Origin is the most powerful synthesizer on the market. As a matter of fact, it goes beyond the traditional definition of synthesizers. It is a hardware DSP system that houses several synthesizers in one machine. Some of these synths come from the past, such as the Mini, and some are totally new and innovative.
Loaded with modules extracted from the best synthesizers of all time, Origin lets you combine these modules and take advantage of combinations that have never been possible before. The result: a new type of sound accessible through an extremely intuitive interface.
Sound with an attitude
Origin sounds like nothing else on the planet. It takes the concept of the analog modular systems of the past to a new level using cutting-edge digital technology. You can combine different modules from different systems, designing new synthesizers that have never existed. Take the oscillators from the Mini, the filters from the CS-80 and the Bode shifter from the modular synth designed by Bob Moog to create your own synth. Origin is based on TAE®, True Analog Emulation, which guarantees an extremely warm, lively and powerful sound. How can Arturia manage to do this in a standalone hardware synth? Origin uses two Analog Devices TigerSHARC® DSP processors that actually have more audio processing power than even the newest multi-core PC processors.
Perform in style
The Multi mode lets you play up to 4 synthesizers at the same time. You can layer them to create amazing sounds, split a keyboard or use Origin as a source for 4 different tracks in your sequencer. In addition, the Macro mode allows you to control the 4 synths at the same time, making Origin one single instrument. When you know that each of these synths can be as big as our modular V, you get a glimpse of the power beneath this beast.
Best of both worlds
Besides that, Origin is not a simple hardware synthesizer; it’s an integrated system offering the best of the hardware and software worlds. With several knobs and buttons, a large color display, joystick, direct access to such fine synthesizer templates as the Mini or the Jupiter-8, Origin arguably is a breakthrough in the world of digital instruments.
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.
What does Origin do?
Origin is one of the most versatile instruments on the market, and can be used in many different ways:
You can create your own unique synthesis patch and go extremely deep into triggering signals, setting sources and amounts of modulation for each connection. You can browse through the presets and tweak them using all the available controllers (knobs, joystick, etc.). Loaded with both classic and innovative sounds created by the best sound designers, Origin is very inspiring even if you limit yourself to only using the presets.
All the controls you need
When we conducted our first market survey on the idea of a Hardware synth hosting analog modules from the past, one of the key pieces of feedback that we got was that musicians were keen on having a lot of Hardware controls over the sound. Origin offers a true hands-on experience.
Eight color encoders are available for additional control. Using the wheel or the arrows on the right, you can select any parameter you want on the screen. From there, click on the encoder and immediately this encoder will control the specific parameter you select. In addition, the virtual knob on screen will take the color associated to the hardware encoder you pushed.
This area, called the Analog Area, is where you will modify some important aspects of your sound. Four types of modules are controlled in the Analog Area: Oscillator, Filter, LFO and Envelope. When the patch contains several modules of the same type, such as three oscillators, the user can define the individual oscillator to control. Use the Select button to dial in the individual oscillator to control or cycle through to the “Macro Mode” to control all of the oscillators at once.”
The navigation is organized around 8 main pages. The pages are accessible by the buttons placed below the screen. When on a specific page, the user can access sub-pages using the buttons placed above the screen.
The joystick serves in different occasions: in general you can assign the joystick to any parameter, which allows to control several aspects of your sound with one controller you can also use the joystick to set values in the Env 2D module the Joymixer is another module you will program using the joystick.
Those three knobs allow to set the volume of the machine (master output) the input volume (as Origin accepts Audio in) and the headset volume.
This area works differently if you are editing a Program preset or a Multi preset. If you are editing a Program, the four knobs give you control over the VCA’s (audio signals) which are part of your patch. If you are in Multi mode, the four knobs give you control of the level of the 4 programs. Buttons allow quick and easy selection and editing.
The Origin sequencer is extremely simple and still very powerful: you can program 3 sequences at a time and send them to different parameters activating and deactivating each of the 3 sequences, editing each of the 3 sequences are made very simple using the buttons. For each sequence you can define for each step if there is going to be an accent, a slide or a trigg. In pattern mode, the buttons below the encoders serve to recall sequence patterns on the fly.
This pad is useful to select a preset quickly. Just type the preset number and play it. Using the - and + button, you can also browse the entire list of presets very simply.
Some important functions are accessible here: Demo starts the demo songs; Panic will stop the sound immeditely; when the button Fine is activated, all controllers on the interface offer more accuracy; Exit and Enter are part of the navigation process.
10-Wheel and Arrows
The on-screen navigation can be done using either the arrows or the push-wheel. In terms of ergonomics, they work differently but each user will quickly find out when the prefer to use one or the other.
The three knobs allow the user to set the return for three FXs. By clicking Edit, you can edit any of the three effects quickly. By clicking On/Off you bypass the selected effect.
What is a Program?
