Korg ARP ODYSSEY Synth
Korg Product Overview
The original ARP Odyssey was an analog synthesiser produced in 1972 by American manufacturer ARP Instruments that quickly garnered a faithful following among musicians such as Brian Eno, and perhaps more famously became the cornerstone of the BBC Radiophonic Workshops sound, from the sound design and sound tracks of The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy, to the classic and modern day Dr Who series'. The ARP Odyssey was revised through three iterations utilising three uniquely different filter circuits until manufacturing sadly stopped in 1981 due to economic hardship and the digital uprising.
Now Korg has brought the ARP Odyssey back! With the advisory assistance of David Friend, the co-founder of ARP Instruments, Korg has completely reproduced the original circuitry including the three distinct filter types from each iteration for artists looking to recreate classic sounds and explore new ones. Together the engineers at Korg and Arp were able to nail the sound and feel of all three originals. Every detail has been carefully considered to stay true to the quality of the original, down to the bespoke semi-hard case.
The legendary ARP sound is loved to this day. All too long stopped, the wheels of history have again begun to move.
The original ARP Odyssey was a 2VCO duo-phonic instrument. Its most distinctive feature was its sharp, penetrating sound and its rich range of tonal variation. With a variety of functions and modulation possibilities provided by oscillator sync, sample & hold, pulse width modulation, high-pass filter, two types of envelope generator, and pitch bend using the PPC, it was able to create a versatile range of sounds.The ARP Odyssey reproduces the sounds of these components at the circuit level. Under the supervision of David Friend, parts were carefully selected and every detail was adjusted to replicate the original unit's distinctive synthesis.
Broadly speaking, there were three versions of the original ARP Odyssey, divided by the date of production, with the major difference being the filter circuit. The ARP Odyssey provides all three of these different filter circuits, and allows you to select one of them with a single switch.
TYPE I (Rev1) is a 12 dB/Oct circuit that produces a sharp, punchy sound. TYPE II (Rev2) is a 24 dB/Oct filter with great-sounding lows. TYPE III (Rev3) maintains excellent stability even when resonance is raised. These distinctive filters have been reproduced just as they originally were.
The ARP Odyssey has been downsized to 86% of the original ARP Odyssey. Carefully selected parts are used in the familiar slider section, providing an operating feel that's even smoother than the original. The keyboard uses a 37-note slim keyboard that features lighter weight and excellent playability. While making the instrument more compact and easier to use, we have also paid attention to ensuring that the mini-keyboard is uncompromisingly "playable." Although the keyboard has 37 keys, the transpose function lets it cover a broad range of seven octaves.
In order to deliver a more powerful analog sound, a DRIVE switch is provided as a new function. Turning this switch on makes the VCA distort, generating a rough and raw sound.
The connectors provided on the original ARP Odyssey differed by production date, but based on Rev3 of the original, the ARP Odyssey brings the specifications up to a modern standard. In addition to a MIDI IN connector and USB-MIDI port, we've added a headphone jack with adjustable volume (*). The XLR output jacks which had been unbalanced have been changed to noise-resistant balanced outputs.
Quarter-inch and mini-size patch cables are included. If you connect a patch cable from the newly added headphone jack to the external audio input jack, you can produce a powerful sound by applying self-feedback. If you connect the GATE OUT jack to the TRIG IN jack, the EG won't be retriggered, allowing you to play legato.
On the original ARP Odyssey, the behavior of portamento when using the transpose function differed between Rev1 and Rev2/3. The ARP Odyssey reproduces both of these behaviors and lets you select the desired one with a switch.
- Complete reconstruction of three generations of circuitry, with the founder as advisor
- The distinctive synthesis of the ARP Odyssey has been reproduced from the circuit level up
- Filters of all three generations are provided
- Portamento behaviours of both Rev1 and Rev2/3 are provided
- An evolved ARP Odyssey that preserves the basic design of the original
- Compact body,highly operable sliders, and a slim keyboard that's easy to play
- DRIVE switch (new function) is provided
- Connectors include MIDI and headphone output
- Patch cables included
- Dedicated semi-hard case included
- Rev1 and Rev2 designs also revived as limited-edition models
No upgrades available
Had been thinking about this for a long time, and finally went for it once the price dropped a little. Very happy I did - it made my analog dreams come true. Great for the freakish sound palate as well as everything else.