Cherry Audio has announced the release of CA2600, the next instrument in its expanding product line, priced at $25.
CA2600 is a powerful, self-contained duophonic synthesizer inspired by the 2600 synthesizer from the 1970's. Every aspect of the original, from the quirky oscillator waves, to the deep and powerful filter, to the external audio input and preamp section was modeled with precision. While it features similar functionality, CA2600 has been thoughtfully updated for increased flexibility. With normalled patch points, integrated effects, and no hidden windows or menus in the audio path, CA2600 delivers a hands-on vintage synthesis experience.
A Timeless Legend
In early 1971, synthesizer pioneer Alan R. Pearlman released his model 2600 synthesizer masterpiece. Bridging the gap between giant modular synthesizers and the newer, more portable synthesizers of the era, the 2600 offered an innovative "semi-modular" design. This unique layout consisted of a pre-patched, default configuration that could be overridden with patch cables. The 2600 could generate a wide range of sounds without using a single cable, but the introduction of patch cables revealed new sonic territories. From melodic lines to sci-fi nightmare soundscapes, the 2600 was very flexible and has become a prized collector's item.
Cherry Audio sought to faithfully capture the magic and soul of the 2600. Although CA2600 features similar functionality, Cherry Audio added numerous updates to increase its flexibility and usefulness. VCO1 and VCO3 offer expanded waveforms, including a sub-oscillator on VCO1, as well as sync inputs on VCO2 and VCO3, and individual glide controls on all three oscillators. The filter has been upgraded with both 12 dB/oct and 24 dB/oct slopes, and highpass and bandpass filter modes are available in addition to the original's lowpass mode. The Voltage Processor section has been upgraded with a half-step quantizer and a second VCA. The 2600's preamp audio input has been included in the form of a DAW sidechain input for wild and adventurous processing of external audio signals using the CA2600's filter, ring modulator, effects, and more. A powerful multi-waveform tempo-syncable LFO has also been added, in addition to a powerful MIDI Control section with selectable retrigger and note priority. The 2600's primitive duophonic mode has been completely replicated as well.
Most notably, Cherry Audio added distortion, mod delay, and reverb effects. Instead of being "tacked-on" like many softsynth effects, these are fully integrated into the user interface with CV control of almost all parameters. CA2600 uses the same refined and fast patching system as Cherry Audio's flagship Voltage Modular platform, with unlimited cables allowed per jack, making routing, moving, and multing cables a breeze. Cherry Audio even packed in more than 300 presets, including over 30 from the original 1970's 2600 Patch Book.
Cherry Audio's number-one design goal was to place everything immediately in front of the user for an exceptional hands-on, "everything right in front of you, right now." vintage synthesis experience. With 64-bit high-definition audio, light and efficient CPU usage, and a powerful synthesis engine at your fingertips, CA2600 captures everything that's great about the classic, and takes it to new heights.
A 2600 That Everyone Can Afford.
Original 2600s are highly desirable, highly prized, and highly expensive, with working examples currently fetching US$8,000 to $13,000. Even more so than most vintage synthesizers, they are frequently plagued by dirty sliders and jacks, corroded keyboard contacts, blown op-amps, and failing capacitors - owning one of these beautiful machines can mean years of expensive maintenance and repairs. What if everyone could own a sonically pristine, accurate emulation, with all the character and punch of the original?
Cherry Audio's CA2600 is available now at cherryaudio.com, for $25. It's available for both Windows and macOS, in AU, VST, VST3, AAX, and standalone formats, with a free 30-day demo available.