A limited-edition reissue of the rare and distinctive-sounding ARP Odyssey by KORG in cooperation its original designer, David Friend
The Rev 1 version is white and black with multi-colored switches
There were two major players in the world of synthesizers in the 70s; ARP and Moog. While the modular and complicated ARP 2500 and more user-friendly 2600 were highly regarded and used by numerous artists and film composers, they couldn’t compete with Robert Moog’s runaway-hit, monophonic synthesizer, the portable and far more affordable Minimoog. Not to be outdone, ARP introduced the Odyssey in 1972. The Odyssey is essentially a simplified, hand-wired, compact, and more affordable version of the 2600, and became ARPs best-selling synth. The compact, price- and musician-friendly Odyssey soon became legendary in its own right. The ARP Odyssey, over its 10-year history came in three versions. The first KORG ARP Odyssey reissue is white with black trim and print, and multi-colored switches.
KORG ARP Odyssey FS Rev 1 in one take:
- Legendary duo-phonic, analog synth
- Sleek, 37-key analog synthesizer in Odyssey Type 1 colors
- New Drive switch and Portamento behavior from each revision
- Additional functionality without compromising original sound
- Added connectors such as MIDI and headphone output
- Patch cables included
INSIDE THE BOX—KORG ARP Odyssey Rev1
Legendary, duo-phonic analog synthesizer
The Odyssey essentially gave musicians and studios a simplified, hard-wired ARP 2600 in a much smaller and affordable package. The ARP Odyssey mk1 was a duo-phonic (2 simultaneous notes) synthesizer with 2 VCOs (voltage controlled oscillators) that was known for its bright and penetrating sound and wide range of tonal variation. It had a high-pass filter that could used in series with the low-pass filter, oscillator-sync capabilities, pulse-width modulation, two types of envelope generators, sample-and-hold, and pitch-bend via PPC (proportional pitch controller), which gave it a wide range of timbral variation.
Sleek new 37-key chassis
The ARP Odyssey has been reduced to 86% of its original size, for easier portability. For a smoother operating feel than the original, KORG carefully selected parts for the slider section, The Odyssey also uses a slim, 37-note keyboard that features lighter weight and excellent playability. While making the Odyssey easier to use and more compact, the mini-keyboard is uncompromisingly playable. Although the keyboard has 37 keys, its transpose function allows the Odyssey to cover a full seven octaves.
Filters from all three classic revisions
Similar to Oberheim’s SEM modules, the original Odyssey initially featured a two-pole, 12dB/octave filter that produces a sharp, punchy sound, but thin and metallic-sounding compared to the much fatter 3-pole Minimoog. Once again, not to be outdone by Moog, Revision 2 featured a 4-pole design, which had a 24dB/Oct filter with a much fatter tone, great lows, and was often used for bass. Revision 3 had a similar design, but its resonance was less abrasive than Revision 2. Revision 3 maintains excellent stability even when resonance is raised. These distinctive filters have been reproduced just as they originally were. Each version of the Odyssey reissue features all three sound variations, allowing you to select between them with a single switch. The KORG ARP Odyssey reissues reflect each revision in color scheme only.
Drive switch and portamento of Rev1 and Rev2/3
The Odyssey offers new functionality including a Drive switch, which makes the VCA distort, generating a raw, edgy sound. Each of the new Odyssey reissues includes the portamento characteristics of all original revision. 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.
Under the supervision of ARP co-founder and designer, David Friend, the unique synthesis of the ARP Odyssey has been reproduced from the component level on up. Even though there is new functionality in the Odyssey, great care was take to ensure that the it replicates the original unit’s distinctive synthesis.
OUTSIDE THE BOX—KORG ARP Odyssey Rev1
Added connectors and patch cables
The original connectors on the ARP Odyssey differed by production date. However, 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, KORG added a headphone jack with adjustable volume. Also, the unbalanced XLR outputs of the original have been changed to noise-resistant balanced outputs.
Patch cables included
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 envelope generator won’t be retriggered, allowing you to play legato.
ARP Odyssey History
Originally released in 1972 by ARP Instruments, the Odyssey was ARP’s response to the popularity of Moog’s Minimoog, which was one of the first reasonably priced, portable, and professional-quality synthesizers. ARP went a step further by making the Odyssey the world’s first duo-phonic synthesizer, enabling users to play two notes simultaneously. The instrument quickly gained worldwide popularity; later in 1972 Elton John used one on his hit “Rocket Man,” and in 1973 it was prominently featured on the Herbie Hancock’s “Chameleon,” his first foray into jazz-funk. Other notable musicians to use the instrument include ABBA, George Duke, ELO, Jethro Tull, Kansas, Styx, Ultravox, Gary Numan, Tangerine Dream, Nine Inch Nails, Chick Corea, , Josef Zawinul, Vangelis, Jethro Tull, DEVO, The Starship, Jean-Luc Ponty, R.E.M., and many more.
KORG has finally reissued a full-sized version of the legendary ARP Odyssey synthesizer, available in all three color variations. For more information, call or chat with your Westlake Pro sales consultant today.