Fat sounds from a classic synth – Arp Odyssey

October 16, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized 

This is a short demo of the ARP Odyssey’s sound and synthesis capabilities. This Odyssey is a late mk1 model. It has a gritty and present sound.

While the Minimoog proved to be a runaway success as the first compact studio synthesizer, ARP responded with a compact and user-friendly studio synthesizer of their own with the Odyssey in 1972. An almost equally legendary machine itself, the Odyssey was ARP’s highest selling synth back then, and still is to this day in the second-hand market.

The Odyssey essentially gives you a simplified hard-wired ARP 2600 in a much smaller and affordable package. The Odyssey is a 2-oscillator analog synth (with duo-phonic capability) and it sounds really nice; the Minimoog has three oscillators and is capable of thicker sounds. The Odyssey comes well equipped with all the tweakable features and analog goodness you’d expect: a resonant low pass filter, ADSR envelopes, sine or square wave LFO, and a sample-and-hold function.

First came the Odyssey Mk I (Model 2800) produced between 1972-75. These used a smooth but tinny sounding 2-pole voltage-controlled filter design (model 4023) similar to those used in the Oberheim SEM modules. From 1972 to 74 the Odyssey was produced with a white-faced front panel with black lettering. During 1974 to 75 they switched to a redesigned black front panel with gold lettering. However, all Mk I’s can be identified by the rotary knob they use for pitch bending. None had any interface jacks, but a factory modification was available to add interface jacks as well as a PPC pitch bender in place of the rotary knob.

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