Teenage Engineering’s hotly-anticipated synth / music-making hardware OP-1 finally got an official release last week. Early stocks promptly sold out, but new waves of deliveries should refresh availability. We’ll have more from TE on the launch and the instrument soon.

In the meantime, you can thank early-adopter Ludwig Mueller for being brave enough to post early experiments with the instrument. Ludwig is a proud owner of the beta release, one of a handful of people who signed up to get access to the OP-1 prior to its public launch – and even before functionality in firmware was entirely finalized. I’ve heard now from several readers who are beta users, and a variety of reactions to the instrument. Oversimplifying, they appear to break down to those who adore the OP-1’s restrictions and those who curse them (and those who do both). In the video at top, Ludwig shows off the process of layering beats and tracks; he not only plays the OP-1, but uses it as a production and composition tool. I asked him to share some further thoughts on how he likes his OP-1 — and what, exactly, it really is.

The OP-1 in short is a mixup of an [Akai] MPC, a pretty great synth, a radio, a mic, and a DAW [Digital Audio Workstation]. All of these components are rather limited looked at individually, but I guess what you can say here is that the sum is greater than its parts. It is the mixture of these parts and the device’s limits – recording is destructive, [so there’s] no undo once you record two or more instruments on one track – force you to think ahead. But at the same time, the OP-1’s layout and abilities make you want to try out things you’d never consider in a DAW. So depending which takes over – your brain or your inner child – your results will vary from one extreme to another.

A thing that I really like about OP-1 is the fact that you can’t overtweak. In a traditional DAW, I’d EQ every track and add a little compression, etc., etc. On the OP-1, there’s no such thing. It either sounds good or it doesn’t – and if it does sound good, you keep going and building the track. At the end you turn up the mastercompressor, which BTW is quite amazing, and you’re done! Again: I love the mastercomp!

I can say that I finish a lot more projects / beats / tracks with the OP-1 than with a DAW. Granted, they feel more raw and have some hiccups here and there, but I’m willing to take that in exchange for the fun I have using that little device. And by now, quite often I actually prefer this rawness to the slick sound of my DAW tracks.

Of course there are times when I crawl back to the laptop, and do another track dissecting every element. But this doesn’t last for too long usually. With the OP-1, I can focus more on the music than on the technical side of things; it’s so immediate: No long boot up, loading programs, plugging in things. It’s just a switch and 5-second wait and you’re good to go. It also really fits the bill regarding the overall sound I want to achieve: it’s warm yet punchy. You can actually overdrive the output quite nicely using the mastercompressor within the unit. The achieved overdrive can be quite pleasing to the ear, I think.

I have heard many people say that TE should bring out an OP-1 iPad App. I am 100% certain that a touchscreen can not give you the same feel as a nicely-designed device with quality buttons and encoders.

Right now, I am on the latest OS (the one that is also available for download on TE’s site) and I didn’t have any problems at all since upgrading to that version.

If you visit www.soundcloud.com/yellow-tangerine there is a set on my page called “OP-1 Stuff”. All these tracks are exclusively OP-1 and nothing else.

Let’s give that OP-1 Stuff a listen, indeed:
OP-1 Stuff by YΞll❍W T∆ΠgΞriΠΞ

Thanks, Ludwig, for the thoughts. Plenty of design and workflow thoughts to chew over here, I think, even if you aren’t using an OP-1 – some of these same ideas about limitation can be applied to other hardware and even to software. So I’m curious to hear people respond to the musical ideas here, and not just the issues specific to the OP-1.

I welcome any reactions from OP-1 users — praise and criticism alike.

For the latest from Teenage:

  • Neat.
    Does the controller work the other way? That is, can I sequence the sampler/tape machine/synth parts of this device with Ableton or some other DAW? And can the sequencer sync with one's DAW? Can't find this info on the Teenage page.

  • J Bounce

    @Brian Biggs:
    My understanding is that it doesn't work that way. Right now I don't think MIDI in to the OP-1 has been implemented. Seems like the workflow encourages you to do everything in the OP-1.

  • Bella

    I hope the gadget's got some quantization. Also, I hope the dude playing with his OP-1 learns to use it.

    I'm sorry, but incoherent playing isn't "groove" in my opinion. If everything coming out of the OP-1 sounds like things falling onto a keyboard, there must be something wrong with me. Or the overall levels of unlawful substances.

