Teenage Engineering OP-1: I'm hell bent to buy one...

flyingace

Active member
I saw these back in 2012, then again in 2014, then I forgot about them. They looked super cool and as a designer for a living, they definitely had my eye for their ingenious and simple design. But it was always the obvious sense of humor they seem to have from an GUI standpoint that really intrigues me. A few months ago I could have bought a used one for $500-650 (they sell new for $849) because many thought the company had given up with no updates for a while, but in November of this year, they posted a free updated to the OS that is a game changer to many. now they are out of stock everywhere.

I'll be traveling to Austin, TX next week and I plan to stop in to Switched On while there, a massively cool synth store. I hope they have one I can check out. If not, I can always spend my $850 on some vintage synth... maybe.

SO, What do you guys think about this little wonder? I realize it's more of an idea creation machine, not a production machine but many people claim to have made albums with it. Along with it's USB midi capabilities and 4 separate track file download to import to a DAW, I'm thinking it's more of an idea generation machine and I finish on the computer using my 76 key controller along with all that comes with using Logic!

My wife is actually onboard after seeing all this thing can do. So there's that! An I have $850 to play with right now... so, what say you all?teenage-engineering--OP1-0.jpg
 

Ponder5

Member
What do i think? Seems a bit spendy for 'idea generation'.

Maybe i'd keep my $850 and spend, oh, $85 on a small Casio and maybe another c-note on midi setup for my smart phone. Take the remaining $650 and buy a nice used synth.

Years ago, Yamaha did something like this. A 'synth' about the size of a VHS tape that had some tracking on it. Several hundred bucks. Before long, you could buy them all day for $50. Cute, but not $850 cute.... imo.


Ponder5
 

flyingace

Active member
I realize that I asked and you answered and I thank you. My post here is not to try to convince you otherwise or even convince myself I made the right choice and yes, perhaps I have more money than sense but I went ahead and ordered one for pickup at a synth store in austin, tx. They said they have a floor model and I can spend as much time with it as I want or I can use the "credit" to buy another synth (vintage analog or digital). We'll see. It was after I read two things today that really convinced me to go ahead:

Justin Vernon of Bon Iver in an interview: Interviewer asked: In lieu of the guitar, what instruments have you been working with lately?

Justin: "In the interim, I think the thing I’m working with the most is the OP-1. It’s a sampler-based synthesizer, and I honestly think it’s the most important instrument that’s come into my life since I first picked up a guitar when I was 12 years old. I’m not exaggerating at all. I never leave the house without it. I don’t travel with the guitar anymore. I travel with just my OP-1. It’s been a big deal living with this thing. I love making music with it. I love traveling with it. I like using it as a writing extension. It’s a really special technology, essentially what a guitar is to me."

Wikipedia page: In an interview with Damian Kulash of OK Go, Teenage Engineering CEO Jesper Kouthoofd explained that he worked in a music store when he was young, and he was inspired by Japanese synthesizers of the 1980s, such as the VL-Tone and the Casio SK-1, an inexpensive sampler.[5] Kouthoofd has also stated that "limitations are OP-1's biggest feature". The synthesizer's designers attempted to use the limitation of physical hardware to encourage the unit to stimulate creativity, which might become unfocused in a limitless environment, such as a digital audio workstation.[1]


I looked into the possibility of getting an iPad pro and Korg Gadget or other like app. But it's the tactile feel I'm looking for. Then I looked high and wide for a synth that offered value, great sounds, but ease of quick manipulation, an analog feel with a digital heart. Something portable really appeals to me, as most of my ideas come when I'm stuck somewhere that isn't my studio. Roland's boutique or idxi just look like warmed over badly made junk with terrible menu systems, Korg's offerings aren't much more appealing to me, although the Minilog looks sweet and well made, it's a bit of a one trick pony.

I already own a great 76 key synth/controller, a 27" iMac dedicated for music production, a great interface, Logic Pro X, mixer, guitars, a vintage Roland D-50, effects pedals, etc. I'm very lucky to have been building a great little home studio.

All that said, sans getting the aforementioned casio and iPhone midi (which I've gone down this road only to be mostly frustrated, not inspired), what synth for about $650 would you recommend? I can still change my mind about the OP-1, so your suggestions would be good. Thanks!
 

kcearl

I see deaf people
Id go with this over an ipad...Im a sucker for grooveboxes and ipad apps...love battery powered anythings

electribes, volcas, casio xwpd1, machine, mpc studio...got them all, but they all fall short

If I had around that money to spend Id by an alpha juno 2 and a JX8p...but I already did

if your hearts set on it theyre great little machines and have a decent resell if you dont gel
 

flyingace

Active member
Id go with this over an ipad...Im a sucker for grooveboxes and ipad apps...love battery powered anythings

electribes, volcas, casio xwpd1, machine, mpc studio...got them all, but they all fall short

If I had around that money to spend Id by an alpha juno 2 and a JX8p...but I already did

if your hearts set on it theyre great little machines and have a decent resell if you dont gel


Thanks, I already purchased it and will pick it up Friday. I used to own an Alpha Juno 2, love those! And I'd like to get a JD-800, JX8p someday. I owned a Juno 106 in the 80s and sold it, stupidly, in the 90s for $250!! They are worth so much now!! ugh. I have a Juno Stage and love it for it's keybed and controller ease plus it's own sounds are pretty good for modern digital. But none of those are portable and can "record". I want to get out of my studio for ideas and back into the studio for the work. If that makes sense.

I ruled out the iPad, even though it would be a smarter purchase being able to use it as a Logic Remote and multiple apps including graphic design ones not associated with music at all. BUT every single time I try to solely do things through a computer or device like that, I find myself more frustrated with too many bells and whistles, then the inevitable tech issues that always come up. I can't stand trying to make music on a piece of glass either, so cold and unwelcoming.
 

kcearl

I see deaf people
I want to get out of my studio for ideas and back into the studio for the work. If that makes sense.

makes perfect sense...I think I have four different areas around my home where I can make music on something then take it back to the rig...sometimes sitting in front of you PC and all your gear can be the least inspiring thing
 
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