Korg To Build A New Odyssey For 2014

David Friend of ARP back in the team      17/02/14

Its something of a bizarre state of affairs, Roland release AIRA range - remakes of much of their legacy models and just a couple of days later Korg drop the bomb that they are remaking the Arp Odyssey in conjunction with ARP co founder David Friend.

Expected to be out around September 2014 - yes thats this year! Korg have recently turned their hands to the making of actual mass produced analog circuitry with first the Monotron, and Monotribe range, and thew full remake of the legendary MS-20 synthesizer.

But wait, Korg didnt make the ARP Odyssey right? Yes - thats true but they have hooked up with ARP co-founder David Friend who;s been busy working on other IT and technoogy products - we use his cloud backup service Carboniite here in the office.

Clearly things are working out for Korg and David as its coming later in the year - a full remake of the classic duophonic Odysssey.

We dont know any more about the nuts and bolts of what the new Odyssey will cost or if it will be 3/4 size or whatever, but don't worry we'll be on it in the morning.

 

 

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44 Comments...  Post a comment    original story
Marcus Eoin    Said...

OMG! It's not even April 1st yet. This remake stuff is getting crazy. Can't wait for the 7/8 scale RA Moog Modular. : )

17-Feb-14 03:55 PM


THJ    Said...

And deliverable 7 months after September 2014. But still a great announcement!

17-Feb-14 04:05 PM


Simon - Head of Roland R&D    Said...

Wow, I wasn't expecting that. Is it me or are Korg being really sneaky and making products that people actually want. They need to start innovating and pushing new technology that people don't know they want yet. They should be trying to emulate analog not actually give people the real thing!

17-Feb-14 04:15 PM


David S    Said...

Don't know if Simon really is the Head of Roland R&D, but people want real analog, not emulations. Roland's big mistake is trying to buck the market and issue emulations. If emulations worked, why are Moog, DSI, Korg, Arturia and others having such success making real analogs?

17-Feb-14 04:44 PM


Simon - Head of Roland R&D    Said...

See David, that's where you're thinking about it wrong. If you buy an analogue synth there is a chance that you might keep hold of that synth for the next 25-30 years (just like all these classic 70s synths that people still use everyday). Whereas if you buy a current gen emulation, the chances are in 3-5 years' time we will have produced another slightly better version that we can sell you. This process can then be repeated until I have made enough money from people to buy myself a lovely classic Jupiter 8. I can then use the 1st gen AIRA hardware as lovely green flashing bookends or paperweights!

17-Feb-14 05:22 PM


Vortal    Said...

Roland made some noise with their emulation, 72 hours later, Korg buried Roland under the sound of ARP I bet Roland didn't plan for the shortest "headline flooding" there ever experienced!

I dream of a Korg/Arp 2600 ;)

17-Feb-14 06:16 PM


Bob    Said...

Should that be simon:- ex head of Roland R&D

17-Feb-14 06:28 PM


Simon    Said...

I hope they're available in all three versions of the Odyssey. I own a MK3 Odyssey but would buy a KOdyssey MK2 if the PPC pad was an option and the price was under 1k.

I hope they keep the size at the normal 1/1 and call it a MK4. I love my Korg MS-20 Mini but the small size and tiny wiggly knobs makes it feel like a toy (but it sounds awesome).

17-Feb-14 06:37 PM


speelycaptor    Said...

Wow! i hope it will be under a grand. The prototype pic on the Korg site shows an additional switch in the Filter section not present on the original, which could suggest you could switch between the different Filter models of the different oddy revisions. 8-D Korg continues to impress me. Next a MonoPoly, please. :)

17-Feb-14 06:46 PM


E03    Said...

Weird how Korg is getting mixed up with other manufactures product, perhaps they might bring out a Korg modular moog or a Korg System 700... lol. Actually i'd love to see a modern version of the Lambda ES50 with exactly the same sound but modern features i.e.:memories or delay. I think the battle between Korg & Roland of the 80's might be starting again - hope so, lots of innovations came about then because of decent competition.

17-Feb-14 06:58 PM


Marcus Eoin    Said...

