Korg/ARP Odyssey NAMM Teaser


In case you weren’t hyped for the upcoming 2015 NAMM Show yet – Korg today shared this teaser for a Korg/ARP NAMM Preview:

Korg invites you to be a part of our exclusive Pre-NAMM show experience.

We will be unveiling the industry’s most highly anticipated products with artist performances and featured guest speakers.

They haven’t said what this ‘Pre-NAMM show experience’ is going to be. But they shared this via Facebook, so it seems like some sort of streaming web seminar of their introductions is planned. More importantly – the Korg ARP Odyssey will be introduced at NAMM.

121 thoughts on “Korg/ARP Odyssey NAMM Teaser

  1. F*ck. Mini keys on the Odyssey. For $1000 I feel like there should be full-sized keys. I had a feeling they were going to be mini but I was expecting more like a $700 price tag. (It’s been leaked that the price is $999.)

    1. Yes, and $1000 means 1000 euro in Europe. Too much really. But besides that, it’s great that they are making it, and it’s a wonferful time now for synth lovers. Keep ’em coming Korg!

    2. I would buy a new version of Polysix or Mono/Poly instantly without thought and so would millions. There are about 10 people who are actually going to shell out this price for a lowly ARP.

    1. If behringer does it right, they can definitely do some good. They could include some options that Korg may have not/etc. So that way, you can either get a Korg version with mini keys/etc or Behringer’s version which could feature full sized keys, and possibly some other options. Definitely a great way to do it.

      1. If Behringer brings it out with full keys, my realism and experience tell me there will be some kind of drawback to the unit. So you’ll have people saying “Korg has tiny keys and is expensive but sounds really great. Behringer has full keys and cheap price but the ________ does not work right and _____ sounds bad.”

        Essentially I predict a standstill where this is debated forever and there’s no clear “winner.”

        Korg: Putting vintage synths in front of a Shrink Ray since 2013.

        1. dont forget the noise and build issues korg already had with the ms20. it’s not as if they have proven they are committed to a great sound, having cheaped out on the ms20 mini VCAs so hard that they have audible buzz at all levels.

          1. There was no noise issue with the MS-20. It was modeled after the Mk1 model (from the 70s) and that original model was VERY noisy due to the extremely low output. Something with the oscillators would produce very low gain so they had to crank it up at the amp which made a little hiss noise. It’s a ‘faithful’ recreation.

            (the Mk2+ models resolved this issue, and most people have the Mk2+ models so they decided to model the very original one which was more rare (and usually if you found one, it was busted to hell) plus the original has a gnarly sound which sounds very “unique” as they called it.)

            This question about noise has already been answered/solved.

            It shows the commitment Korg have to their recreations’ accuracy and ‘faithfulness’. I have no doubt that the Korg ARP Odyssey will be just as good as a fresh one, popped out of a factory in the 80s.

        2. Haha! Frankly, I like the shrink ray idea though. Vintage synths take up a lot of space, and these days.. man there’s just so much gear. I love the MS-20 Mini’s size. They didn’t shrink it too much. ;P

      2. Behringer will do it wrong, they might even try to disguise a VA as a real analog. Just wait and see. It will be cheap in all senses you can count on that.

      1. If “musicians” = “cruise ship/wedding bands” then yes, you are correct. Fortunately, Roland and Yamaha are around to fill that need,

  2. Saw some pictures the other week at a music shop & yes mini keys (modern ms20 size). Interested in hearing these “new” Odyssey’s & if they have the same character as the originals. I actually wish Korg had made a really modern, programmable version with usb & not gone down the track of a complete copy of the old ones. Don’t shoot me purists but I think that would possibly have been more popular & useful. Any digital componentery of course would have increased the price but a truly modern Odyssey would have been amazing to say the least, possibly Behringer might implement digital control on their version, if it ever comes to fruition.

  3. If the Korg Arp Odyssey is not a full sized metal cased version identical in build quality to the original – then it is a piece of trash. Upgrades should include patch memory and full midi, but these are not necessarily deal breakers. Mini keys and a plastic case are deal breakers. If the Korg Arp is not a quality instrument it is useless. Children buy toys. Musicians buy instruments.

    1. The case is like the MKI & MKII – plastic wrap around base and sides. Only the graphics are MKIII. Original MKIII was all metal with leather sides.Not sure how this will make it a piece of shit though.

