In the beginning, synthesizers weren’t about presets and using the same sounds as everyone else. They weren’t even about creating your own sounds, but creating your own original synthesis system. You could order individual, custom made modules and combine them together in any way you liked to create your own unique synthesizer and re-configure it any time you wanted.
Origin takes the concept of the Analog modular systems of the past to a new level, using cutting edge digital technology. You combine all the modules you want - either models taken from classic synthesizers or innovative modules created by Arturia - in order to design new synthesizers that never existed before.
How does it work?
All patch connections take place in the Edit page. You have two different views: the rack view, which displays your patch as a rack of modules (just like on a hardware modular) and the diagram view, showing all connections at a glance.
Connecting modules is easy, since only potential destinations and sources are displayed in each menu. Standard connections are set by default to optimize your time. On very complicated patches, you can better see the connections by using connection filters: yellow to see only audio connections, green to see only trigger connections, etc.
Origin has two types of sound structures: Programs and Multis
What is a Multi?
Multi mode allows you to:
- Open up to 4 programs simultaneously
- Send each program to a different hardware stereo output
- Choose whether you want to split the programs on your keyboard or layer them.
- Choose the MIDI channel on which each program is played
- Set the MIDI transpose for each program
A template is a special type of program in which the synthesis patch can’t be modified. This patch reproduces the structure of a classic synthesizer and lets you very easily control every parameter of it from the Origin front panel.
That’s how you can turn your Origin into a classic vintage synthesizer. Load up the Mini or Jupiter-8 template to revive these classic old sounds.
The Mini template looks very much like the Arturia Mini V software synthesizer. Indeed it reproduces Bob Moog’s legendary synthesizer exactly, and brings it into the 21st century by adding features such as polyphony, an extra LFO and a modulation matrix which, among other possibilities, makes the Mini able to respond to polyphonic aftertouch!
Of course, just like any other program, you can route your Mini template into the powerful effects section of Origin, trigger it with the step sequencer, or modulate the sound using the Joystick or the Galaxy module…
But Origin offers more and allows you to play on the first multi-timbral Mini ever. Indeed, a template being a single program, you can open up to 4 Minis in Multi mode!
Here is a list of the available modules when creating a patch:
- Wavetable Oscillator
- CS-80 Low pass and Hi pass
- Jupiter-8 Low pass and Hi pass
- Envelope 2D
- Parametric EQ
- Dual analog phaser
- Origin Master envelope
- Keyboard trigger
- Keyboard follow: This module instructs the frequency of the VCOs and cutoff of the VCFs to track the note played on the keyboard
- Output VCA
- Ring mod
- Bode frequency shifter
This module is based on the original oscillator from the famous synthesizer Bob Moog launched in 1971, a synth known for its fat and inimitable bass and lead sounds. Thanks to the rich sonic characteristics of the waveforms and to the drift of the tuning parameters, the Mini oscillator produces THAT sound!
The CS80 oscillator emulates Yamaha’s classic polyphonic synthesizer release in 1975. This oscillator allows for very unique sound textures thanks to the different waveforms. The sawtooth waveform is one of the best you can find to make brass sounds (the Vangelis’ “Chariots of Fire” brass sound is a perfect example of the CS-80).
The ARP oscillator is inspired by the original ARP model 4027, used in the ARP 2600, a synthesizer in production in 1971. This oscillator is really stable and allows for complex tones. You will obtain very different timbres, from the smoother to the rougher, if you use the sine, triangle, saw-tooth or variable pulse waves.
The JP-8 oscillator comes from the Jupiter-8 synthesizer which was launched by Roland in 1981. It is a good starting point for creating very versatile sounds, from 'fat' to ‘crystal’. Its “synchro” mode is one of the most musical ever produced on an analog synthesizer. The low-end frequency spectrum is also very unique.
The Wavetable oscillator was copied after the original Sequential Circuits Prophet VS oscillator. It is a great addition to the analog oscillators provided in Origin. It includes the 90 original digital waveforms from the Prophet VS. These waveforms were originally created from diverse sources: acoustic instruments, voice, and assorted sound effects. They will give you access to a sound palette that you will not obtain with most analog synthesizers.
