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"Verdict" on the KARP Odyssey? Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 13th February 2016
  #1
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Thread Starter
"Verdict" on the KARP Odyssey?

I've been seeing general praise and attention (and prices) fall quickly regarding the Korg ARP Odyssey. It seemed like a dream come true, and then... nope we must move on to the Prophet 6, the Dominion, the Sub 37.

I'd like to hear from people who've had time to get used to it now. Is it awesome or not?

I've been a bit confused due to the following logic:
  • before it was announced - Odyssey = Minimoog (in terms of legendary status)
  • after it premiered - KARP Odyssey = Odyssey
  • right now it seems - KARP Odyssey < Odyssey < Minimoog. No way does KARP Odyssey = Minimoog.

So I'm wondering if something's up with it or people just need that unobtainable vintage "legend" to be permanently out of reach to maintain its mystique.
Old 13th February 2016
  #2
ah...Im thinking of pulling the trigger on one of these next week maybe

Id be interested in what folks think...Ive listened to the demos but cant quite decide if I like the odyssey sound yet..

tbh Im in for a sub $1k purchase...cant decide, moog mother, minilogue, KARP, jdxI, MS-20 mini, 2 x timbre wolves lol
Old 13th February 2016
  #3
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Eric J's Avatar
IDK, I haven't seen a lot of frenzy over it, certainly nothing like what we've seen on here for the ML or the OB-6. I was close to pulling the trigger on one, but I've been hesitant since I don't see that many of them in people's studios.
Old 13th February 2016
  #4
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I don't know but this is the best demo of it I've seen.

Old 13th February 2016
  #5
Only a fool would pass up the opportunity to have 2 Timberwolves
Old 13th February 2016
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inverted314 View Post
I don't know but this is the best demo of it I've seen.

completely uninterested in that sound but thats the most musical demo Ive heard for it
Old 13th February 2016
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollowman9 View Post
Only a fool would pass up the opportunity to have 2 Timberwolves
It would only to pair them up with my 4 rhythm wolves
Old 13th February 2016
  #8
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Whoops this is the one I meant to post, same guy.

Old 13th February 2016
  #9
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NAWAX's Avatar
I had a real Odyssey for years and the Karp is not in the same league. I didn't buy it but spent quite some time trying it in various shops. Not that it's a bad sounding synth, it's just miles away from the origininal. It's a bit like Voyager vs Model D imho. I think that Korg did a much better job with the MS-20m. My 2 cents
Old 13th February 2016
  #10
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lineofcontrol's Avatar
 

I've never been a fan of the Hancock or Corea use of the Oddy in the jazzy prog style.

This is more my cup of tea

https://youtu.be/uM-4AZquet8

Last edited by lineofcontrol; 13th February 2016 at 03:47 AM..
Old 13th February 2016
  #11
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Ed A.'s Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric J View Post
IDK, I haven't seen a lot of frenzy over it, certainly nothing like what we've seen on here for the ML or the OB-6. I was close to pulling the trigger on one, but I've been hesitant since I don't see that many of them in people's studios.
Back in 1975, I would have killed for one, but today there's so many better options.
Personally, I'd go with a Korg Minilogue instead.
Old 13th February 2016
  #12
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rids's Avatar
 

No matter if it sounds like an Arp Odyssey, the Karp sounds quite good. Probably has a more vintage analog tone than a lot of currently manufactured analogs. There might not be a frenzy over the Karp because it's not a new synth design unlike Minilogues that just came out and the OB-6, but there are lots of great synths lots of fools pass up on. Serious. So buzz or not, all that matters is the sound, features, interface like normal and the Karp has a lot going for it. Doesn't matter if it's a one to one with the Odyssey, it's a good synth for the price. Anyone that's used an original 'anything' will most likely never like a reissue unless it is the exact same, so I take that with a grain of salt. It's not a big deal if it sounds good. And the Karp does.
Old 13th February 2016
  #13
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Eric J's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rids View Post
No matter if it sounds like an Arp Odyssey, the Karp sounds quite good. Probably has a more vintage analog tone than a lot of currently manufactured analogs. There might not be a frenzy over the Karp because it's not a new synth design unlike Minilogues that just came out and the OB-6, but there are lots of great synths lots of fools pass up on. Serious. So buzz or not, all that matters is the sound, features, interface like normal and the Karp has a lot going for it. Doesn't matter if it's a one to one with the Odyssey, it's a good synth for the price. Anyone that's used an original 'anything' will most likely never like a reissue unless it is the exact same, so I take that with a grain of salt. It's not a big deal if it sounds good. And the Karp does.
Well that makes me feel a bit better. Fortunately, there are a few at stores around the area, so it remains on the list for me. I'm definitely more in for that vintage tone than a modern one. It's a toss up between this and a Moog LP.
Old 13th February 2016
  #14
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Eric J's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed A. View Post
Back in 1975, I would have killed for one, but today there's so many better options.
Personally, I'd go with a Korg Minilogue instead.
Yeah, I've thought about that one too. It's certainly in the right price range, I'm just not sure if the sound fits my needs. I need to get my hands on one and play with it first before deciding if it's right for me.
Old 13th February 2016
  #15
I thought I'd let go of mine after picking up the dominion but no way. I actually quite like it. Now I never had the original so I can't compare. A friend of mine, who's taste I quite trust after years of conversations about sounds and synth did have both swears there is minimal difference between the old one and new one contrary to what many slutz will say. In any case I think it's a great synth. It isn't the easiest interface however to get back to cool sounds I've created. Patch saving really is a very nice feature.
Old 13th February 2016
  #16
so you can save patches?? I never knew that...