        1. “see white blofeld Vs black blofeld for the cosmetic argument”

          I really wish Waldorf had released two models – one with black on the left and white on the right, and the other with white on the left and black on the right. This would make for great entertainment listening to epic debates about which one sounds better, which of course would have to be framed as these things always are in the context of one option being morally and technically right and of better quality and the other being heathenist, poorly designed and badly built on account of the wrongful orientation of its color scheme.

    2. It will not include patch memory. That wouldn’t be a ‘faithful’ recreation. Though I wouldn’t doubt a cheaper build quality. I kind of hope for it, so the price won’t be out of hand!!

  4. Children buy toys. Musicians by instruments. (buy)

    What rubbish. You can make sound out/ music out of anything.
    Wanna be musicians and amateus buy instruments, Pros get given instruments

    1. What the hell does this infer. Do really want me to believe a pro never buys an instrument? Do you want me to believe those who buy aren’t worthy of being pros?

        1. You’ve never heard of Dicko Danno?? THE Dicko Danno…?! Every hit song you’ve ever heard since 1979-Today was personally produced by him…. and he NEVER had to buy an instrument his whole life.

  5. I’m sure we will see basic midi like the ms-20 mini, so I’m at a loss as to why people are still moaning about mini keys, they are not ideal but with a full key controller your going to be fine!!!

  6. I’ve got used to minikeys, I use them all the time with my slim phatty and I’m fine. I have to admit that Korg has the best minikeys around with their “natural touch” thingie they first introduced with the Microkorg XL, unlike Arturia, Akai and the lot that feel awfully bland.

      1. They’re great.

        And most people who sit around on the internet complaining about mini keys don’t even really play piano, and use DAWs to sequence, so it doesn’t matter. It’s not like all these synth heads and EDM kids are concert pianists playing 32nd notes by hand at 195 BPM.

        Just another thing for entitled people to complain about.

        1. ^ This. And even the classically trained concert pianists I know actually have fun trying to run up and down a set of mini keys. It’s obviously not ideal, but they enjoy it. It’s fun. They are also often over-joyed with how wide-open their open chords can be. Similarly, melodicas… that is all.

          And for an artist like myself, half (if not more) of the sounds I create on synths don’t lend themselves to playing fast lines (long attack/release times, heavy delays, motion sequences, arpeggiations, etc.)

          Probably a quarter of them I just play one note and let the damn thing roll while I turn knobs.

          1. I’m a classical pianist, recently (less than 2 years) follen in love with synths (I currently own a Korg synth and some VSTs of old great machines, such as the Polysix or the SC Prophet “digitalised” by Arturia): mini keys are annoying and don’t let you play as you would do on a standard machine. They’re only a great disadvantage. I really don’t understand why Korg thinks that a so great (and expensive) product reissue must have mini keys, and not full-sized ones as the cheapest synths do…

  7. People complain about patch storage. But people will also complain about it not sounding as good as the original. There’s always trade offs when introducing new digital technology into vintage designs. On a synth so simple, patch storage isn’t important because you learn how to use it properly and achieve the sound you want very quickly.

    1. Agreed, I didn’t miss patch storage in the Microbrute for example. You learn the synth and it’s sweet spots way better in the process.

  8. Don’t care so much for keys and their size I have heaps of full size controllers with keys, step sequences ect. I’ll probley sequence this through other means I’m more interested in the sound first of all and possibilities second of all, then I’ll look at the rest of the Releases at namm and see if there is a new modern synth that does the same plus some at the same price, from a company looking forward not backward, although if anyone releases an arp 2600 mmmmmmm

    1. The 2nd revision of the TTSH (arp 2600 clone) project is available now.. Make friends with a DIY builder and away you go for a couple grand..

  9. I don’t think we should all get too worked up about the whole mini-keys thing at the moment. I think Korg have improved things with the MS-20 Mini, which has ‘in-between’ keys, and I am quite comfortable playing that (as opposed to the original mini keys design on the Microkorg which I hated). Yes, it would have been nice to have full size keys, but that would boost price. If its $1000 that’s not too bad for an authentic Odyssey (albeit the Mini Keys) and if is an exact replica in all but the mini keys I can live with that for that price – hopefully it will be a little lower in terms of street price. Behringer’s Odyssey could yet turn out to be Vaporware, so I’m still planning on a Korg Odyssey buy later this year.

