This playlist is full of wonderful ARP music – some might surprise you

As we remember Alan R. Pearlman and the impact his instruments had on music, here’s a survey of the many places ARP sounds appeared in music culture. It’s a reminder of just how profound electronic music tools can be in their influence – and of the unique age in which we live.

Perhaps now is the perfect time for an ARP revival. With modular synthesis reaching ever-wider audiences, the ARP creations – the 2500, 2600, and Odyssey featured here – represent something special. Listen across these tracks, and you’re struck by the unique colors of those ARP creations across a range of genres. It’s also significant that each of these designs in their own way struck a balance between modularity and accessibility, sound design and playability. That includes making instruments that had modular patching capability but also produced useful sounds at each patch point by default – that is, you don’t have to wire things up just to make something happen. That in turn also reduces cable spaghetti, because the patch connections you make represent the particular decisions you made deviating from the defaults. On the 2500, this involves a matrix (think Battleship games, kids), which is also a compelling design in the age of digital instruments and software.

And lest we get lost in sound design, it’s also worth noting how much these things get played. In the era of Eurorack, it’s easy to think music is just about tweaking … but sometimes it’s just as useful to have a simple, fresh sound and then just wail on it. (Hello, Herbie Hancock.)

It’s easy to forget just how fast musical sound has moved in a couple of generations. An instrument like the piano or violin evolved over centuries. Alan R. Pearlman literally worked on some of the first amplifiers to head into space – the Mercury and Gemini programs that first sent Americans into space and orbit, prior to Apollo’s journey to the moon. And then he joined the unique club of engineers who have remade music – a group that now includes a lot of you. (All of you, in fact, once you pick up these instruments.)

So I say go for it. Play a preset in a software emulation. Try KORG’s remake of the Odyssey. Turn a knob or re-patch something. Make your own sound design – and don’t worry about whether it’s ingenious or ground-breaking, but see what happens when you play it. (Many of my, uh, friends and colleagues are in the business of creating paid presets, but I have the luxury of making some for my own nefarious music production purposes that no one else has to use, so I’m with you!)

David Abravanel puts together this playlist for CDM:

Some notes on this music:

You know, we keep talking about Close Encounters, but the actual sound of the ARP 2500 is very limited. The clip I embedded Monday left out the ARP sound, as did the soundtrack release of John Williams’ score. The appearance is maybe more notable for the appearance of ARP co-founder David Friend at the instrument – about as much Hollywood screen time as any synth manufacturer has ever gotten. Oh, and … don’t we all want that console in our studio? But yes, following this bit, Williams takes over with some instrumental orchestration – gorgeous, but sans-ARP.

So maybe a better example of a major Hollywood composer is Jerry Goldsmith. The irony here is, I think you could probably get away with releasing this now. Freaky. Family Guy reused it (at the end). We’ll never defeat The Corporation; it’s true.

It’s also about time to acknowledge that Stevie Wonder combined Moog and ARP instruments, not just Moog. As our industry looks at greater accessibility, it’s also worth noting that Wonder was able to do so without sight.

What about U2? Well, that’s The Edge’s guitar routed through the ARP 2600 for filter distortion and spring reverb. That’s a trick you can steal, of course – especially easily now that Arturia has an emulation of the 2600.

Expect our collective reader knowledge exceeds anything we can contribute so – let us know what other artists using ARP inspired you, and if you have any notes on these selections.

The post This playlist is full of wonderful ARP music – some might surprise you appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Behringer ARP Odyssey ist in der Produktion

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Behringer hat die Vorproduktion des Odyssey bereits gestartet. Er ist eine solide Variante des Klassikers in Original-Größe und mit Sequencer.

Behringer haben kürzlich zwei Bilder auf ihrem Facebook Account veröffentlicht. Dort sieht man eine kleine Produktionsstraße mit einigen verteilten Geräten und einen Rollwagen und mit Folie bedeckten Tastaturen. Das sieht nicht nur so aus, wie eine Fertigung, das ist auch genau das.