I just heard that Korg is planning on releasing a more up to date version of the Roland Aira System-1. The KorgLand Aira System-2 will have a pitch and modulation bender, after-touch, velocity sensitive keys and a usable amount of polyphony. Korg also wanted to mention that the first two letters of their name "KO" stands for "KNOCK OUT".

17-Feb-14 07:11 PM


blox Electrix    Said...

Bugger ! thought i'd seen this before you sonic. Was gonna send a link. Why do ya always 'ave t' be first ? Very exiting btw.....Very.

17-Feb-14 07:45 PM


Studio 139    Said...

This could be the hottest selling Korg product in years. I want to buy one now, unseen, unheard and unknown price. Now bring back the MonoPoly!

17-Feb-14 08:54 PM


phraggle    Said...

This is exciting news, but I'm holding out for a full remake of the ARP 2600.

17-Feb-14 11:23 PM


SUBTRACTIVE NOBODY    Said...

Roland missed the boat... Oh well, maybe Korg will start remaking Roland stuff too! Cheers everyone!

17-Feb-14 11:59 PM


Gustavo    Said...

Great news, although I heard it first from Marc Doty on Facebook...

I hope that with all the expertise Korg has gathered building analog synths they eventually release a new analog monster polysynth, I'd be interesting if they come out with a sort of new Prophet 08, which became as far as I know incredibly successfull

18-Feb-14 12:36 AM


HnnH    Said...

Wow! - further proof that the people at Korg are listening to consumers and taking interesting risks at the same time. I doubt any EDM kids entranced by the twirling glow-stick that is the Aira interface has any idea what an Odyssey is, let alone has the capacity to get something going without a preset - but Korg isn't playing to the cheap seats, hats off for that.

18-Feb-14 12:40 AM


Korg Rocks    Said...

I would love to see a Korg Arp Quadra! Or how about a Korg polyeight that is a mother to the polysix. Make it have all of the bells and whistles of a Jupiter 8 but with a more advanced arpeggiator and of course midi.

18-Feb-14 02:22 AM


Korg Poly8    Said...

I would love to see a Korg Arp Quadra! Or how about a Korg polyeight that is a mother to the polysix. Make it have all of the bells and whistles of a Jupiter 8 but with a more advanced arpeggiator and of course midi.

18-Feb-14 02:23 AM


YMHO-YOLO-YAWNMaHA    Said...

Roland dga should keep build and sell large A0 printers and release his music instrument branch to Berhinger (such programmed obsolescent devices !) . Korg should create jointventure/startup/fusion with some european neo-analog and va's builder to kill market :)

18-Feb-14 03:35 AM


LagrangeAudio    Said...

Wow!!, that's it, end of, period.

18-Feb-14 04:04 AM


S R Dhain    Said...

in a word, WOW!

18-Feb-14 04:14 AM


TGH    Said...

Here's a ARP2600 remake:

http://electro-music.com/forum/topic-39973-0.html&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=

18-Feb-14 04:14 AM


TGH    Said...

That's the right one:

http://thehumancomparator.net/

18-Feb-14 04:19 AM


JB    Said...

Oh dear, just when I thought I had my shopping list for the year sorted. Arturia, Moog, DSI and Korg are definitely getting my money this year. Roland, sadly, won't be (at the moment anyway). Can you honestly see anyone still using the current AIRA hardware in 5 years (apart from the voice box)? Whereas I can see people still using the Korg analogues for decades to come. But like has been said by Nick and Dave, maybe the Roland stuff isn't aimed at people like me...

18-Feb-14 04:36 AM


Dave Korgston (changed by Depol)    Said...

If this is leading to a ARP2600 remake I'm going to need to make some spare room in my flat. I do genuinely feel like camping outside the Korg Head Offices like a One Direction fan and throwing my pants at the directors whenever they leave the building!

18-Feb-14 04:42 AM


Unknown Phuture    Said...

To David S ("If emulations worked, why are Moog, DSI, Korg, Arturia and others having such success making real analogs? ") - Because there isn't a 3D printer which can copy them yet, then upload them to a torrent site. That's why.

