Category Archives: ARP / Rhodes Chroma

ARP Synthesizer & Fender Rhodes Chroma Synthesizer Series

Korg makes the ARP Odyssey

korg logo
Korg seems to have officially licensed / teamed with ARP. Ok, that company was sold – so don’t know what the situation is and was – but now – they have an Odyssey for us. This year.

Since the MS20 Mini is selling well, they look like making the classic synths for us, now? Hopefully shrunken as the Mini and with dynamics? ;) (no irony – I love it). Ok, this sounds a lot like fools day – but this is from the Korg Website!
Those keys look a lot like they are Mini as well, which is great (to me at least) – hope for dynamic keys may not look as positive since the MS20 Mini does not respond to velocity – but to duophony – this makes the Odyssey playable like an original so this must be in.

noticed that knob in the filter section? maybe it sets the filter to 12dB/Oct mode? so to say – white face mode without colour change.
t hose artefacts on the OSC section may also be octave switches? whould make it more able to do live concerts. anyway – DAF could play their songs live since most of them being this synth plus drums and a sequencer – the ARP 1k6 – would be nice.

Korg teamed up with David Friend, who established ARP along with Mr.Pearlman (the text says). So – let’s get happy for a new Odyssey – the MS20 took 2 years for development… KORG announces the development of an all new ARP Odyssey synthesizer. | News | KORG.
and – no – not in 2 years but they are ready by September this year!! so it has happened.

–> The Original: ARP Odyssey Analog Synthesizer

Ey, du glaubst es nicht – aber es ist offiziell:
Korg scheint nun den Odyssey nachbauen zu können und wollen, zusammen mit David Friend als Partner. Nach dem Erfolg des MS20 Mini kann man auch erwarten, dass er recht originalgetreu kommen wird, vielleicht etwas kleiner – denn heute möchte man oft nicht so riesige Schiffe mit einer schönen dynamischen kleinen Tastatur vielleicht? Anders als beim Mini soll das Teil schon Im September ’14 kommen. Es ist also bereits passiert.

Forum: neuer ARP Odyssey von KORG

Mr Friend
David Friend

Aftertouch controlled 2nd LFO in ARP Odyssey

They report for $485 you get a set of knobs added to the front of your Odyssey (matching colour to white/black faced ones) – Controllable are VCA, VCF or VCO1 or both, the LFO has 2 wave forms. all is meant to be controlled by Aftertouch which is the main new feature added:
Hier sind die Informationen auf Deutsch – der Odyssey bekommt einen zusätzlichen LFO, den man per Aftertouch auslösen kann. Er wirkt wahlweise unabhängig auf Filter, Lautstärke oder Tonhöhe oder auch nur auf den ersten Oszillator. Das Ganze kostet $485, wenn es eingebaut wird. 
NEA Pyxis – Aftertouch für den ARP Odyssey | GreatSynthesizers

Arp 2600 restore with CMS VCOs added

Arp 2600 before and during restoring process. RL has recently changed this ARP to white and look at those CMS mods where the speakers used to sit – another VCO for you, 2 of them.

ps: noticed the new URL for each topic here on it’s real titles instead of numbers. just don’t tell me I did not tell you…

ARP Synthesizer

ARP (Alan Richard. Pearlman) SYNTHESIZER — ARP + Octave

(earlier under the name of “Tonus”)

ARP Trigger info: gate pulse in/out 8-10V GROUND to positive.
EDP gate pulse out: ‘S-Trig’ (like moog and some korgs) and 9V GROUND to positive.
Rhodes Chroma go here…
ARPARP Synth overview / überblick..
the big one..ARP 2500 with another wing
1970 made..
all modules are located in the middle,
no need for patch cords (well only a few)
the rest can be done by a special bus system..on top: all inputs
on the bottom: almost outputs
if you set the bus to the same number they are on the same bus and can be routed together that way or modulate..
the sequencer is 10 step x 3 rowsabout the digital sequencer on top:
This unit is one of a kind.
Not made by Arp.
Made by David McLey, of David McLey fame. (thanks to Kevin “synthfool” Lightner for info..)

the filters are quite special, there is a function called keyboard percussion using the resonating filter to be used for that, you can also set the notch on the main filter, there are envelope mmodules with LPF attached, dual ADSR , VCAs and double VCOs
if you use the bus system you can have FM quite easily..
Movie ARP 2500: as mp4, 1.7MB (needs vlc to play or something, please prefer this one!)
(me tweaking the arp2500, some crackling sounds – only recorded via the mike in my camera, so it is no HiFi sound.. but you can hear the filter crackling stuff..)
if you cannot play mp4 (too lazy to install the best player for all platforms) use this: movie here (18MB),avi..
most pics can be enlarged..
just click on the images..