    Obviously, OP-1's going to be a VL-1 v2.0 pretty soon. Nice toy, really! I think I'm going to buy one for my son. The main comp sounds aching good, by the way.

  • Jake Gilla

    Come on Bella, its the guys style, not the product of the device. 

    As much as you may not like that style, to say the thing is a toy is kind of ridiculous when its got more combined functionality then a lot of dedicated equipment from the last 20 years.

  • @Bella I think someones jealous. YT is funky as hell. OP-1 is the best thing ever.

  • I'll tell you what this looks like. It looks like an updated SK-1. Simple-ish to use, small, and a ton of fun. Not going to replace your laptop, but a creativity machine for sure.

  • Fafa

    Am i the only who find the OP-1 expensive compared to what kind of gear it is??? (and  i have expensive equipment).
    To jake Gilla : sure but wake up, we are in 2011 : any phone can have more combined functionalities than equipment from last 20 years.

  • nice off-beat demo, interesting product, expensive and not so pro gear to me (no Midi? mini jack in-out – radio fm lolness – 4 tracks recording – velocity sensitive keyboard?)

    it looks like the "hipster" of hardware synths..


    but i really want to try it before conclusions

  • blipsford

    @yellow tangerine
    Fantastic tracks, i love them ALL. OP-1 or no OP-1.

  • IFW Cop

    @Bella:&nbsp ;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syncopation

    Please note this site and its comments page are best enjoyed by musicians and people who like music.

  • Joseph

    I have followed this since the beginning and now own one and having read the many, many comments both for and against I would say this: if you don't "get it" (for want of a better expression) straight away I don't think any amount of persuasion will help. 
    Yes, there are better drum machines / synthesisers / sequencers / samplers out there but that really isn't the point. This thing is immediate. To me it is a sketchpad, a mini moleskin that you can open up and start doodling away on within seconds. No other system or setup that I know of offers this fluidity. There are no drill down menus, everything is intuitive and hands on and It is very well made and designed. It makes you get on with experimenting and above all having fun, which for me is worth every penny. For what you get I don't think it is overpriced. 
    As for the "hipster" angle that keeps cropping up, well, there will always be dickheads and dickheads will always buy stuff. Some of that stuff you might have too.. Who cares? 

  • The workflow appears pretty darn cool on this thing.  That's why I ordered one…

  • Johnny

    The synth engines sound very interesting. Do they sound as unique as their names suggest?  Does anyone know of any other hardware synths that offer similar unique forms of  synthesis, maybe with midi in?

  • ersatzgiver

    love the op-1 but this beat is certainly not a good example of its abilities. its like when the in-studio audience of the ellen degeneres show tries to clap along to music. there is a huge difference between syncopation and rhythmless. even off on the 1.

  • blipsford

    that particular example IMO isn't any more rhythmless than a track made in a DAW with 100% quantization.

    But your right, not the best example of his material musically, but if you listen to the other 4-5 tracks, they're hot and ready for radio.

  • Not sure why everyone complaining about the supposed off-time nature of teh (youtubez?). lots of hiphop, esp. post-dilla, plays fast & loose w/rhythm. pretty sure its an aesthetic choice, not from lack of ability. 

    Personally I really would like an OP-1, like Apple, I think your money goes towards workflow, design, and user design. BUT, I look at it and think 'maybe I should just work at implementing those ideas in Ableton, which could definitely do all that.' If money was no object, probably would buy it.


  • mbleming

    There's no more useless descriptor for an instrument than "hipster"…what does that even mean? It's a f@cking instrument, you make the music you want with it…it's not like it has some wobblebass preset or a glitch knob forcing you into some "hipster" style of music making.

  • Hey, thanks for checking out the article and taking the time to post! And I can only underline what mbleming said – the beauty about op1 is that you're completely open to what way you want to go and how you want to work with it. It literaly lets you develop your own approach to it. The video is just an example of my personal workflow, and it only shows a fraction of what this machine can do.

  • m~

    Why so much hate for one little machine?

    If you look at the hardware specs you'll realize why the price tag is hefty.

    Secondly, what's up with the whole "it looks like a toy!"-thing? I think it's high time you guys stop taking yourself too seriously and have some fun instead.

