KORG has now made it public: we’ll get to see their ARP Odyssey, a remake of the classic 1970s synth involving one of the original creators, in January. Some sort of working unit at the NAMM trade show seems a likely thing to hope for.
And we can also see from the image they’ve posted that they’ve opted to recreate the third-generation ARP aesthetics, faithfully reproducing the black-and-orange labels. (Click for a full-size version, without the text.)
The Odyssey is a reasonable enough synth to reissue. Moog Music has already corned the Minimoog and KORG themselves the legendary MS-20; the ARP Odyssey is a logical rival to those units, a 2-oscillator, standalone synth in a keyboard. Just as it was a more affordable, accessible entry point to the ARP 2600, so, too, is an ARP Odyssey remake today.
I’ll echo what many have been saying in recent days to me privately and in comments: just like rebooting Hollywood films, there’s a limit to how much vintage gear we’d want reissued. For instance, to Bob Moog’s credit, his Minimoog Voyager was a reimagining of the earlier instrument, not a reissue. And there’s room for other gear, too. Speaking of which: why not a sequencer? (KORG has given us now two sizes of MS-20 but not the SQ-10 sequencer that’d make all this gear more fun.)
Still, I’m not concerned. There’s plenty of synth action out there, from wild iPad synths to weird boutique models. It’s hardly as though everything is a remake.
The question now is how serious Behringer was about their own rival ARP. They’ve gone for more retro styling in their mockup, and there’s that interesting-looking display in the corner. But we’ve yet to see whether this was just a social media tease or if, bizarrely, the market will have two competing Odyssey reissues.
Anyway, next month, we’ll know more. Back to your mulled ciders and egg nogs and such; nothing to see here that you haven’t already seen. (I love the 70s.)
For now, for the first time, ever, ARP has its own official website:
Welcome to the alternate universe.