The Original Arp Odyssey was first released in 1972 as one of the pioneering compact synths and has now gained legendary status as a Classic synth used by a range of artists including Gary Numan, Elton John, Herbie Hancock and even the iconic theme tune to Doctor Who! 40 years later, Korg have teamed up with Arp's Co-founder and original designer of the Odyssey, David Friend for a revival; creating a new version of the Arp Odyssey that is not only completely faithful to the tone of the original, but benefits from modern day design and electronics to make it the best it can be.
The Original Arp Odyssey was a duo-phonic synth with 2VCOs that gave a distinctively sharp and penetrating sound and rich range of tonal variation. It had a fantastic choice of functions and modulation possibilities including pulse width modulation, sample & hold, oscillator sync, filter and envelope generator. With the help and guidance of David Friend, Korg have meticulously recreated this experience from the circuit level upwards. This included many specially selected parts and much tweaking to get right on the bullseye. As a result, you really get the feeling of the original, without searching the web and paying over the odds for an original
The Power of 3
The original run of the Odyssey went through 3 distinctive generations where various updates were made to keep the synth at the cutting edge. In looks, the Korg Arp Odyssey takes the distinctive orange and black colours of the 3rd generation, but hidden within the circuitry it gets a bit more interesting. The new Odyssey contains 3 generations of circuitry, reproduced so that you can get the unique qualities of each synth.
The main difference between the different generations lies in the design of the filter circuit, and as the owner of the new arp odyssey, you will be able to choose which filter you want to use with a single toggle 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.
You also get the choice of portamento behaviours too which changed when using the transpose function. Proving that no stone has been left unturned in the quest for authentic tone and feel, all these details are there at your fingertips to explore and utilise.
Classic Synth, Modern Engineering
Don't worry, there's no digital mumbojumbo going on here, the New Arp Odyssey is as Analogue as the original. What Korg have done, is make some minor improvements to the original design, making use of modern knowedge and engineering to make it the best Odyssey yet. To create a powerful analogue sound a DRIVE switch has been added as a new function. When switched on, the drive pushes the VCA to distort which creates a rough and raw sound that will punch through any modern track.
Although the ciruitry inside is exactly the same and the basic design has been preserved, there have been a number of upgrades to the body to evolve the synth to modern standards. The New Arp Odyssey has been downsized to 86% of the original to make it lighter and more portable so that you can take it away from the studio to gigs or out to external sessions. All the physical parts of the synth have been specially selected so that the sliders feel even smoother and more responsive than the original. The new 37note slim keyboard section with 7 octave transpose function is also lighter and offers excellent playability for those more complicated synth parts.
On the back you now get all the modern connections you would expect, including Midi/USB midi and noise-resistant balanced outputs. Also included with the synth, you now get plenty of patch cables to create crazy feedback sounds and legato triggering. To top it off you also get a dedicated Semi-hard case included to ensure your synth is looked after when not in use. It has the classic ARP logo and a sophisticated look with excellent impact resistance and internal cushioning.