Tuesday, 6 December 2011
Teenage Engineering OP-1: A Perfect Instrument
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.
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
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.
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.
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?
IT'S STUPID, STUPID, STUPID FUNNN!
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!