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Arp Odyssey


arp odyssey
audio demo trend price : 1500€
manual   demo video comments

ARP ODYSSEY Mk3 (1978)

The Arp Odyssey 2800 is considered the portable version of the famous modular ARP 2600 designed by Alan Robert Pearlman.
The Odyssey was the the main Minimoog rival with some strenghts and flaws.

This is the third official release from ARP after near ten years of production from 1972 to 1981 with some technical and cosmetic changes.

arp odyssey keyboad close up

voltage controlled oscillators

info KEYBOARD (weight about 8 Kg) compact 37-keys synthesizer mainly made out of metal and plastic with nice orange-black design.
The main panel features 34 sliders control instead of classical rotary knobs with colored caps indicating the functions area: each synthesis section is particularly clear with a particular logic directly inspired from the bigger Arp 2600.
On the left side there are three rubber pads PPC Proportional pitch control, a kind of futuristic pitch wheel replacing the classical rotary knob from previous Odyssey models, a Portamento rate slider for legato play and finally a handy 3 octaves height switch LOW / MID/ HI.
Back panel terminal connectors: control CV / Gate, jack and XLR output, a CV pedal control input (disables S&H functions) + external audio processing input for filter VCF with line impedance.

editVOICE subtractive analog synthesis double VCO in monophonic Unison or Duophonic playmode.
VCO1 is always master and has lower priority while VCO2 has higher and it can set to a special LOW mode acting as an AUX Low Frequency Oscillator.
Both oscillators have an independent Volume gain plus a Coarse pitch for wide-fine tuning and special pitch hard-sync mode in VCO2 -> VCO1 way. VCO1- VCO2 have Sawtooth / Square waveforms with variable Width starting form 50% cycle duty to full Square + simple White-Pink noise circuits.

edit PWM-VCO1 is modulable by two sources at the same time:
- LFO Square or Sinusoidal wave
- S/H or ADSR Envelope.
PWM-VCO2 has some variations:
- LFO sinusoidal or S&H / external pedal
- Assigned to Envelope ADSR or S&H.
arp odyssey sample and hold
VCO pitch are modulated by two summable FM modulations:
- FM VOC1 LFO Square or Sinusoidal and/or S&H or Envelope ADSR.
- FM VCO2 LFO just sinusoidal or S&H / external pedal and/or envelope ADSR or S&H.
voltage controlled oscillator

filter FILTER analog 4-poles multimode VCF with resonant LowPass + a non-resonant HighPass. Quite an aggressive sound! in fact the new filter design seems to be not as fat as the previous one model 4023 (so-called cloned Moog) but has its own character and still achieves a very characteristic resonance in autooscillation.

adsr ENVELOPE two EG assignable to Oscillator1-2 FM Pitch and VCF Filter AD and ADSR respectively with 2 and 4 segment stages.
VCA GAIN holds a sound indefinitely likely for drones effects and the REPEAT function retriggers the EG following the Square LFO flow (clocked to the main LFO frequency, but may be synched to external trigger IN with LATCH mode.

lfo LFO Main Low Frequency Oscillator features 3 different waveforms: Square, Sinusoidal and S&H sharing same frequency (the range is from 0.2 to 20 Hz) and modulates PWM1-2 / VCO1-2 pitch/ VCF Cutoff. A second LFO featuring Square-Saw waveform is available interrupting the VCO1.
The adjacent SampleHold mixer is quite unusual for this kind of synthesizer and features 2 sliders that mix values from VCO1 wave Square (or Saw) and VCO2 wave Square: each sampled step is clocked to LFO frequency or manually retriggered and the generated voltage output has a voltage Slew (a smoothing process) OUPUT LAG .

memroy MEMORY none! download a free printable version on the right column.



odyssey mk1


Model: 2800 (from 1972 to 1974)
- Rotary Knob bender
- No external CV control
- 2 poles filter (model 4023)

odyssey mk2


model: 2800->2813 (from 1974 to 1978)
- Rotary Knob or late PPC
- Later models have CV control (like 2810)
- 4 poles "Mooged" (4023) filter replaced by custom 4075 patent infringement

odyssey mk3


Model: 2820-> 2823 (from 1978 to 1981)
- PPC controller
- CV/gate control
- 4 poles filter 4075

? in 2014 KORG announces the development of an all new ARP Odyssey synthesizer.

cat on the synth! AUDIO DEMO


 ARP Odyssey arp odyssey with with roland tr808 spiral sequence 2
ARP Odyssey odyssey with roland tr808 sequencer with maq 16/3

arp odyssey scan

arp odyssey magazine

arp odyssey advertising

arp odysseyflyer

arp odyssey brochure


fun merchandising stuff: (these pics are from the web and unknown authors)

arp odyssey pillow

arp odyssey shirt

arp odyssey logo


behind the synthesizer ARP made in USA vcf detail- do not touch VCF pins


- incredible sound routing
- CV gate & XLR I/O , pedal cv


- bad sliders and PPC quality
- not so punchy
on bass
- can be tricky

for connoisseur


"Odyssey is a bit different from classical synthesizer with its own logic of editing, not always intuitive but really powerful and flexible."


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all snapshots, sounds, texts copyright Polynominal.com / Eric Pochesci

arp odyssey 4.5 out of 5 based on 26 ratings. price €1500