The Origin oscillator is an original Arturia module bringing some new waveforms with their own special characteristics and special features including an FM module, morphing with modulation inputs between the different waveforms... This blurs the lines between digital and analog sound.
The Mini Lowpass Filter mimics the original Mini 4-pole filter, a legend in itself. Arturia's TAE engine is at the core of the module, reproducing the sonic characteristics that have made Bob Moog’s name what it is.
CS-80 Low-pass and Hi-Pass Filter
The CS filter modules reproduce separately the 2-pole Low-pass and High-pass resonant filters included in the original Yamaha CS-80. Connected together in series as on the original CS synths, these filters will allow you to reproduce some very unique, smooth and natural sounds. A 4-pole mode has been added by Arturia to produce a more distinct resonance response.
The ARP filter module is a mix between the 4 poles resonant low pass of the ARP 2600 and the multi-mode 2-pole filter from the ARP 2500 Modular synthesizer. It includes Low Pass, High Pass, Band Pass and Notch response. Like the original synth, our ARP filter shares some characteristics with the Mini filter.
Jupiter-8 Low-pass and Hi-Pass Filter
The JP-8 filter modules reproduce separately the 2 and 4-pole Low-pass resonant filter and the 1-pole High pass non-resonant filter, both from the Roland Jupiter-8 synthesizer. The 80's electronic sounds are at your fingertips with these modules!
The Origin filter module is a 1, 2, 3 and 4-pole resonant multimode filter. It includes Low Pass, High Pass, Band Pass and Notch, low-shelf and high-shelf responses. Use it for unique filtering effects.
This basic module is essential to notify the appropriate modules that a note has been played. To make it simple, it starts an envelope, an LFO or a sequence each time you send a NOTE ON message through the MIDI port.
The Minimixer is a simple module that allows you to mix up to five audio inputs. You will be able to blend several VCO’s or other audio sources before you pass them through the filter module, for example.
This module aligns the cutoff frequency of the VCOs and VCFs by the note played on the keyboard.
Origin has 4 stereo output VCA’s. They can be directed to the four output connection jacks for a more convenient mixing facility. The output VCA is an important part of the sound of the Origin synthesizer! A soft-clipping circuit has been added on each output module to get a fatter and better analog sound.
One of the most interesting modules you will find in Origin, the JoyMixer is based on the Vector programming of the Prophet VS. Connect 4 audio signals to this module and mix them using the joystick. There is a programming mode for tracing the mixing path. You can also program a mix that will change over time while you also use the joystick in real time.
The LFO module offers six selectable waveforms. The rate of the LFO can be modulated for complex variations. You will be able to make some ultra-slow modulation 0.001Hz - as well as high frequency FM modulations – with a maximum rate up to 20Hz.
Bode Frequency Shifter
The Bode shifter module was designed after Bob Moog’s original Bode frequency shifter module, model 1630. The way it works is similar to a ring modulation effect, except with much more control, allowing for a wide variety of timber modifications. For example, a Phaser effect can be obtained when a small shift frequency setting (2 to 10 cycles for example) is mixed with the original signal. In linear mode, with a greater frequency shift setting, you will obtain a multitude of diverse clangorous timbres.
The Ring modulator module has been patterned after the ARP ring modulator. The result is the same as basic amplitude modulation (AM) but instead of using a unipolar modulator wave (positive-going only), a bipolar modulator wave is used. The ring modulator of the CS80 is based on the same principle. This module is very simple: it uses 1 or 2 audio inputs (it contains an internal sine oscillator, but you can also use your own oscillator as the carrier) and an output connection. The results are metallic or inharmonic sounds like bells or metallic FX sounds.
The Env 2D module is an advanced source of modulation applicable to any input in the patch. It works, in some respects, like the JoyMixer: You can define 4 parameters that are going to be modified over time. Once this operation is done, you can program the position of 5 points using the joystick. The mixer will follow the path between these 5 points in a time-frame you can also set.
Galaxy is a very powerful module, invented by Arturia and introduced in the Jupiter-8V software synth. It allows for very complex modulations using the interaction of three LFO’s. The first two LFO's create inter-modulations on two different parameters, each one of them being assigned to the X and Y axis. A third LFO allows modifying the Phi angle between the 2 axes of the LFO’s and the fixed landmark. It may look complex to read, but it is straightforward when you hear the result of any action.