  • Haters gonna hate. When my iPhone has knobs and more than one button it might be as fun and interesting as this looks to be. Hipster synths? Really? Are we that insecure that we categorize gear? The comment about "pro gear" is goofy. What the heck is "pro?" Because something has bigger jacks? Who cares? If you need bigger jacks to feel like a real electronic musician, you're missing much of the point.
    The OP-1 likely isn't for everyone. If it's not for you, don't buy it. But why waste energy with jerky meaningless comments? Go make some music and convince Peter to write about your own endeavors.

  • blipsford

    that's ok let 'em scoff at these "toys". I buy my music gear the same way I buy my sleeper cars. I love outperforming the cocky ones driving around cars with "all show, no go".

    I get great satisfaction making music with my boutique instruments and controllers, monotron, tape cassettes, ect, Ableton; then getting these guys who own Pro Tools say "whoa what plug-ins/vintage gear did you use?". Of course I tell them cause i wouldn't have learned anything from academia alone. Gotta give back 🙂

  • Canenero

    it's not a matter of hate.. i really like the demo and i am curious to try it out myself – the hipster quote was just a joke.. with "pro gear" i mean that without midi it's not possible to plug any external keyboard if i want to play it with bigger keys and a 3.5 mm jack output it's (i hope you will agree on this) kind of cheap for a boutique portable synth – maybe you are right, it's not the gear for me 🙂

  • @CaneneroThanks for the thoughtful reply. I have a pretty decent-sized analog modular synth that is full of 3.5mm jacks. This doesn't make my sounds any less interesting. I really don't care what jacks anything has. I have adapters.I try to understand your point about the MIDI plug making it "pro" but I just don't really see it. The DSI Tetra has MIDI but I'd use this OP-1 any day before the Tetra. I don't think creativity is about that kind of stuff, and this machine isn't trying to be an Access Virus or even a MicroKorg. The separation between pro and enthusiastic amateur is disappearing in music, in photography, film, and all sorts of other artistic fronts. And good riddance. I saw a magazine layout a few months ago with photography shot entirely on an iPhone with Hipstamatic, a $1.99 app. The idea that one can't make awesome stuff unless one has the "right hardware" is happily going away. Bang a stick on a can, record it on your telephone, run it through some guitar pedals, sequence it with Garage Band, upload it to Soundcloud, and I can listen to it on my telephone. Just like Radiohead and Autechre and all these "pro" musicians.

    Granted, the OP-1 isn't a $1.99 app, and I've never seen one in person, so I'm standing on the wrong soapbox here. If the price is too high, there's an argument there I think. But like someone else wrote, it samples, it sequences, it synths, it's small, it's made of metal by dudes who aren't a giant corporation, and it's a damn RADIO. So if you hate your own music you can listen to Lady Gaga.

    Also, if it had bigger jacks, this boutique portable synth may not be so… portable. Yeah?

  • Canenero

    i agree everyone has its own workflow when creating music and it really doesn't matter what gear is used.. the complain about MIDI in fact is just related to my needs and i'm not saying that nobody will ever make good music with the OP-1 (YellowTangerine did a great job in the demo)
    I see your points about a little company trying to refresh the concept of hardware synth and the portability "limitations" about the 3,5 mm jacks..

  • Love it.
    not $800 worth of love though…

  • Radiophobic

    Those samples sound remarkably more polished than I was expecting, given that until now pretty much every demo has been dsp fart noises. Really want to try this instrument out, but I don't expect to see one in Vancouver anytime soon. I have had more than my share of buying something because it sounds like a lot of fun, and finding I hate it. 

  • Peter Kirn

    A hipster instrument is one you can wear on your belt.

  • Totally agree with the limitations aspect. Same reason I limit myself to one piece of hardware for each piece of work…get more done in a more creative flow than stop start of a DAW.

    Will def give this kit a look 😉

  • Though it is lovely to behold, I do not feel compelled to buy.

    – c

  • Ali

    definitely can't afford this kind of thing… but yellow tangerine sounds like AD Bourke and that sounds pretty good to me.

  • gio

    Just wanted to say i have been digging Yellow Tangerine's output for sometime now on soundcloud. As someone else said, w and w/o the OP-1. Btw, the device looks like fun but out of my budget. 

