I am most grateful that G-Force's upgrade mechanism to their new Oddity 2 leaves the original Oddity untouched and in place. The new 2 is definitely a wonderful expansion on the original concept, supplying polyphony, multiple filter choices and other capabilities that suggest a truly classic keyboard ARP might well have produced if it had stayed in business a couple years longer. But the original lean, mean machine that G-Force developed over a decade ago hardly suffers in comparison. In fact, contrasting the two only reminds what a potent monophonic/duophonic synth the original remains.
More that any specific feature, G-Force captured the Mojo of the ARP Odyssey better than any other software emulation of any other specific vintage synth than I'm aware of. The thing simply behave like an Odyssey, from the wonderful interaction of the sliders and all that duophonic/RingMod/S&H goodness. It's blatantly obvious that this was a labor of love.
SOUND: This doesn't quite sound like any Odyssey I've had my hands on, but for a very good reason. The filter that was modeled is a fully working 4075. That's a modification that was not standard with the original production run. When ARP agreed to remove the 24 db lowpass 4035, that Moog insisted was too similar to their own classic ladder, an engineering error produced a somewhat hobbled filter, that was perhaps closer to their original 12db 4023. It wasn't until later on, post run, where a simple repair allowed the 4075 to operate at its intended spec. And it is this full spec 4075 that the Oddity has been programmed to recreate. The new 2 now allows you the choice of substituting the juicier 4035 or a smoother (Oberheimier?), less nasal version of the 4023, but that full spec 4075 is a great, full bodied thing.
GUI: The classic black and gold is my favorite Odyssey look. Granted, it doesn't sit as big on the screen as I would like (neither does the 2) and the little letters are damn near impossible to read without squinting. But this is an Odyssey, probably the most right-brained synth you can imagine. It practically no time you get a handle on moving those sliders around without having to bother reading anything. And the magical way that the slightest adjustment dials in such unsuspected wondrous sounds remains a true joy. Less is more on this thing.
CPU: Their are some new spot on Minimoog emulations out there that take advantage of "zero-delay-feedback-filters", that chew up CPU for lunch, though computers are getting more and more capable of handling bigger loads. And even the new 2 can put a slightly aging laptop into the red if you're using a lot of voices, especially if you're recording up in the 88.2, 96 range. The original Oddity barely moves the dial. And there's no doubt that it sounds ARPy to all get out. An elegant weapon that won't let you down in the mix.
PATCH CHART: Finally, I find the original an ideal partner for my vintage black and gold. When I stumble onto a pleasing sound on the hardware, it's pretty much a snap to quickly recreate it on the software and save it. I can either record it as is on the Oddity, or bring it up and recreate it on the Odyssey, depending on the situation. Very handy, actually.
So, as this software turns over to a well deserved update, this review is more a note of appreciation and admiration for a product well done from the get go whose excellence remains to defy the usual short electronics lifespan.
Over the last few years, my work has occasionally been criticised for sounding like “loading music” or like it was done on a cheap and nasty Casio keyboard. This did not bother me as that was essentially the sound I was after, as long as it didn’t sound thin or tinny. But how could I make my tracks sound vintage without them sounding so computer-like? Taking a look at my audio software collection I realised it was lacking something - a big VA.
It was time to splash out on a plug-in with some balls, but which one? I must have tried the demo for practically every decent subtractive synth and been suitably impressed (I still can’t believe what they can do with software nowadays) but none of them had made a lasting impression except one - Oddity. What’s more, it has recently dropped in price so it was a bit of a no-brainer. ImpOSCar and Minimonsta are both great, but I absolutely love the ARP sound and what we have here is effectively the ARP 2810.
The sounds this plug-in makes just grab you; unfeasibly thick basses and leads that send shivers down your spine. I try to use more powerful synths sparingly, but it’s not easy with this one. One thing’s for sure I will be using Oddity a lot, this thing is an absolute killer.
GUI The interface is based on the classic vintage look of the Odyssey; a nice touch for an emulation and anyone who has used a real one will feel right at home. Moreover, the layout is clear and the inertia of the sliders somehow just feels right. It even has my name on it! Now I feel special.
Sound I have never used a real ARP so I cannot comment on how precise the emulation is, although I have spent most of my life listening to tracks that have been made with one. It IS the ARP sound; exactly what I wanted - thick, earthy and organic. When I first tried the demo I wasn’t expecting it to sound vintage; I was absolutely blown away.
Features It was its bass sounds that sold it to me, but I since have found Oddity particularly good for leads. The patch morphing and flying slider features are an added bonus and I can’t think of anything that would make it much more useful. Polyphony would have been nice, but it excels at being a monosynth so who cares?
Docs The manual shipped with the boxed version came with it in PDF format. I had a quick gander at it and it’s worth a read, as a ‘tweaker’ I haven’t felt the need to go right through it yet.
Presets 4 banks of 64 presets plus the original Odyssey factory patches - brilliant. My only criticism is that they are not arranged by genre; it would have been ideal if there was a bank for bass, one for leads, one for FX etc. At least this way I’m more likely to try them all, what you choose isn’t always what you were looking for.
Support After upgrading to v1.15 I encountered an envelope bug in FL Studio. GForce E-mailed me a fix the next working day; too bad this scale only goes up to ten.
VFM The new pricing structure means this little beauty is yours for €79.00, which is nothing considering how much work went into it. EDIT: Shortly after I purchased Oddity, both it and M-Tron went up by €20; points deducted accordingly. Oddity is still worth €99, but to reduce the price of a piece of software only to raise it again is unjust and unfair. EDIT: The price tag of €79 was an oversight; it is still well worth €99 of anyone's money.
Stability Rock solid, no crashes and more importantly no speaker-destroying static bombs.
Overall A beautiful piece of software. ARP fans should cherish it [sniff]. It makes me want to change my name to Jean-Michel Jarre.
I haven't bought many VSTi synths, but I'm sure glad I decided to splash out and get the Oddity. The range of sounds that can be squeezed out of this box is amazing. It’s great at spacey sound effects, edgy leads and booming basses. But I’m mostly loving the groovy funky type tones. I haven’t ever owned an Odyssey, but I have had a number of dusty analog synths, and I think the sound of the Oddity really captures the essence of that era.
It is a very playable synth. You can sit there for hours tweaking sliders and noodling away trying out different sound possibilities. There are a lot of features that other synths of the Odyssey’s era didn’t have, such as flexible sample and hold routing, ring modulation and pulse width modulation. The user interface and layout is easy to work with once you get used to it.
There are loads of presets to get you started. The patch morphing function is nice, but I have to admit, I haven’t put it to much practical use as yet. One annoying niggle I have with the synth is the patch selection system – you can’t change patches using MIDI program change messages and the patch selection on the GUI can be a bit painful to use if you’re trying to change between patches at the bottom of the list. But, it’s miles better than what the original Odyssey’s had in terms of patch selection!
As for customer support, these people are brilliant. They (Gmedia and Ohm Force) are very helpful and are obviously very committed to what they do. The Oddity is rock solid stable, and is very light on the CPU. Very recommended.
When i first heard them demo of this. I realised that the software houses are doing a grand job emulating the hardware.
This is my bass machine as the sound is just warm enough and controllable better than a moog i think. The HPF is the key. An arpeg would have been nice in it. This is a 70's synth and you here all the era's sounds coming from it.
Pink Floyd Genesis Vangelis Jean Michel Jarre
They all used this as a lead. The sound is amazingly fat because the low pass filter is doing something at the closed settings without resonance. (there must be distortion or something).
It sounds more natural soundng than the mini moog.
Everyone knows the Mini Moog, but what about the ARP Odyssey ? Well to be honest I haven't played both in reality but this virtual analogue model of ARP's Odyssey - the GMedia Oddity - sounds delicious. And it not only sounds delicious, it actually looks as if the knobs are meant to keep your breath fresh for a long time (while having only 2 calories each). This black beast with its tic-tac-knobs is a real beauty, and once you've seen the sliders morph from one preset to another (a nice function implemented by the Ohmforce team) you know that you're in love.
Well, back in the days (the Odyssey was built during 1972 - 1978) when people had to choose between the Mini Moog and the ARP Odyssey, some were claiming that the Odyssey was lacking the warm sound of its contender. But having tested this plug-in (and not the black-golden original model 2813) I only can say, that at least this vst monster isn't lacking anything. Still something like polyphony - though the original was mono-/duophonic, too - would have been a nice feature to add.
Although this baby comes with loads of presets (of which you'll get even more when you register) it's main advantage is the ease to program your own. One thing I like the most about the Oddity is the ability to draw some really funky sounds out of it. Now take this statement and the fact that you can actually throw the sliders (the flying sliders function is unique to the Oddity) around, be sure to get some excitement and fun out of playing with this bugger. But see for yourself, get the demo and simply fall in love.
To me, the oddity is one of the few VSTi's with an actual soul. The interface looks dull, extremely dull. But when editing the synth, it becomes clear that everything is wisely placed and coloured. Editing this baby is a joy on itself!
The sounds that can be made with it are truly amazing. Gmedia managed to capture the characteristic sound of the old oddessey and translate it into a digital version, with the luxury of having full control over every single knob, switch, slider, etc....
If you are in need of that good ol' vintage feeling, this might just be the synth for you.
Just realized I've had this instrument for ages & not posted a review, so here’s my first review for KVR. Forgive me if it's too muso.
I’ve owned eight Odysseys over the last 20 years and loved most of them like my women. Why eight? Well, like some women, they breakdown, bits fall off of them and there’s a whole heap of variations between each of the main models so it takes time to find one (or two) that do it for you. When you do find the right one though, they are without doubt the funkiest, nastiest synths in the universe and capable of sounds unheard of elsewhere.
The Oddity is special to me because as a hardware only dude, this was the synth that finally opened up the plug-in world to me. So given that I’m now addicted to this new way of working let’s move on to the instrument.
Firstly - this ain't a Moog and if you want those vibes go elsewhere - but think first because if you thought those old Stevie & Herbie tunes were done only using a Moog, you’re gonna be in for a big-time surprise. For old skool & funky vibes, the Oddity is gonna bring a sweet smile to your face. Don't believe me? Try Mr Morris Bass on the Oddity demo and see what I mean about the ARP sound being truly funky.
If you’re looking for in your face nastiness or fly effects though, the Oddity will give you all that too. For some aggressive and yet expressive tones, put the Oddity into duo mode, crank up the ring mod & sample and hold section - play one note and it’ll sound smooth and retro, play two notes & it’ll scream like a banshee. The cool thing is that it’s all so controllable in exactly the way an old muso like me wants.
Ultimately that’s the beauty of this instrument - it’s a players dream in terms of control and expression and in terms of sound it’s so like the real deal it can make you weep with nostalgia.
In relation to the Odyssey, the Oddity is so on the money it’s freaky. I’ve set up all my favourite Odyssey patches on the Oddity and they sound the same. For me that's everything I could wish for. I really feel Gmedia did me a big favour by developing this synth because I’m no longer freaked about my Odyssey breaking down and loosing access to the sounds I love. With the Oddity I get those sounds and the added luxury of being able to store patches, sync the LFO, keep the thing in tune and morph between patches.
I love this instrument more than I can say - it’s got real heart & soul.
i've waited till now to do a review because i wanted to see if i could create some presets for it first. i managed to create two new banks of sounds (which are available here at KvR) which i rarely do as most complex software synths don't seem that logical to me. This comes on CD-ROM held in a hardcover manual in a nice box with four Oddity banks of 64 presets, plus an Odyssey bank and a fifth Oddity bank is available via their website when you register (and this bank has some of the best sounds). Enter your serial number and away you go. No asking for the original CD every few days-type nonsense here.
i never owned a real Odyssey, but i've played with them and know my Odyssey sounds from Gary Numan (Music for Chameleons) to Herbie Hancock (Chameleon). This synth is very good and surprisingly flexible. The modulation routings can create some whacked-out sounds and are quite unusual in their execution. Some say they don't like the Oddity's sound, but i think this is because they probably don't like the Odyssey sound. With this you get a raw synth sound with no multi-effects to add gloss. You really need to add effects to this like they did to synths on the olden (golden?) days to recreate those classic sounds (get creative!).
My only real criticisms are: the opening patches in the preset banks could have been a bit more inspiring (particularly the first patch, 80s Bass, is a little, well, dull), the portamento isn't quite right yet and the lack of a PPC-style vibrato is a bit of a shame, but these are minor gripes and GMedia are very responsive to suggestions so these may yet be sorted. The only other VSTi i've bought is M-Tron and impOSCar so GMedia must be doing something right! (for me anyway).
Customer support from these chaps is very good. The manual also includes short tutorials explaining some of the more arcane functions like the odd S&H Mixer, which is a nice touch, especially if you're new to analogue synthesis and/or Odysseys.
Oddity tries and completely nails the look and more importantly, the sound of the Arp Odyssey. The colored faux plastic tips on the sliders have even been reproduced. Interface wise Oddity is incredible, especially since it is in effect a model of a historic synthesizer.
Many do not remember the Arp synths the way they do the Moog but in their day they were the alternative, the Pepsi to Coca Cola, the Mac to PC. You get the idea.
Sound wise I sat there and remembered just how wonderful the Odyssey was. The character of the sound is different from Moog. It's a little thinner and more brittle. But it has features the Mini Moog didn't have.
The Oddity like it's namesake has the ability to play duophonically meaning you can create some interesting drone type leads. It was cutting edge in it's time and is still quite useful.
The filters sound great as does the sample and hold function. Need weird and wild sounds? This is one of the Oddity's best suits. The S&H is part of the LFO section which too can create expressive timbres.
The Arp sound is unique and once you hear and play this VSTi you will come to appreciate how flexible it really was. The most important aspect though is the logic to making sound and the interface is flawless. The Odyssey was a reasonably easy to program synth. So is Oddity.
The sound quality is incredible. There are many less expensive sounding synths that try to do what Oddity does. They sounded good but compared to Oddity...well, there is no comparison. Even the dirt has a pristine quality that translates well in a mix.
It's impossible to convey one's emotions in words. When I looked at Oddity I thought, 'wow! if this sounds close to the Odyssey I'll be impressed'.
Well, I'm impressed.
The level of detail is astonishing. Try this synth out, it may initally seem different but it is based on a classic, one who's sound you will hear trying the excellent presets.
I love the interface. It's very different from the look of a more standard synth, but I like the way it's set up. After just a bit of playing around with it it's very easy to understand. The sliders are all color coded to map out the flow of the signal, and the backround is very open and clean looking.
The sound is wonderful. This synth is a clone of the Arp Odyssy, and though I've never used the origional hardware synth, I think the amount of quality sounds that can be made with The Oddity is incredible. This synth makes sounds that fit in a mix very well, and it has a very warm character to it.
The features are great. This is a replica of the original, and it's got a few extra added functions like the preset morphing which is wonderful, and the A440 tone for tuning patches. The Flying Sliders are very, very cool. You just can use your mouse to throw the sliders and they will slide according to how hard you throw them, and be recorded to your hosts automation. This isn't just cool, it's useful.
When I finally got The Oddity in the mail I was very impressed with the packaging - especially the manual. The box is great looking and the manual has semi-hard covers, nice thick pages, and has a nice read about the Arp Odyssy in it. It explained everything quite well, and was definatly worth reading to learn more about the synth.
The presets that come with it were just right - not too many, not too little, and they were all very good and unique sounding - perfect for preset tweakers. They really show off what this synth can do.
I've had no need for any customer support, but I did knock one off for the lack of a forum.
Value for money. Well, I've only bought a few synths, and it takes something special to make me feel like investing in one. I usually try to really learn how to get the most out of the tools I use, so if I buy something I want to know that it's going to be useable, and.... I bought this one.
Since no one is reviewing this and many have been waiting for reviews, I might as well give it a kick start.
I don't do extensive reviews, nor i think it is wise to rate any instrument compared to what it was cloned for. Many are saying that Oddity comes very close to the real thing. Well, I don't own the real thing, so I can't compare. But software is software, hard is hard. You're paying 10% of the hardware price for this.
As a VSTi, GMedia has done it nearly right this time, low CPU, great sounds. Many banks included (and already another extra one on their website for download). It looks good (tho with so many small sliders it's difficult to see sometimes), sounds good (different to most Moog or 303 clones, afterall ARP was diffeerent) and the price is right, and it's pretty stable (No crash so far).
One minor thing I don't quite like it's the OhmForce way of handling presets. You load a bank in its own preset loader. However, the preset selection on the host (Cubase SX in my case) doesn't get updated...But I suppose this is just a handling issue, nothing to do with the sounds or workability of the VSTi itself.
Overall the Oddity would please many. The manual is like 50 odd pages, including history of the hardware and intense details on the controls.
Well worth it. Be it a clone or not, we do need more quality VSTi's like this at this price.