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One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #340 on: May 13, 2021, 08:23:11 AM »
At this point, I would give serious consideration to the forthcoming Korg ARP 2600 Mini.  I dislike the shrunken size, but ARP synthesizers now have me so infatuated that I think I might forgo the Rev2 for a 2600, presuming the latter's build quality is respectable.  This is a huge shift for me, having been a total DSI/Sequential guy all these years.  But I've decided that ARP completely owns my mono synth department, and that I really like the idea of having a dedicated monophonic instrument.  In other words, I'm thrilled with my long sought-after pair of ARP Odesseys, so that my mind is now headed in a new direction.  This is the result of having to wait three years now for the Rev2 to reach full maturity.  All that while, I've been staring at my Prophet '08 Keyboard/Module pair and thinking how satisfied I am and always have been with it. 

Along came the Odyssey with no window, no memory, no onboard effects, no sequencer or arpeggiator, and no operating system updates to await, one after the other.  Goodness gracious, the simplicity is spectacular.

I do hope and expect that the Rev2 gets its final OS update this summer.  But now I'm also a. enthusiastic ARP guy.  I'm a two-timer.

I'm still tempted to get two Odyssey modules myself ad sequence them externally but I'm still intrigued with the Pro 3's versatility. I would have liked to have the ability to have each oscillator be run through each filter with it's own env so you could have multiple harmonic sequences going at once but it's still incredibly powerful the way it is.

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #341 on: May 13, 2021, 09:02:30 AM »
An old school instrument like the Odyssey changes your synth behavior; it sends you in different directions.  With the absence of memory, you tend to work with fewer sounds, work harder at developing them, and then leave them on the panel for longer periods of time.  It doesn't suit everyone, especially those who love all the modern features, and most especially the ability to rapidly run through many patches.  Such synthesists would feel trapped with these prehistoric reissues.  But they sure suit some of us.  Honestly, I wish all my synthesizers were this immediate and ostensibly simple.  Plus, the ARP filter(s) is noticeably different from the Curtiss sound.  I would say that Dave's instruments are perfect for dense polyphonic textures - massive chords and so on.  I have no complaints about them at all, (well, except for the glide, which I find tempermental and difficult to musically apply).  There's no question about DSI/Sequential still being my favorite synthesizer company and instruments.  But the ARP sound is distinct, and its filter gives more meaning to shaping the envelopes.  A patch seems better defined as it moves through the envelope stages.  The end of it all is that I definitely prefer the ARP sound for a solo voice and melody playing.  Of course, I've never tried the Pro 3.

Decide carefully, LoboLives, because these are two very different synthesizer realms.  If vintage is not your place, then you'll probably find yourself feeling quite limited and frustrated.  The old and the new are that different.  But again, for some of us, this is such a breath of fresh air.

« Last Edit: May 13, 2021, 09:58:17 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #342 on: May 13, 2021, 09:14:30 AM »
An old school instrument like the Odyssey changes your synth behavior; it sends you in different directions.  With the absence of memory, you tend to work with fewer sounds, work harder at developing them, and then leave them on the panel for longer periods of time.  It doesn't suit everyone, especially those who love all the modern features, and most especially the ability to rapidly run through many patches.  Such synthesists would feel trapped with these prehistoric reissues.  But they sure suit some of us.  Honestly, I wish all my synthesizers were this immediate and ostensibly simple.  Plus, the ARP filter(s) is noticeably different from the Curtiss sound.  I would say that Dave's instruments are perfect for dense polyphonic textures - massive chords and so on.  I have no complaints about them at all, (well, except for the glide, which I find awkward and difficult to use).  But the ARP sound is distinct, and its filter gives more meaning to shaping the envelopes.  A patch seems better defined as it moves through the envelope stages.  The end of it all is that I definitely prefer the ARP sound for a solo voice and melody playing.  Of course, I've never tried the Pro 3.

Decide carefully, LoboLives, because these are two very different synthesizer realms.  If vintage is not your place, then you'll probably find yourself feeling quite limited and frustrated.  The old and the new are that different.  But again, for some of us, this is such a breath of fresh air.

Oh yeah, I have no problem with the lack of memory or vintage approach. I'd mostly use the ARPs for sequencing and maybe occasionally playing them via MIDI on a split with my Prophet X.

But I'm also very drawn to the Pro 3 in regards to it's versatility. Paraphonic capabilities, dual effects, the ability to run vocals or guitar into it, the wavetable oscillator, and an absolutely insane sequencer.

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #343 on: May 13, 2021, 09:26:23 AM »
Then why don't you pair a Pro 3 with an Odyssey Module (and throw in that Korg SQ-1 you were talking about)?
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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #344 on: May 13, 2021, 09:35:58 AM »
Then why don't you pair a Pro 3 with an Odyssey Module (and throw in that Korg SQ-1 you were talking about)?

