Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
User avatar
Alex E
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2235
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 12:07 am
Gear: Virus C, Super Bass Station, M1r, TX81z, S760, Nord Rack 2, Nord Lead 3, JP-8000, JV-2080, SY99, Trinity Plus, EMX1, TB-03. Live 9, iMac MC309XX/A
Location: Anaheim, CA

Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by Alex E » Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:55 am

10:55am: The box arrives five minutes before I was supposed to leave for work. That hurt.
Six hours later, I come home and finally take the black and orange square out of it's box.

I started my synth voyage with cheaper stuff. -The most expensive synthesizer I had ever bought was a JP-8000 for $500 with ALL my christmas money AND as my only christmas present that year. To me now, as someone with a stupid job yet a stable income, that's not too much money. Now I can afford to own more expensive machines, but one at a time. This time it happens to be a very famous celebrity.

Sitting in front of this legendary machine, I feel like a retard piloting a priceless space shuttle. Only 50% of my previous knowledge of subtractive synthesis can be applied here, because this is a modular-inspired design. It has a very open re-arrangeable signal flow that's more flexible than I imagined. It makes me -think- when I build sound, rather than arrange the parts for me in a nice happy meal box like many other synthesizers I've used.

When it comes to how the machine sounds overall, I'm not noticing a ton of personality when it comes to the overall tone of the oscillators and filter, but it's personality really comes out when it does all this wacky modular s**t I've never heard before. That's what impresses me the most. It's extremely flexible, and yet it's so small.

Oh, and the coarse tuning sliders are a royal pain in the a*s. It's not a roadblock at all when you're noodling, but when you're ready to record you're going to want a tuner handy.

I'm honestly not blown away though, so with little money to spare, I will probably move on to something else. Yes, that quickly. The previous owner already misses it very much (hi Silikon) and is someone who can appreciate it more than I ever could. He just dumped $500 into it to make a trade fair, and I owe him one.

All in all, it's great but not for me I guess. Glad I tried it!
soundcloud.com/vectron


User avatar
Zamise
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 2351
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2004 2:41 am
Gear: Rollhand P00
Band: Quantum-Source
Location: DenverMetroUSA, Quantum-Source.com
Contact:

Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by Zamise » Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:16 am

Its the horse teeth I don't like about the mkIIIs, mkI & IIs are the shizbud.
<ZQS> [....<OII>.....soundcloud player v2.42.....................link]

User avatar
Alex E
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2235
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 12:07 am
Gear: Virus C, Super Bass Station, M1r, TX81z, S760, Nord Rack 2, Nord Lead 3, JP-8000, JV-2080, SY99, Trinity Plus, EMX1, TB-03. Live 9, iMac MC309XX/A
Location: Anaheim, CA

Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by Alex E » Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:28 am

I must admit it's a strange design. I like how a part of this synth is made of a dead animal though. Can't say that very often.
soundcloud.com/vectron


User avatar
nadafarms
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 1067
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2006 7:33 am
Location: NorCal

Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by nadafarms » Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:05 am

It's a poor build quality, I can't stand scratchy sliders so unless it's well serviced it would be a pain to play and the duophonic keyboard drives me and a lot of people nuts. I find it raw sounding in a bad way sometimes... an arp-2600 is just more pleasing to the ears and the odyssey just is too aggressive in a way I don't like. You should go for an ms-20 at least for a try... if you haven't experimented with many analog synths.
for sale/trade: EML-101

User avatar
Alex E
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2235
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 12:07 am
Gear: Virus C, Super Bass Station, M1r, TX81z, S760, Nord Rack 2, Nord Lead 3, JP-8000, JV-2080, SY99, Trinity Plus, EMX1, TB-03. Live 9, iMac MC309XX/A
Location: Anaheim, CA

Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by Alex E » Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:38 am

Completely agree Nada. My sentiments exactly.

I've actually been kind of interested in the MS20. I like the sounds and the form factor is very appealing.
soundcloud.com/vectron


User avatar
RetroSynthAds
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 71
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 12:04 am
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by RetroSynthAds » Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:10 am

nadafarms wrote: the odyssey just is too aggressive in a way I don't like.
Aggressive is a great way to describe the sound!