Most classic iconic analogue synths only ever sold a few thousand in number, yet we live on a planet of 7.1 billion people. It's easy to get caught up reading internet forums and mistake a few thousand people (often less) for the entire market. If companies, like Yamaha and Roland, sometimes leave you scratching your head, it's because they're approaching things from the angle of selling to that wider market.

Anyone who likes their analogue synths has to be blown away by this announcement. But is it motivated because of the impossible task of analogue emulation, as your response suggests, or is it born out of other economic realities?

The untold side of this story is that Korg, squeezed by piracy on the one side and companies like Native Instruments and one man bedroom operations on the other, have decided they cannot compete in the current desktop plugin market. They even choose the (largely piracy free) iPad over it.

Their decade old Legacy plugins are arguably outdated since they do not use the latest coding techniques. Some would say freeware, such as OBXD, now achieves a better level of analogue emulation quality than Korg's virtual products, whether they be soft or hard. So where does that leave them if this is the sort of future they can expect?

It leaves them looking for different markets - and hopefully ones bigger corporations, such as Yamaha, aren't serving. Behind the narrative that Korg is the cool guy who "gets it", there are much more mundane economic forces driving these things. If there's reluctance, from companies like Yamaha and Roland, to follow Korg's approach, it's because they know there's only so much that will sell just because you can label a product as real analogue.

Don't forget that these newer analogue products are mostly surface mount and chip based stuff, using modern manufacturing methods. It doesn't sound the same as the old stuff, and some think it often sounds more sterile by comparison (Where have I heard that argument before?!) People like Ken MacBeth exist to serve this niche for those prepared to pay for synths built using older methods.

For the first time, since the VST craze started (almost 15 years ago), I personally know 2 people who've sold analogue hardware on the basis of Native Instruments Monark. That might not mean much to you, but it tells me we're finally starting to reach a point where, if people are turning to hardware, it's going to be for different reasons than the usual old arguments. EG They want something tactile.

That's exactly what Roland is serving with their TR8. It has to. Already another company, Audio Realism, has released a video promo suggesting they can do a better digital 303 than Roland's Aria TB-3 and, if Roland's Aria System 1 is to offer more than TAL's inexpensive SH-101 emulation, they'll have to nail it. Korg's approach frees them from this sort of thing. But it's questionable how much, and how long, it can work..

Whatever your opinion, it's interesting times we're in..

18-Feb-14 06:16 AM


Ran    Said...

This just goes to show that these companies can make money on analog or Korg wouldn't be doing it. I'll take a 2600 kit please.

18-Feb-14 06:40 AM


Simon    Said...

Indeed, for Korg to carry on making them must mean they have made money from what they have already released. The demand is what is driving Korg forward otherwise they would have stopped by now.

I think, as Phuture said, part of it is down to tactile interaction rather than being sat in front of a screen clicking a mouse.

I also think the problems of OS updates and plugins having a limited life (unless you refuse to update anything from now on) is also driving the demand for hardware.

I have about 5 1176 software emulations but I'm tempted to buy the Warm Audio hardware version of it as I know, in theory, it will keep working for decades to come (depending on the parts lasting of course).

I will always use plugins and soft synths but I'm resigned to the fact that I will have to keep paying to keep them updated and working with OS updates, that's if they are kept updated...

Bravo Korg and Roland for trying something new (or old depending on how you look at it). But as has been said above, will people still be using the Roland AIRA System 1 in 5 years?

18-Feb-14 07:18 AM


Chip    Said...

Love this, hopefully they will add mod and pitch wheels, I always thought the arp odyssey blew away the minimoog except for that glaring lack of wheels. If you play funk the wheels are mandatory.

18-Feb-14 09:29 AM


Marcus Eoin    Said...

Chip, the white PPC pads on some of the Odyssey's work great, especially the modulation pad. The pitch pads are OK but take some practice to get use to. I've got a MK3 Odyssey and a MK1 Axxe with PPC pads.

18-Feb-14 10:24 AM


Atomic Shadow    Said...

