Way Out Ware TimewARP 2600

Timewarp 2600 Image

Way Out Ware is a relatively new company to the world of software synthesis, but they bring to the table a leap forward in synth emulation technology! They have recreated the classic Arp 2600 with their software plug-in, the TimewARP 2600. Rather than adapting a general purpose synth-modeling algorithm to suite the needs of reproducing ARP-like sounds, WOW designed this software from the ground up to specifically recreate every nuance of the original 2600's look and sound. And they succeeded! The TimewARP 2600 is supported and endorsed by the 2600's designer and ARP founder himself, Alan R. Pearlman. Of course there are some updates to the 2600 that adapt it to life in the computer age as well (total MIDI control & automation should go without saying).

TimewARP 2600 is (as of this writing) an RTAS plug-in and will only work in Pro-Tools 6.1 or later. But VST, Audio Unit, TDM, and stand-alone versions will surely follow soon. While the original 2600 is monophonic, the TimewARP can support up to eight voices of polyphony, but this can be quite a CPU gobbler and is really dependent on the power of your computer. The plug-in's interface is a very realistic recreation of the original "grey-meanie", with only a few tweaks or modifications. Patching and creating your own sounds is done just like on a real 2600. And finally you can store and categorize your 2600 creations using the TimewARP's unlimited patch memory manager.

But this is where the TimewARP can let some users down. It ships with a rather boring and small set of presets. In other words, if you were hoping to browse through oodles of patches to find the perfect bass, lead, or pad, you will likely be disappointed. That said, however, if you are one to experiment, you can really get into creating some amazing sounds if you know how or are willing to learn. The TimewARP 2600 is definitely aimed at those of us who maybe once owned a 2600 and are looking for an inexpensive and practical way of getting one back, or anybody who wants to learn and experiment with analog synthesis the old-school way!

TimewARP 2600 comes closer to sounding like the real thing than any other software synth emulator out there! The three VCO's sound great, the filter is excellent with realistic self-oscillating resonance and almost no glitchy stair-stepping during slow gradual filter sweeps. The envelopes, LFO, keyboard controls, and CV/Gate options give the keen programmer lots of options for creating some really wild sounds just like on the original 2600. Even the original's built-in spring reverb and a virtual ARP 3620 keyboard are reproduced here. Perhaps the TimewARP 2600 is a little too good at reproducing the original - the plug-in seems to generate a little bit of noise at it's outputs while idle just like most real analog gear would do.

If you've got yourself a Pro-Tools rig and the chops to program such a beast as the ARP 2600, WOW's TimewARP 2600 is a steal! At $250, no aging 30 year-old 2600 can come close to offering what this little plug-in can! And WOW's plans to add support for more platforms and to create an on-line user patch library should make the TimewARP un-beatable in the future!

Lookup Way Out Ware TimewARP 2600 Prices

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13 Visitor comments
October 1, 2009 @ 1:18 am
I wont dispute that the Arturia synth is an amazing synth and has some great sounds and I use it often. I am just saying that Timewarp is a very accurate emulation of a very unique synth and therefore sounds more like hardware than any other software synth that I own, and that is saying a lot. It is a quirky and unstable (in a sonic, analog sense) and sounds warm, bizzare, and raw and can come up with some amazing timbres (both the real 2600 and the timewarp).

That is a cool thing because after a while a lot of software synths start to sound too similar. Timewarp just has a lot of character, and while it doesnt do it all, and isnt loaded with a lot of extra bells and whistles, what it does do it does really well...but it does take some work to get the best out of it. I just recently bought it and I recommend you toy around with the latest version.
September 19, 2009 @ 1:13 am
It may seem ridiculous. And maybe timewarp developer do the work with love but for me still has more meat on the Arturia. Throw in addition to the sequencer 1601. It seems there are many connoisseurs. Once they have spoken and written opinion, nothing else exists. There are more people who think timewarp has a sound a bit weak and significant levels of aliasing. It is true that I did not test version 1.4.1. But it's also OK if you go back to try and find that I like more than that of Arturia. Let us not rend the garments, which is not so important and ultimately are two great software.
September 14, 2009 @ 6:59 pm
Wow, I cant believe that someone would say the Arturia sounds more like a 2600 than the Timewarp. That is laughable.

Look I like arturia synths and have all of them. Their 2600 sounds cool but it sounds nothing like a real Arp 2600. I too own a 2600 and it is obvious that for the timewarp developer this is a labour of love. They even had the manual wirtten by the guy that wrote the original 2600 manual! The only other cool arp is the Oddity. The Timewarp has the true quirkyness and grit of the real Arp 2600 and that is the bottom line.
August 21, 2009 @ 8:57 pm
WaterDemon, my father bought an Arp 2600 when I was small. I remember exactly the day I came home I saw this synth. I was "playing" when I turned 12 years. Since then I have not stopped designing sounds with it. I think I know what I am talking about.Read again my previous comment, I realize that I said wrong. Sorry.
When I played for the first time TimewArp I am very disappointed, especially by those who had written the manual. Some time later I bought the very skeptical of Arturia. I am not disappointed and therefore (he had assumed that these softwares need more care and research) and on the contrary, I met an extremely musical and playable ... Timewarp thing lacking: flimsy, no body, lack of "wood. "
I think you're right in thinking, but some ask you to look musically. Watch for when choosing an virtual arp 2600 stay with the Arturia.
August 13, 2009 @ 7:51 am
I am one of those lucky ones who have a real ARP 2600, and I must say that TimewARP comes much closer to it than Arturia's version. Sorry, Older, but it is YOU who do not know the true sound of ARP 2600. Timewarp still doesn't exactly replicate the hardware original, but if you want an emulation, this is as close as you can get.
Arturia 2600V sounds good in its own way, but it only captures a hint of the real 2600 quality, while this thing is probably 80% there. Also, I should mention that almost all TimewARP presets have insane volume level - I had to reduce it by a lot to get rid of annoying clipping. Kinda strange overlook for otherwise very solid product.
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 3.09 (134 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Demos & Media
  • Audio Clip 1 - Sequencer/Lead demo. Listen to audio comparisons between the TimewARP 2600 and the original 2600 at Way Out Ware.

    Try / Buy - Visit Way Out Ware's website to download a free demo and try it out for yourself!

  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - Up to 8 voices (CPU dependent)
  • Oscillators - 3 VCO's and 1 Noise Gen (white or pink)
  • Modulation - 1 Sample & Hold driven by either an internal, external, or MIDI Beat Clock. Can also be used as LFO source.
  • Filter - 1 Lowpass resonant filter (self-oscillating). 1 Ring-modulator.
  • VCA/Envelopes - 1 VCA with 2 audio inputs. 2 Envelope generators: 1 ADSR, 1 AR. 1 Envelope follower.
  • Arpeg/Seq - None
  • Keyboard - Virtual Arp 3620 keyboard with 60 keys,
  • Effects - Stereo Spring Reverb, Portamento
  • Memory - Unlimited patch storage
  • Interfaces - RTAS
  • Macintosh - OS X 10.2 or higher, 1GHz processor, 256MB RAM
  • Windows/PC - Windows 98SE/2000/XP, 1GHz processor, 256MB RAM
  • Date Produced - 2004

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