  10. maybe Korg is planning a full sized version with full sized keys in a kit…just like the MS20 Kit later on? that would be valuable information to find out now so i can skip the mini key version

    1. This is great news they have gone with compact size I was worried it was going to be too big to fit into my setup, and I am sure this will make it more affordable too – thanks Korg!

        1. You can rack anything. Rip out the section with the keys, put it on a rack. Stop crying, please. It’s giving me the rest of the world a headache.

  11. NEWS ALERT!!!

    KORG have just announced a SOLUTION for those who don’t like THE CASE, MINI keys or LACK of patch storage.

    Don’t buy the f*cking thing!!

  12. Hey people who like keys, stick this thing atop a controller of choice and play out your aggression! Let the music express the angst you have inside for minikeys

  13. Moog and Arp had a good reason why they build synth’s the way they did. They were ‘performance’ synthesizers. Mini Keys TOTALLY SUCK.

  14. Ya know… these mini keys are stopping a huge number of musicians from giving Korg money. I and many of my buddies didn’t buy the ms20 mini, and won’t purchase this ARP either. KORG should look at moog, who listened to customer requests and changed their sub phatty into the 37 and are having a huge success.

    1. Let me hear something about your music that requires regular sized keys.

      I’ll check back later for a posted example, thanks.

    2. You can make a desktop module out of the MS-20 Mini. I will probably do that eventually as my setup gets too big.

      Get one central, 88-key keyboard, and use that to control all your synths. The MS-20 Mini works PERFECTLY as a desktop module. The keys section comes off. And it sits nice and flat without them! 🙂

  15. I’m intrigued. If it really sounds like an Arp Odyssey then fair enough… I’ll just plug in the MIDI and think of it as a module that takes up a little more space than it should. 🙂

  16. I saw and heard the ARP Odyssey 43 years ago. It was pretty exciting then, but today? It’s 2015… we should have atomic-powered gigasynth orchestras floating in pyramid clouds and controlled by brain waves. I’m used to seeing busted pieces of old Odysseys sitting in the junk pile of a repair shop.

    I’m just not excited about buying a synth from the 70’s.

    For $1000.

    With mini-keys.

  17. I have a couple of old original MS20s so I wasn’t in the market for the new reproduction mini versions they made, but I recently got to twiddle one in a music store.
    It gave me the creeps. little tiny cheap feeling keys and dials. Bleaurgh. The originals are still pretty tank-like after being gigged hard for many years. I was not impressed at all.

    Consequently I have little faith in this release If there is no perceptible quality distance between this and the (mooted) Behringer version then what is the point?

    1. Yeah, the build quality of the MS-20 mini isn’t the best. Nevertheless, The mini is an MS-20, has MIDI/USB, and can be had for $500.

  18. The DSP chipsets that go into virtual analogs cost more than the entire populated PCB of an analog monosynth. Why it is that Analog (mature technology that uses simple components and cheap robotic manufacturing) is priced higher than cutting-edge digital systems, is a mystery to everyone but the accountants.

    I bet the guts of the Odyssey cost Korg less than $30. The keys, case, slider, etc can’t be more than $60. Don’t lecture me about R&D cost, this thing was designed and perfected before most of you were born. I understand not wanting to cut into the vintage market or insult collectors. And I’ve heard about this capitalism thing too. But $999 is nearly twice the fair price, especially if it’s minikeys.

    1. The guts cost $30??? Where are you buying your parts? Also, I’m willing to bet (i don’t know for sure) that at least some of the components aren’t readily available in mass quantities… so there was probably SOME research and development cost.

      But yes, most of your money is paying for the name.

        1. I meant more that one would pay to have the name printed on the case, i.e. Just to own an Odyssey. Not for Korg to be able to afford the name.

          1. Like when you buy a Merc instead of a Skoda?

            Surely the name ‘Odyssey’ is on the case because beneath the case is an…….Odyssey. ??

            1. it was in regards to the argument that Korg is inflating the price and assuming (unconfidently) that it is true. Not that you’re buying a casio with Odyssey printed on it. but rather that Korg, when setting the price, said, “Parts = $xx.xx, R&D = $xx.xx, oh and, uh, it’s a fucking Odyssey remake and you want it bad = $xxxx.xx”

              In more standard terms, demand. and nostalgia. and the demands of nostalgia

    2. Wow with your inside information on costs and requiring no R&D its a wonder why you haven’t got into synths and earned yourself millions of dollars then undercutting these obvious theives.