Behringer Odyssey Vorproduktion

Behringer Odyssey Vorproduktion

Was noch kommen muss…

Behringer Odyssey wird unfassbar günstig sein, was viele verwundert. Die Verzögerungen beim Model D sind aber nicht zu erwarten, denn sie haben in der Zeit auch intern an der Produktion ganz generell etwas geändert, denn vermutlich ist es auch gar nicht so einfach sich auf die Produktion von Synthesizern in einer vermutlich beachtlichen Auflage zu fertigen, um dann gleich die anderen Modelle ebenfalls nachzuschieben. Ausstehend sind ja noch immer die beiden Drummachines RD909 und RD808 (TR808 und 909 Clones mit Verbesserungen) sowie dem Pro One, der schon auf der Superbooth gezeigt wurde und natürlich dem MS101, also dem SH101 Clone, der ebenfalls nahe an der Produktion sein soll, denn es sollten auch schon erste Tester Geräte in der Hand gehalten haben. Die weltweite Produktion kann bedeuten, dass die Menge der Geräte in bestimmte Länder höher sein kann. Man wird wohl aber deutlich mehr machen können als Korg zur Zeit der Electribes und Co., wo es immer Lieferschwierigkeiten bei Markteinführung gab. Das ist aber eigentlich „normal“, denn man kann nur die Verkäufe erst starten, wenn genug da sind oder nachliefern.

3-Phasen

Das geschieht meist in drei Phasen, es gibt eine Vorproduktion aus der Magazine und wichtigere Videomacher und Blogger versorgt werden und das kann von einer Hand voll bis sogar nur 1-3 Geräte im Land gemacht werden. Danach folgt die Vorproduktion, die den Prozess der eigentlichen Hauptproduktion einleitet. Hier wird geprüft, ob alles optimal läuft und die Geräte aus dieser Produktion sind nicht schlechter als die späteren. Es ist generell üblich, dass die erste Ladung bereits verschifft wird und die zweite Produktionswelle läuft, weshalb es bei den ersten Geräten meist schon bald einen kleinen Engpass gibt, denn die Vorserie ist eben je nach Firmenpolitik für Promotion und Verteilung aber auch für erste Kunden da, manchmal ausgewählte, manchmal wird ein Laden belohnt der ein gewisses Kontingent bekommt.

 

Mehr Information

 

Die Kollegen von Amazona haben ihn sogar schon getestet

ARP Filter als Eurorackmodul – Bau dir deinen ARP doch selbst!

o3 Audio ARP Filtero3 Audio ARP Filter

Das ARP Filter schlechthin gibt es eigentlich nicht, denn inzwischen weiß jeder – es gab schon allein im Odyssey drei verschiedene Filter-Designs. Aber …

Wenn man an die klassischen Aufnahmen mit einem Odyssey denkt, dann doch nicht zuletzt an die älteren Sachen von DAF. Deren von Conny Plank mitgeprägter Sound basiert sehr stark auf dem Sound des ARP Odyssey und offensichtlich war der, den Plank im Studio hatte, ein Modell mit dem ARP 4075 Filter.

Das ARP 4075 Filter war nicht das erste, das es gab, sondern bereits die spätere Version. Diese Version des ARP Odyssey zeichnet sich besonders durch den analytischen Klang aus, den man ihm nachsagte und der aber auch den Klang sehr prägte. Wieso das nicht einfach in ein Modul bringen und für alle zur Verfügung stellen? Das dachte sich O3 Audio offenbar auch und hat es einfach gemacht. Ein selbstgebauter ARP Odyssey kann auch 2 richtige ADSR-Hüllkurven, audioschnelle LFOs (mehr als einen) haben und was man sich sonst noch wünscht. Also vielleicht selbst zusammenstellen?

Resonanz

Besonders ist hier, dass auch die Resonanz per Steuerspannung erreichbar ist. So kann man beispielsweise die Resonanz herunterregeln und mehr Bassdruck erhalten.

279,- US-Dollar muss man ausgeben, um Eigentümer eines ARP 4075 Filter im Eurorack-Format zu werden. Es gibt jeweils zwei Eingänge und auch zwei Steuereingänge. Die Schaltung wurde natürlich so gelassen, wie sie ist und mit Styroflex-Kondensatoren ausgestattet.

