“When I look at the front panel of the ARP ODYSSEY FS, it reminds me of all the thinking and decisions that went into the design.
The ARP Odyssey was our first synthesizer without patch cords, so that meant that there had to be a limited number of ways that oscillators, filters, and so forth, could be connected. We tried to pick the connections that we felt would be the most useful. There’s always a trade-off between flexibility and ease-of-use. With patch cords, of course, you could connect anything to anything. But patch cords were too cumbersome to use on stage. So we decided to get rid of them entirely, creating the first ARP aimed entirely at stage use.
The ARP logo with the treble clef sign was designed by my wife, Margaret Shepherd, who went on to become a famous calligrapher and designer (she has written about 20 books on the subject). She also did the lettering on the panel using PressType, long before you could do layouts on a computer.
When I look at the panel, I can almost envision the complete schematic diagram of everything inside. Based on the authentic sound of the KORG unit, it’s clear that very close attention was paid to the engineering that went into the original ARP Odyssey.”
– David Friend (Co-founder of ARP Instruments)