  • It would be nice if Yellow Tangerine's SoundCloud fans could comment in some meaningful form besides slang… but on the bright side, I just now learned how to turn the comments off.  🙂

  • guy

    Wow, the guy has the worst rhythm ever. Lol 🙁

  • god, this is disgusting. the fact that a kid who has no musical ability forked over so much cash for this toy has made me decide to never buy one. I didn't know it was possible to be that far of the click. 

  • P.S. I don't believe it's a stylistic choice. it would sound good if it was… 

  • eL

    "and it’s a damn RADIO. So if you hate your own music you can listen to Lady Gaga"

    this made my day!   xD
    (couldn't agree more with your comments)

    nice piece of gear btw

  • Jeremy Hand

    @jeffrey james perhaps you should consider late-period James Yancey beats before consigning this demo to the dumpster – certainly not for everyone – however, I've met people who don't "get" Al Green or Autechre…"different strokes for different folks"  

  • fedfedfed

    another example of hardware decadance – expensive toy with big synth ambitions. 

  • Grumpy

    A toy for people with more money than sense.

  • Radiophobic

    Hah. Well, they seem to be doing something right. People are more polarized here than the recent android articles. 

  • PS

    wow, did anyone making the anti-skill/rhythm comments bother to listen to the rest of the tracks? they show a wide depth, and including "tighter" beats than the original video (which, after listening to the rest of the demo tracks, seems clear – the vid demo beat "wobble" is 100% by choice, not accident). 

    it all sounds far more musical and engaging to me, then just squealing while strumming a few chords on a guitar. 

  • Joseph

    @Grumpy Another choice observation..
    Well done.

  • My vl-1 with free plugins and korg nanokontrol is more flexible looping machine and sound generator opposit this one, and is cheaper 😉

    but if someone want give me that toy ,just say !

  • s ford

    has anyone noticed there's a lamborghini on sale on the teenage engineering website? 

    how random! 

    i think the OP1 looks awesome. can't understand the hatred towards it, it's just a piece of kit! 

  • maybe the CO want Bentley now ? 🙂

  • Grumpy

    @Joseph – a pertinant one I think. Paying $800 for a glorified casiotone makes me think…

    To elaborate a bit, maybe the insides are wonderfull but one still has to wrestle with the toy like interface. That would be OK in a $100 product but at the price asked for the op-1…

  • Joseph

    I disagree, and seeing has I doubt you have ever met me or indeed any of the other wealthy simpletons on this site I fail to see how you are qualified to make such a statement. The weight each person places on anything is always subjective. A comment like that is pointless.
    My opinion is that the simplicity and, if you must, toy-like quality is part of the charm and appeal. 
    I don't really understand why people lurk in these forums and place vitriolic comments anyway.. Why waste your time? If you don't like it move on.

  • The interface is incredibly sophisticated and well-designed. The color-coding is brilliant, and I think the thumping shapes on the EQ are really clever. I assume "toy" is meant as an insult, but since good toys are designed to be intuitive and fun to use, I believe it's complimentary.

    In other news, anyone notice the price went up to $849 this morning? That's kind of weird.

  • grumpy

    @Joseph, if you think my comments are vitriolic I think maybe you should get out more and see real vitriol.

    And of course my comments are subjective but I think not pointless. The amount of hype this item is getting is totally over the top so I thought it was time to counter it. $800 will buy you some pretty decent gear. I just got a telecaster for a similar amount and I am sure it will still be going strong when the op-1 are all landfill.

  • @grumpy, does your Telecaster have a radio? Thought not. But it does have big jacks… :)I've been thinking about this in terms of a Telecaster as well. I bought a G&L ASAT in March for $840 and didn't think twice. Even though I've been defending this device in this thread (less defending this OP-1 and more rolling my eyes at the strange macho insecure criticism), I'm trying to figure out the idea of value, at least how it pertains to where I throw my money. I'd use the OP-1 at least as much as I play my Tele (like, an hour every day), I could do stuff with it that I can't do with the Tele, in places the Tele can't go. My kids and even fiancée would get use out of the OP-1, where they're not allowed to touch the Tele. It would easily interface with my modular synth and my guitar pedals, as does my Tele. I disagree that these will be sitting in landfills so quickly. They may not last 40 years, but that's not really how I assign value to a musical instrument. So why haven't I bought one (I mean other than the fact that they're sold out currently?) I'm guessing it's because I have all of this that it does in my laptop, even though I don't find a lot of joy in making music with the laptop (christ, assigning MIDI controllers and the unlimited anything that I can do with the laptop is just a whack to creativity). On the other hand, what I do with my Tele, my laptop does not even approach.
    Glad I have CDM in which to work out these issues…