Mehr Information

Dort findet man noch einige weitere Module, die hierzulande eher noch nicht so bekannt sind und einen Blick wert, zum Beispiel einen MIDI-to-Drum-Converter und einiges mehr. Da die Firma in den USA sitzt, sollte man allerdings mit 25,- US-Dollar Porto rechnen. Das Porto und das ARP Filter kosten zusammen gute 262,- Euro. Das ist noch immer nicht all zu teuer.

Die besten analogen Synthesizer – neu und alt

Top5 Analoge Synthesizer

Hier ist jetzt Zeit für die ultimative und sagenumwobene Top 5 Liste der analogen Synthesizer. Es hatten nur die Instrumente eine Chance, die es aktuell noch zu kaufen gibt. 

Rang 1 – Minimoog

Lange wird er die Liste nicht mehr anführen können, da er schon wieder abgekündigt ist, der neue Minimoog. Dennoch ist er einfach der Synthesizer™. Dies weniger wegen des Kults, sondern noch immer wegen seines kraftvollen Klanges und seiner bewährten Bedienung. Deshalb hat er sich auch heute diesen ersten Platz verdient.

Moog Minimoog Neo Synthesizer

Moog Minimoog Neo Synthesizer

Rang 2 – ARP Odyssey

Obwohl es unglaublich viele analoge Synthesizer gibt, sollte jener, der den Sound von DAF und Herbie Hancock prägte, den zweiten Rang bekommen. Der Synthesizer kling gut für FM, Sync und Grundsound und hat auch das Zeug dazu, organisch zu klingen. Er hat nur einen Nachteil – die MIDI-Umsetzung ist nicht optimal und daher kommt Rang 1 noch nicht in Frage, dazu müsste er mehr als nur Note an und aus empfangen können in 2017. Die Wahl des Platzes 1 und 2 hätte wohl auch im Jahr 1975 stattfinden können. Es hat sich im analogen Bereich keine Revolution mehr ergeben, die viel besser klingende Maschinen brachte. Aber anders gut gibt es schon.

Die Famlie v.l.n.r.: Korg ARP Odyssey, Rev. 1 (Limited Edition), Rev. 3 und Rev. 2 (Limited Edition)

Rang 3 – DSI Prophet 6 & OB 6

Eigentlich gehört sich das nicht, einen Rang an zwei Geräte zu verleihen. Aber die Basis ist die Gleiche. Müsste ich für ALLE entscheiden, müsste es wohl der P6 sein, da er etwas universeller wäre, jedoch klingt der Dave Smith OB6 sehr breit und hochwertig und wäre daher meine private Wahl. Der P6 ist mit seinem 24 dB Filter dem sehr schön und strahlend klingenden morphbaren Oberheim-Filter emotional unterlegen Verkaufszahlen können da nicht berücksichtigt werden.

DSI SCI ob6

Rang 4 – Behringer DeepMind 6 & 12

Er ist auf Platz 1 der Verkaufsliste der Analogen. Das ist unbestritten. Dies ist so, seit er auf dem Markt ist. Da kann man nicht dran vorbei mit seriöser Subjektivität. Aber er ist doch stark inspiriert und zwar vom Juno. Der kleinere DeepMind 6 hat eine sehr attraktive Größe und Form mit seiner 3-Oktaven-Tastatur und wird daher gern bevorzugt. Die meisten werden jedoch den 12-stimmigen “großen” Synthesizer bevorzugen. Weshalb der vier statt fünf Oktaven Tastenwerk anbietet, wissen wir nicht so genau.

Behringer zeigt zur Superbooth DeepMind 6 und DeepMind 12 Desktop
Behringer DeepMind12 Phat12 Prototype


Rang 5 – Baloran the River

Ein offensichtlich gut klingender, fast unbekannter Synthesizer aus Frankreich ist genau genommen erst in Kürze wirklich zu haben. Er wurde bereits gezeigt und deshalb findet er den Platz hier. Analog und polyphon ist noch immer die Königsklasse, so sie puristisch ist und alle Vorteile dieser Technik zeigt. Das tut er. Deshalb gehört er hier her.

