Korg ARP Odyssey Coming Jan 22, 2015


Korg today shared this teaser image for the new ARP Odyssey, saying only “Be prepared for a new evolution 1-22-15”.

Jan 22 is the opening of the 2015 NAMM Show, so expect the new Korg ARP Odyssey to make its official debut at the event.

Korg announced plans in February that it plans to reissue the ARP Odyssey. At the time, Korg also announced that ARP co-founder David Friend was joining Korg as their chief advisor on the Odyssey.

Here’s a sneak preview of the Korg ARP Odyssey:


The original ARP Odyssey was released in three different versions. When we asked what version of the ARP Odyssey Korg should make, readers strongly indicated that they prefer the Black and Orange color scheme of the Odyssey MK III and that they’d prefer it be updated with MIDI and multiple filter options.

We’ll have to see if Korg took the input of readers to heart.

To make things even more interesting, last week Behringer hinted that it might make its own ARP Odyssey. It’s unclear, though, if the Behringer Odyssey is anything more than a design concept, at this point.

We will have details on the Korg ARP Odyssey as they are made available.

Check out the images and let us know what you think!

Update: Instagram user _coryhenry shared this unofficial image:


111 thoughts on “Korg ARP Odyssey Coming Jan 22, 2015

          1. Some guy posted on a previous thread about this that HIS “contact at Korg” told him it would be VA. So that’s how much weight I give comments like these…

    1. I have a black and gold Axxe sitting here and it is pretty ugly in person. The design aesthetic is really off.

      No thank you to pastel rubber capped sliders again.

  1. Georgeous, but it needs to be at the right price point to fit into modern workflows, otherwise it’ll only be the rich kids.

    Space is at a premium in my setup so if priced to shift units and can function as a controller via usb as well I will order one straight away.

  2. Notice that the fader caps are redesigned…I think I prefer the original’s funky, colorful caps. The ones in the image above look much more firm, if that can be gauged from appearances. Keys also appear to have the same cut as the MS-20 mini. Sure does look tasty though!

  3. I’ve always been preferential to the white face 2800 myself, although I have a black & gold version of it. Eagerly awaiting the new details.

      1. i know! i’ve always thought the same thing. some guy gets up every morning and down votes every post on here no matter what it says. haha.

        anyway, this synth looks great, i look forward to seeing and hearing more about it.

  4. I would rather korg make it a useful addition to the em musicians rig at a price that means it will be built to last, rather than just another midi/usb toy for the hobbyist to make noise with

  5. It looks great! The black/orange design was the right choice. It appears it has full sized keys! Yes.
    Now if the price is right…

  6. The fader caps look like the same old Mk 3 design to me.. which is a good thing. I just pray it’s not mini-keys – please Korg, make it a grown-ups synth, for real musicians

  7. From what is shown, it looks very nice and it looks like a real ARP, a brand new one out of a box. Kind of like a time warp. That is cool. I appreciate that the panel appears as if it’s going to look like it came from ARP itself, the actual model returning to production, rather than a tribute or clone with an altered name.

  8. If you turn the top image upside down and look closely it looks like there’s a three way switch next to the filter cutoff freq and resonance…

  9. Ah, but what will it sound like? Is this going to be an analog synth or a digital model in analog clothes? Much as I love Korg synths – I have owned many over the years and have a TR61 and X3 in my live rig – I have found their attempts at explicit analog modelling a bit disappointing. The Prophecy I had made some good sounds but was impossible to program, and the MS2000B (and the rack unit of same) were fun but I get better analoguey sounds from my TR61, with a bit of tweaking. So although this looks good, what’s under the hood?

    1. What planet have you been on? They’ve done he MS20 mini, a real analogue synth, plus the Volca range, 3 of which are analogue, and the new Electribes, which are analogue (I think!!!). korg announced this earlier this year, that it would be a reproduction of the original.

      No reason whatsoever to question what’s under the hood.

      1. The electribe and electribe sampler are digital, but that doesn’t matter; some of the best instruments made by Korg (the Wavestation, for example) were digital.

  10. I think both this and the MS-20 mini look thoroughly ugly, but never mind.
    The latest G-force software Arp Oddity 2 promotional video from Sonic State gives a good overview of this synth, and it appears to be well wicked, with its duo phonic ring mod (if the Volca Keys is anything to go by!)