To that end, I find it really comes in handy when you pair it, either note-for-note or in some kind of intertwined pattern, with a similar type sound playing on another synth such as an MS20 or Pro-One.

To me it's like salt - it brings out the taste in other synths :)
d**k Martini
If you are bored... check out my blog: http://retrosynthads.blogspot.com

Scories
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 617
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2007 8:57 pm
Gear: Micromoog, JX-3P, Minikorg 700, Z1
Location: Québec - CANADA
Contact:

Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by Scories » Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:25 am

I've also been deceived when I got my ARP Odyssey (mkII). I was expecting some kaleidoscopic pastoral sounds à la Moog. Then I realised it was built for hard synced cutting leads. I struggled all of the times to find it a place in the mix.

User avatar
psychgrave
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 5:43 pm
Gear: SH-2, Pro One, Prophet 600, Pearl Drum-X, Tama Techstar, Cubase, Reason 6
Location: Dallas, TX

Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by psychgrave » Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:40 am

I want to add my 2 cents to this topic and maybe take it in a more philosophical direction. I've been lurking here for months and love the forums but I've never had anything to add until now. I wonder if us youngsters to the synth scene are spoiled or just inexperienced because I had the EXACT same feeling when I got my Pro One six months ago. I did tons of research and chose the model that would be best for my very first analog, even listened to hours of Youtube demos and songs supposedly done w/the Pro One but when it arrived I was disappointed by its sound. Yes, it sounds considerably more 'analog' than software and it rattles the walls when I crank it up, but something is lacking. I can't put my finger on what I don't like about the sound. I wanted something aggressive but its envelopes 'pop' so much it sounds like static ticking in the mix. I'm sure a more experienced programmer than I could coax some amazing sounds out of it but I just wanted to say that I relate to this thread. The only difference is that I'm not looking to sell it, I'm going to tackle this beast. I'm hoping it will benefit from a good calibration and tuning but I can't afford to take it in yet. I wonder if this is a phenomenon with lots of 'first time buyers.'

User avatar
Alex E
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2235
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 12:07 am
Gear: Virus C, Super Bass Station, M1r, TX81z, S760, Nord Rack 2, Nord Lead 3, JP-8000, JV-2080, SY99, Trinity Plus, EMX1, TB-03. Live 9, iMac MC309XX/A
Location: Anaheim, CA

Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by Alex E » Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:22 am

psychgrave wrote:I want to add my 2 cents to this topic and maybe take it in a more philosophical direction...'
Welcome to the forum! :)

Well put!
In our case, I think it could also be an issue of usefulness. Like you, I have a very minimal setup. When this happens, you're going to have to use whatever you have to it's fullest. So if it has a certain sound you're not comfortable with, it's going to get frustrating much more quickly.
soundcloud.com/vectron


User avatar
bochelli
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 480
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2006 11:57 pm
Gear: minimoog polymoog memorymoog multimoog micromoog minitmoog and tons more.
Location: UK

Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by bochelli » Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:45 am

psychgrave wrote:I want to add my 2 cents to this topic and maybe take it in a more philosophical direction. I've been lurking here for months and love the forums but I've never had anything to add until now. I wonder if us youngsters to the synth scene are spoiled or just inexperienced because I had the EXACT same feeling when I got my Pro One six months ago. I did tons of research and chose the model that would be best for my very first analog, even listened to hours of Youtube demos and songs supposedly done w/the Pro One but when it arrived I was disappointed by its sound. Yes, it sounds considerably more 'analog' than software and it rattles the walls when I crank it up, but something is lacking. I can't put my finger on what I don't like about the sound. I wanted something aggressive but its envelopes 'pop' so much it sounds like static ticking in the mix. I'm sure a more experienced programmer than I could coax some amazing sounds out of it but I just wanted to say that I relate to this thread. The only difference is that I'm not looking to sell it, I'm going to tackle this beast. I'm hoping it will benefit from a good calibration and tuning but I can't afford to take it in yet. I wonder if this is a phenomenon with lots of 'first time buyers.'
Perhaps you were wishing for more but when you are face to face with your buy and tried some sheen wears off, ive got 5 odysseys , 3 white , black gold, black orange, they are good but i view them in a past tense, think odyssey i think Billy Curry Sleepwalk .
yamoto773