It was also an idea to have the Pro 3 control two Odysseys via CV. In fact I think it's possible to play the Pro 3's engine on it's own separately while the sequencer controls the external modules.

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #345 on: May 13, 2021, 09:37:55 AM »
Then you've solved your own problem.  But as I'm sure you're aware, brand new Odyssey Modules are getting hard to find.  I jumped and bought mine just recently for that reason.  Each time I looked at the same web sites, there were fewer available.  Musician's Friend still has a few.  I'd act soon if I were you.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2021, 09:47:02 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #346 on: May 13, 2021, 09:48:58 AM »
Then you've solved your own problem.  But as I'm sure you're aware, brand new Odyssey Modules are getting hard to find.  I jumped and bought mine just recently for that reason.  Each time I looked at the same web sites, there were fewer available.  Musician's Friend still has a few.  I'd act soon if I were you.

Sadly no shipping to Canada. Neither with B&H photo.

It might be best to get them first if possible. Can always sell them later if needed.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2021, 10:02:37 AM by LoboLives »

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #347 on: May 13, 2021, 10:02:36 AM »
I forgot to mention one thing that may be of interest to you.  The envelopes are on the slow side.  You can't get a really crisp sharp attack, not a "pop" sort of immediacy.  It's not a problem for the patches I make, but it might be a problem for someone using the Odyssey with a sequencer and wanting a more percussive snap from the attack. 
« Last Edit: May 13, 2021, 10:14:34 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #348 on: May 13, 2021, 12:37:17 PM »
I forgot to mention one thing that may be of interest to you.  The envelopes are on the slow side.  You can't get a really crisp sharp attack, not a "pop" sort of immediacy.  It's not a problem for the patches I make, but it might be a problem for someone using the Odyssey with a sequencer and wanting a more percussive snap from the attack.

I don't think so Allan Howarth used two ARP Avatars (Which were essentially Odyssey modules) with the ARP sequencer so it should be fine.

maxter

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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #349 on: May 13, 2021, 01:30:30 PM »
I must say, though I don't own an original 2600 but a recreation, that I'm very pleased with it in just about every way. A little intimidating at first perhaps, but MAN the possibilities, really sparks creativity. Definitely THE mono-synth for me personally (or paraphonic).

Btw, if you have a keyboard controller that can send velocity by CV, something like a Keystep (mini-keys  >:( ) or Neutron where you can route velocity to a CV out, you can add expression by velocity as well (and/or aftertouch). Easy to tweak by attenuating the signal to your liking, just run it through a slot on the voltage processor of the 2600.

The envelopes on mine can be "pop"-fast if one wants (I don't), with a switch to set env times to 0,5x 1x or 2x. That's nice.

Only real gripe I have is that the "electronic switch" is hardwired internally, not syncable without modification. And I'm no fan of spring reverbs, just doesn't suit my sounds, so won't be using that one very much. Other than that, what a synth!

Still considering the Odyssey though, perhaps I always will until I actually get one.  ;) Unfortunately, it's hard to find the Module version where I live, and I don't know if it's rack mountable... does someone here know?
The Way the Truth and the Life

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #350 on: May 13, 2021, 03:10:50 PM »
The Odyssey module is 19 1/2" wide.  The rackmount case I have is 1/2" too narrow.  Are there other case sizes?  And I've never seen rackmount ears for the module. 

Maxter, I forgot you have a 2600.  Is it the Behringer or Korg version?  Otherwise, I'm totally jealous.  Please send it to me.  >:(
« Last Edit: May 13, 2021, 03:13:15 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
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maxter

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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #351 on: May 13, 2021, 04:59:12 PM »
The Odyssey module is 19 1/2" wide.  The rackmount case I have is 1/2" too narrow.  Are there other case sizes?  And I've never seen rackmount ears for the module. 

Maxter, I forgot you have a 2600.  Is it the Behringer or Korg version?  Otherwise, I'm totally jealous.  Please send it to me.  >:(

I perhaps could send it, if I wasn't SO fond of it already...  ;D  "Unfortunately" it's the Behringers "Gray Meanie" version, as B was the only viable option for me really, otherwise I'd rather support Korg instead. I like Korg, and have had a couple of their synths over the years. Didn't know their 2600 mini version was in the making either, when I got the B2600. I know there's plenty of fuzz about B doing a rip-off here, and I DO get it, but most forget that the 2600 was cloned several times before... I'm not "condoning" it, but in a way I also find it strange that there's no fuzz about earlier clones of the 2600, so I'm not really sure what the REAL issue is in that sense, to be honest. But not something I would actively defend in an argument either.

