Arp Odyssey


The ARP Odyssey is a duophonic analog synthesizer first made in 1972 by ARP Instruments. The Odyssey was designed to compete with contemporary offerings from rival manufacturer Moog Music. The Odyssey was released in three main revisions until 1981 when ARP declared bankruptcy. Since then, Korg has begun manufacturing an updated model (with USB, MIDI, XLR jacks, and an overdrive on the VCA) in 2015. The Odyssey has also been emulated by Behringer and in several plugin formats.

The sound design on the Odyssey begins with a pair of VCOs that can generate sawtooth, square, and pulse waves. There’s also a white and pink noise generator, ring modulation, and a set of high and lowpass filters. The filters are capable of overloading into Pink Floyd-ish effects and noisy sweeps - you can definitely tell that ARP was trying to compete with Moog with the filter sounds here. There’s an LFO with sample/hold mode, a 37 key keyboard, and two envelope generators (ADSR and AR), and not much else. However, the Odyssey is still capable of everything from soft duophonic pad sounds, fat mono basses, resonant filter effects, screaming leads, metallic ring mod melodies, and so much more. The amount of ground you can cover and the incredibly growly sound have made the Odyssey a classic.

Technical Specifications

Year of release: 1972 Polyphony: 2
Oscillators: 2 VCOs Filter: Lowpass, Highpass
Format: Synthesizer Keys: 37


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Arp Odyssey