ARP 2500
ARP 2500 modular synthesizer
I don’t believe there are too many of these digital sequencers made:
ARP 2500 digital sequencer
the 2500s S/H and VCO (dual) module..
ARP 2500 modular synthesizer
ARP 2500 modular synthesizer

below: instead of patchcords use the matrix!
ARP2500 modular synthesizer

3 lines for analog sequencing..ARP 2500 modular synthesizer
the additional wing
arp2500 synthesizer wing cabinet
THE ARP 2600
the semimodular
synthesizer 1970
3 VCOs and an LFO in the Keyboard
it can also trigger the Envelopes.
there are 2 ENVs,
1 AR
and a nice reverb spiral/spring hall
there are 4 versions (3 shown on the top pic here) there left red/black one and the white/grey/black ones are quite common, the right one is a very rare.. anyway the ARP 2600 modules are encapsulated and can not be opened by anyone, but there are ppl able to to so like achim lenzgen from synthesizer service, germany / namedy.
I’d strongly assume those modules are encapsulated like this because ARP “lended” the moog filter cascade, anyway it sounds a bit more “uncoloured” or less “typical moog” – some ppl say it is more “acoustic” in a way.. it’s hard to tell – in words!..

some arp2600: thanks to robert schweizer for pic

deutsche trigger info ARP:
ARP benötigt zum Auslösen des ADSR-ENV einen Triggerimpuls (kurzer Nadelimpuls 15 V), der den Hüllkurvenvorgang startet und einen Gate-Impuls (10 V), der letzendlich für die Dauer der Einschwingphase (Attack) und der primären Ausschwingphase (Decay) verantwortlich zeichnet. Nach Ablauf der Attack -und Decay-Zeiten bleibt der Hüllkurvengenerator auf dem eingestellten Sustainwert für die Dauer des anliegenden Gates, danach gehts mit Release “abwärts”.

is also an ARP product but as you can see ARP died before but the Chroma has been released by rhodes!!..

want to see it? go here:

Rhodes Chroma

ARP 2600 synthesizer family
ARP 2600 synthesizer
ARP2600 pic by/thx to Rob Schweizer
ARP 2600 synthesizer
ARP2600 synthesizer
ARP made about 300 Avatars, it’s the “guitar synth” version of the odyssey and is more close to the 2600 (so does the odyssey) than you might think of.. it is the same features as ody. but it has more jacks for modular access. in fact you can simply add those to you odyssey,too!the Avatar is a good transition product between the 2600 and the 2800 (odyssey)..ARP Avatar
ARP Sequencer 1601it was cheap and has 16 steps.. quite a lot at that time for that money compared to a moog 960 .. DAF did a lot with this one..the faders on all arp synths are a bit “rough”..
it had a quantizer on board, which makes it easy to set notes with continous sliders..
ARP Sequencer
ARP synthesizer
(Alan Richard. Pearlman)
ARP Odyssey 1972 /
ARP Avatar 1977 ..
DAF and Conny Plank (known for producing Can,Kraftwerk, DAF etc.. in Düsseldorf/germany) used it (with a korg MS20) .. it has fast envelopes and was some sort of competition for the minimoog.. it had indeed more features than the mini. there have been versions with 12dB/oct LP-filters, later versions were equipped with 24dB/oct filters!! also the color has changed (white and black). also the tune potentiometer is only one option: other versions had 3 white “proportional switches” 2 OSCs and an LFO, S/h (lag time but no sample time slider as on the roland sh5) also a non VC-able HPF is there like on some rolands.
the first version odyssey I was 12dB/oct, white and “golden” versions, after that also “golden”/black was the 2810 (odyssey II) first with pitch knob, later with propotional control pitch like the one here on the pic on the right, the later III model was equipped with 24dB/oct LPF and golden/black design, later models known as odyssey III were black with orange letters. ARP had internal numbers for the odyssey series since the filter module changed and the proportional control and pitch knob..

also good for percussive sounds..
want to mod your “ody”?
CMS offers a modification (same for the avatar, which is in fact an odyessey without keyboard): there are a lot of mods possible with the ody/avatar , even for DIY: accellerate/slow down speed of the lfo, speed up the envelope, add inverted envelope (it’s already there!! you only need a switch to route it), filter mod (3 resistors and one condensator to change here.. to widen the filter freq range), bridge the hpf or reduce it’s bypassed “bass killing” effect, and more waveforms to route (cms also offers to convert some waveforms and adds a 12dB/oct filter!). and all modularized by adding nice jacks for outside communication. if you are in love with your soldering iron, it can be done in 1hour. but there is CMS, if you don’t dare to to that yourself.

octave made the “cat” that is very close to the odyssey (and went to court!)

strangely the VCO waveforms are switched at the mixer section.. most illogical? no this price goes to the yamaha cs30 where you need to forget all concepts of synthesizer panel designs ;) (anyway the cs30 is hammer for it’s capabilities)

click on the images to enlarge them!!..
ARP Odyssey I + II – 3 model 2800 / 2810 designs
with pitch knob and ppc 12dB + 24 dB LPF Models
arp odyssey synthesizer family
ARP odyssey
the ARP odyssey II with pitch knob looks like this..
ARP Odyssey II synthesizer

