The OP-Z’s ultra-minimalist, candybar form factor hides some serious synthesis, sampling, and audiovisual powers – and now new live visual/VJ functions, too.
Way back when Teenage Engineering first showed a prototype of the OP-Z, it was more than just “what if the OP-1 used your iPhone as its screen?” Live visuals, animation, and VJing were part of the original pitch, and what made the new OP a big conceptual leap forward from its predecessor.
Now this update really rounds out that offering – the secret VJ side of the OP-Z.
You need to pair the app with the OP-Z – on any device running iOS, Android, or macOS, for free.
Once you do, just output to a projector, TV, or whatever, and dive into the newfound video tools of Photomatic. You could already drop images into Photomatic, but now video works, too. It’s very much like having a simple set of samples and patterns, but for visuals:
- 10 “rolls,” with 24 slots each (so up to 24 videos) – .mp4 and mov on all platforms, plus animated GIFs on iOS and macOS (but not Android for some reason)
- Use the camera and toggle between cameras
- Choose an active slot using the navigation keys (and rolls by shift + black keys 1-10)
- Trigger with the keys of your OP-Z (or whatever you’re using as its MIDI note source)
- Use color dials on track 16 to add live effects of color/fade
- Punch-in effects (a la p-locks) by shift + white keys
All of this is in addition to the Unity-powered 2D and 3D motion patches you could create already.
Check out the full guide:
It’s really clever, in that you can do a lot with a little – which has tended to be the hallmark of really great VJs. (Oh yes, you who decided 20 layers of crud was a good idea – I’m looking derisively at you. I’m squinting my eyes and everything. Okay, I’m also shaking my own head in shame, regarding some of my own darker moments. Really.)
But you can kill R / G / B channels, DJ style, invert, flip, punch zoom, white and black out – it’s actually an advantage that you have limited slots, as it forces you to ‘play’ those visuals like notes. And it matches perfectly with the workflow and musicality of the OP-Z.
Really, it could be just the extra prod you need to think about music on the OP-Z in a new way, too. Guess we’d better get making some videos rather than describing this in words, huh?