from what Ive heard in comparison demo's it can sound a ball hair off on some sounds, others its quite a bit off. The original definitely sounds better in those cases, not different, but better, fuller, stronger, imho...but its such a difference in price, new synth, blah blah blah...Id never own anything vintage unless it came with a pipe, cardigan, and slippers. I'm going to have to pull the trigger I reckon.
Old 13th February 2016
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inverted314 View Post
Whoops this is the one I meant to post, same guy.

cool...sounded good
Old 13th February 2016
  #18
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gizeh12's Avatar
I've been thinking about buying the odyssey for months. But i just can't justify it's price over all the alternatives out there today.
If the odyssey really has that special musical & intense tone Arp is known for, i might cough up the extra bucks, but i'm not convinced by the demo's out there.
I also heard rumours that there is a pricedrop planned for it because sales were a huge disappointment for this unit.

For now, 300 bucks over the price of the minilogue for a mono synth with less features is just........hmmmm no thanks
Old 13th February 2016
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcearl View Post
so you can save patches?? I never knew that...


from what Ive heard in comparison demo's it can sound a ball hair off on some sounds, others its quite a bit off. The original definitely sounds better in those cases, not different, but better, fuller, stronger, imho...but its such a difference in price, new synth, blah blah blah...Id never own anything vintage unless it came with a pipe, cardigan, and slippers. I'm going to have to pull the trigger I reckon.
You can't save patches on the KARP, it's a feature syzygywell wishes the KARP had.
Old 13th February 2016
  #20
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gizeh12's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcearl View Post
so you can save patches?? I never knew that...


from what Ive heard in comparison demo's it can sound a ball hair off on some sounds, others its quite a bit off. The original definitely sounds better in those cases, not different, but better, fuller, stronger, imho...but its such a difference in price, new synth, blah blah blah...Id never own anything vintage unless it came with a pipe, cardigan, and slippers. I'm going to have to pull the trigger I reckon.
I don't care too much about resemblance with the original. The difference between the voyager and model D, the mks80 and j8, the pro 6 and the prophet 5 etc never
bothered me at all in everyday studio reality.

Reviews are mixed about karps resemblance with the original but the karp is supposed to sound fuller in the low end, i've heard multiple sources mentioning that.
Old 13th February 2016
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ToyBox View Post
You can't save patches on the KARP, it's a feature syzygywell wishes the KARP had.
English is my third language, and its the only one I know
Old 13th February 2016
  #22
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Having played the Slim Phatty and Karp, I've gotta say that I think the SP does't sound that vintage at all to my ears, def go for a vintage Moog if possible, you can get a Prodigy for under 1000 if you're patient (then again, that is double the price, urg). Only played the Sub Phatty in a loud guitar center, so not as sure with that one, though it seems a bit better, same with Minotaur.

As for the Oddy, it's one of the most flexible mono-synths ever made, it can really do almost anything. As for sound, well, I haven't played an original Oddy, but it sounds pretty great. In comparison videos on the internet, it does seem the original sounds more vintage whatever that means, and I really do wonder how much better an original sounds. That said, the Karp sounds REALLY good, and compares to other vintage synths nicely. To my ears, a lot more vintage sounding than the DSI p6 or Andromeda or the Slim/Little Phatty, and as full and warm as the new Oberheim SEM. The filter in particular is excellent, in all three modes, and while the oscillators are a little too precise at times, a tiny bit of modulation from the LFO can help that. Point is, whether or not it sounds 100% vintage, it's an amazing synth that stands on its own as a really excellent sounding unit that's got oodles of analog warmth and just sounds great. And it's got more flexibilty than just about anything, and without a need for patch cables (it's often been called a modular without the cables, and with good reason).

My guess is that Minimoog still is better than orig Oddy, and orig Oddy better than Karp. But the Karp is still REALLY cool and def worth the cash.

