I couldn’t really mention the OP-1 (and sneakily the OP-Z) without mentioning the PO Series (eBay Link) from Teenage engineering too. I have the first set, and may consider the next lot when I’ve got some cash in my pocket.
These are, without a doubt (or at least without a doubt in my mind anyway), some of the most fun, and also innovative, tiny little music making machines around. They’re entirely pocketable, and their diminutive form disguises the massive amount of enjoyment that can be had from them. Whether you have one, two, or 6 of these they will be great fun, both to learn how to use them, and to create some sounds from them.
I couldn’t really let this opportunity slip to mention the OP-1. It is simply a work of genius, and, unlike many hardware devices, in continuous development by its makers. In fact, according to recent NAMM coverage, Teenage Engineering have a new OS in the works. I’m always impressed by that.
It is both a source of inspiration and frustration as well for me. At times I love it, I love the design aesthetic, the execution and the joy of the device, and at other times I find myself completely frustrated by not seeming to be able to actually finish anything with it!
Even so, it has to be on my list, and I suspect that when the OP-Z arrives, that’ll probably be on a subsequent list too.
Of course, the one downside to the OP-1 is it’s price. Getting one from Teenage Engineering will set you back around €949 (about £700). However, the OP-1 can be had on eBay for less.
The OP-Z seems to be a pretty amazing device. Here’s what’s I’ve gleaned from the video.
- 16 tracks
- Synth engine based on the OP-1
- 4 effects tracks
- 2 tracks for controlling external devices
- Lego compatible!
- An external app (don’t know if this will be tablet or desktop or both) to access features and controls
- A built in video synth that looks amazing and totally off the wall
- Lots of stuff in the ‘to be announced’ category!
There’s no display, the interface is entirely done with LEDs. Which is going to be interesting and possibly a challenge.
No news on price as yet, but I can’t see it being cheap, can you?
There’s plenty that’s not being said about this device, but even so, if it’s from TE it’s probably going to be good. Unusual, maybe odd, but good.
It seems a little strange to go from the OP-1 to the OP-Z, somewhat final in my view, but there you are … Here’s what their site says:
“wireless 16 track multitimbral synthesiserwith fully sequenceable parameter locks, video synthesisand the introduction of step components.”
No more information that that right now, but as it arrives I’ll pass it on.
(Thanks to Paul Collins for the tip off).
The new OP-1 OS arrives. It includes …
- DSynth synthesizer engine
- Sketch sequencer
- Master tune
- M1 and M2 now works together
Find OP-1s on eBay