ARP Explorer I

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The Explorer is a programmable preset analog synthesizer. It was very similar to ARP's Pro-Soloist and Pro-DGX preset synths, but offered more flexibility when it came to modifying or creating entirely new sounds. The preset sounds of the Explorer are your basic flute, trumpet, clarinet, strings, pulsar, lunar lander, etc. But unlike other preset synths of the time, in "Manual" mode you could synthesize all kinds of new sounds ranging from wind effects to electronic synth sounds.

The simple design and controls offer three main sections. The waveform section lets you mix and match its various waveforms at different pitch ranges to create unique sounds and timbres. There's a VCF/VCA section with basic ADSR and filter controls for shaping and contouring sounds. The filter is a decent low-pass 4-pole filter. And an effects section offers controls for repeat, vibrato, pitch bend, portamento, etc. All in all the Explorer is a unique and somewhat rare piece of equipment which signalled, at least for ARP, the transition of compact vintage synths from preset to programmable sounds. It has been used by Philip Glass and Herbie Hancock.

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ARP Explorer Sintetizador #78
ManualDownload the original owner's manual here.


Polyphony - Monophonic
Oscillators - 1 VCO (w/ sawtooth, square, narrow pulse and modulated-width pulse waveforms and Pink Noise generator)
LFO - 1 LFO with adjustable speed, depth and delay controls
Filter - 4-pole (24dB/oct) low pass filter with cutoff and resonance controls
VCA - 1 ADSR envelope
Keyboard - 37 keys
Arpeg/Seq - None
Control - None
Memory - None
Effects - repeat, delayed vibrato, bender, portamento, and pitchbend
Date Produced - 1974 -1978