Korg Odyssei review

  • £20

Odyssey gets the iOS treatment

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Our Verdict

Odyssei sounds tremendous, doing a stellar job of recreating those famously edgy oscillators and that razor sharp low-pass filter.

For

  • Superb sound.

Against

  • Limited external MIDI control. Odd interface.
Buying options

Following up on its resurrection of the Odyssey a couple of years ago, Korg has squeezed Revision 3 of ARP's classic analogue synth into an iOS app (iPhone and iPad).

Just like the original, Odyssei is a two-oscillator beast featuring saw and pulse waveforms, sync, FM and PWM, plus a noise generator. Two filters are onboard – high-pass and resonant low-pass, the second switchable between models of all three Revisions – and modulation options consist of an LFO, two envelopes, and sample + hold.

Unlike the duophonic hardware, Odyssei can be switched between monophonic, duophonic and polyphonic modes, with up to eight voices of unison.

Further departures from physical reality include a 16-step arpeggiator, a bank of six effects (Distortion, Phaser, Chorus/Flanger/Ensemble, EQ, Delay and Reverb), and a pair of X/Y pads for real-time manual manipulation of two parameters each from an extensive list. It's AudioBus- and Inter-App Audio-compatible, as well, but sadly not available as an Audio Units plugin.

There's also no external MIDI control beyond note data. It does, however, load into Korg's Gadget sequencing app, under the name Lexington, and there are currently two IAPs available: the Rev1 and Rev2 Skin & Program Packs (£4 each), each adding 50 presets and the colour schemes of their respective Odyssey editions.

The Odyssey interface was
 notoriously weird compared to
 that of its rivals, and that
 unintuitive layout has been retained here, for better or worse. The numerous tiny sliders are just as fiddly as they were on the original instrument, too, and the Voices and Unison spinners are maddeningly hard to adjust. On anything less than the 12.9" iPad Pro it all makes Odyssei a bit less enjoyable to program than it could be, but at least the iPhone version sensibly splits the controls over multiple screens.

Ultimately, it's the sound that counts, and on that score, Korg – whose other iOS synths are, without exception, awesome – have hit paydirt once again.

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