The ARP Odyssey Keyboard Synthesizer

This video takes a look at the classic ARP Odyssey keyboard synthesizer, from 1972. Three versions were made, Mk I, II & III, between 72 & 81.

Exploration by Marko Ettlich.

Features of the ARP Odyssey include:

  • 2 Osc per Voice I Saw, Pulse; PWM, FM, Sync, Noise
  • Filter – 24dB lowpass
  • static highpass filter
  • sample/hold

The ARP Odyssey has been used by Ultravox, Gary Numan, John Foxx, Vangelis, Elton John, Jethro Tull, Tangerine Dream, ABBA, Herbie Hancock and others.

ARP Odyssey Resources:

Video via MusicMarketingTV

8 thoughts on “The ARP Odyssey Keyboard Synthesizer

  1. I have had my odyssey for 15 years, bought in Windsor Ontario for $400 Canadian. I sawed off the keyboard (without removing the circuit boards!) and sawed an inch off of the verticle profile so that my odyssey has the
    smallest footprint possible. It gets the most use of all of my synths because these machines are so goddam dynamic, any sound you can think of can be wrangled out one. Angry little beast too, it’s true that the odyssey doesn’t have the same low end as a minimoog but using an odyssey for a bassline is a waste of it’s true power, it’s modulation routings. And sending control voltages to the pedal in can control osc 2 or the filter for even more flexibility. These are getting expensive as hell, but I’d buy another in an instant if lost or stolen. Robert Alan Pearlman is a name not known by most, but should be right there next to Moog, Buchla, Dave Smith, Tom Oberheim. And of course he should seriously consider returning to the game he helped develope and give us an updated odyssey- or at least provide a source of those impossible slider pots.

  2. So agreed, dear friend. George Duke comes to mind whenever Odyssey is mentioned . Don’t discount the best of all, SPACECAT! ( google the pic, cat on arp odyssey). That’s one fine pussy

  3. The Arp Odyssey was my first synth. Got one for $50 in the eaely ’90s, sold it for about $700 in the mid ’00s. Nice synth, but it was totally impractical for me. I had the hardest time keeping it in tune. Still though, made some great noises.

  4. All three versions of the Odyssey are brilliant. The design, with its ABS plastic bottom “shell” was simple and elegant and the oscillators were remarkably stable for the time.

Leave a Reply