  • Joseph

    @Grumpy I was not aiming just at you. I just find it odd.. Your comment, although I'm sure flippant, was more personal than subjective and as someone who has purchased one, refers to me. Any way you have your opinion, that's fine.. It just rubbed me the wrong way when I read it.

  • mbleming

    @Brian – If you find an extra $850 around the house, pull the trigger…looking at your website and reading your posts, I think you'd have a ball with the OP-1. As a current owner, I feel the $850 is entirely fair considering the design and functionality. It really is insanely fun to play. All instruments are toys to me, they're FUN. That's the point, right?!?

  • [Grumpy Old Man] dismisses [new-fangled electronic music gadget] as "toy", compares it to his [fender or gibson product].

  • op1 is fun, that's it. if you're missing the fun in your production style, this little machine is the cure =)

    if you want stiff beats you can use the step sequencer but the non-quantized funk the op1 excels at is great. i don't need to be spoon fed auto tuned and auto beat shit 24/7.

    i also use the op1 a lot in conjunction with my iOS device … Funkbox/ThumbJam are great fun to feed into the unit.

  • I don't know anyone, anyone, who, after playing with my OP-1 for more than 10 mins has not turned to me and said "I'm buying one". From novices to grizzled synth geeks.

    It's a wildly fun musical experience. One that champions the process of exploration above all else. While the design is not without it's quirks, I rarely crack the manual. 

    The OP-1 houses one of the most intuitive UI's that I've ever seen. Coupled with the beautifully considered industrial design, that is really a work of art, this thing packs a serious punch.

    And that, in my eyes, is worth the ticket alone.

    And (on a side note) I just adore when someone calls an instrument a "toy". It seems that critic may not recall, through the haze of their "serious" music making, that good toys are really designed with just one goal in mind:

    Having fun.

    As far as I'm concerned, we need more toys in the musical area and less Dub Step presets.

  • Grumpy

    @Joseph – I have to confess to a bit of 'once bitten twice shy'. Along time ago I bought a Psion organiser thingy because I thought it would be useful. I wasn't that good and didn't work for long. Ever since then I have been a bit reluctant to part with my cash for small cutting edge devices.

  • fedfedfed

    nonononononoon, op-1 is not just a toy – well, it looks awesome, could do many cool things and so on – but it costs more, than anyone expected. When the first news about op-1 come, I thought – well, it's a cool little synth, I'll buy it, if it will cost 200 bucks… Well 400 bucks i will give for it. But almost 800??? This price is in 2 times more, than i expect the highest limit for THIS functionality.
    I could offer my self such things, but i don't understand WHY shiuld i? I could buy some new professional or truly experimental gear rather than that pretty lo-fi digital hipster gadget. Oh, I can get another ipad – and i could take it anywhere and have SUCH functions and many many many more. 
    And OP-1 price looks dramatically unconvincing

  • Jake Gilla

    @Fafa I'm not asleep.  Just because people are buying there 12 year old's phones does not mean they are toys either.  From experience I'd call both the Iphone 3GS and HTC Evo pretty serious pieces of technology.

    I do agree that its over priced, I was expecting this thing to be about $350-$400, precisely so that it can compete with the iphone/ipad market.

  • Bella

    While OP-1's not a toy, obviously, it's taking bashing from people watching videos such as Tangerinewhatever's. I found it extremely difficult to relate to someone just randomly pushing buttons, creating basically what sounds like a product of my 2-year-old daughter. She's got my old sampling Casio (sk something), and while her span of attention isn't really up there with the top producers, even she can clap her hands in time. 

    Syncopation has nothing to do with awful time, sorry. :-/

    I'd _love_ to love the beats by the aforementioned dude, but if there really isn't one note hitting the right beat… I don't know… sorry, not liking that stuff. It's just as if SNL did a diddypuffy-beatmakerz-in-da-stoodio sketch and 50% of viewers thought "wow, that's cool", not getting the joke. It's just… sad?

