Synth Site: ARP: Odyssey 2800 (WHT): User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.6 out of 5
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MC a professional user writes:
Bzzt. Whiteface Odysseys do not have Moog filters, they have 12dB SEM-style filters, which is the 4023 filter module. This is a very common myth for whiteface Odysseys.

The first generation of black/gold Odysseys (and Axxes) *did* have the Moog filter, the 4035 filter module. Not many of these Odysseys have this filter because ARP was caught with patent infringement by Moog and they replaced the module with the 4075 module, which was used in all ARP monosynths since then. For the same reason, the 4012 "Moog" filter module in the 2600 was replaced with the 4072 filter.

Unlike the other filter modules, the whiteface 4023 filter doesn't attenuate the low end when you crank the resonance, which makes them the beefiest filter module of the lot. The whiteface Odyssey is the favorite for fat bass sounds.

posted Thursday-May-10-2001 at 12:16
The General a professional user from PEOPLES REPUBLIC OF HARRINGEY(NORTH LONDON) writes:
White faced Odyssey uses a Moog filter encased in a resin block, therefore black faced Odyssey uses different filter and sounds...WEAKER! This in my humble opinion is the best monosynth ever, anyone who thinks they're crap hasn't been trying. This thing is capable of malevalance that no other monosynth can match.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-May-10-2001 at 07:03
Gary Horowitz a professional user from United States of America writes:
I got my Odyssey brand spanking new out of the crate shipped direct from the factory in 1973 for $850, no tax. I believe it was supposed to be a floor model at that price, but they shipped a new one instead. I could tell this one had never been touched. It came with stand, filter foot pedal, portamento foot switch, a set of front panel overlays that you could use for quick and easy patch settings, a booklet called Instant Odyssey with an accompanying audio casette tape narrated by Roger Powell and of course the instruction manual. I still have all of this stuff by the way, still intact in it's original packaging, except for the instruction booklet which I foolishly lent to someone who carelessly left it on their kitchen table and now the picture on front cover is peeled off. Hey thanks a lot. Anyway, back to the instrument. This was an original white face with the colored slider tops. There were no patch points for CV or audio input. I noticed on later models that the pitch bend knob would also affect the keyboard control voltage when applied to the filter modulation, so the filter frequency could be played by the keyboard with pitch bend. However mine did not do that. I learned to imitate lots of brass, string and keyboard sounds but I have always felt that the true strengths with these instruments lie in the potential to create sounds which do not exist in any other domain outside of the electronic realm. I started composing tape pieces of concrete music, soundscapes and commercial ditties using sound on sound and primitive multitracking techniques on open reel to reel tape recorders. Soon I was coping parts from records such as Goin' Mobile by The Who, Chameleon by Herbie Hancock and Edgar Winter's Frankenstein. My next challenge was to try to imitate all of the sounds that came from Moogs or Minimoogs such as Lucky Man by Emerson Lake and Palmer, Lonesome Electric Turkey by the Mothers of Invention and all of those wonderful guitar-like licks riddled off by Jan Hammer while he was with the Mahavishnu Orchestra. I became very skilled at raising both of the LFO frequency modulation sliders to the oscillators simultaneously, and playing the dreadfully appreviated keyboard in such a manner that by carful synchroniation, a combination of jumping octaves and changing the register of the 2 octave transpose switch, I could create the illusion of a full sized keyboard. To this day, I wish there were some way of adding a low 'B' to the keyboard. I don't know if it can be done. I also learned that if you put an audio signal into the external foot pedal control and set the filter frequency fairly high with high resonance, you get a primitive form of FM and the end result is the equivilant of an audio input, which then can be manipulated by the Odyssey's moudulation and envelope generator features. I'v always felt the Odyssey's enveolpes were a little sluggish and you had to set the attacks just right. The Phase Synchronization feature was just fantastic for imitating Jimi Hendrix solos. If you set the frequency of the second oscillator to exactly two octaves above the fundamental while the external pedal was fully depressed you could imitate harmonics and feedback, depending on how the filter was set. Usually you had to fine tune the resonance just right to isolate the harmonics you wanted, but once you nailed it you could really go town with whammy dive bar effects and such. Another great feature of the Odyssey which is overlooked and not available on many instruments even today was the LFO triggering of the envelope generators. This was great for everything from tremeli plucking sounds to industrial pounding. Or, if the attack was slow you could set the LFO frequency to .2 Hz and generate gentle ocean waves. The instrument also had sample and hold for rhythmic and / or random changes in pitch and timbre. The Minimoog had that available only as an accesory to the main unit. And phase synchronization could only be accomplished on the Mini by modifying the instrument. The two-voice feature of the keyboard always sounded a little funky to me because the filter would always track the low note over the high note. This meant that if your interval was wider that a musical third, the top note was dull and it would get wore and worse as your intervals got larger. Overall I can say that the Odyssey had a large arsenal of tricks packed into it's compact frame and was a pretty good bang for the buck. Mine served me faithfully well in countless bands and is still in operation. Only briefly was it replaced by a Minimoog hastily pruchased for $600 when the Odyessy had suffered an accident that took out a couple of sliders on the front panel and there were no authorized repair persons available on the tour. The Odyssey has since been repaired and both instruments co-exist side by side. They seem compliment each other. The Odyssey has a more feminine sound qulaity compared to the Minimoog's ballsy purr. I can trick out the Odyssey to impersonate the Moog, but the Moog will not and can not imitate the Arp.

posted Saturday-Mar-10-2001 at 19:31
Ferko a part-time user from Canada/Hungary writes:
To anyone who says you can't get good sounds out of this synth, try listening to Oxygene or Equinoxe by Jean-Michel Jarre...great piece of kit this.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Feb-03-2001 at 19:44
Johnny5 a hobbyist user from Lexington, KY writes:
This is a bad fuckin' synth. I went through a Juno 60 and a MS-10 to achieve analog glory with my white Oddy. First of all, it looks cool. These are WAY more stylin' than the mark II or III's, and from what I hear, much more wicked sounding. As for sounds, I think that it is possessed by some crazy-ass spirit.... insane sound effects and leads; basses are pretty cool, really. I dig the the Moog-copied ladder filter and the ASDR section as well. Mine is sturdy, albeit slightly scratchy at the present, and some of the sliders are a little stiff. I'm getting totally refurbed by CMS and will have it modded for CV. I'm gonna grow old and demented with this shit. Check it out.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Nov-04-2000 at 21:09
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