Sinevibes’ Artemiy Pavlov has been raving about the potential of KORG’s ‘logue from the start. Now he’s finally done what he threatened – stuff a whole computer software setup into hardware, even the $99 NTS-1.
And yeah “odds” – probability. Get it? There’s a bunch of delicious “stochastic” possibility in there, based on randomizing values as you play.
Okay, maybe going as far as saying Odds is like a small modular is an exaggeration. And me being the pedant, I would then explain how “modular” is defined by routing between separate components and so and so forth … But seriously, Artemiy went wild with this one. Essentially, it’s a bunch of sound sources, combined with complex generative possibilities based on per-note randomization. I mean, eat your heart out, Aphex Twin – Artemiy did this all by his lonesome.
The oscillators alone are intriguing – a dual-oscillator engine that runs at 96K (double the usual sample rate on the ‘logue line). But it’s the combination of all those components that defines Odds as a sound creation tool – adding cross-modulation and waveshaping and lots of other goodies:
Multiple sound sources. The dual oscillator engine lets you choose up to 80 variations of combinations of sound types, including virtual analog, FM, phase distortion, waveshaping, ring modulation, cross modulation, bit reduction, and “hybrid.”
Per-note trigger probability. That’s the “stochastic” part – it allows you to generate a bit more complexity with simpler actions.
State variable filter. 12dB/octave, multi-mode.
24-mode modulation generator. Here are all your LFO shapes and envelopes. Exponential envelopes, linear envelopes, multi-waveform LFO (triangle, saw, square, pulse, trapezoid, peak), sample & hold, and random triangle.
Silky-smooth changes. There’s a built-in lag filter so you get smooth parameter adjustments and modulation, minus the noise.
Multi Engine Preset Converter utility. This is something Sinevibes cooked up – you can move oscillators between slots without breaking references to the oscillator by slot number in presets. Basically, it’s useful for preset management and reorganization once you start having fun messing with all these interesting oscillators from Sinevibes and other makers.
Preset tables for prologue, minilogue xd, and NTS-1.
Connect via USB with KORG’s own Sound Librarian tool, and you get really easy management of all your presets – ideal for playing live, too. It’s not hard to edit this stuff, either. You just dial up the parameter you want and tune in a value. Grab the source you want. (2-op FM with 6:1 ratio + feedback? Overmodulated saw fifths? Whatever.)
The reason I think the modular comparison is fair is how many modules now have digital cores and offer these kinds of selections. But the ultra-reduced interface of the KORG here – and the fact that you can just install this as a plug-in for a few bucks on some hardware you might already own – really means a major breakthrough in accessibility and convenience.
I’m a little loathe to point you at the sound samples, because I’m pretty sure this thing is tough to demo. Give me some time; I’ll give it a shot.
I think if you imagine it as part of a modular rig and add some effects or sync it to something else, though, you could make some great stuff. It’s definitely dry and digital on its own, but you can put this into a playable instrument and still be well shy of what a lot of capable individual digital oscillator modules would cost you in the Eurorack space. And nothing against those devices; they can be lovely. But for those of us on a budget or wanting some simplicity or both, this is fantastic. So I’ll back up Artemiy’s claims, and yeah, still plotting some trip over to Ukraine one of these days.
$39 + VAT or sales tax is a steal, though, especially given how affordable the KORG gear is.
Link, and it’s worth perusing the short, easy manual:
PS – It’s “Odds” like the word, with an ‘o’, not 0dds with a zero. But then it is odd5 on the multi-segment LED.