    Having said all that, I think I'm going to get me an OP-1. Didn't plan to shoot vids, though.

  • Bella

    Oh, one positive thing about OP-1: it's not just software, it's a hardware thing – thus not retiring in the next 12 months.

  • Peter Kirn

    Apologies for the unruly comment thread. I realized a sever security error on our part opened up a wormhole between CDM and YouTube, temporarily turning CDM comments into YouTube comments. We're working to address the proble
    *$&(  JDHHJHJJ hl

    lolz hipster sinthesiser you cant play 


    Sorry, happened again.

  • r

    one thing that hasn't been bought up (i don't think) – I'm all for limitations and all, but the 4-track has a total of "6 minutes" recording time (i'm assuming split over 4 track), 24 minutes at low quality. Unless there's some secret sequencing option here, that means you can only work on 1-2 songs worth of material before you have to offload it.

    If that's the case, it kind of defeats the purpose of being an all-in-one portability solution. That just sucks, limitations or no.

    As someone mentioned, no velocity? That's one limitation that is sure to nudge the music in a more soul-less direction.

    Finally, the male-centric "eye candy" ad campaign? super tacky.

  • wi_ngo

    I find all these comments about Yellow Tangerine’s music not 'being in time' to be rather odd. I think his stuff sounds fantastic.

    I guess people are not aware that it is a very pervasive current trend to step 'outside' of strict timing. It's a deliberate style, and it's interesting to a lot of people. Google 'wonky beats', for example.

    Is music with swing bad as well? Does jazz sound childish? It's just a different feel. ANYONE can line up beats to a DAW grid or hit a quantize button (even a 2-year-old?). Does that make them more musically talented? Not to feed the trolls more, but all this bashing sounds super silly to me. I'm happy for all the people that pride themselves on being perfectly symmetrical robot rhythm machines, but that's not everybody's goal. Maybe try out for a military band or something – they're always accepting applications.

    Aaaanyway… I love the look of the OP-1, I've seen great demos, those tracks up there sound really tasty, and it would be fund to have such a portable, self-contained little workstation that is truly well designed and unique. If I can manage to save up, I would like to have one. Alessandro Cortini was an early adopter, and he seems to find it useful. I would tend to trust his judgment. He takes his instruments seriously.

  • wi_ngo and all other supporters thanks so much for all feedback – it is highly appreciated! Curious of what the next "generation" of op1 users will come up with.

  • Ha, wait until "The Tempest" hits the stores.

    There will be "good and "bad" music and videos. There will be rants, about price, its sound, its limitations, this and that.

    In the end, is not the instrument, nor the musicianship or lack of it, is the final product that matters. And even then, the final product is subject to interpretation of the beholder…

  • OPtion Command

    All this hate for the OP1, why? It's not what you've got, it's how you use it.
    Yellow Tangerine’s music is brilliant and doesn't sound like some repeated crap from 1994 with everything quantized. Just because you don't like the product or the end users musical output, does not mean it is worthless. Everything has it's place.

  • I liked what Yellow Tangerine was doing with the OP-1. Non quantized live groove with a whole bucket load of feel!

    – Hugo

  • Duncan

    Yellow Tangerine, Alessandro Cortini and Peter Kirn are 'Cool Dudes' for the work that they are doing.
    We could all learn something by observing what they are achieving, by doing.
    Comedy in Peter's case.
    For what it's worth, I can't wait for what's in my future!!!

  • r

    A good musician can make music out of rocks. But by that logic, you'd never critique the design of anything because you could give it to mozart and he'd do something interesting with it. For what it's worth I liked yellow tangerine's stuff and what he did with it. 

    I still think there are design issues (short recording time, no velocity sensitivity) that hold the op-1 back from its own stated goals. How is it going to be an effective mobile recording solution when you're limited to 6 minutes of total recording time at normal quality? Also, apparently it doesn't allow separate sessions for separate songs. It's like we're moving backwards … at least on my 4-track I could switch out the tapes and they'd be able to record for more than 6 minutes split over 4 tracks.