The program mixer is the place to mix the sound from the four VCA’s available in a patch. It is also where you will set return amounts for the three effects applied to these VCA’s and determine their pan positions.
The Origin sequencer is extremely powerful. Each pattern in the sequencer is made of 3 different sequences that can be sent to any parameter. As an example,
- the first sequence goes to the pitch
- the second sequence goes to the cutoff of the filter
- the third sequence goes to the LFO rate.
All three sequences make one pattern.
Changing one pattern will change all three sequences while the assignments will remain the same. This allows for dramatic progressions of the sound melodies.
There are 128 sequence patterns provided in Origin. They are organized by banks of 16 patterns. You can change patterns on the fly while keeping the same program, making Origin a great tool for the non-keyboardist.
The joystick can be used in three situations: You can assign the joystick to any parameter you want. On the horizontal axis you will have control over one parameter while on the vertical axis you will control another one. There are three different modes and you can make two assignments for each of them. For example:
- mode 1: XX’ assigned to the filter cutoff, YY’ assigned to the filter resonance
- mode 2: XX’ assigned to the pitch of the first oscillator, YY’ assigned to the pitch of the second oscillator
- mode 3: XX’ assigned to the decay time of the envelope, YY' assigned to the LFO rate.
The 2D Envelope module is a proprietary module inspired by the Prophet VS structure. It allows you to assign amazing sound variations to the joystick.
First you need to define the parameters which are to be modulated by the envelope. Then you can program the 2D Envelope itself.
The Mixer VS is a module controlled by the joystick which allows the dynamic mixing of 4 audio signals.
First, on the Edit page, you can select the audio signals you want to mix. From there you can program an evolution of the mix using the joystick. It is also possible to mix in real time. In fact you can have both the programmed and real-time options active at the same time.
Origin offers a very innovative preset browser. First thing to remember, there are two types of presets in Origin, the Program presets and the Multi presets.
You can use two criteria at once when browsing for Programs. For example, let’s say you’re looking for Lead Sounds that do not tax the CPU.
Each preset is presented on the right of the page with detailed information:
- The name of the preset
- The name of the sound designer who made it
- The sequence pattern it will recall if it is using a sequence, Etc...
The name of the preset, its nature and number is displayed in the bar at the bottom of the page.
Multis are accessible on the preset page by clicking on the second button on top of the screen. Each Multi is made of up to 4 programs. Multis can be selected using one criteria: Type, Gig, etc.
Managing presets in Origin is easy. You can save banks on your computer using our Origin Software, a Mac and PC application included with the synthesizer. Drag and drop presets, dump your entire preset list, rename, reorganize: the system is a breeze to use.
Origin software features:
The Origin application is both Mac and PC-compatible. It provides two main services:
- preset management
- firmware upgrade
- : XP+
PC: 512 MB RAM; 1,5 GHz CPU.
- : 10.5+, Universal Binary.
Mac (Intel) : 512 MB RAM; 1,5 GHz CPU
- Operating sampling frequency: 44.1 kHz
- Two voice modes: Program / Multi
- TAE® Sound generation system
- Maximum polyphony: 32 voices
- Sound Structure (Program Mode):
- up to 9 oscillators (including analog emulations of ARP 2600, CS-80, JP8, Prophet 5/VS, a couple of Bob Moog’s best, and noise modules)
- up to 4 wavetable oscillators
- up to 4 filters (switchable multimode filters including analog emulations of 1, 2 & 4-pole LP, HP, BP and Notch modes)
- up to 4 output VCAs
- up to 5 mixers (4 "Minimixers" and 1 "Joystick mixer")
- 1 RingMod
- 2 faders
- 1 Bode Frequency Shifter
- up to 4 poly LFOs and 2 mono LFOs
- up to 8 ADSR envelope modules
- 1 Galaxy module
- 1 2D envelope
- Sound Structure (Mini Template Mode):
- up to 3 oscillators; one 4-pole LP resonant filter, and one mixer
- 2 envelopes; one LFO and one modulation matrix
- 10 effects including chorus, delay (stereo & ping pong), reverb, distortion (including the new tube distortion), dual phase, parametric EQ, bit crusher, ring mod, and rotary
- 3 effect slots per Program with serial and parallel structures