The Korg ARP Odyssey Analogue Synthesizer is a complete reconstruction of the original ARP Odyssey, incorporating three generations of circuitry and combining old analogue circuitry with modern features the only enhance the player experience.
In short we can now finally say the words that synth players have been waiting to hear for over thirty years… “The Odyssey is BACK!!”
The ARP Odyssey was an analogue synthesizer originally produced in 1971 by the American ARP instruments, Inc. that quickly gained a faithful following among musicians. Well respected for its high value, playability and portability, the ARP Odyssey underwent several updates and improvements during its lifespan and continued to be a best-seller until manufacturing stopped in 1981 due to economic hardships and the beginning of the digital age. The ARP Odyssey’s sound has been heard on numerous classic songs over the last three decades and was a key figure throughout the golden age of synth music.
In 2015, KORG has brought back the ARP Odyssey with the advisory assistance of David Friend (the co-founder of ARP instruments) KORG has completely reproduced the original circuitry and together they have recreated the sound and the feel of the original. Every detail has been intricately considered and has stayed true to the original – even down to the semi-hard case.
The original ARP Odyssey was a 2VCO duo-phonic instrument with its most distinctive feature being the sharp, penetrating sounds and rich tonal variation. It had a variety of functions and modulations fuelled by the oscillator sync, sample & hold, pulse width modulation, high-pass filter, two types of envelope generator, and pitch bending using the PPC, it was able to create a versatile and spectral range of sounds. The 2015 ARP Odyssey reproduces the sounds of these original components at the circuit level. All of the parts were carefully sourced with no detail spared to replicate the original unit’s distinct synthesis.
There were three versions of the original ARP divided mainly by the date of production. The major differences being the filter circuit. TYPE I (Rev1) is a 12 dB/Oct circuit that produces a sharp, punchy sound. TYPE II (Rev2) is a 24dB/Oct filter with classy sounding lows. Type III (Rev3) maintains excellence stability even through high resonance. These distinctive features have all been reproduced exactly as they originally were and the 2015 ARP allows you to select either one you wish to use with a single selector switch.
The original ARP odyssey had different portamento behaviours for each of the versions Rev1 and Rev 2/3. Again, the 2015 allows you to choose your preferred version with one selector switch.
To match the modern age of tiny and exciting gadgets, the 2015 ARP has been downsized to 86% of its original size. Carefully selected parts have been used to provide an operating experience that doesn’t suffer from the downsize and, in fact, feels smoother than before - whilst retaining the compact nature of the design, the playability has not been compromised. The 37 keys cover a wide range of octaves.
In order to provide a more powerful analogue sound, a DRIVE switch has been provided as a handy new function. Engagement of this switch allows the VCA to distort, generating a raucous, rough, raw and beautifully crunchy sound.
Another modern day feature is that of the output connectors. The connectors outboard on the original series differed by production date. The 2015 version is based on the Rev3 version with additions of MIDI IN connector and a USB-MIDI port. There is also a headphone jack with designated volume control.
This version comes with quarter–inch and mini-size patch cables included allowing you to connect the newly added headphone jack to the external audio input jack, you will be able to be your own God of sound and produce a thunderous and powerful self-feedback…
You can also connect the GATE OUT jack to the TRIG IN jack then the EG will not be triggered, allowing you to play legato!
Finally, of all the various designs that differed by production date, the ARP Odyssey 2015 uses the Rev3 design. This being a sleek black panel silk-screened in orange.
The main features of the Korg ARP Odyssey Analogue Synthesizer include:
- Keyboard: 37 – Note (Slim key, no velocity sensitivity, no after-touch)
- Maximum Polyphony: 2 Voices for duophonic: normally monophonic
- Controllers: Transpose positions, 2 octaves down, normal, 2 octaves above
- Proportional Pitch Control, b (pitch down) Pad: -2/3 octave - (modulation) pad, # (Pitch-up) Pad: about + 2 / 3 octave
- Noise spectrum types: White and Pink
- Portamento: Max speed: 0.001 msec./oct, min speed 1.5 sec. / oct
- Waveforms – sawtooth, square, pulse(dynamic pulse)
- Frequency Range : VCO-1 in low freq. mode, 0.2 Hz – 20 Hz: VCO – 1 and VCO – 2 (audio range) about 20 Hz – 20 kHz
- Warm up drift: 1/30 semitone from turn on to max
- Pulse width: 50% -5%
- Pulse width modulation ADSR + 45%, LFO +15%
- Voltage controlled response: 1 V/Oct
- Maximum frequency shifts: LFO sin wave +1/2 oct
- LFO square wave +1.5 oct
- ADSR +9 oct
- S/H +2 oct
- Voltage Control Filter types: Low pass
- Frequency range 16 Hz – 16 kHz
- Maximum usable Q – 30
- Resonance ½ - self oscillate
- Dynamic Range 80 dB
- Ring modulator: digital
- Input signal VCO-1 VCO-2 (squarewave)
- Sample and hold – command sources – keyboard or LFO trigger / sampled sources VCO-1 sawtooth wave and square, VCO-2 square & pink noise
- ADSR Envelope Generator – attack time 5ms – 5s, decay 10ms – 8s, sustain 0-100% or peak, release 15ms – 10s
- AR Envelope – attack time 5ms – 5s, release time 10ms – 8s
- Control input jacks: pedal, Portamento Foot
- Audio Output Jacks : Low and high
- Headphones Jack 6.3mm stereos
- External Audio Input: connector: 6.3mm
- Midi : In
- USB: Type B