Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

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goom
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Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by goom » Sat Mar 16, 2013 1:36 am

Wow, CZ! Very nice!

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Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by CZ Rider » Sat Mar 16, 2013 2:21 am

goom wrote:Wow, CZ! Very nice!
Thanks!
That duo-phonic feature is really unique and very expressive. I remember back in the day hearing negative comments about it not having a proper hold on the second note. But the way it is implemented it is very controllable. I like it, and it sets the Odyssey apart from many other similar two oscillator synthesizers. You do need a good clean buss bar on the keyboard for it to work properly though.

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Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by Steve Jones » Sat Mar 16, 2013 4:22 am

Nice demo CZ! PPC is fantastic, and hitting intervals on the duophonic keyboard while bending and modulating at the same time is one of the joys of Odyssey playing.
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Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by jimtheswede » Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:57 am

I bought my MkII 2810 (with 4035 filter) back in 1975 - spent so much time with it back then and explored every aspect of it...the possibilities seemed endless. Had it totally restored by Kevin Lightner a couple years ago, and was so excited to have it back to better-than-new condition, that I got a Kenton USB Solo MIDI/CV converter and then found an ARP "Little Brother" in great condition on CL to interface with it. The Little Brother adds a whole new flavor to the Ody. It adds an additional Osc with unique features - multiple simulaneous waveforms and octaves, and another LFO (with delay). I really got lucky with the LB as it was in great condition, but I don't think it was ever serviced. I will never part with my Ody - washed too many dishes and bussed too many tables back in 1975 to pay for it new, and then paid more to get it restored, but all the $$ was totally worth it, IMO! :D

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Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by AnalogKid » Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:05 am

I always assumed that Billy was using PPC for all of the modulation on those solo's, but watching some live concert footage I saw that what he was doing was to only add sine wave modulation to VCO 1 using his left hand on the VCO 1 mod slider. - Those solos are what I am referring to when I say that you need to PLAY an Odyssey to get the most out of it, and also how the Oddy has a fantastic "voice" without the need for using filter resonance.
Yup, Billy Currie used the slider. You can see him do it during the Arp Odyssey solos in these live Ultravox clips.

The Odyssey solo is at 1:30 in this song:



Another Odyssey solo at 3:16 in this track:




Back in 1979, Billy Currie was one of the musicians in Gary Numan's touring band. Numan made an odd choice in doing a version of the well known song On Broadway. The best part of this live recording is Billy Currie's wicked sounding Arp Odyssey solo. At 1:57 the Odyssey kicks in, and it doesn't stop until near the end of the song. You can't see Billy Currie in this clip. He's up and off to the side, but you sure can hear the Arp Odyssey.



Here's yet another Billy Currie Arp Odyssey solo at 2:33, again with lots of hands on modulation via the slider:




If anyone can point me to some other Arp Odyssey solos out there, I'd like to hear them.

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Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by Steve Jones » Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:23 am

Amazing. I also assumed that he used the portamento footswitch, but looking at that clip of Hymn he is doing some serious slider work with his left hand.
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Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by Aaron2 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:54 am

I had the same experience as the OP did when I got my Moog MG-1. I was dying to find one. I found one locally, put hours into replacing all the sliders and switches and cleaning it inside and out, had a professional calibrate it and diagnose a couple of other issues I was having. And then ... pfft. I played it for awhile and sold it. It just didn't do it for me. :|

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Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by Aaron2 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:35 am

Hybrid88 wrote:Shaft sorry but, pray tell who is that in your avatar? :shock:
Leryn Franco.

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Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by maindeglorie » Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:53 am

The Odyssey was one of my "must have before death" synths for a very long time. Somehow I kept putting it off and grabbing other notorious analogs, etc. and for years I just never managed to complete my mission in obtaining one. I am an ARP fan. The 2600 and my Solus just have a sonic character that works with me effortlessly for whatever reason. The ARP saw and square waves are my favorite of any manufacturer with the exception of Ken Macbeth's. So a few months ago I finally pulled the trigger on a well maintained white MK1. I wanted that filter to compliment the Solus filter. I was so pumped and anxious to plug it in and immediately make it scream since I had experience with the other ARP's I own. I powered it on and f**k around for an hour and shut it off feeling like I was either an alien or a fool who built their expectations too high. A few hours later I turned it on again and felt better. The next day I turned it on and noticed the magic in it - all those subtle slider adjustments that make the bastard scream and truly unique. There's even a weird softness that can be brought out of the Oddy - like slow rising, low cutoff saw leads that gentle as f**k even with a 12db filter. I don't know why - but the Odyssey just (at least to me) as immediate as other monos, but once you know yours - it's a goddamn weapon of voltage. Easy.

