ARP Odyssey Analog Synthesizer

37-key Duophonic Analog Synthesizer with Slimkey keybed, 2 VCOs, LFO, Sample & Hold, VCF, HPF, Ring Mod; ADSR and AR EGs, Noise Generator, CV/Gate/Trig Patch Points, MIDI In (DIN), and USB (Type B)
ARP Odyssey Analog Synthesizer image 1
ARP Odyssey Analog Synthesizer image 1
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ARP Odyssey Analog Synthesizer
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Odyssey. The Sound. The Legend.

The historic ARP Odyssey. From those seriously funk-laden Herbie Hancock bass lines to George Duke's snarling, in-your-face leads with Zappa, the Odyssey was amazingly versatile. Billy Currie (Ultravox) called it the first punk synthesizer, with an aggressive sound that cut through raucous guitars like a hot knife through butter. It's about time for a re-creation of this duophonic analog synth legend, which nails the circuitry, sound, and feel of the original - at 86% of the size. How is it better than the original? Well, they added USB, for one, along with a new Drive switch and headphone output. Read more about the ARP Odyssey to find out why you really, really need one.

ARP Odyssey Duophonic Analog Synth at a Glance:
  • You're in good company
  • Unmatched crispness, edgy bite, and snarling aggression
  • Your choice of three classic filter designs
  • Modulation and more
  • You've got to experience this formidable synth
You're in good company

Sweetwater synth devotees are enthralled by this re-creation of the ARP Odyssey. After all, the instrument was instrumental in arming keyboardists with an axe that allowed them to compete with guitarists as a lead voice. The Odyssey was used by a veritable who's who of artists, including Chick Corea, Joe Zawinul, Herbie Hancock, George Duke, Gary Numan, Tangerine Dream, Elton John, Jethro Tull, Nine Inch Nails, Vangelis, Ultravox, DEVO, Kansas, Jean-Luc Ponty, Brand X, and many, many more. So you'll be in very good company when you add the ARP Odyssey to your synth arsenal.

Unmatched crispness, edgy bite, and snarling aggression

From its introduction in 1972, the ARP Odyssey gained a substantial following for its distinctive sound, which came in a wide range - shrieking leads, industrial effects, squelchy basses, and much, much more. Additionally, the Odyssey is duophonic - that's right, you can play two notes at once (each one commandeering one of the two oscillators). It also has oscillator hard sync, which lets you craft those visceral tearing patches famously deployed by The Cars on their 1979 hit "Let's Go."

Your choice of three classic filter designs

For the new Odyssey, the original design engineer, David Friend, was brought in as a consultant. Original schematics were deconstructed. Absolute authenticity was a must. For instance, it's well-known that during its decade or so of production, the Odyssey sported three different filter designs. Type I was a 2-pole, with an open sound and biting resonance. Type II was a 4-pole ladder filter: round, fat, and rich - great for basses. Type III was also a 4-pole design and similar in many ways to its predecessor, but smoother and silkier when you pushed the resonance. Well, the new Odyssey contains all three filter types - all available at the flick of a switch!

Modulation and more

The Odyssey gives you generous modulation options, including two envelope generators - an ADSR and an AR. Another feature is Sample & Hold - which allows you to modulate your pitch and filter settings using a variety of waveforms. The S/H section also includes the Output Lag slider, which generates a glide effect between voltage steps, effectively rounding off the edges of the LFO waveform. When you set the LFO to be triggered via the keyboard, this gives you an outrageously cool auto-wah effect on each note you play. And using Ring Modulation in conjunction with oscillator sync or the wealth of pitch modulation available, you can create all manner of clangorous, thunderous - and completely magical musical mayhem.

You've got to experience this formidable synth

The Odyssey's Keyboard Gate and Keyboard Repeat switches let you forge all sorts of pulsing lines, perfect for bass. The Odyssey is a formidable synthesizer, and it's packed with many more unique, useful features, including Portamento, Proportional Pitch Control, a white/pink noise generator, CV, Gate, and Trig in/out patch points - and a new Drive circuit that takes the instrument's storied sonic pugnaciousness to a whole new level. But we'll stop here and simply say that if you're into analog synthesis, you owe it to yourself to have a sound design session with the ARP Odyssey. Be forewarned though: there will be no going back.

ARP Odyssey Duophonic Analog Synth Features:
  • A faithful, 86%-scale re-creation of a classic synth
  • 37-note Slimkey keybed (no velocity sensitivity, no aftertouch - just like the original)
  • Monophonic; two voices for duophonic (one oscillator each)
  • Proportional Pitch Control pads; modulation pad
  • White/pink noise generator
  • Portamento speed control
  • Two VCOs with Sawtooth, Square, and Dynamic Pulse waveforms (with PWM)
  • Lowpass filter (resonant): 12 and 24dB/octave; frequency range: 16Hz-16kHz
  • Voltage Controlled Amplifier (VCA), dynamic range: 80dB
  • Ring Modulator (digital); Sample & Hold
  • ADSR and AR envelope generators
  • Low (1/4" TS) and High (XLR) output jacks; 1/4" TRS headphone jack
  • External Audio Input jack (1/4" TS)
  • MIDI In (DIN); USB (Type B)
  • 1/8" TS CV In/Out, Gate In/Out, and Trig In/Out patch points
  • Pedal and Portamento footswitch inputs
  • Dedicated semi-hard case included
The ARP Odyssey is back!

