Is the ARP Odyssey good for beginners

Korg Collection ARP Odyssey Review

Korg Collection ARP Odyssey Review
Synth legend skilfully emulated

Whether it can hold a candle to the original - find out in the Korg Collection ARP Odyssey Review everything about the virtual synthesizer that emulates the classic ARP Odyssey. Or rather, all three variants of this electronic instrument. How hardware and software sound in comparison and what to expect in terms of operation, performance and sound.

Put to the test in the Korg Collection ARP Odyssey test: a virtual synthesizer (plug-in for PC & Mac) that emulates a legendary hardware synth from the early 70s

Korg Collection ARP Odyssey Review

All things Considered

Emulation and extension of a subtractive analog synthesizer as an audio plug-in for Windows & Mac OS. From the successful and adaptable user interface to the moderate processor load to the largely authentic and characterful sound - the KORG Collection ARP Odyssey is convincing in every respect. The add-ons are useful for sound design and consistently well implemented. Since the price for this achievement is completely reasonable, the virtual synthesizer dusts off the top grade.

to the Korg Collection ARP Odyssey Review Conclusion

PER

  • Excellent sound, very close to the original
  • Flexible sound design
  • 16-note polyphony and unison mode
  • Integrated arpeggiator / step sequencer
  • Good presets
  • CPU consumption is kept within limits

CONTRA

For whom?
Sound tinkerers looking for typical analog sound from the DAW and lovers of the original who are looking for a successful emulation of this.

What is it?

The Korg Collection ARP Odyssey is a virtual synthesizer for Windows computers and Macs that emulates the analog hardware synthesizer ARP Odyssey. It is one of the audio plug-ins that can generate sounds on its own - after integration into DAW software or programs for live performances. The software runs via the plug-in interfaces VST, AU and AAX.

There are two oscillators on board, with synchronization, sample & hold and pulse width modulation available. With the filter type, you can choose from replicas of all three of the filters that were once installed in different models. In addition, the range of functions has been significantly expanded compared to the hardware: These include the integrated arpeggiator, effects and, last but not least, a polyphony of up to 16 voices.

You can purchase the plugin separately or as part of the so-called Korg Collection. The former costs US $ 49, the latter US $ 249. There is also an iOS app for iPads that replicates the classic: ┬╗Korg ARP ODYSSEi┬ź for 32.99 euros.

Korg Collection ARP Odyssey: Feature Highlights

  • Virtual synthesizer for Windows & Mac OS
  • Emulation of the ARP Odyssey
  • More functions than the original (e.g. 16 voices, arpeggiator & effects)
  • Plugin interfaces: VST, AU, AAX
  • Available separately or as part of the Korg Collection with 5 other synthesizer plugins

Video from the manufacturer



Korg Collection ARP Odyssey review

user interface

The surface was adopted almost identically from the hardware or simulated virtually. You therefore have a direct view of all the controls on one page. The additional options for unison and up to 16-fold polyphony can also be found here, as well as a virtual keyboard with three octaves. In contrast to the older plugins, the user interface can be adjusted in size.

Identical sound generation

Like the hardware, the Odyssey plug-in uses two oscillators with sawtooth and pulse waveforms to generate the sound; a ring modulator and white or pink noise are also on board. This is followed by the low-pass filter with a selection switch for the three revisions of the original, a simple high-pass filter and an amplifier.

The modulators are two envelopes with ADSR and AR characteristics and an LFO that generates sine and square waves. Worth mentioning is the sample & hold module, to which the R2D2 owes its "voice".

The Korg ARP Odyssey in hardware form - the replica of the original from the 70s

Special features and strengths

A special feature of the Korg Collection ARP Odyssey is its routing concept. The waveforms of the VCOs and the LFO are not selected in their operating sections, but in the destinations. For example, different LFO waves can be used for pitch and filter modulations.

Another peculiarity of Odyssey is his duophony. If two notes are played at the same time, the Odyssey distributes the two oscillators to the two note values. Particularly in connection with the good ring modulator, very exciting and interesting results can be achieved in this way.