Baloran The River - neuer polyphoner Analog-Synthesizer aus Frankreich
Baloran The River

Visionary Tatsuya Takahashi leaves a huge legacy as he departs KORG

It’s not an exaggeration to say that Tatsuya Takahasi has changed the face of the modern synth industry.

And I can even say that literally. “Tats” has become a household name in the international synth community in a way no other Japanese engineer, designer, or leader has. (Compare, for instance, Hiroaki Nishijima, creator of the MS-20 – a name people rarely know as readily as they do the synth.) Korg products are still the work of big teams, like any large maker, but Tatsuya has been a public figure, outspoken and eloquent in the description of the instruments he’s created and the philosophy behind them. (Perhaps his Western upbringing has mattered, too – Tatsuya spent a lot of his formative years in London and speaks English as if it’s a first language.)

That in itself is important, but even more so is the direction Tatsuya and KORG have taken with making synths more accessible, popular, and influential.

Ask a few years ago what would have the biggest impact on synthesis reaching new audiences, and I’ll bet a lot of people would have pointed to mobile apps. Instead, in his role leading design and engineering for analog synths, Tats made synth hardware the democratizing force. I think you could even go as far as saying that hardware, more than apps, has been what has most impacted the culture of music making in recent years and inspired the greatest passion in the present generation of electronic musicians.

Why is this man smiling? Why, because Tats has just finished what's likely to be another big hit for KORG.

Tatsuya visiting my studio last year with his (then-new) Minilogue, which I think is one of the best synths in recent years.

The long string of synth gear launches Tats has overseen has some clear themes. These are instruments that are fun to play with, offer lots of hands-on control, and typically feature battery power and portability. And what a roll he’s been on: the monotron (monosyth), monotribe (drum machine), volca series (synthesizers and drum machines), and most recently minilogue polysynth and its follow-up the monophonic monologue were all projects he led. He’s also been behind the analog reissues of the MS-20 and ARP Odyssey ad the SQ-1 sequencer. And he did the littleBits synth kit in collaboration with littleBits.

Tats talks about his populist philosophy in his public letter on Facebook (below, in case you haven’t read it already). But it’s worth noting just how far this realm has come.

Serial number 101 = the first serial number for volca, ever. No, we don't get to keep it. This is the unit Tatsuya himself was carrying around.

Serial number 101 = the first serial number for volca, ever. No, we don’t get to keep it. This is the unit Tatsuya himself was carrying around.

Making synths in this way really has transformed music. When a synth costs under $200 (like the volca series) or even under $100 (like the monotron), there’s a vastly larger segment of the population that can afford it. This isn’t a question of quality; there are some people who simply don’t have the disposable income to invest in a pricier instrument.

Reducing the price also telegraphs that this is something you can play with, something open to experimentation. It begs you to relate to the object differently on an emotional level. And actually, I think music benefits when you imagine a toy and all the freedom that implies, rather than a tool. An inexpensive synth is something you can try without saying something like, “hey Mom, hey Dad, I’m enrolling in ten years at the music academy, will you buy me a ‘cello?”

Singing has that kind of accessibility. Folk instruments can be handed down, like a mandolin, and have a similar emotional relationship. But synthesizers risk becoming the domain of people with extra cash and with an already established love of the field. When we say “too snobby,” we mean literally that an instrument becomes an expression of class. And I don’t think that’s something this world needs more of at the moment.

I have a personal connection to that saga, because it’s a story that has followed CDM, too. And that message came from people who read this site. Before KORG released the monotron, readers were already devising cheap DIY solutions to produce their own portable, cheap synths. Readers were telling me how important these values were to them, before KORG responded with a product with those values. Then Canadian engineer James Grahame started talking to me about the inexpensive, portable digital monosynth he wanted to produce. We had already started on schematics when the first monotron arrived on the scene – and instantly recognized that it embodied a lot of the philosophy we had talked about.

