Korg celebrates Star Wars Day by bringing back the ARP 2600 FS synth - AKA the voice of R2-D2

Korg ARP 2600 FS
(Image credit: Korg)

It’s 4 May, which means your inbox is stuffed with emails from companies attempting to cash-in on the date in the calendar that’s become known as Star Wars Day. Before you accuse Korg of pulling this same stunt, however, let us assure you that the re-release of the full-size version of its ARP 2600 synth does have a connection to the Star Wars universe, as this was the instrument that was used to create the distinctive voice of R2-D2.

Korg shone a light on this fact a few years ago when it created a video that showed you how to create an approximation of the patch that sound designer Ben Burtt created in order to make the peppy little droid speak.

Korg’s take on the ARP 2600 is, of course, a reboot in itself, effectively making this reissue a reboot of a reboot - more Return of The Jedi than The Empire Strikes Back. It’s certainly a very convincing one, though - this 2600 makes a superb sound that we think matches that of the original, which was released back in 1970.

If you live in the US, the new limited run of ARP 2600s is available exclusively via Reverb priced at $4,500, while UK customers should be able to get their hands on one for £3,499 by the end of the month. You can sign up for availability updates on the Korg UK website.

Alternatively, you could plump for Korg’s smaller and more affordable ARP 2600 M, which could be just the thing to take to your next gig at the Mos Eisley Cantina. 

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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