    I can’t wait !!

    1. That *would* be awesome! And about time! As a proud owner of a Z1, it’s gotta be the funkiest-sounding thing KORG ever made. Not the best looking, but that’s exactly what they could take care of when designing the Mk. II. It should include a Wavedrum-based drum machine for good measure 😀

  11. Well Korg, this is just another way in which you listen to your customers!! I cannot wait to have two of these. I was very pleased with the MS20 Minii. Thank you Korg!!!

  12. Amazing. However my only concern is I bet they retained one of the biggest flaws of that version: the keys extending further than the chassis. So many people about to break some keys.

    1. Increasing brightness and contrast on the pictures makes it more apparent that they did take care of this and made the chassis extend at least to the end of the keys.

      1. Yes, this has been fixed, as said above. Increase brightness and you can see they extended the chassis. The only flaw of the MKIII now corrected. I’m guessing it won’t have the XLR output of the original though?

        1. I think the XLR was unique to the Mk III, in which case this new “Mk IV” can be seen to take both its lack of XLR and its proper chassis size from the earlier versions.

    2. i agree…lets hope they fixed that flaw. if the original designer is involved, hes surely to have been slapped over the wrist about that one since the 70s and would have voiced up about it this time. funny how the leaked photos dont make it clear if this has been fixed, it was the first thing i looked for as well hehe

  13. The ARP Odyssey has a unique and fantastic sound, so I can easily understand why they picked this synth to recreate.

    But I’d really like a new analog poly synth – somewhat below the price of the Prophet 12 and Modulus 002. Can’t somebody innovate a bit instead of recreating the legends of yester-year?

  14. Synthtopia you should be proud to be one of the blogs even the industry pays attention to, looks like they listened when it came to colour scheme!

    1. mmmm… What does this even mean? Does thinking hurt?

      Had a revolution? No, the MS-20 did not have a revolution. What Korg did was re release a much loved and unique synth at a price point that lots of us could finally enjoy.

      And who was disappointed? The reviews across the board were amazing and the sound was near identical to the original. Check the forums, people are incredibly excited about their MS-20 Minis.

      And anybody can match the quality of older machines? Older machines were very high quality, it’s why you can still find working original MS-20’s today. And it’s very difficult to recreate a machine for which many parts are no longer available.

  15. Heh, Heh! The late-great master of the keys George Duke helped make the Odyssey a hit with players. But the legend on how that happened is semi-funny.

    At the time of the Odyssey’s release, Duke was the keyboard man in Frank Zappa’s Mothers. Zappa wanted to add a synth to his band’s sound. In those days, if you were a famous recording artist or group, ARP would supply a synth in exchange for using their name/likeness in their advertising. So Zappa asked ARP & soon George Duke came face-to-face with the sexy, but intimidating ARP 2600.

    According to the legend, Duke told Zappa “I can’t even get a sound out of this thing! (the 2600)” Zappa informed ARP who supplied them with their brand-new Odyssey. Duke instantly fell in love with the Odyssey and that synth became integral to the Mothers’ sound. Check out the classic album “Over-Nite Sensation” for great for examples Duke’s work with his trusty Odyssey.

      1. Duh! Plugging a full size board into this (if it even has a midi in) misses the point and shows how little you know about performance synths.
        The Odyssey was an instrument, like a guitar or violin, not some crappy midi expander. The actual sound is only 50% of the Odyssey – if you don’t understand that then it’s not for you.

  16. I challenge anyone to look at a photo of a synth with nothing else in it to indicate scale and say one way or another if the keys are full size or if the entire synth is scaled down 80%.

    Though as many have mentioned elsewhere, the proportions of the black and white keys seem to match the MS-20, which unfortunately means it probably will have the mini keys.

  17. this looks great!
    I was getting worried with other companies jumping on the band wagon that something fell through. Knowing Korg, this will sound just like the original.

  18. I do find this a odd thing, it isn’t original and not emulation, a clone maybe. It feels to me like Ford stating they are going to do a E-type Jag!? Why? Don’t get me wrong I love the E-type, and nothing wrong with the styling and verve of the thing, and nothing wrong with the Ford business – but we live in a world of modern tech, when things can be so much more than they were. Do something in the spirit of, and expand on it, but this seems pointless to me – you have the real thing at a price, emulation at a compromise, modular kit around giving these sort of tools on a budget, and modern synths going above and beyond this. I think they are just catering to synth perverts as a marketing ploy, but for the rest of use, been there and got the t-shirt, show us some real products at NAMM.

