Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

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Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by V301H » Sat Mar 03, 2012 7:13 pm

My first Synth was a white-face Odyssey. I absolutely loved this Synth. It seemed there was nothing it couldn't do as far as Subtractive Synthesis. Later on I bought a Pro-One brand new. It sounds very good but I found it disappointing compared to the Odyssey. Also I'm one of those rare people who prefers the Pro-One over the MS20 as good as it is.

There has been much debate about whether the early Odyssey models sound better than some of the later editions. If you have the opportunity to compare you should do so. One design point apart from the sound that I dislike about the black-orange MkIII Odyssey is how far the keys hang out away from the case. What were they thinking? The white-face and MkII have some overhang too but not near this much.
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Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by Scories » Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:54 pm

Jabberwalky wrote: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.
Minikorg 700s : They're getting harder and harder to find. Got a 700 at home, do I miss a lot when compared to the 700s?

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Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by Alex E » Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:23 pm

shaft9000 wrote: 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.
haha, for the record, my Oddy was just serviced inside and out. New sliders too.
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Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by Jabberwalky » Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:54 am

Scories wrote:
Jabberwalky wrote: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.
Minikorg 700s : They're getting harder and harder to find. Got a 700 at home, do I miss a lot when compared to the 700s?
You do miss a lot. 2nd saw osc, fully tunable between 3 octaves, and the ring mods are just nasty sounding.

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Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by analoglsd » Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:47 am

I would spend more time with the Odyssey if I were you.
When I got mine, I felt the same way.
The layout was confusing, and the the general tone wasn't blowing me away either.
After investing some hours into it, the confusion was gone and a much greater appreciation for it's sound and possibilities was revealed.
Personally, anytime I romance a synth from a distance and drop considerable money into obtaining it, my inflated expectations generally sour my introduction to the piece.
Just my 2 cents.

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Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by adhmzaiusz » Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:32 pm

analoglsd wrote:I would spend more time with the Odyssey if I were you.
When I got mine, I felt the same way.
The layout was confusing, and the the general tone wasn't blowing me away either.
After investing some hours into it, the confusion was gone and a much greater appreciation for it's sound and possibilities was revealed.
Personally, anytime I romance a synth from a distance and drop considerable money into obtaining it, my inflated expectations generally sour my introduction to the piece.
Just my 2 cents.
I agree, a long time ago I had a chance at buying either an arp odyssey or a much cheaper yamaha cs40. I spent a bit of time playing both, and I was generally not impressed with the odyssey, and went with the cs40 because I thought it had way more character to the sound, and was so straight forward. After the fact I started regretting not getting the odyssey, since it was harder to get one and I felt like I didn't give it a proper chance. I tracked one down about a year or two later and finally gave it the attention I should have.

Now after knowing it, I think that it is a very neutral sounding synth for typical sounds, and probably most people's first impressions are deceived looking for sounds that will blow them away. I think this has to do with being a very confusing synth in terms of user friendliness and it's hard to create the sound you want if you don't understand what everything does. Once you really dig in there are alot of possibilities, and you really do come to appreciate it's sound characteristic. Controlled by cv this thing is pretty boss.
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Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by goom » Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:26 pm

If you have one of the later Odysseys with the 4075 filter, try some patches without using resonance. I find the sound is beefier with little to no resonance in the patches. This sound might be more to your liking. The bass response in the earlier filters don't get attenuated like the 4075 filter does with resonance.

Something to consider is that many (most?) vintage analogs do not have the capabilites that the Odyssey has. Some will have osc sync but no ring mod, other's will have ring mod and no sync, others may not have the FM functions, and still others may not have sample and hold. Well, the Odyssey has all of those in a single package.

If you're looking for more of a Moog sound, maybe try a different synth to get that tone that you're looking for, but you might want hold on to the Odyssey for the wide pallet of other sounds it does offer.

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Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by goom » Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:42 pm

Here's an MP3 I did using my Odyssey awhile back.
ARP Odyssey - Warrior's Theme

Also, if you haven't entered your Odyssey in this poll, please do:
Odyssey poll

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Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by psychgrave » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:24 am

Alex E wrote:
shaft9000 wrote: 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.
haha, for the record, my Oddy was just serviced inside and out. New sliders too.
I'm hoping this is the case for my situation because I asked the guy I bought it from when he last serviced it. He told me that he never had it serviced and that the guy he got it from had it stored for years in an attic (and I had it shipped halfway across the country). Although this is bad for the internals, cosmetically it looks amazing since it's seen little use. The only service I'm capable of doing myself was to remove and clean the keys, replace the key bushings, and clean the J-wire w/Deoxit. It now feels great but sounds a little sloppy if I had to put an adjective on it. When I try to play the same note from a softsynth on the Pro One I have to adjust the tuning knob to match it. I'd like to tune it myself, but you're right about the caps (I can't do that!). The unit is 30 years old. I guess I can't expect it to sound like it did in its prime. ;) At least not until the internals are tip top.

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Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by walkathon » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:51 am

Agreed w/ some of the other chimes here, don't give up on it so quickly. me thinks. I've had my 2813 for over a decade now, and I only really came to love it a few years ago when I gave it a fully in/out cleaning. There's times I'll fire it up and not get a sound I remotely like, then fire it up the next day and love every single thing it does. A synth that goes from Marvin to Devo? Sign me up.

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Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by Plumpudding » Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:34 pm

My first hardware synth was a cms patchpoint upgraded whiteface oddy. Once unleased it would rip my sanity apart. I guess thats why I loved it. Just sold it to a dude with a nice studio. I could not justify to keep such a thing locked up and unused back in Norway, and no way in h**l if I was gonna ship it here, but I wish I'd found another way. Oh well, atleast I've now got enough cash to buy a couple of other awesome machines.
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Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by iProg » Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:54 pm

As with all analog synths, they need time.
I've heard plenty of people who are disappointed after buying a Prophet-5, claiming it doesn't sound as in the songs or videos they've heard etc.

Part of an instrument is what it can do, and the other part is what you can do with it.
Explore your synths. Keep them if you're not in Greek debt.

As far as taste goes, one is not obliged to "like" the character of, let's say, the Jupiter-8 or the Arp Odyssey. They are iconic nonetheless. But as one digs deeper and deeper into the sonic palette of it, one will discover that what we have previously heard is simply other musicians' taste of sound in certain songs and not the full range of the instrument.

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Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by Alex E » Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:25 am

Well f**k. I'm really starting to like it. I've just been jonesing for a Virus TI for years and I can't afford to have both. :(

If I don't care for the Virus, I might just buy another Oddy if I do let go of this one.
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Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by HH » Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:55 pm

As everyone said before: give it some time and try playing, recording with it more, overdubbing more and more sounds together. Try running it through some chain of effects like reverbs, echos. Try running it through midi (kenton or other midi-cv converters) to play some classics with a chain of effects: it should be a cosmos. I love to do that with analog synth and its really inspiring to start fiddling and recording your own tracks ;)

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Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by ppg_wavecomputer » Sat Feb 16, 2013 8:28 pm

When talking about "the Odyssey", we ought to bear in mind that each revision of the Odyssey is structurally the same, but timbrally an entirely different sort of instrument.

The 2800 sounds creamy, squelchy, and very unlike Moog or Oberheim SEM, i. e. it complements them well.

The 2810-15 (?) sounds very precise and stable but also a bit thin and lifeless IMO (telling from the 2813 I used to have for years).

The 2820-23 (I think) sounds very clean and in-your-face, is possibly the best in terms of expression (if you like those rubber pads), and comes closest to what people would expect a "Moog" to sound like (if you know what I´m driving at).

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