Momo Müller continues a tear through our favorite music gear, with companion plug-ins to capture and recall automation and integrate with DAWs. The OP-Z is next – and gives your desktop some love alongside what Teenage Engineering already built for your mobile device.
The OP-Z is a beautiful instrument in my mind, but it’s the opposite of synth culture as you’d find it on forums. So, sure, to many synth fetishists, the measure of the device is how many knobs it has, wooden end panels, big frames, analog circuits, all that. The OP-Z is a diminutive candy bar. Even compared to its elder sibling, the OP-1, it has no display.
But then the OP-Z has always been marked by two things. On its own, it’s about as compact as a synth can get – a battery-powered wonder with more in common with a Game Boy than a Minimoog. The rest has been about integration, and if you buy into that, the thing starts looking more like a serious Thing.
Instead of making you squint at an onboard OLED, the OP-Z borrows your iPhone or iPad as its touchable display. Add the Photomatic app, and it is a sort of modern-day crossover between VJing and Pocket Camera. (TE were serious about learning from Nintendo.) Add a desktop computer, and you can add dynamic interactive visuals powered by a free 3D animation toolkit made in Unity.
For all the mobile functionality, the OP-Z is at home as a companion to your desktop computer, too – now think more Nintendo Switch than Nintendo Game Boy. Connected via USB-C, it can be a MIDI controller for your computer, it can be a USB host, and it can receive MIDI from a computer. (Read up on the USB functionality and yeah you can even connect our MIDI interfaces to it.)
So really the one thing that has been missing is plug-in support. That allows you to bring what you’ve made on the OP-Z into a project on your DAW, and – crucially – recall it, too.
Here’s what Momo tells us it can do:
- Select Projects and Pattern directly from Editor.
- Complex sound changes can be made easily and quickly.
- Direct access to the sound parameters
- All controllers can be automated.
- X-Y modulation of all parameters
- Generate parameters randomly
- You can use your OP-Z as a sound module in the DAW!
It’s nicely compatible, too, with 32-bit and 64-bit versions, standalone and plug-in, VST and AU for Windows and Mac, plus Apple Silicon native support. So this also works well on older machines as well as new ones. It’s 6,90€ / US$7.90 like Momo’s other creations:
Add to that some upcoming expansion news, too, via Synthtopia, and it’s a nice refresh year for the OP-Z:
Plus don’t forget the Capcom audiovisual creations TE worked on – here’s our look at that, including some juicy behind-the-scenes details from Capcom’s Tomoya Kishi: