Korg's Rebooted Arp Odyssey Is Here, Ready For an Army of Synth Nerds

Illustration for article titled Korgs Rebooted Arp Odyssey Is Here, Ready For an Army of Synth Nerds

Here it is folks, probably the coolest synthesizer reboot possible.

You can't be blamed for not necessarily knowing what the hell an Arp Odyssey is. It looks like any old synth covered in a bunch of shit faders that aid it in making some crazy bleep bloop sounds. It's not immediately apparent why you should care, and Arp doesn't have nearly the name recognition of august brands like Moog. But trust me, this thing is a legend. Head over to YouTube and type in Arp Odyssey and you'll find an endless collection of demo videos and impromptu synth jams. Vintage models in decent condition frequently fetch more than $3000. Nerds love this thing.

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The synth was made from 1972-1981, and last year, Korg announced that it would be teaming up with the Odyssey's designer David Friend to reboot the classic synth, and here at last it is.

Illustration for article titled Korgs Rebooted Arp Odyssey Is Here, Ready For an Army of Synth Nerds
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The remake is a faithful reproduction of the original, except that it's been slimmed down 86 percent from the original. (Similar to how Korg's MS-20 rerelease was also much smaller than the original.) It's got 37 slim-line keys. It's got two oscillators, and you can play it for a maximum of two-voice polyphony. The Arp is distinct for being such a good performance synth, the faders that control the filters and effects are designed to be adjusted quickly on the fly.

The Korg Arp Odyssey also has some new features like USB-MIDI support and a new Drive function that gives you a nice boost for playing leads.

Korg is doing a huge preview right now, so I'm updating as we learn more about this crazy reboot.

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DISCUSSION

My personal ARP story: Back in the early '70s I frequented a coffee house in Annapolis MD, and often met Phil Dodds, a friend and fellow folk music fan. One evening he brought in an ARP 2600. Phil had just gone to work for ARP and was showing off their product to his friends; we played with it all night. Phil later delivered a fully loaded model 2500 to the set of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Spielberg liked his looks and cast him as the synthesizer keyboardist. He even has a line: "What are we saying to each other?" That's Phil in the middle.