    1. And Korg will sell vast quantities to those of us who are happy to drive around in brand new E-Type jags after years of yearning to own something so elusive and expensive. Not sure what your point is, other than you see no value in recreations. 100,000+ MS20 minis tell a different story.

      1. Where on earth did you get the idea that Korg has sold 100,000 MS-20 Minis??! They’d be piled roof-high in every music shop worldwide. This isn’t 1978.

        1. Planet earth is pretty big. 100,000 is only 500 units sold across 200 countries. Germany will have sold tens of thousands. Ireland (where I live) probably sold 500. I see them in every music shop (several boxes) and they are regularly for sale 2nd hand.

          Where did I get the info? Don’t recall, I read a lot of blogs and sites, but not sure why it’s so hard to imagine.

      2. maybe some car manufacturers could take a leaf out of Korgs book. i sure would like to go down and buy a new classic 69 Ford Mustang Convertible….and im sure a lot of others would too

  19. Smaller keys+size = easier to ship
    We’re talking 1/3, even 1/4 of the going-price of a vintage, original Odyssey. So I’m not complaining about anything! It might even have stock MIDI IN like the MS20 Mini… I think it’s a great oppurtunity for us future-musicians to gain access to this awesome synthesizer!! GO KORG!

  20. Ford (or now Tata Motors) to make an E-Type Jaguar? That was an incredibly apt analogy. Maybe I’d fall into the happy group of enthusiasts who’d buy one 😀 If Tata made it, it would cost 20,000 rupees, whilst original E-Type trade for £70k at least.

  21. It may have mini-keys but then nobody complained about the suberbly reasonable pricing of the MS-20 mini. I mean, I’d take one of those over an over-priced original. And if it had been made the same size, it would have been more expensive, I can understand though that many would prefer to pay a higher price for a larger unit with full-size keys, whereas many would prefer a lower price to get their hands on that sound and those features. I don’t think there’s anything negative to say here, Korg have to be congratulated for supplying so many new analogues at decent prices, that sound good too. I can’t imagine the Arp will cost much more than the MS-20 mini. I hope it’s (almost) everything people are expecting 🙂

      1. Yup there is a full size version available in kit form and it is much more expensive. It isn’t selling out anywhere despite being a very limited run.

        What does that say about full size keys?

    1. When the MS20 Mini was introduced, Internet forums were abuzz with complaints about the mini keys. Of course you can’t argue with cheap, and those of us who spent the extra money on the Kit were also well rewarded.

      BUT: The MS20 is primarily a studio synth. This is evidenced by its upright panel, and by the fact that you need to patch its internal modules with cables to enable important stuff like the wheel and filter key tracking.

      The Odyssey is generally better suited for the stage than the MS20. Keyboardists who want to play solos and melodies are more likely to demand full-sized keys than those creating electronic beats in the studio. Korg would have to be crazy to not realize that.

  22. Since “we” seem to have *generally* scoffed at wild prog-like solos, or much of anything past big bass beats, short sequences or filter sweeps with monosynths, the new round of re-issues puzzles me a little. The basic TONE of most of these synths can be had in numerous ways thanks to both hardware & software multi-mode filters and super-user-programmable LFOs. Can you say Serum? 😀

    Self-contained monosynths are usually not the first synths you approach for more detailed sound design. That doesn’t apply to broader exceptions like the Pro2 or Voyager XL, but it does fit in this case. If you’re not going to “wail” on it in real-time and its ultimately limited for sound design proper, what do you want this FOR? Mere nostalgia? Or do you have a jones to really emulate Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters era? Good luck there! Any new synth represents a need for space, a learning curve and a purpose. The original Moog ladder filter went out of patent and its pretty easy to synthesize an Oberheim or Korg-style filter, sooooo….. if you want to stack a few monosynths, no problem, but don’t PILE them up without a game plan. I’m less interested in the basic sound (It’ll be good to great, surely) than I am in its connectivity and build. Its hard to make a bad-sounding synth, but easy to build a physically shoddy one. Let’s give this one a chance and see how it turns out. I guess they have to sell an Odyssey model before anyone will go for the 2600.

    1. I agree with you. I’ve been into synths for decades, so on the one hand I feel excitement about there being an affordable (and possibly more stable) version of this around, but on the other hand, modern music has moved on to much more complex synth tones thanks to things like Massive, so it doesn’t seem as useful to anyone who isn’t just playing music nostalgically (which is fine).

      1. After having enough gear pass through my hands, I began to see that a monosynth is kind of like a violin. You have to get into it enough to learn where its high and low points are. Take a tip from George Duke, who said his MiniMoog was like a man, where the Odyssey was like a woman, each with its own strengths. That explains it pretty well.

          1. Many touring keyboard whizzes also turn their noses up to “synth-action” keyboards and insist on using MIDI controllers with 88 keys with full piano action hooked up to their MainStage and/or Receptor rigs. But the hobbyist (who is the target market for Korg’s new Odyssey re-make) is more concerned about fitting another box in their already-cramped space bedroom or basement. Done right, mini keys can be a reasonable compromise. And as others have mentioned, there are plenty of full-size MIDI keyboards available to patch into the new Odyssey, if that is what one needs. As for me, there are great ARP Odyssey-based software plug-ins available that can do things I didn’t even dream about when I was the proud owner of an original Odyssey back in the early 1970s.

            But I digress…

      2. But you’re assuming modern music requires brand new technology to exist? What about guitars, drums, cellos etc etc? Music made in the 50’s using traditional instruments doesn’t sound like music from 2014 using traditional instruments. It’s the human element that makes the difference.

        Many musicians and film composers make modern music using vintage synths. Take a look at Danny Elfman for starters.

        1. Musical tastes slosh back and forth. For a while it seemed that you couldn’t use a naked 808–you had to layer it, compress it, distort it. As soon as that thinking was entrenched you had people go back to the “original” 808 sound they loved on their old records.

          There’s always a place for a retro sound somewhere on the scene. Before Goldfrapp’s Number 1, who would have thought the old Roland RS-505 would ever find its way into a hit dance song?

    2. Well, maybe we can forge a new kind of music where “wild, prog-like solos” have a place. Maybe we should’ve had a wider synth language all along. After all, everything else has come back; why not bring back the things that were there when things started coming back?

  23. Behringer will wait for the Korg to come out, buy one and then repaint it to show in their booth at NAMM as a “prototype”. Much like they did with the Mackie 1604, Boss pedals, and Fatar keyboards in past years.

  24. This post seems to be less of a discussion about Korg and their design decisions. And more about some spoilt brat who didn’t get any love, nor a Playstation 3 for Christmas: Downvoting for the Devil. Except the Devil has better things to do these days. Leave the good peeps and their ruminations alone. And let all your hate out here. I am here for you, you poor suffering little product.

  25. So 1/22/15 huh? Does that mean we will really see it 6 months after? They still haven’t released the volca sample and they keep pushing ship dates back on everything!

      1. Or you can simply add pedalboard plug-in simulators. For example, Logic Pro X & Garageband 10.0.3 have a fabulous set of effects pedals available. And if you really need the tactile feel of an actual pedal, Electro Harmonix offers a great selection of stomp boxes at reasonable prices. Check Guitar Center, Sweetwater, ZZ Sounds, etc…

  26. Very glad they went with the Mk III Orange and Black design. I think its much nicer than the Mk 1 White or Mk II Black and Gold. Will miss the coloured slider tips though. Assuming its priced correctly – and I’ve heard a figure of around $2000AUD – then I’ll buy one. I’ve always wanted an Odyssey and here’s a chance to own one finally. Plus, I trust Korg much more than I would a Behringer clone in terms of the build quality. Glad to get a look at what will probably be my next synth for 2015!

  27. The Mk 3 never had the coloured fader caps! Mk 3’s only ever had the caps as pictured in the Korg teaser, with a coloured stripe down each one.

    Lots of valid points above, especially about the ‘limited’ palette of sounds compared to e.g. Massive. BUT what a sound – the Odyssey wails like no other. I too am waiting for Billy Currie’s opinion 🙂

  28. The ARP in its best iteration and on its best day could not touch a Mono/Poly. Why remake something like an ugly duckling MS-20 or something not even your product, an ARP when you could do a Polysixteen or Mono/Poly?

