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ARP | Little Brother


The ARP Little Brother Model 2953, produced from 1975 to 1977, is a keyboardless monophonic expander module, sold as an add-on for another ARP synthesizer. It was controlled by connecting the control voltage (CV) output of an ARP synthesizer's keyboard to the Little Brother's CV input.

The Little Brother had a single voltage controlled oscillator (VCO) with selectable waveforms, and a sub-octave divider that could produce up to three additional tones simultaneously at -1, -2 and -3 octave intervals. It also had an LFO, and a pitch bend/master tuning knob. However, it had no voltage controlled filter (VCF), voltage controlled amplifier (VCA) or envelope generator (EG or ADSR). When used with other ARP synths to "fatten up" their sounds, the Little Brother's audio output had to be patched into the external audio input of its companion synthesizer, essentially adding an extra VCO and LFO to the system.

It was commonly sold with the Axxe, and was given away for free with the purchase of an Odyssey during a summer 1976 promotion. However, it could be used with any analog synthesizer that had the necessary 1v/octave CV output and external audio input connections. Use it to double up your monophonic Axxe or fatten up the sound of an Odyssey, 2500 or 2600.

ModelLittle Brother
Engine TypeAnalog
Voices (max)1
LFOOne LFO w/ speed, depth and delay
Engine Detailed1 VCO
Envelope (VCA)Master volume
Key typeN/A
CV-gateCV, gate and trigger inputs and an LFO out
Extra infoARP's system interface
Produced:1975 - 1977
Legend: Obvious Y: Yes, N: No, N/A: Not Applicable
VCO Voltage Controlled Oscillator DCO Digital Controlled Oscillator
LFO Low Frequency Oscillator Sub Sub Oscillator
VCF Voltage Controlled Filter VCA Voltage Controlled Amplifier
Velocity As with a piano, the harder you hit a key, the louder the sound, unlike most organs which always produce the same loudness no matter how hard you hit a key. Aftertouch Pressing a key after you activated it. Channel Aftertouch, no matter which key, it will send a Channel message. Poly Aftertouch, sends the pressure per key instead of the whole channel.
Values for OSC, LFO, Filter, Envelope are per voice unless stated otherwise.


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