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.