Expecting this to cost below a thousand is not very realistic. The Moog Sub 37 is coming in around 1,500 bucks. I would look for this to be similar.

18-Feb-14 11:30 AM


Marcus Eoin    Said...

You can find used Odyssey's on Ebay for around $1500 if you're patient and watch closely. I bought my near mint MK3 with an Anvil case for $1300. I think with modern surface mount PCB technology vs the original everything was soldered by hand PCB's Korg could easily sell this for under $1000. The Moog Sub37 has a lot more tech crammed inside and of course your paying for the Moog name. Also, if Korg does the smaller version of the original synth thing that would make the value lower than an original. Look at the MS-20 mini for example, $500 for a Mini vs $1500 for an original.

18-Feb-14 12:38 PM


Atomic Shadow    Said...

You have a fair point about the cost relating to surface mount and it not saying Moog on the product. time will tell.

My friend Tony said that this should be called the Karp Odyessey.

18-Feb-14 01:10 PM


John Drake    Said...

I wonder if you'll be able to mod them the same way as the original version.

Check out this aftertouch controller:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWGVoXUPIJE

18-Feb-14 03:51 PM


Patrick D.    Said...

Now if Korg can make friend with EMS people in UK and get a VCS3/Synthi clone, all the space cadets/Tangerine Dream/Klaus/Hillage devotees would be in heaven.

18-Feb-14 05:12 PM


Dolphono    Said...

I'm loving the connectivity to the DAW environment ROLAND has implemented. I believe AIRA series will do very well. There is enough money for both KORG and ROLAND. I for one am starting to hate software. The need of an internet connection, constant updates and being treated like I stole my software, is a turn off. Things are going back to the Atari days. Roland AIRA units are leading the way. KORG better pipe the New Odyssey's I/O via usb, so I can buy one. It'll be very hard for me not to purchase hardware that has usb I/O. Finally someone bridge that gap. The only advantage VST had over hardware was the pipeline into a DAW. ROLAND has eliminated that obstacle. KORG better follow suit.

18-Feb-14 10:43 PM


HnnH    Said...

I get the feeling we wouldn't be friends Dolphono.

19-Feb-14 12:42 AM


Malcolm Davis    Said...

This is great news indeed. Korg are doing exactly the right thing in bringing back this older gear because the older gear is simply better and its what so many people want. I have a Korg Kronos 88X which I love and would not sell - but I'd happy surround it with re-releases of classic vintage analogue gear rather than modern analogue modelling synths. So the Odyssey goes to the top of my list for Christmas. I'll also now look more seriously at an MS-20 Mini because I have a gut feeling Korg will introduce an SQ-10 and MS-50 mini for it in the future. As for other synths they could re-release - its obvious if Korg are now doing ARP, they have to do a 2600.

19-Feb-14 05:28 AM


Dolphono    Said...

@ HnnH my gear is ALL the friends I need.

19-Feb-14 08:19 AM


selercs    Said...

4 voices would have been good or better still DSI Prophet 08's 8 voices :)

19-Feb-14 08:20 AM


GoForwardWithOldDesigns?    Said...

Dolphono is spot on in his comments.

19-Feb-14 01:03 PM


4035 only!    Said...

I couldnt read all comments but the big question is: Which filter will they use? Even tho its my all-time favorite synth, I have been spoiled with having owned the ody with the "lawsuit" 4035 24db filter that appeared briefly in the '75 2810 model. That filter was by far the sickest fattest sounding thing I've ever heard and I dont think I could now settle for the 12db or the later 4075 24db that may come with the new ones. But this is absolutely crazy ass news. the whole world is ending but why are synths thriving like mad?

21-Feb-14 10:11 PM


Marcus Eoin    Said...

4035 Only, if you look at the prototype picture there is a small switch located next to the filter and resonance sliders. I think that might be a selectable filter. I'm hoping its a MK1,MK2/MK3 switch but Arp did get sued by Moog because of the MK1 filter deign so hopefully Korg worked out something with Moog or they came up with something close named "Early Filter". If the price is below $899 and it's full size I'll probably buy one even though I own an original MK3.

24-Feb-14 01:10 AM


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