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Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by burnsjed » Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:28 am

AnalogKid wrote: Back in 1979, Billy Currie was one of the musicians in Gary Numan's touring band. Numan made an odd choice in doing a version of the well known song On Broadway. The best part of this live recording is Billy Currie's wicked sounding Arp Odyssey solo. At 1:57 the Odyssey kicks in, and it doesn't stop until near the end of the song. You can't see Billy Currie in this clip. He's up and off to the side, but you sure can hear the Arp Odyssey.

Best ever keyboard solo!!

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Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by Broadwave » Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:28 am

Billy Curry used an older early MKII Odyssey that had the MKI Controller and VCO PCB's (some early MKII's are a bit of a mongrel, you need to open them up to see what you're getting!) - The portamento circuit is AFTER the 2 octave up/down switch on these versions. He used to switch in portamento and flick the 2 octave switch down then up again to get those amazing sweeps.

How do I know?... I spent much of my time following Ultravox in the late 70's, where they played intimate clubs like the Marquee. I had just taken up playing keyboards, so I was fascinated by how he used the Oddy - Monkey see, monkey do ;)

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Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by Steve Jones » Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:30 pm

Kronik wrote:Billy Curry used an older early MKII Odyssey that had the MKI Controller and VCO PCB's (some early MKII's are a bit of a mongrel, you need to open them up to see what you're getting!) - The portamento circuit is AFTER the 2 octave up/down switch on these versions. He used to switch in portamento and flick the 2 octave switch down then up again to get those amazing sweeps.

How do I know?... I spent much of my time following Ultravox in the late 70's, where they played intimate clubs like the Marquee. I had just taken up playing keyboards, so I was fascinated by how he used the Oddy - Monkey see, monkey do ;)
That's answers a lot of questions that I had been wondering about. I can see him flick something on the clips on youtube but I assumed that he was flicking the portamento slider. It makes sense that he was instead flicking the octave switch. Thanks for that bit if info, I am going to pull out the old schematic and re-wire one of my Oddy's this way.
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Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by Broadwave » Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:34 pm

Steve Jones wrote:
That's answers a lot of questions that I had been wondering about. I can see him flick something on the clips on youtube but I assumed that he was flicking the portamento slider. It makes sense that he was instead flicking the octave switch. Thanks for that bit if info, I am going to pull out the old schematic and re-wire one of my Oddy's this way.
The MKI Oddy's transpose circuit is part of the current supply to the keyboard divider chain, so it transposes the whole keyboard CV output - the later Oddys simply add the +/-2v to the CV mixer along with the PPC after the portamento circuit - should be pretty easy to mix the transpose voltage before.

As an aside, I've just added aftertouch to my MKIII :) At the moment it just feeds from the LFO, but makes a huge difference to playability. I've also finally(!!!) added the 40235 dual VCF. I've built several in the past, and never got them working, so I had some PCB's made up by Futurlec - worked first time. I'm now contemplating adding a simple 3rd VCO - I think there's just enough room in the area above the Portamento/Transpose section for a few knobs :)

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Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by meatballfulton » Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:15 pm

The Odyssey is my biggest synth regret in life. I got a whiteface with added CV jacks as a gift from a friend...with the factory Anvil case! Another friend who had worked at ARP got me xeroxes of the service manual and I soon found out that the massive tuning drift was due to all the dust and hair inside the sliders...when I opened it up to look at it, it looked like what you find inside the bag of your vacuum cleaner :oops: A toothbrush and some contact cleaner and it was rocking again =D>

The reason I wanted it was I didn't know much about programming sounds (my main synth then was an SQ80), maybe something with knobs or sliders to experiment with would be the ticket. I was able to hook up the CV to an SH-101 I bought for $25 :o but I had no idea the Roland needed a very high gate signal...I could play the Odyssey from the SH-101 keyboard but not vice versa. I thought the CV wiring was broken :facepalm:

At the time, it wasn't worth much and adding a Kenton MIDI kit was way out of my budget at the time so I couldn't sequence it from the SQ80 which was critical because my keyboard chops were at an all-time low. I eventually traded it for a Kawai K5r (a total dog of a synth, but hey it had MIDI and was 8-part multitimbral for sequencing.).

The saddest thing is the little I learned about sound sculpting with it barely scratched the surface of what the Oddy was capable of. Most of the time I turned EG repeat on, routed the S&H to the VCO and VCF and moved the sliders around seeing what would happen. I wish I had it now because I could actually make use of all the great features :?

Today I make do with a DSI Evolver for my analog jones now that I finally know how to program ;)
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Re: Some thoughts on the Arp Odyssey

Post by ppg_wavecomputer » Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:41 pm

I recently had my white-face Odyssey modded with CV/Gate/Trigger jacks for interfacing it with my ARP Sequencers. Can´t wait to give this combo a try.

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