New in the Studio: Arp Omni MK1

First beat using the Arp omni #hiphop #instrumental #beats #illtalbeats #arp #vintagesynth

A video posted by Ill Tal (@illtalbeats) on

So I know I’ve been lacking with the site updates, but I’m actually trying to post more often lately. I decided to post about a new piece of equipment that now calls my studio – The Fallout Shelter – home.

I recently copped an Arp Omni MK 1 off of Ebay as a “local pick-up only” purchase. There were no other bids on it (assuming no one lived in the area that wanted it) so I was lucky enough to win at the base price. After paying, I made arrangements to travel about an hour and a half away to go retrieve it.

I was a greeted by an older dude with a ponytail who was surprised by my age. Turns out, he ended up being one of the keyboardists for funk/R&B group Kleeer. He shared some cool stories from his heyday, showed me how to work the synth, and I was on my way.

I originally wanted a Solina (same synth used by Bernie Worrell on all the famous Pfunk records) but they are A) hard to find and B) usually in the $2000+ price range. The Arp was the closest to it, in my price range so I’ll make it work. It’s actually got a little more going for it, because aside from string emulation, it has classic Arp synth sounds as well, that can be mixed with the strings or sent through a separate output.

The synth itself is from 1976 and is prone to alot of issues. However, the dude from Kleeer actually had it professionally serviced and all those issues were fixed (power supply, capacitors, filter chips, etc…). It has a great tone and when adding some reverb and delay, it really fills out the room. Like alot of vintage gear, it can be a beat “noisy” at times (hear a little thump when hitting some keys) but nothing a filter can’t remove.

You can check out a beat I made with it in the video above.