Since the VCA is switched to continuous signal if necessary and the LFO can trigger the envelopes, the Korg Collection ARP Odyssey in conjunction with the Sample & Hold module is a real playground for all kinds of drones and sustained rhythmic ambient sounds.

Arpeggiator of the Korg Collection ARP Odyssey

The Odyssey plug-in offers access to an arpeggiator and various effects in the upper area. Whereby arpeggiator is more of an understatement, because it is a full-blown step sequencer that is triggered and transposed via the keyboard. For up to 16 steps, the pitch, octave and note length can be set individually with the corresponding faders.

Three further sequencer lines can modulate freely selectable parameters of the sound generation. In addition, there are different playback sequences, tempo synchronization with a selectable divider and the option of modulating held chords without splitting them into individual notes.

Effects

The effects are also a welcome addition. Distortion is an astonishingly good-sounding digital distortion device that, with moderate settings, can also quite properly simulate the hardware's feedback trick (from headphones back into the filter input).

Various modulation effects follow, from phaser to flanger to chorus. The conclusion is formed by a 4-band equalizer, stereo delay and reverb. In connection with the 16-part polyphony, a lot of typical butter-and-bread synthesizer sounds in the style of a commercially available virtual analogue such as Virus & Co. are possible - many of the included presets prove this.

The real strengths of a Korg Collection ARP Odyssey lie in other areas and especially in concise leads with activated oscillator sync and percussive ring modulation.

Sound of the Korg Collection ARP Odyssey + comparison

Filter I.

Filter II

Filter III

Ring modulation

Sync

Sync filter

Sync & Ring Modulation - Sequence

Tubular

I can definitely award the "Virtual ARP Odyssey" badge. This plug-in impressively demonstrates how hardware can be authentically reproduced with modern software.

When comparing the sound with the hardware - in the form of Korg's new edition of the Odyssey from 2015 - it quickly becomes clear that the developers have done an excellent job. The sounds could be transferred almost 1 to 1 in the test. With other virtual emulations such as the Oddity2 from GForce Software, significantly more fine-tuning is necessary here.

Korg has also reproduced the sound of the three different filters excellently.

Sync & ring modulation: convincing

I was extremely pleasantly surprised by the sonic result of the oscillator synchronization with simultaneous modulation of the pitch of the slave oscillator by the envelope. The original Odyssey was the first compact synthesizer to incorporate this feature, and the characterful sync sound is definitely a distinguishing feature of the Odyssey. The sync of the new hardware edition also sounds excellent, especially in connection with the ring modulator.

This is an area in which many plugins and also virtual-analog synthesizers have to give up sound. But not the Korg Collection ARP Odyssey: Here you have to listen very carefully to be able to perceive any differences. The virtual Odyssey also brings the typical ring modulation sounds convincingly to the ear.

Hardly any significant difference

Subjectively, the hardware module may sound a bit more defined and organic, but in the context of the song we consider this difference to be negligible. The more decisive factor when choosing between hardware and software is whether the haptics of the hardware are required or whether storability, polyphony and arpeggiator are more important. In the sound samples, the plug-in always plays first, then the hardware alternately.

Conclusion on the Korg Collection ARP Odyssey test

The Korg Collection ARP Odyssey is hardly inferior to the reproduced hardware (if at all) and comes up with successful extras. The plug-in is worth the money due to its sonic skills and its unmistakable character.

Like the original, it is quite flexible in terms of sound design. The extended polyphony - 16 instead of two voices plus unison mode - as well as the good effects and the arpeggiator represent a considerable added value. The arpeggiator is a full-fledged step sequencer.

There are also good presets, and inspiration is found quickly. The implementation then succeeds with some comfort, since the graphical user interface, which can be configured in three stages, is attractive, clear and high-resolution. Finally, the CPU consumption is kept within limits.

For such a mature performance without a single weak point, I am happy to give the maximum rating - an excellent five out of five points in the Korg Collection ARP Odyssey test on delamar.

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