  19. I have the MS-20 mini and I love it…I mainly use it as a midi module, but I love the sound…so I’m excited about the ARP…I think it will be another win for korg.

  20. Masshysteria crybabies mourning size of keys, why not be happy about any new synth hitting the market?… and if you’re such a successful musicians as you bragg, then why aren’t you going for the vintage original?
    the price shouldn’t scare you either…just sell more records or play more venues!

  21. Do we actually KNOW that these are mini-keys? That picture does not prove anything to me. I’m willing to believe that they are, but I’ll save my outrage for when there are actual facts. I don’t like mini keys for performing and can’t get down with the feel of them. I live with it on the MS-20, but end up only using the keyboard to auditions sounds.

    For those who say ‘just use a controller’, that defeats the purpose of a performance based analog synth. The ‘turn it on and go’ factor is one of the most important things that separates an analog from a digital/VST unit. And then if I wanted to gig with this, well, I don’t have a lot of space to carry stuff and if I have to use a controller to play a synth that has a keyboard, then I’m just going to use software anyway. As much as I want an Odyssey, I’m more likely to get a Sub 37 if the Korg does have a toy keyboard.

    1. JJR shop pushed pictures of a unit and the spec out at KVR (before taking the link down, I assume instructed to do so!) and they said (before someone hit mute) that they were full sized keys

    1. No it should not be the same.

      It has 2 oscillators and 3 filters, so that makes it more expensive for starters.

      It may also have more advanced midi control like midi cc and after touch, so until we know the spec, commenting on the price is pointless.

      We don’t even know if it’s mini or full sized!!

    1. I guess people would have to define pro first. 🙂

      I think minikeys suck, but I can def see how others may prefer them. I guess it comes down technique and perception.

      I started on a piano, and then moved on to synths and computer programming. I NEED full size keys or my 10+ years of practicing every day don’t show as well. I could use a midi controller, but then wouldn’t have easy access to tweak the knobs and sliders and create a dynamic performance. I want a complete instrument, something I don’t have to work around to play in my style.

      That, and minikeys look like a toy to me. I know that the statement is a perception error, and it sounds elitist, but I can’t help it. My hands are too large to proficiently play the those tiny keys. I tried on the ms-20 mini. It’s seriously frustrating.

      That said, I know many people will love the little keys. Many people don’t play in a traditional sense and will use it with a DAW or other sequencer, only using the keys for basslines triggering sounds. Lucky them.

  22. If it doesn’t have full size keys, original MPC pads with Akai “swing”, a color screen, a ten second sampler, and dogs that bark jingle bells, it is trash. Granted I haven’t played it and have never actually touched most of the synthesizers I comment about, but I just have a feeling about it.

  23. The problem with mini-keys for me is the mere fact that I’ve spent over 40 years practicing playing pianos and keyboards. I simply don’t like instruments that are hard to play (as I imagine anybody else with some degree of chops will agree to). Sure I can press down mini-keys like anybody else, but the limitations I experience are frustrating – you have a nice electronic instrument, and there’s no way you can get the most out of it unless you connect it to some larger keyboard. In which case keys could just as well have been omitted completely.

    I have the old Korg MS-20 USB-controller here (with mini-keys). It’s a novelty and not much more. I also have a Korg 800DV (from 1974!). Clearly it’s no rule that innovation and quality moves in a linear and forward direction as the years go by. The old relic is much more comfortable to play than the modern toys.

    Hopefully Korg will issue a full size DIY-kit-Odyssey next year. 😉

  24. Mini-keys?
    A big disappointment. I have had few Korgs with mini-keys and I still have one. IMO you can send notes to DAW and play simple stuff with it, but when it comes to really expressing yourself, forget it.

    I agree with some others here. Moog keeps their philosophy for making real instruments for real pro players. Mini keys synths aren’t all toys in terms of sound, but for they are sadly out of question for many live stage players.

  25. IDK, look at the picture. Find an original. There are the same number of keys directly under the 2nd VCO section, delineated by the silk-screening. So if they are mini keys, then the whole instrument is mini as well.

    1. I’m comparing the pic with my MkIII – I can definitely confirm that Korg’s sliders are closer together. I’d say the whole thing has been shrunk.

