules in my generative music sets.
But there are a few cons. Coming from Cherry and MRB, I expected all the controls to be notated. However, many are simply left in 'development mode' notation. For example, on the Clock Sequenced Control Module, the knob array to control the sequencer are shown as "Seq Knob Col 3_7", etc. That's not a description I can use. Tell me what that each knob actually does. So the collection gets one star off what would have been a five star for that.
All in all, if you are just starting with Voltage, this collection may be a little daunting, but it'll give you a lot of headroom for playing. The free Voltage edition plus this gives you a top-end synth for next to nothing.
If you are a seasoned modular freak, the collection will be a joy. I've only just scratched the surface and can't wait to add it some of Bernard's generative modules and see what transpires.
Title of Song
- VM2500 Sequences
- VM2500 Leads
- VM2500 Basses
- VM2500 Percussion
- VM2500 SoundFX