But that was really an important moment. Big companies – any big companies, even in electronic music – don’t tend to move quickly. So to see an individual bring this kind of new philosophy to one of the so-called Japanese “big three” was a revelation. Here was someone who “gets” it. And Tats and his team have continued to deliver hit after hit after hit. This has benefited our community twice over. One, KORG have a scale, technical competence, and distribution and marketing apparatus that smaller makers can never match, which means these products can reach a wider array of people worldwide. Two, there’s been the significance of having that resonance in a larger maker – it validates this populist agenda and even sets a standard for those of us who don’t have our own factories at our disposal.

Moreover, Tatsuya has helped lead the resurgent interest in analog synthesis, much in the way that Lomography has rejuvenated film photography.

It’s also redefined what’s important about analog and hardware, which is not so much the analog circuitry itself as hands-on control and simplicity – stuff that’s fun to play. So you can see KORG’s mark not only on new analog stuff from some of its competitors, but also on the (digital) AIRA and Boutique series reissues from Roland, and Yamaha’s Reface keyboards.

And I think KORG’s leadership has also helped all the other synth boats rise, too. Tats’ commitment to openness – releasing filter schematics and hackable boards, and working on the littleBits as an educational tool – has aided other boutique DIY makers (like us, for sure). KORG were the first major maker to embrace open source hardware licensing for one of their products, after some of us did it in much smaller enterprises.

For KORG’s part, it’s clear that this spirit won’t depart alongside Tatsuya. He promises in his letter to remain in an advisory role. And I think he’s taught the whole organization a lesson in what’s possible and commercially viable – indeed, all of us. You can also bet that some less publicly-visible people at KORG will carry on his new spirit and dream up some new ideas. Tatsuya mentions “Tada” in the Facebook post, for instance. He confirmed with me that that’s a reference to Tadahiko Sakamaki, product planning. Figuring out who will carry the torch – if perhaps a bit more quietly or less publicly – will be something I’m sure we’ll all be trying to suss out. But it is important to note that these are team efforts. That’s not to take away from Tatsuya’s talents – far from it; I think it’s harder to drive clear product focus with big teams and large scale.

Looking beyond KORG, though, I think it’s inspiring to read Tats’ email partly because there’s a lot more to do. If we really want to make synthesizers more accessible, if we want to make them work in education, if we want them to reach more people including those who lack the financial resources of our main market, if we want to be socially responsible instrument makers and musicians, we’re only getting started. And I think there’s a role not just for big players like KORG, but also all of you one-person and two-person shops making modules and kits and weird inventions. All of you CDMers, that is.

Tatsuya is moving to my country of residence Germany. I have no idea what he’s working on next when he says he will “explore new areas where sound and technology can have positive social implications.” He does assure us that’s not in this industry. But I wish him the best – and hope we all meet in Köln or Berlin soon, as this country is home to ever more inventors. I can’t wait to see what the next chapter will be.

Korg's Tatsuya Takahashi stops by our studio, playing his volcas (and a bit of MeeBlip with us, too!)

Korg’s Tatsuya Takahashi stops by our studio, playing his volcas (and a bit of MeeBlip with us, too!)

Here’s his parting letter:

THANK YOU!!!
It’s been a good ten years at Korg!

A few years after starting at the office, Tada and I, over a cigarette break, started shooting ideas around for a battery powered pocket analog synth. The monotron was the humble beginnings of what became a mission to make synthesizers fun, exciting and accessible again. To give synthesizers back to the people. To make synthesizers less snobby. To open up creative opportunities. To get people interested in electronic sound and see some kind of light in creating their own sound using technology amidst a world that is inundated with it.

monotrons, monotribe, volcas, minilogue, monologue, some reissues, SQ-1, littleBits synth kit – we put out a lot of gear.

After a blur of 21 products we released over seven years, I look at the world of synthesizers and it’s a pretty cool place. I see kids getting their first taste of synths with the volcas. I meet people who have their dormant synth passion rekindled by the minilogue. And it’s not just Korg. The whole industry has set out to achieve this common goal.