    There are things I like about the op-1 – build quality, form factor… which is why it's even more of a shame that some of the design decisions are baffling, imo. Constraints can be inspiring yes, nanoloop is an example of a well designed limited parameter space. The choices they made here just don't make much sense.

  • It's no more a toy than my Nord Stage, or Monomachine sitting next to it. It's a very fun and creative device. It's a very hard thing to capture on video until you play with it in person.

    For those of you complaining about price, you're just used to prices that reflect large chinese manufacturing products. Look at *ANY* of the small production run small company products and you'll see a pattern. 

  • i LOVE! The beat in the video : -)

  • colin

    so, all the contention aside, what are some devices similar to the op-1?
    b/c I just want a fun, inspiring, portable device (that isn't a laptop!)


  • Kim

    YΞll❍W T∆ΠgΞriΠΞ sounds great.

    The Op-1 is missing 3 things and if those are taken care of it would have a much larger following. Price is to high and it needs to except some type of storage card. Midi clock would make it way more useful.

  • YETI

    it looks like a lot of fun, but i'm afraid that these portable music making devices might lock the sounds in the era in which they were made (think 80's and film scores. Blade Runner, etc)…..

    i dont want something so expensive to sound the same for every project. as I grow with the product, I want to be able to take it with me, not abandon it for something else. 

    Honestly it seems really kitsch and only useful for the short-term.

  • akrylik

    reading this thread reminds me of the following article in HBR:


  • sealion

    I love mine, had a minor problem the service was superb, actually better than superb, never seen anything like it. And I can't put it down, its on teh desk next to me. Played about 4 dozen synths at least and soldered up 12 machines as well. I just want some solid external midi interface w/o a computer and I'll be very very happy to make it part of my core control rig. Tweak tweak outta my way its gone-gone time.

  • curmudgeon?

    not really op-1 related, but does anybody else get a little sick when people use the term 'work-flow' in regard to creating music?

  • r

    @cur no. when it comes to devices like these, that's the only thing that justifies their existence. 

  • colin

    alternatives? competitors?

    tempest? (2k!)

  • r

    well no two pieces of hardware is exactly alike. But people with non-boutique korg gear who are proficient can run circles around the op-1 vids i've seen

  • Fantastic tracks! I've got one too. USB MIDI is implemented, Notes back and forth. But don't expect it to sync to clocks and stuff. But if you like to play it with a big keyboard you can send midi notes to it through USB.

    I absolutely love the OP-1. The thing with playing out of synch, that somebody here was complaining about, is that the latency is very low, and the keyboard is so "shallow", so the distance from touching the plastic to the switch triggering a signal is so short, so it's pretty difficult at first to stay in the beat since most other triggers/ keyboard have a completely different feel.
    There is no Quantize, since it's audio recording, but there are two great pattern sequencers that are very useful.


  • Anthony Blackman

    This is a poor excuse for a demo … i'd rather watch my 5 year old kid play with it … not a very good sales video at all !!

  • This thing really splits people. They hate it or love it, with not much middle ground. I love it, and I think you have to go into using something like this with the right mindset. I think Yellow Tangerine using this alone to make a whole track is one narrow use of the technology.

    I go to audio jams once and a while, and as a performance instrument it truly is compelling. Sampling the radio is phenomenal during a live jam situation, and the tape tricks, fun arpeggiator/sequencer thingy, gyroscope, etc. are just so….FUN!

    I think the synth and aforementioned sequencer (as well as recording things in reverse, etc) are unique and could be used as a supplement to a traditional (and yes, more powerful) DAW setup. Just record the damn thing.

    Anyone who owns it…any experience syncing it up with another OP-1? I thought I heard this was possible.

  • Deano

    Would this be any good at all for house/techno music production? With no need for DAWs or Vsts?

    Can I import lots of one hit samples (say, 10 or the beat, 10 fx samples) and create a great track them using the sequencer or is it too limited?

    Does the sequencer use patterns/blocks like FL studio (string em together to make a song)

    Is it really just 4 tracks so you can only ever play 4 things at once?

    Not really understanding the limitations of this thing – they sound too limiting to be true, if you know what I mean? Who makes tunes using just 4 tracks nowadays?

  • Wow that’s pretty cool, love the bass sound.

  • Wow that’s pretty cool, love the bass sound.

  • Wow that’s pretty cool, love the bass sound.