  26. I would like if it had no keys whatsoever!
    Make a module, Korg.
    (then you won’t get all these bitchy comments 🙂 )

  27. If the Korg Odyssey doesn’t sound unmistakably like an ARP, then what’s the point? Might as well turn out another good but modern analog like the Bass Station II or Minibrute. If you don’t like the keyboard, plug a MIDI controller that you like into it and play it like a module. What’s everybody acting all jumpy for? As if not catering to your personal whims is the greatest insult in the universe.

    I like the way Korg’s Farcebook page posts Jexus’s Odyssey demo video as “check this crazy Polish video” (as if they just discovered it) as an example of why they love that Odyssey sound and are so passionate about bringing it back. Is there anyone here who hasn’t heard of Jexus? Or watched every one of his videos as they come out?

  28. I guess the point is that most keyboard players would like a normal size keyboard. There are some people who aren’t keyboard players who use synthesizers. It doesn’t mean they aren’t a “pro”, just more of a synthesist than a keyboard player. These folks often don’t mind mini-keys because they aren’t play anything techinically demanding on the keyboard. Which is not to say that the music they make is not as good. I am a keyboard player, though, and I vote with the folks who are very disappointed that the new arp appears to be a mini-arp. I don’t mind with my microbrute so much because it is no tiny and portable, but carrying around a ms-20 mini? It’s unwealdy and you can’t even use it’s keyboard.

    1. You’ve an MS20 mini? We’ll stand next to it and look at it’s keyboard. Same number of keys as the Odyssey. Now picture the shape of the Odyssey behind those keys. Small isn’t it? In fact, it’s going to be a pretty tiny synth, maybe the same depth but wider than the minibrute.

  29. I know it’s going to be an unpopular opinion, but I just cannot resist this time: Why on earth another monophonic subtractive synthesizer? Machine music is the only way forward, so let’s push things forward, prety please.

  30. Their website says “A complete revival”, not “an 86% revival”, or something to that effect. I have the MS-20 mini. It sounds great but I hardly ever use it live. When the kit came out, I didn’t want to spend nearly $1000 more to get the same sound. However, had the full size model have come out in the first place for say, $1200, I would have been happy to get it.

    I hope they’re not mini keys on this new Odyssey. I also hope midi also covers at least pitch and mod this time.

    I agree with the people that want to go the Sub 37 route. I applaud what Moog and DSI are doing these days. They’re making great sounding and great playing instruments that you can connect with physically and emotionally, and are also well made. It feels like they’re going all the way with their ideas.

    I don’t get the same feeling from my MS-20 mini because of the small keys. I am grateful for the instrument, but at the end of the day it doesn’t feel as inspiring to play. I find myself going to my Minibrute over it, so it’s not a bulkiness issue either.

  31. With too many excellent mother keys around, I would prefer an Arp without keys.
    I would like an Arp rack, like Oberheim OB-MX or Oberheim Xpander, Waldorf microwave XT
    The sound and interface are more imprtant to me from a mini/maxi keys

  32. The word on the street is that the Korg Odyssey keys are not mini-keys like the MS-20 mini but are slightly narrower than full size keys. Also, the Odyssey will be available in all three model/case types, MK 1 (white), MK II (black and gold) and MK III (black and orange). A switch will permit changing between the filter types used on the various models.

  33. Apart from the opportunity to gain access to this particular synthesis “setup”/model (which is freshly produced btw, not in the need of an overhaul from a synth doctor like most vintage synths)
    mini-keys or not it’s a good window into a world of new sounds! The ARP Odyssey is a very capable synth, if it’s mini-keys or not (which kind of feels like a nostalgic Japanese thing; you know where they produce mini versions of something popular, years later) I think it’s gonna be a great thing in general, also, if it is smaller it’s going to be easier+cheaper to ship around the world. We’re talking sub-5 kg. versus more weight (trust me it adds up when you’re touring)
    Also, if (probably) it’s got the built in MIDI, you’re saving yourself at least $150 for a MIDI-CV converter…
    Let’s wait and see what they’ve got to show at the official NAMM presentation, it’s gonna be great! 🙂

  34. Here are some nice pics from the JRR shop’s cached Korg ARP Odyssey pre-order “item”



    Looks like built-in MIDI, USB and some extra connectors, like the XLR and stuff…
    Those do look like large-keys… (or maybe a bit slimmer? can someone take this into photoshop and compare the size of the XLR connector to the keys? LOL)

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