The name volca comes from the German word Volk: “the people” or “crowd”. Like Volkswagen “the people’s car”, the volcas are “the people’s synth”. I have fond memories of meeting Mike Banks and being told how the volcas reached poverty-stricken youths in Detroit. That manufacturers have to take responsibility for the social implications of putting out gear.

On the 17th of February I will be leaving my full time position at Korg and will sidestep to advisor. I will also be moving out of Tokyo to Cologne to explore new areas where sound and technology can have positive social implications. I won’t be going to any of the competition, but rather will be shifting direction of my main line of work while at the same time guiding the now super team at Korg venture into the future.

I am hugely indebted to everyone in engineering (my super duper team will keep designing the best of the best), production (love you all in Vietnam we did this together!), sales (job well done), marketing (fun times making those movies), distribution / dealers (essential work the world over), media (you guys got the word out) and most of all the musicians out there who are creating music with our synths – without you our work is meaningless.

THANK YOU

it’s been a ton of fun. more to come.

Tats

Via Facebook

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Korg turned their Arp Odyssey into an iPhone, iPad app

Let’s be clear: Korg’s ARP Odyssey remake is a thing of beauty. But it’s now also available as an app … one with awkward spelling that’s nonetheless rather awesome looking. Meet ARP ODYSSEi. (Hey, that “i” has been on the beginning of words for eons now. Maybe it wants to flip to the other side.)

ODYSSEi is a modeled version of the ARP Odyssey. And it’s a bit like an “Odyssey+”.

It’s got the three filter types and drive from the new 2015 Odyssey reboot (the hardware).

But iOS brings other features:

  • Voice assign mode – with chord playback
  • Arpeggiator with programmable steps
  • Audiobus
  • Inter App Audio
  • AU support (works in GarageBand)
  • Works inside Korg’s Gadget app (via Lexington)
  • Distortion, phaser, chorus/flanger/ensemble, EQ, delay, reverb effects
  • MIDI, including Bluetooth MIDI
  • Touch controls: a virtual keypad and X/Y pad with scale function
The arpeggiator features analog-style steps you can program - which also makes this functional on an iPhone.

The arpeggiator features analog-style steps you can program – which also makes this functional on an iPhone.

There are 100 presets from the revision 3 (2015) Odyssey, plus 50 each of the first and second revision models as in-app purchase.

And of course that comes with cute retro skins. (Would I buy the different in-app preset packs for the different skins, even if I didn’t plan to use the presets? Yup. Guilty.)

Watch:

Now, one surprise: it requires iOS 10. And more recent-model iOS devices are supported, though that still covers a wide gamut.

US$19.99, this month only.

korg.com

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The post Korg turned their Arp Odyssey into an iPhone, iPad app appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Everything You Need to Know About KORG’s Arp Odyssey Remake

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KORG, having resurrected their own MS-20 monosynth, have now turned to another analog classic: the duophonic ARP Odyssey. We’ve known for some time that they would begin manufacturing a new edition of that in collaboration with its original creators. Now we know what it looks like, and what it’ll cost.

If you already love the classic ARP Odyssey, there’s not much to say. KORG’s launch, in fact, focused on the ARP you know – the fact that its sound is something you recognize from songs. That’s partly an explanation of why such instruments deserve recreation.

And the original holds up today. It’s a beautifully playable synth with great character, plus terrific envelope controls, a one-of-a-kind, accessible front panel layout that makes everything clear, and nice extras like the Ring Mod and Sample & Hold. It doesn’t have the modular features and some of the more unusual sound possibilities of the monophonic MS-20, but it’s a great keyboardists’ instrument.

And recreation, this is. ARP co-founder David Friend oversaw this effort, so you can count on a certain amount of authenticity – and, as with the MS-20, they didn’t change the circuitry so much as put it back in production. They might not be as obsessive-compulsive as our friends at Moog – we don’t get any mention of hand-stuffing wires – but the sound should be well within the normal degrees of variation on these instruments. The architecture and the circuits themselves are electrically the same, only built via modern parts and methods.

Price: US$1400 suggested list. Street price appears to be about a grand (US$999 – obviously expect it to cost more via the weaker Yen, Euro, and Pound Sterling, plus more tax). That puts the price above the mass-market focused MS-20 mini, but it also includes its own case – and it’s a duophonic synth.