Too bad Korg didn't make it standard 19" rack-mountable, as that's quite a biggie for me personally. I want as much stuff as possible "racked away" hanging from my wall-shelves, as to save space. I also would've gotten the Rev2 module if it was easily rack-mountable, like the Prophet 08 I had before it. But for that reason I got the key version and had to get rid of an old beloved Ensoniq sampler instead (which I now have found a rack version of, thankfully). I just don't have a lot of space...

The B2600 sliders are juuuuuust big enough, had they been just a tad smaller I don't think I would've managed to put up with it. And the Korg minis look even smaller, unfortunately. So I'd be scared of a MS20-mini experience...

No standard rack-mountable Odyssey to be found, that's a bit of a shame... But looking at it from the bright side, it might help my restraining efforts at least...  :)
The Way the Truth and the Life

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #352 on: May 13, 2021, 05:16:08 PM »
I'll leave a couple links below to articles on the subject.  The comments that follow are equally interesting.  Make your own judgment about it all, but as to the common claim that it's a lot of fuss over nothing, just note the way many people will dare to refer to him only as "B."  And that's all I need to say.

https://www.synthtopia.com/content/2018/06/20/that-time-behringer-sued-dave-smith-instruments-20-gearslutz-users-for-a-quarter-of-a-million-dollars/

https://www.synthtopia.com/content/2020/03/02/behringer-dismisses-critics-as-haters-launches-hate-attack-on-journalist/

« Last Edit: May 13, 2021, 05:31:08 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #353 on: May 13, 2021, 06:02:58 PM »
The B2600 sliders are juuuuuust big enough, had they been just a tad smaller I don't think I would've managed to put up with it. And the Korg minis look even smaller, unfortunately. So I'd be scared of a MS20-mini experience...

That's a concern, alright.  But Korg has claimed that they've added "improved smoother sliders."  Whether or not this can compensate for the 60% size, I don't know.
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maxter

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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #354 on: May 13, 2021, 07:43:54 PM »
I'll leave a couple links below to articles on the subject.  The comments that follow are equally interesting.  Make your own judgment about it all, but as to the common claim that it's a lot of fuss over nothing, just note the way many people will dare to refer to him only as "B."  And that's all I need to say.

https://www.synthtopia.com/content/2018/06/20/that-time-behringer-sued-dave-smith-instruments-20-gearslutz-users-for-a-quarter-of-a-million-dollars/

https://www.synthtopia.com/content/2020/03/02/behringer-dismisses-critics-as-haters-launches-hate-attack-on-journalist/

Yes, I'm well aware of that appalling thing. And, as I stated earlier, I wouldn't even TRY to defend B. I have only mentioned said manufacturer as "B" for a reason (except when you explicitly asked if it was the "Behringer" or Korg version I have, my response included that word, to make it clear). I also tried to make it clear that I don't condone what this company is up to most of the time, and that I wouldnt't even try. "as to the common claim that it's a lot of fuss over nothing" I'd never claim that, though that may be common, I don't know.

My "criticism" (for lack of a better word, as it wasn't critique at all) wasn't about B in general, but about the case of the 2600 in particular, of which there have been a couple of other recreations previously. I haven't heard much fuzz about these other recreations, that's ALL I was saying. I'm NOT saying those who criticize the B2600 remake but not the others are hypocrites, I just stated what I find a bit peculiar (depending on what the actual issue is here, I'd expect the same criticisms towards ALL copies, consistently). I'm not "invested" in any company. I agree with the criticisms of B over all, but I try to be "pertinent" (if that's the right word) in each particular case, like if someone crosses a red light, that doesn't automatically make them the perpetrator of murder in another case. NOT trying to "whitewash" anything here though, if you read my earlier posts I think you'll understand that I'm certainly not proud of buying B.

As I also stated, I'd RATHER support Korg. Especially in this case, as Korg is one of the companies that has actually listened to the demands of their consumers and brought forth products (both reissues and new analog stuff) that people want. This cannot be said of every other manufacturer however, and some products are obsolete anyhow, that's one of the reasons I have to judge each individual case on its own terms. AGAIN, not trying to whitewash B or anything here.

The 2600 model of which I got one, were all gone within a day or two, which was expected, and me not getting one wouldn't have changed that. I'd like to consider myself an idealist, but I also have to be pragmatic. I wanted to at least try out a 2600 sometime in my life, and this was the only way (at that time) that it would ever be even a remote possibility, so I jumped the gun when I had the chance.

I understand what you're saying, and I'm NOT disagreeing in any way, but that salt could be better used elsewhere, on more important issues.
The Way the Truth and the Life

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #355 on: May 13, 2021, 09:13:13 PM »
Maxter, don't worry; I have no interest in carrying on about this or making it into a personal crusade.  I only meant to pass on the information in case you weren't familiar with the whole story, without trying to give you a guilt trip over it. 