ARP odyssey (right)
want it larger? click here (vergrössern!)ARP odyssey synthesizer
some ppl modified this to be semimodular like the ARP2600
also the avatar can be modified, it is very close to the 2600 and odyssey.. maybe underestimated..
arp odyssey

the proportional control:

Chromais also made by ARP but was sold by Rhodes.. see extra page for the Chroma
ARP Axxe
ARP Solus
are both smaller one-osc versions of the Odyssey..
there are 2 versions (as always with arp): the golden and the orange/red on black..Axxe: VCO – 1 LFO, 1 VCF (lpf) + S/HSolus: 2 VCOs with PWM by LFO, 1 LFO and 24dB/oct LPF filter, one ADSR env. nothing special but possibly an alternative choice..

made in 1975

ARP Solus
ARP solus
the ARP Solus Versions
ARP solusthe Axxe
arp axxe
ARP Modules for Educational Use
click to watch..
arp educational modular synth
big brotherkind of expander , looks like the sequencer (the one on the left side),
1 VCO, 1 LFO
arp little brother
the big one is the Rhodes Chroma
it has its own sectio: Rhodes Chroma
ARP quadra
ARP omniomni: a sting ensemble like sline string or comparable.. sounds nice.. but really 4 sounds only ;)
quadra: some “all in one” synth with string section.. from todays view more “exotic”.. the synth section is not really “sophisticated” has mono bass synth, duophonic lead synth and poly string, one ADSR & 24dB/oct LPF..
a “full” orchestra kind of live synth those days,… but not really for making astounding sounds now ;)
ARP Quadra Synth
the ARP Pro DGX Series..
& omni (middle)
pro dgx: 1 VCO, 1 LFO, nothing special..
37 keys (top)omni: 4pole lpf, lfo, “waves” are violin, cello,..
SDSR (omni 2) – 1977
including memories now..
Solina Strings, well known from some Tangerine Dream classic albums, the String machine is polyphonic, has some envelope like contour and knobs for cello, violin etc..a lot of good string synths came from italy, another one came from the netherlands.. some where simply bought from more known companies..on top Explorer I
very simple – 1974, 1 VCO, LFO 1, ADSR VCA
ARP Solina Strings + explorer
this is NOT an ARP product but imo it was best to place it here.. Octave.. 
Octave (Octave Plateau)Cat.. (not stupid) some sort of copycat ;) hmm, odyssey? or.. 2 VCOs with 1 SubOSCs each (!)what? it’s about the same as the odyssey II / III, but it has 2 (two) suboscillators and you could blend those waveforms (instead of just switching like on the odyssey).. so it may still be a good alternative.. with the so called SRM update it could be played “duophonic” see this as an alternative choice.. there has been a smaller version “the kitten” with just one VCO but both were forced to stop production. copyright reasons..

most of them can be enlarged.. click on them!

more about Octave’S founder and inventor Carmine Bonanno.

octave synthesizer range

octave kitten synthesizer
Octave CAT synthesizer
Octave Plateau,
later (86) Voyetra / Turtle Beach
-Voyetra eightus-made quite exotic analog synth with digital memory..
8 voice2 VCOs, saw,tri,pulse, sub
2x ADSR envs
1 filter lpf
white noise
2 LFOs, one with delay
there was a voyetra one also,but monophonic.
voyetra eight



RhodesRhodes Synth overview / überblick..
The Rhodes Chroma

built in 1982

there was also the expander version (no keyboard)

it has been developed by ARP, so it is the last ARP synth made.. but sold to rhodes. they later did the chroma polaris – which is in fact not as varaiable and it was a bit late in 1984 to sell well..

Rhodes Chroma Synthesizer (made by ARP)
click RHODES CHROMA image to enlarge..
basically it has 2 VCOs, 2 LFOs called sweep generators and 2 Multimode filters (HPF and LPF) and 2 Envelopes (not ADSR but with modable decay)Rhodes Chroma Synthesizer (made by ARP)
click RHODES CHROMA image to enlarge..
are ADR Type
but you can Mod A and D time!

the very special is:

Rhodes Chroma Synthesizer (made by ARP)
click RHODES CHROMA image to enlarge..
the chroma has some structures that can set 2 VCO-filter-VCA plus envs/lfo in series or parallel as split or dual and ringmod/sync or filter fm!Rhodes Chroma Synthesizer (made by ARP)
click RHODES CHROMA image to enlarge..
with emagic sounddiver you can still edit it.. (midi), but you need to install midi before. the standard chroma has no midi since it was made before midi was born (1981 it was taken over by fender / rhodes from arp)..

in germany EES/Wieschiolek made a nice Midi Interface for it..
about 3000 were made, so it is rare, yes.

originally there was an editor for very early apple computers and an interface for it ;)
it’s all vintage..

Rhodes Chroma Synthesizer (made by ARP)
still click RHODES CHROMA image to enlarge..