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ARP | Odyssey rev3
While the Minimoog proved to be a runaway success as the first compact studio synthesizer, ARP responded with a compact and user-friendly studio synthesizer of their own with the Odyssey in 1972. An almost equally legendary machine itself, the Odyssey was ARP's highest selling synth back then, and still is to this day in the second-hand market.
The Odyssey essentially gives you a simplified hard-wired ARP 2600 in a much smaller and affordable package. The Odyssey is a 2-oscillator analog synth (with duo-phonic capability) and it sounds really nice; the Minimoog has three oscillators and is capable of thicker sounds. The Odyssey comes well equipped with all the tweakable features and analog goodness you'd expect: a resonant low pass filter, ADSR envelopes, sine or square wave LFO, and a sample-and-hold function.
The Odyssey also added a few new features such as a high pass filter that could be used in series with the low pass, oscillator-sync capability, and pulse-width modulation. It is a very professional and expressive machine that can create nice analog basses, interesting leads, great effects and sweeping sounds straight out of a Tangerine Dream album!
There were many versions of the Odyssey over the years, each a little different. They can be broken down into 8 models spanning 3 Mark "Mk" versions.
Odyssey Mk III (Models 2820-2823)
Another cosmetic make-over saw the release of the Mk III series (Models 2820-2823) produced from 1978-81. These models are virtually the same as the Mk II except that the overall look and quality were set to match the look of the latest ARP synths with the orange and black color-scheme, and a more rugged steel chassis. In addition to its 1/4" outputs, XLR outputs were also added. The Odyssey Mk III is the most commonly found model.
Mk III Models
|LFO||Sine / Square; sample-and-hold|
|Engine Detailed||2 VCO's: saw, square, pulse, pwm (can be modulated by: sine LFO or ADSR envelope), white/pink noise; oscillator-sync modulated by: ADSR, square/saw LFO, sample-and-hold|
|Filter (VCF)||Model 4023 (Early models): 2-pole bi-quad design with low pass output. Model 4035 & 4075 (later models): Four-pole resonant 24dB lowpass filter, high pass filter (static); can be modulated by: keybd track, sample-and-hold, sine LFO, ADSR, AR; ring modulator|
|Envelope (VCA)||EG 1: AR; EG 2: ADSR|
|CV-gate||CV/GATE (models 2810 - 2823)|
|Extra info||3 versions with various models|
|Produced:||1972 - 1981|
|Legend:||Obvious||Y: Yes, N: No, N/A: Not Applicable|
|VCO||Voltage Controlled Oscillator||DCO||Digital Controlled Oscillator|
|LFO||Low Frequency Oscillator||Sub||Sub Oscillator|
|VCF||Voltage Controlled Filter||VCA||Voltage Controlled Amplifier|
|Velocity||As with a piano, the harder you hit a key, the louder the sound, unlike most organs which always produce the same loudness no matter how hard you hit a key.||Aftertouch||Pressing a key after you activated it. Channel Aftertouch, no matter which key, it will send a Channel message. Poly Aftertouch, sends the pressure per key instead of the whole channel.|
|Values for OSC, LFO, Filter, Envelope are per voice unless stated otherwise.|