Additional Media

ARP Odyssey Analog Synthesizer Demo by Sweetwater Sound

Tech Specs

Sound Engine Type(s) Analog
Number of Keys 37
Polyphony 2 Notes
Audio Inputs 1 x 1/4" (external audio in)
Audio Outputs 1 x 1/4" (-10 dBu output ), 1 x XLR (+4 dBu output), 1 x 1/4" (headphones)
USB 1 x Type B
MIDI I/O In
Pedal Inputs 1 x 1/4" (pedal), 1 x 1/4" (footswitch)
Height 4.72"
Width 19.76"
Depth 14.96"
Weight 11.02 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number ODYSSEY

Customer Reviews

5/5

Beginners to Pros: A Classic

Whether your a beginner buying your first synth or a seasoned pro adding another classic to your arsenal, this synth is a must for any enthusiast. Disregard the comments about it being hard to program sounds. This is one of the easiest synths to program in my opinion. The only thing to consider is make sure you have a tuner available to dial in the coarse/pitch and away you go. Most DAWs have this built-in anyway. Fantastic sound quality and cuts through without any EQ on a mix. It has its own unique tone and the duophony is brilliant. Don't be a dumby, buy one. You won't regret it.
Music background: Electronic
5/5

A 1972 design amazingly relevant today

The Korg ARP Odyssey has far exceeded my expectations, and they were pretty high. Unlike many owners I was not interested in copping the sound of the "original", because I never had one back in the day, and wasn't interested in the largely rock music they were favored for (as well as some fusion "jazz" by Herbie Hancock or Chick Corea..really didn't like that stuff either). My interest is in pure synthesizer music, or noise/sound design, if you prefer those terms and for a few years now I've been working with a modular system but found the system building and patching to take precedence over the music. So I sold all that gear this last year started looking for an all-in-one complete mono synth that would work. I wished I could afford a Buchla Electronic Music Easel but that was out of the question, and I tried out a couple mono synths that were ok, but didn't fit with what I want to do. Then Korg recreated this and I just went out on a limb based on how nice the interface looked. Now after using this I can truthfully say I no longer wish for a Music Easel, because this gives me exactly what I was looking for from that, namely a performance instrument that allowed instant access to sound parameters thereby allowing real-time improvisation of timbre and spectral aspects of music. Of course I realize there are sounds and techniques not possible on the Buchla Music Easel that are not on the ARP Odyssey, but the ones I'm interested in are somehow here on the ARP, and to be fair there are a few things the ARP Odyssey has going for it that other synths like the Easel can't do. I added a sequencer and I'm all set. So for my purpose it is 80% of the Easel at about 1/7 th the cost.
5/5

ARP ODYSSEY Revival is BRILLIANT!!

I was a teenager enthralled with music and ARP Synthesizers and really wanted them for the bands I started out playing at that age... I read and read and heard about the Odyssey and Omni and test drove them both at that young age... but alas I could not afford them... This release of the Odyssey was brilliant as it gave us keyboard players a chance at finally owning a legendary synthesizer so many years later when we could afford them and actually buy one!! I am Facebook friends with an ARP group and there are so many keyboardists that hang onto this legendary synth!! I am now one who can stop dreaming and now PLAY one!! And my only disappointment is the smaller keys... I wish they were the real size keys like the original... other than that.. It's an amazing launch of dreams come true!! Please take this message to the CEO of KORG and have the Engineers re-design the OMNI-II with full size keys and that sound from years gone by!! I own Kurzweils and Rolands, etc, but I'm looking for that OMNI-II string sound that only KORG could re-engineer and release just like this Odyssey!! Just please, if you consider taking it on.. Make it full size keys and I know so many of us out here will buy one if nothing else... just to own one!!!! Great job on this!! Bring more on PLEASE!!!!
Music background: Part-time Keyboard Player for 35 + years (and now with plans on remodeling my basement and loading it up with classic synths to enjoy as I approach retirement!!)
5/5

The original

First, let me say that it's sad that Rachel was unsatisfied with "this create own sound thing." Hopefully this is not indicative of the majority of modern keyboard players. Perhaps this digital generation just doesn't have the appreciation for just how analog the *real* world is.But I digress. If you're reading this review, you're likely on the fence about whether to buy this synth. If you're looking for polyphony or presets, the answer is, uh, no. If, on the other hand, you want to wield an audio light saber to cut through any mix or your hyperactive lead guitar player's Marshall stack, oh yeah. This bud is for you.Here's a couple hints for how to peel paint off your walls, scare the neighbors, and sterilize nearby livestock:- set up your sound as normal - switch the filter to Model I - the 12 db/octave (aka "2 pole), and crank the resonance- Drive switch "on"- crank the Ring Modulator - your moog doesn't have this, btw- change OSC2 frequency, or better yet, modulate it with Sample & HoldDisclaimer: no one but you is responsible if you blow your speakers, your tweeters, or your mind.
5/5

The Magic (K)Arp's Magnificient Return!

I was all on board when Korg re-released the MS-20 in a smaller form, or in any form for that matter. It sounded great and it's still a great tool that challenges you to get creative with it (seriously until you put a mic and guitar through an listen to the CV try to keep up, you haven't gotten your money's worth. But alas, I shall cease gloating upon the past's past reissues and move onto the product of the review. The Arp is an Arp. It, like the MS-20, is in a smaller form; but this time around, smaller doesn't mean it's any more fragile or awkward to use. In fact I prefer this size. Pluses Are: +Amazing and versatile sounds for years+Comes with an absolutely charming and classy case. +Like sliding knobs? Boom, you got it chief! Negatives:-The pathetic three buttons that you break your index finger on are not reliable enough to be worth a second of the effort. All in all, I would highly suggest this synth over many other reproductions today. It works great with pedals and there is an amazing youtube series tackling the interface by the amazing and masterful AutomaticGainsay who you could look up before or after you decide to buy one.
Music background: Classical, Jazz, Session, Composer, Soundtracks
See also: ARP, ARP Synthesizers