Find out how you can control your ARP 2600 with MIDI using Kenton MIDI Retrofit Kits or MIDI to CV converters
The ARP 2600 doesn’t have MIDI, but does have CV/Gate/Trig/VCF sockets. Kenton offer a variety of options to get your 2600 connected to MIDI.
- Fit a MIDI retrofit kit
- Use the ARP 2600’s existing CV/Gate/Trig sockets with a MIDI to CV converter
Fitting a MIDI retrofit or socket upgrade kit is a skilled job which should be undertaken only by a competent synth service engineer or fitted by us at our premises in Epsom, near London (UK customers only).
1. Fit a MIDI Retrofit Kit to the ARP 2600
You can fit a MIDI retrofit kit which will allow you to control the ARP 2600 directly using MIDI from your DAW, MIDI Sequencer or other MIDI controller. Our MIDI Retrofit Kit adds MIDI IN and THRU sockets.
2. Using the ARP 2600’s Sockets with a MIDI to CV converter
As a semi-modular synth the ARP 2600 is already fitted with many control sockets including CV, Gate, Trig & VCF which is all you need for control of the notes. Trig is required to trigger the ADSR envelope generator.
Which MIDI to CV converter should I use for the ARP 2600?
Our MIDI to CV converters have CV and GATE outputs, and a number of AUX outputs that can be configured for your specific requirements.
The Pro Solo Mk3 has sufficiently flexible outputs to provide the 4 signals required to play notes, trigger the ADSR and control the filter cutoff. You will need 4 x 3.5mm to 3.5mm mono jack leads.
The USB Solo has less flexible Aux outputs: you will be able to either trigger the ADSR, or control the filter cutoff, but not both. You will need 3 x 3.5mm to 3.5mm mono jack leads
Connecting the MIDI to CV converter
The ARP 2600 has the following sockets:
KBD CV (labelled OUTPUT) – Located on the far left of the synth below PRE-AMP.
Provided you don’t have the ARP keyboard connected, this socket can be used as it is a standard volt per octave CV input to all three oscillators. Connect it to the CV output of the MIDI to CV converter.
If you have the ARP keyboard connected you can’t use this socket for CV IN. Instead connect the CV output of the MIDI to CV converter to one of the inputs marked MULTIPLE located on the far left of the synth below PRE-AMP, then patch the other 3 MULTIPLE sockets to the KYBD CV input of each VCO. Note that Plugging the jacks into the KYBD CV inputs will disconnect them from the keyboard anyway. You can’t use the 2600 from both it’s own keyboard and from a CV converter at the same time.
GATE – Located on the long row of sockets across the middle of the 2600 – the ninth socket from the right.
This is a gate input, and should be connected to the Gate output of a Kenton converter. Again, plugging into this jack will disconnect the ARP keyboard.
TRIG – Located on the long row of sockets across the middle of the 2600 – the eighth socket from the right.
This is a trig input for the envelope generators, and should be connected to the Aux1 output of the MIDI to CV converter. The trig input only triggers the ADSR so if you are only using the AR then you can manage without using this input. Again, plugging into this jack will disconnect the ARP keyboard.
KBD CV (VCF) – Located on the long row of sockets across the middle of the 2600 – the thirteenth socket from the right. Connect this to the Aux2 output of the MIDI to CV Converter. Note that if the filter is already at it’s maximum setting then you will hear no effect when you use external control.
MIDI to CV converter settings
The Pro Solo Mk3 has sufficiently flexible outputs to provide the 4 signals required to play notes, trigger the ADSR and control the filter cutoff. Set it up as follows:
CV – The 2600 requires 1 Volt per Octave. Set P15 – CV/Hz to [CV] 1 Volt per Octave – this is the Kenton default setting .
Gate – The 2600 requires 15V Gate. Set P16 – Gate Type to [g15] Gate (V-trig) at +15V.
Aux1 – The 2600 needs a trigger signal to trigger the ADSR. Set P20 – Aux1 Controller Number to [trg] Note Trigger. This is a change from the default setting. Also set P21 – Aux1 Minimum Value to 0, and the P22 – Aux1 Maximum Value parameter to 100 – these are the default settings.
Aux2 – The KBD CV (VCF) input to the filter requires a 0-10V analogue signal. Set P30 – Aux1 Controller Number whichever controller you wish to use to control the filter cutoff. The Pro Solo Mk3 will also allow you to use its own ADSR Envelope Generator. Also set P31 – Aux1 Minimum Value to 0, and P32 – Aux2 Maximum Value to 100. These are the Kenton default settings.
The USB Solo has less flexible AUX outputs. Aux 2 and 3 are not suitable for controlling the 2600, so you will have to Aux 1 for either triggering the ADSR or filter cutoff, using the settings listed for the Pro Solo above.
Learn more about MIDI to CV
If you don’t know anything about MIDI to CV converters and would like to know more, read the following page on our website: