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.