As for the clone aspect - it's true, there have been a number of 2600 clones already, and other types of clones appear all the time.  Jeepers, I'm always buying the generic products at the grocery store because they're cheaper.  They're more or less clones, too.  But I will put this in on behalf of Korg.  They went about it in a much more dignified way.  They brought David Friend into the project.  They praised Alan R. Pearlman's work to the skies, and even put the classic ARP logo on their reissues.  And they also included the original Odyssey owner's manual from the 1970's, which is the icing on the cake.  It was all above the board and lacked all abrasiveness.  It was done with class and decency.  For all that, I've come to respect Korg, and I'm hoping to buy more of their products in the future.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKFLNOzBhHo&list=PL-CSFEgC2tTzntCpPLoanxTT_G4Wv6ZK8&index=3

There.  End of the soap opera.  Carry on.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2021, 09:55:07 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #356 on: May 13, 2021, 11:25:34 PM »
But as I'm sure you're aware, brand new Odyssey Modules are getting hard to find.  I jumped and bought mine just recently for that reason.  Each time I looked at the same web sites, there were fewer available.  Musician's Friend still has a few.  I'd act soon if I were you.

I was wrong.  Musician's Friend has the Odyssey Module on backorder.  So I must have bought the last two units that they had.  I believe the instrument has been discontinued by Korg, so "backorder" doesn't seem too promising.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2021, 12:22:47 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
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maxter

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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #357 on: May 14, 2021, 05:39:09 AM »
No worries. I think the topic is so beat to death everywhere else already, and I didn't mean to bring it up, but I somehow did unintentionally anyhow.

I should've excluded Korg when I said "all copies" earlier, I didn't mean to include them in that category, they absolutely have done this the right way with the case of ARP instruments. I certainly agree.

In some cases though, like if B succesfully clones Jupiter-8 and CS-80 and make them affordable, I could care less about the "moral" issues. Roland and Yamaha apparently aren't bringing them back anyhow, and the Deckards Dream is already somewhat a clone. I view each case separately. But what B did to DSI was just appalling, and I'm certainly NOT a B-fan, especially because of this.

I don't see why more brands don't go the clone-route themselves and bring back some old favourites, like Korg and Sequential have done already. There seems to have been quite a market demand for the stuff B have brought to the table, it's just a shame most other brands left that hole open for B to exploit...

Unfortunately, as the module seems sold out and discontinued, there aren't many alternatives if I should decide to get an Odyssey... Which is also an issue sometimes, availability. I probably won't buy the one with mini-keys either, as that's a real turn-off.

Maybe I should look for a module or two to complement the 2600, as to expand its functionality (like velocity and aftertouch), instead of getting an Odyssey. I don't need several mono synths, so will probably take that route.

I also hope to support Korg again in the future, and they really deserve cred for bringing on the whole affordable-retro-analog thing originally, before most other brands got onboard that train. They seem to listen to their customers as well.
The Way the Truth and the Life

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #358 on: May 14, 2021, 06:49:43 AM »
No worries. I think the topic is so beat to death everywhere else already, and I didn't mean to bring it up, but I somehow did unintentionally anyhow.

I should've excluded Korg when I said "all copies" earlier, I didn't mean to include them in that category, they absolutely have done this the right way with the case of ARP instruments. I certainly agree.

In some cases though, like if B succesfully clones Jupiter-8 and CS-80 and make them affordable, I could care less about the "moral" issues. Roland and Yamaha apparently aren't bringing them back anyhow, and the Deckards Dream is already somewhat a clone. I view each case separately. But what B did to DSI was just appalling, and I'm certainly NOT a B-fan, especially because of this.

I don't see why more brands don't go the clone-route themselves and bring back some old favourites, like Korg and Sequential have done already. There seems to have been quite a market demand for the stuff B have brought to the table, it's just a shame most other brands left that hole open for B to exploit...

Unfortunately, as the module seems sold out and discontinued, there aren't many alternatives if I should decide to get an Odyssey... Which is also an issue sometimes, availability. I probably won't buy the one with mini-keys either, as that's a real turn-off.

Maybe I should look for a module or two to complement the 2600, as to expand its functionality (like velocity and aftertouch), instead of getting an Odyssey. I don't need several mono synths, so will probably take that route.

I also hope to support Korg again in the future, and they really deserve cred for bringing on the whole affordable-retro-analog thing originally, before most other brands got onboard that train. They seem to listen to their customers as well.

There is a Korg ARP Odyssey Full Size edition REV1 for sale at Perfect Circuit Audio right now

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #359 on: May 14, 2021, 05:04:47 PM »
There are also some Rev2 Odysseys FS with the Korg SQ-1 for $1,300 at Noisebug.  That's a fabulous deal.

https://www.noisebug.net/products/odyssey-fsq-rev-2?_pos=1&_sid=91377788a&_ss=r
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