Availability: KORG isn’t saying yet.

But beyond that, what we want to know is what differs between this ARP Odyssey – erm, KORG Odyssey? – and a used instrument? Now we know that, too.

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First, what’s retained from the originals:

You get all of the filters. One challenge of recreation is which instrument to recreate. In the case of filters, the ARP shipped with different filters at different times. As on the recent MS-20 kit and new MS-20M, KORG lets you choose – circuits for each generation are included:

TYPE I (Rev1) is a 12 dB/Oct circuit that produces a sharp, punchy sound. TYPE II (Rev2) is a 24 dB/Oct filter with great-sounding lows. TYPE III (Rev3) maintains excellent stability even when resonance is raised. These distinctive filters have been reproduced just as they originally were.

You get a portamento choice. Original revision and later revision behaviors are included.

You get all the Control Voltage connectivity. CV in/out, gate in/out, and trigger in/out are included.

And what’s new?

It does MIDI. You get MIDI in, plus USB for MIDI in from a computer. Now, here’s a gripe: On an instrument this large and representing some investment, it seems a MIDI out port would be welcome, even if just for operation as Thru. But, anyway, you don’t get one.

It’s not mini, but it is leaner. Let’s say “swimsuit season ready” rather than “mini-sized.” KORG has trimmed down the case – no need for the extra room required by the original. This model is 86% of the size of the first. These aren’t tiny keys, but they are what Korg describe as “slim” – reduced in size from the original.

You do well on weight, too – 5 kg / 11.02 lbs.

But it claims improved playability (faders and keys). First, you get smoother sliders. Second, Korg says the slim keys are both lighter and more playable. (Now, note, Korg are still being historical with the keybed – there’s no velocity and no aftertouch.)

And you can transpose. KORG have added a transpose function so you get seven octaves. Actually, apart from MIDI, that’s maybe the biggest change from the original, since it gives you quick access to more pitch ranges. There are two ways this is accomplished:

1. Transposing the whole keybed: 2 octaves down, normal, 2 octave up.
2. Proportional pitch: the pitch pad pitches down or up about -2/3 octaves.

There’s a Drive switch. This one’s interesting – a 2015 addition. Flip a switch, and you get some sort of analog overdrive distortion. We’ll have to hear what it sounds like, but it proves that Korg are willing to try new ideas. Contrast that with the religious fundamentalists over at Moog and their literalism with the modular recreations.

Also, if you don’t like the black-and-orange paint job – though I must admit, it’s my favorite – the other two liveries are being made available as limited editions with launch.

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By the way, a couple of final touches. If you’re wondering about the price, KORG has really done something nice here. They’ve included all the patch cables, and even thrown in a nice hard case that looks really road ready – the idea being you’ll gig with this thing. That’s a major advantage over the MS-20, which even in the mini version has an odd shape that’s hard to haul around.

case

All in all, this looks like a real success. If you’ve a grand burning a hole in your pocket, this isn’t the only option. Suitcase modular rigs are very doable for that price, and offer arguably more sound options. (Doepfer just came out with a starter case I’ll be writing up soon, for instance.) Tom Oberheim has his SEM. There’s Dave Smith. Moog have its keyboards, a number of which are at or below this price. And there’s Korg’s own MS-20 and much more inexpensive MS-20 mini, which certainly deserve comparison. But I suspect most of the ARP’s initial buyers will be the folks already waiting on one. And, hey, you’re in good company – Herbie Hancock looks happy.

Enjoy.

http://www.arpsynth.com/

http://www.arpsynth.com/en/arpodyssey/specifications/

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KORG unveils ARP Odyssey Analog Synthesizer

Tweet   Originally produced in 1972, the ARP Odyssey was updated with several improvements throughout its history and was manufactured until 1981, due to economic hardships and the rise of cheap polyphonic digital keyboards. The new Korg Odyssey has a compact body, highly operable sliders, and a 37 note slim keyboard. In addition, a new ‘DRIVE’ switch is provided and […]