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Digital Subscriptions > MusicTech > June 17 > BACK TO THE FUTURE

BACK TO THE FUTURE

As we continue to enjoy the renaissance for new and vintage synthesisers, it’s time to look back at the ARP Odyssey, and look forward at its current forms, with the recent release of the ‘FS’ model, a full-size clone…
The new Korg/ARP Odyssey FS in Mk3 colours. Every bit as large as the original, but with numerous enhancements
Karp’ Odysseys: All three slim-key edition Korg ARP Odysseys, released by Korg in 2015

When you talk about vintage American synth companies, there are several names that immediately spring to mind, such as Bob Moog, Dave Smith (Sequential Circuits), Tom Oberheim, Don Buchla and, of course, Alan Robert Pearlman, whose initials became synonymous with a number of classic analogue machines.

ARP Instruments Inc. was founded in 1969 by Pearlman, along with collaborator and designer David Friend. Originally branded as Tonus, ARP entered the fledgling synth industry and very quickly rose to notoriety with the production of the ARP 2500 in 1970, followed swiftly by the ARP 2600 later that year. These instruments quickly gained acceptance with musicians including Stevie Wonder and jazz-fusion master Joe Zawinul, who toured with two 2600s with his band Weather Report.

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