  29. I don’t really have the space to support another board, but this one is DEFINITELY being added to the collection.

    *I* think if it comes as a kit, it should be similarly priced as the MS-20 kit; if it’s already assembled, I think it will be low 2s.

  30. So I can at last make a comparison with my sonic core “prodyssey” digital analogue emulation which (imho) is quite good (plus programmable AND polyphonic, like the MiniMoog D “minimax” model (quite good too!)
    as for the fight full keys vs mini keys, I own both MS20 models (my original one bought in 79, and still working full blow, and the mini bought last year… ), strangely enough, I’ve no problem at all switchinf from one to the other. it’s a bit like when you switc from a regular axe to a massive bass guitar then to a ukulele then an mandolin (and I won’t talk of a sitar :-))
    A final note : I liked the smarties’colored slider caps… cheap, fragile and cheasy, but I like those colourful 70’s gizmos, like on vintage Korgs, Vermonas, Crumars and Russian synths. 🙂 If I buy one, I’ll have the caps replaced asap by copycat arp 2800 MkII ones!

    1. The colored caps for the original Odyssey pots looked neat, but while gigging, they had bad a habit of leaping off their stems and disappearing into the far, unreachable crevices of a club’s stage floor, never to be seen again. Back in the day, I would buy another set of caps from ARP, replace them, go gigging, lose them, rinse, repeat, etc. Eventually I gave up and made due with whatever caps I could buy from Radio Shack. My Odyssey became homely, but still functional. 🙂

  31. For anyone who’s looking for that classic Arp sound. I was looking for that, too, and wasn’t willing to pay that much for a mono synth (or duophonic). I got me an Axxe and was pretty satisfied. It sounded very much like a smaller Odyssey. But I was missing the second oscillator. Plus I was looking for a 2-VCO poly synth. So I gave the Chroma Polaris a try, and it absolutely blew me away. All those folks online saying it has nothing to do with the Arp sound, need to wash their ears. It easily covers Odyssey ground in terms of sound. Plus it has six fat voices and velocity. It’s probably the most underrated analog of all. Definitely worth the money.

    Only thing I would complain about the new clone are those annoying ppc buttons. They are the biggest downside on the Odyssey/Axxe/Solus. A joystick would have been a nice addition..

  32. The ironic thing about this is that CMS has been building Arp based modulars for years that are far and away better made than anything Arp ever made. The ultimate iteration of the Arp.

  33. If this “re-release” of the original Mk-3 Odyssey has mini-keys as an eminantly avoidable & completely unnecessary price-point-motivated “compromise” then I want absolutely nothing to do with it; period. Why would I elect to spend potentially 2 grand (a MUCH higher sticker price, BTW, than I had hoped or that which was initially rumored) on what for all intents and purposes would be a plastic toy/obscenely overpriced analog sound module? My intention was always to use this “new”, ostensibly faithful re-creation of this once incredible instrument on stage for the performance applications that it was originally designed. The ARP Odyssey was the workhorse of the industry in it’s day as an actual musical instrument, not as a studio sound generator. I am currently rehearsing with a classic progressive rock band that, once sufficiently tight, will be performing music from that era, including songs by Yes (Fragile, Close to the Edge), Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP, Tarkus, Brain Salad Surgery), Jethro Tull (Aqualung, Songs From the Wood) & Genesis (Nursery Cryme, Foxtrot, Selling England by the Pound & The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway) for which the ARP Odyssey (in lieu of the Pro Soloist) was to be (at least I’d hoped) an indispensible element. In short, if this “faithful recreation” of the original ARP Odyssey has mini-keys, it is NOT a performance keyboard & therefore is NOT AN ODYSSEY; for KORG to be grossly misrepresenting this vulgar abortion of a model toy kiddie-keyboard as the authentic real-deal is equally demoralizing & unconscienable!

  34. Where did you hear it was going to be 2 grand? And why are you banging on about mini-keys? If the above pic is indeed an actual photo, then clearly your rabid fear of mini-keys is a non-issue. Perhaps you should sit down, have a cup of tea and a biscuit, and calm down a bit.

  35. I wish Korg would release more details or at the very least, a price range by now. I feel like this has been in production for a lifetime. At this rate I’m better off purchasing the real thing. -_-

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