He may not be the first person you’d think of going to if you were looking for a synth scoop, but it seems that Jean-Michel Jarre might know something about a forthcoming Korg-branded version of the legendary ARP 2600 that the rest of the world doesn’t.
Answering a question about the bassline at the start of Equinoxe, Pt. 7, Jarre confirmed that it was created using an ARP 2600, before making the claim that Korg is going to release a full-size emulation of the synth at the start of next year. He also says that this has been created in collaboration with those who worked on the original design.
Korg, of course, has a bit of previous when it comes to the ARP brand, having already brought back the Odyssey. This was created in collaboration with ARP Instruments co-founder and designer David Friend, who joined the project to act as chief advisor.
Korg’s first bite at the Odyssey cherry was a mini version, but it later released a full-size clone and a desktop module.
In the video above, Jarre seems pretty sure that he’s got his Korg ARP 2600 facts straight, but we’ll have to wait until next year to find out for sure. If he is on the money, though, there should be plenty of demand; everything that made the 2600 such a brilliant instrument in 1970 - good sound, comprehensive features, and friendly flexibility - still stands today.
That said, Korg might not be the only game in town when it comes to a ‘new’ 2600. As ever when it comes to synth clones, Behringer looms large; it's confirmed that it has its own reboot in development. As such, there’s everything to play for.