Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Teenage Engineering OP-1: A Perfect Instrument

OP-1 - 1

Recently, I bought an OP-1. I'd been in love with it since seeing the very early demos.

It looked like a VL-1 as re-imagined by Wintermute so of course I wanted one.

  OP-1 - 2

But there's been a lot of hating on the poor old OP-1 on the web. People slagging it off as over-priced, gimmicky and, ohh, the ultimate insult, like something Apple would make. Which I guess is saying that people who love Apple products are more concerned with style and image than actual functionality.

Well, in a lot of ways, the haters are right. If Apple made a synthesizer / virtual four-track / drum machine / groovebox, then they would make something like the OP-1

  OP-1 - 3

I love this instrument! The layout, the ergonomics, the GUI, everything is as smooth and silky as an Apple product.

This is simply great design.

  OP-1 - 4

As a songwriter, when I'm pursuing an idea, I don't want to be de-railed by interfaces which squander my time menu-diving. The OP-1 doesn't ever do that.

This is one of the most musical musical instruments I have ever used. I'm working on a synth sound, the envelope is a bit off, press one button and then twiddle the appropriately colour-coded knob. It is so easy, so intuitive.

  OP-1 - 5

All of that would be charming but rather pointless if the OP-1 was, as its detractors claim, an over-priced toy. It is not. It packs enough DSP to create full tracks, I've been hammering it and I've never had it give up on me like my Micron does when I try to sequence too many parts.

The OP-1 just works. And the main thing?


  OP-1 - 6

Remember the fun of your first synth, just fucking about on it and creating magical symphonies? The OP-1 is that again. I was showing it to my mate Ash, sampled a bit of the built-in FM radio and I had a crazy new tune in about fifteen seconds. It's that easy, that playful.

 So, the OP-1, I fucking love it. Here's a little tune I created on it, enjoy!



Stan King Music said...

I still wouldn't pay $800.00 for this...Glad you like it though :)

Stan King Music said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jyoti Mishra said...

I don't just like it, I looooove it! :-D

b e n c o d e c said...

Jyoti, it reminds me of Elektron's products. I suppose that makes sense as Teenage Engineering has some past Elektron employees there.

I think people so often miss that if designed well a products limits are actually part of it's strengths. People that haven't used one will always complain about how it looks on paper. People who have used one will get it immediately.

The same complaints get made about the the Machinedrum's 2.5 MB of sampling time, or that the Monomachine is just a plugin in a box because it's a digital synth.

Jyoti Mishra said...

Exactly! I don't get all the hating on the OP-1. If you don't like it, don't buy it. And it is directly comparable to the Elektron gear: they got loads of flak at first but now they're more widely accepted.

The OP-1 inspires me daily. For me, it's worth every penny!