And it TOTALLY makes sense why it isn't selling well. Without patch memory, you need to know how it works to get anything other than bleeps out of it, and it's got a steep learning curve because it's laid out a bit opposite to the standard Moog panel layout most folks are used to. So until you study the diagram of how it's laid out, even someone with a pretty deep synth background might not at first really get how to make sounds from it, and so much more the casual player who walks up to it in a gear shop, and can't get an even vaguely musical sound out of it, just random noises (and it IS great at sound effects, but that's often not the point when you try out a synth in a gear shop). But once you DO learn it, it's amazingly flexible and sounds great. And the mini-keys on it are pretty good.

I must say I didn't like the sound of the MS-20, but that's a taste thing. It seems pretty close to the original from online demos, about as diff as the orig Oddy is from the Karp.

How does the Karp compare to the others you mention? Likely matters on what you need. Duophony sounds pretty cool on the Karp, but it just ain't polyphonic, but if you want 'out there' sounds, and a full and big sounding mono-synth, it's pretty amazing. Then again, you can also get a vintage chroma polaris and have a kick-ass and damn flexible polyphonic synth for about 1000.

Last edited by fromthepuggle; 13th February 2016 at 08:01 AM..
Old 13th February 2016
  #23
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firby's Avatar
 

I played one just for a bit. I thought it was pretty great. I think that if they don't sell alot it is more to do with the relative complexity of the synth. It would take awhile to learn how to really get around that synth.

However, you could probably do a whole LP just on that synth and make a pretty good go of it.
Old 13th February 2016
  #24
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Teknobeam's Avatar
 

Honestly, lamenting over a Model D is kind of silly. Just buy one and be done with it. Comparing that to the Karp is irrelevant unless you are obsessed with having something that replicates the sound of a Model D. What's your goal..to have a Model D, or make music?

Almost anything that you sit in front of will allow you to be creative and to make some original music, or not so original music. The machine isn't the defining element. it's you.

Better than > not as good < > <<< >..then it all ends up in a vintage VS new discussion....and then eventually that leads to analog VS digital..HAAA! Now that's a loop.
Old 13th February 2016
  #25
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Teknobeam's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by firby View Post
It would take awhile to learn how to really get around that synth.
I think that's a great observation. The Oddy has some possibilities not available with the architecture of the Model D. It was designed to be a slightly more ergonomic 2600.A pretty obscure design when compared to a mimimoog.

Korg did a really great job on re releasing that synth. I played one and instantly recognized that vibe.
Old 13th February 2016
  #26
Gear Guru
 
fiddlestickz's Avatar
I really like the synth, think it sounds ballsy as hell, and have gassed hard for it from day one, but thing is, you can't own them all,, it's silly to keep buying more and more synths...even if I was rich I think it would be a bad idea to own heaps of gear, it's detrimental to writing imo..
Old 13th February 2016
  #27
Gear Head
 
Nickstermc's Avatar
I've had mine nearly a year and I have to say I'm very fond of it. You can get some lovely warm, unmistakably analogue tones out of it. To me it sounds totally authentic and vintage/retro in a way a lot of other new analogue gear doesn't. With some subtle VCO pitch modulation and a healthy dose of ambient reverb you're right in that 70's nature documentary/ Boards of Canada zone in no time. I tend to use mine with a Lexicon PCM-80 and it sounds fantastic through that.
I used to have a Multimoog years ago and this is the first analogue I've had since then. It definitely takes me back there and it provides a sound I've never achieved in the digital/soft synth domain.

You can hear the KARP in this tune I made from 1:33 to 2:15

Old 13th February 2016
  #28
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Paulogic's Avatar
 

I've never owned a original Arp nor vintage Moog.

Now I have a Karp and a SUB37 (a few months now) and they are both great
but very different. They both need to be explored if you want to get the sound
your looking for. But if you do take the time to learn how they work... amazing.

If you are looking for a really good demo on the Karp. Look for Mr Firechilds Karp
song on YT. This demo got me convinced...
Old 13th February 2016
  #29
Gear Guru
 
fiddlestickz's Avatar
One thing I noticed in the teardown video the other day was how many sliders there are under that hood, now I know from having to fix and replace hundreds of cross faders on DJ mixers that sliders/faders don't last anywhere near as long as pots do....just thought I'd put that out there..
Old 13th February 2016
  #30
Gear Maniac
 

Aren't "underselling" synths almost always the classics?

The kArp is an outstanding synth-- all the greatness of the Odyssey + MIDI and 3 filters.

I'm really surprised it doesn't get more press for the 3 filter options-- unbelievably broad range of tones between them.

And as much as I love patch memory, there's something very cool about getting to know an instrument without it.
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