Alan R. Pearlman

Alan R. Pearlman
New York, NY, USA
Death date


Alan Robert Pearlman was born on June 7, 1925 in Manhattan. As a child he took piano lessons and was interested in ham radio. At the end of World War II, he served in the army, and enrolled at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, where he developed a vacuum-tube envelope follower as a senior thesis project.

Pearlman worked for NASA on the Gemini and Apollo projects, designing amplifiers, and afterwards co-founded the Nexus Research Laboratory, which was sold to Teledyne in 1967. After hearing Morton Subotnick’s "Silver Apples of the Moon" and Wendy Carlos' "Switched-On Bach", Pearlman decided to focus on instruments again, founding Tonus Inc., in 1969, which later became ARP. The ARP 2500, the company's first synthesizer, was introduced in 1970, and the ARP Odyssey, introduced in 1972, was heavily used in pop music, including Kraftwerk's "The Robots".

ARP eventually went bankrupt in 1981 and Pearlman founded Selva Systems, a computer graphics company, and briefly worked with Kurzweil Music Systems.

Pearlman died on January 5th, 2019.