User avatar
shaft9000
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 2042
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 3:13 am
Real name: Dave
Gear: Whips chains waxes oils dildos DMT TNT the LHC, and a black rubber duckie
Band: moneymoneymoney
Location: VanNuys, CA USA
Contact:

Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by shaft9000 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:46 pm

psychgrave wrote: I'm going to tackle this beast. I'm hoping it will benefit from a good calibration and tuning but I can't afford to take it in yet. I wonder if this is a phenomenon with lots of 'first time buyers.'
yes!
:agree:
any old synth should be calibrated and any leaky/dead capacitors replaced before you decide how good it can sound. too many people buy a vintage synth expecting wonders and then some even later badmouth it because they don't know it's ganky.
particularly if you've moved the synth in a vehicle a few times; enough vibration and a trimpot will turn itself. a lot of old synths can go out of whack pretty easily. h**l, some new ones can too.
Last edited by shaft9000 on Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
2600.solus.modcan a.eurorack.cs60.JP8.Juno6.A6.sunsyn.volcakeys.jd990.tb303.x0xb0x.revolution.
999.m1am1.RY30.svc350.memotron

shaft9000.muffwiggler.com <- singles & mixtape
shaft9000.bandcamp.com <- spacemusic album
youtube.com/shaft9000 <- various synth demos and studies

User avatar
Hybrid88
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2251
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:26 am
Gear: V-Synth, and other stuff...
Location: Australia

Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by Hybrid88 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:52 pm

Shaft sorry but, pray tell who is that in your avatar? :shock:

User avatar
shaft9000
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 2042
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 3:13 am
Real name: Dave
Gear: Whips chains waxes oils dildos DMT TNT the LHC, and a black rubber duckie
Band: moneymoneymoney
Location: VanNuys, CA USA
Contact:

Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by shaft9000 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:54 pm

my daughter....so yoo just mind yer thoughts there, yungin'



leryn franco
2600.solus.modcan a.eurorack.cs60.JP8.Juno6.A6.sunsyn.volcakeys.jd990.tb303.x0xb0x.revolution.
999.m1am1.RY30.svc350.memotron

shaft9000.muffwiggler.com <- singles & mixtape
shaft9000.bandcamp.com <- spacemusic album
youtube.com/shaft9000 <- various synth demos and studies

OntarioHydro
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 190
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 3:44 pm
Band: {}[]<>[]{}
Location: Toronto Ontario Canada

Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by OntarioHydro » Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:26 pm

The Odyssey is amazing! I just don't like the sliders or the lack of a monophonic switch.

That things ringmod is fantastic and the S/H is great too. I love using the PPC to bend into notes like on a guitar.

I would say spend some more time with it like at least 3 months and run it though a bunch of effects.

User avatar
Jabberwalky
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2141
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2005 6:03 pm
Gear: A hybrid of vintage and modern junk
Band: Variar
Location: Pgh, PA
Contact:

Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by Jabberwalky » Sat Mar 03, 2012 5:15 pm

My kitten is the same way. Before it was benched for repair, I mostly just felt it's strength was a sfx/lead synth. The filter is very grit. The kitten is very similar in design to the axxe/odyssey.

You shouldn't sink all your money into one synth. Get two $500-700 analogs and you'll have a much more interesting palette. I think I've finally landed into a comfortable zone for my needs.

For my uses
Mg1: Basic sounding synth. 2 oscillators, but very versatile, modded for detuned leads.
Minikorg700s: It can sound really strange, or very smooth. I use it for basses/leads/drones/ and plucky sounds. Nothing touches the character of this synth.
Kitten: sfx/leads
MInibrute: whenever it's actually released, should fit nicely in

I'd highly suggest getting rid of the notion that there is one analog that will fulfill your needs.

Post Reply