Here is a list of the parameters you can set for each program:
A synthesis patch, i.e. a set of connections between different modules such as oscillators, filters, envelopes, and so on. By sending the electrical signal of an oscillator into a filter, by setting an envelope on the overall volume, by modulating the frequency of the filter, etc., you will define a unique synthesis structure that will generate a particular sound.
You can choose up to three effects - such as chorus, reverb or delay, for example - and apply them to the sound coming out of your synthesis patch. You can choose whether you want the effects to be applied in serial or parallel mode.
Mixer settings: volume and pan for each VCA output (you can have up to 4), the amount/send of each effect applied to the sound, the playing mode (polyphony, legato, portamento, etc.)
Galaxy, 2D envelope, Mono LFO 1&2: these are innovative modulation sources brought by Arturia to help bring your electronic sounds to life.
Polyphonic Aftertouch gives you a greater degree of control over your modulations.
Arpeggiator and/or sequencer settings: each program can be linked to a sequence pattern and/or to the Origin Arpeggiator. Both the sequence pattern and the Arpeggiator settings are saved into the program info.
Joystick and encoder assignments: Origin offers many controllers that you can configure the way you want. The joystick can be assigned to many different parameters, either simultaneously or separately via the 3 different joystick assign modes. The color knobs located next to the screen can be affected in a glance to a remote parameter. The assignment information is saved in each program.
General information: program name, style, instrument, sound designer, etc. can be edited and saved very quickly. This information makes a very handy search tool in the preset browser (2 crossed search keys in the browser).
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 then 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!
The Origin sequencer is extremely powerful. Each pattern in the sequencer is made of 3 different sequences that can be sent to any parameter.
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.
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.
The Mixer VS is a module controlled by the joystick which allows the dynamic mixing of 4 audio signals.
The Analog Area
In a modular system each sound structure, or patch, can be different. But all synthesis patches come with some common modules: oscillators, filters and envelopes. Very often you will also find LFOs.
As they are vital, these modules are easily controllable in Origin in what we call the Analog Area.
If you have several modules of the same type in your patch, for example several oscillators, use the Select button to decide which one you will control. Then you can set the values for this particular module.
When turning the select button you will find a stage called « Macro ». In Macro mode you can control all modules of the same type at the same time. This is a great system to create dramatic evolutions of your sound such as sweeping all filters together.
The Macro Mode
The Analog Area allows for the control of different important modules: oscillators, filters, LFO’s and envelopes. As you saw in the video clip, the Select button cycles from one oscillator to the next, offering control over any module of this type. The Macro mode controls all modules of the same type at the same time.
The color knobs
On top of the Analog Area, Origin offers 8 assignable encoders to control any parameter you want. Assigning an encoder to a sound parameter is a very simple process.
The Fine button
Origin offers a Fine mode in which potentiometers and encoders are more precise. When the Fine button is on, you have extreme precision on each controller.
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.
Synthesis: Frequency Modulation, Physical modelling, ROM, Subtractive, Vector synthesis, Virtual Analog, Wave Table
Waveforms: Additive, Pink Noise, Pulse, Pulse Variable, ROM, Saw Down, Saw Up, Sine, Square, Sub Oscillator, Super Saw, Triangle, Wave Table, White Noise
Osc Modulation: AXYZ, Envelope, Glide / Portamento, Knob, LFO, Oscillator, Pedal, Sequencer, Velocity
*Oscillator count dependent on synthesizer type
Evelope Paramerters: Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release
*Oscillator count dependent on synthesizer type
Types: 6dB Slope, 12dB Slope (2-pole), 24dB Slope (4-pole), Band Pass, High Pass, Low Pass, Notch, Resonance
Filter Modulation: Envelope, Knob, LFO, Portamento, Sequencer, Velocity
*Oscillator count dependent on synthesizer type
LFO Parameters: Sample & Hold, Saw Up, Saw Down, Sine, Square, Triangle
Polyphony & Tuning
Modes: Duophonic, Mono, Polyphonic, Split, Unison
Patches RAM: 1000
Patches ROM: 400
Multipatches RAM: 256
Multipatches ROM: 100
Storage: Internal, USB
Editing: MIDI, USB
+Modes: forward, backward, forward and backward, random.
+Maximum range: five octaves.
+3 effect slots per program with serial and parallel structures
+3 x 32 steps
+ 256 patterns
+128 are factory fixed patterns.
Controls: Velocity, Buttons, Knobs, Switches, Joy Stick, Modulation - Audio Input, Sequencer
Display Type: LCD
Display Count H: 320
Display Count V: 236
Display Notes: 32,768 colors
Dimensions (WxDxH): 482 x 290 x 87
Weight: 8 kg
Audio Output Connections: 1/4" Phone Jack, Mono Out, Stereo Main, Stereo Headphone
Audio Output Count: 12
Inputs: 2 x 1/4' inputs
MIDI Ports: IN, OUT, THRU, USB
Power: 6.5 VDC 3.85A
Year Released: 2009
Manuals & Documents
Retail Street Price
: $2,499 - convert