teenage engineering OP-1 Portable Synthesizer

teenage engineering OP-1 Portable Synthesizer

teenage engineering OP-1 Portable Synthesizer

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Product Highlights

  • Synthesizer, Sampler & Controller
  • 8 Built-In Engines
  • Real-Time Control Modulation
  • ADSR Type Envelope
  • 4-Channel Mixer
  • 4-Track Tape Recorder
  • 3-Axis G-Force Sensor
  • Color Coded Interface
  • AMOLED Display
  • 16-Hour Battery Life
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teenage engineering OP-1 overview

  • 1Description

Enjoy power-packed performance with the OP-1 Portable Synthesizer from Teenage Engineering. This powerhouse packs a synthesizer, sampler, and controller into a simple and fast interface. The synthesizer features 8 built-in engines (with exchangeable architecture) with 8 quick-selection keys, and 3 great sequencers, enabling instant live tweaks.

You can control modulation in real time and work over a wide range of parameters with the ADSR envelope, multi-effects, and LFOs (low frequency oscillators). One of the LFOs is also controlled by a motion sensor for enhanced sound effects. The built-in 4-track tape recorder not only lets you record your work, but also allows overdubbing with changeable pitch and reverse recording in real time. Additionally, the 4-channel mixer allows you to use the built-in EQ and drive, for adding texture and effects to your recording.

Connect your computer to the standalone OP-1 Synthesizer via USB to convert it into a fun-filled digital audio workstation. The 4 rotary encoders and 8 x 2 quick selection keys enable instant access to play, stop, record, forward, and rewind functions. The synthesizer can also be used as a mass storage device for exchanging audio files with your PC / Mac. Easy-to-use, the OP-1 Synthesizer sports a smart color-coded interface with color graphics on its OLED display. The display is directly related to the 4-color rotary encoders and legend on the keyboard.

Furthermore, this portable synthesizer comes with a long battery life of 16 hours in operation, and over 2 years of standby time, making it ideal for travel and long studio sessions. It features a durable light grey painted CNC aluminum body and has no visible screws. In addition, the OP-1 Synthesizer is packed in an environment-friendly paper foam case that can be reused.

General Features

Eight synthesizer engines with exchangeable architecture can be selected between the T1 to T4 keys, thereby allowing you to switch engines and retain envelopes
8 dedicated instant keys for sound selection
Built-in 24-voice instant live sampler lets you sample from onboard music, FM radio, 4-track tape recorder, etc.
Four-track tape recorder with variable tape speed provides you with an instant way to tweak your recordings live
Six minutes recording time (up to 24 minutes) on both sides of the 4-track tape recorder
Four-track mixer with EQ, effect, and drive for adding texture; master out for fine tuning
Mixer features dedicated VU meter for displaying sound levels, and control over pan, L & R
Multiple effects with exchangeable architecture
Multiple exchangeable sequencers for instant live tweaks
Classic Pattern sequencer to change direction on the fly or shorten the played sequence
Tombola sequencer (drop notes & spin) to adjust bounciness and gravity
Endless Step Sequencer: Quickest sequencer with features such as random order, reverse, and pattern for instant live tweaks
USB MIDI controller lets you receive external MIDI Control Change (MIDI CC) from other hardware, or from your computer's music 1
Two-way USB file transfer (Mac & PC compatible) for exchanging data between your synthesizer and computer
Color-coded, vector-based user interface consists of 4 color encoders
Operation of color encoder is indicated by a color change on the graphical interface of display
Instant reverse and variable tape speed recording during live mixes or basic tape loops
Full classic tape editing capabilities with lift / split and drop features for tweaking takes
Master tempo lets you switch between free, beat match, and sync modes
Help key to check battery level or check function of any other key 2

Sound Engines

Dr Wave: Raw 8-bit type sound engine
FM: Easy to tweak FM synthesis engine
Pulse: Square wave type engine
String: Physical modeling with a twist
Digital: Raw digital type of engine
Phase: Phase distortion engine
Cluster: Multiple wave cluster 3

Sample Engines

Dedicated instant synth sampler with 6 s sampling time for each slot
Dedicated instant drum sampler screens with controls for pitch, in and out, direction, loop, & level, all with a 12 s sampling time for each slot 4
Automated layout feature
Instant sampling with built-in microphone or line in


Classic ADSR type of envelope
Dynamic envelope for drum sounds 5


Delay: Classic delay type
Phone: Hacked phone effect
Punch: Adds punch to your sound
Grid based echo
Spring reverb type 6

Tape Features

Four individual tracks with instant solo
Instant variable tape speed
Six minutes recording time in normal tape speed
Up to 24 minutes recording time in low tape speed
Loop function with movable region
Tape tricks for break tape, bits, and reverse during live mixes or playbacks 7
Memo 1 & 2 for instant memorizing effects / EQ / pan or levels / tape speed
Reverse recording
Classic tape editing features lift / split and drop
Lift tape recordings back into sampler for endless sound design

Motion Sensor

3 axis motion sensor (G-force) to modulate sounds
Assignable to any synth, envelope, effect parameter, or to pitch

Built-In FM radio

Sample sounds directly from any radio station
Record sampled sounds directly to 4-track tape recorder
Use radio signal as modulator with the element LFO (low frequency oscillator) to alter any synthesizer engine, envelope, or effect parameter 8

Controller / Disk Mode: Album / Com Key

Album mode allows recording to a dual-sided album
Com mode to connect to a PC / Mac or for conversion to a MIDI controller
In the Box
teenage engineering OP-1 Portable Synthesizer
  • Limited 1-Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    teenage engineering OP-1 specs

    Input / Output
    USB 2.0 high-speed (OTG)
    Line In/Out 3.5 mm jack
    Microphone Built-in
    Speaker Mini: High output, 8 Ω, 1 W
    Motion Sensor 3-axis accelerometer (G-force)
    Assignable to any synth, envelope, effect parameter, or to pitch
    Radio FM Band Support: Worldwide (64 to 108 MHz)
    Type Amoled display running in 60 fps
    Resolution 320 x 160p
    Color Depth 16.7 million
    Contrast 10,000:1 (good for outdoor use)
    Viewing Angle 170°
    Lifetime 30,000 hours
    Design Low-profile keyboard module
    Scissor-switch ultra low profile design
    Expected lifespan of 10 million keystrokes per key
    Type Industrial-grade incremental encoders
    Life Rotational:
    Up to 1,000,000 revolutions
    Good indexing feel (remains consistent over life)
    Material Zinc die-cast and fiber enforced high performance plastic (used in Avionics)
    Battery Type Li-ion 1,800 mAh
    Battery Life 16 hours (active)
    2 years stand-by time
    Charging Via USB port

    Connect the synthesizer to your computer with the USB cable. This charges the internal battery.

    CPU 400 MHz core processor (800 MMACSS performance)
    64 MB low-power SDRAM (12ns)
    512 MB NAND flash storage
    24-bit 96 kHz ADC/DAC
    Body Advanced CNC 1-piece aluminum design
    2 x M6 Mounting holes for accessories
    2 x Cuts for strap accessory
    Operating Temperature Range -40 to 185°F (-40 to 85°C)
    Dimensions (LxHxD) 11.1 x 4.0 x 0.5" (282.0 x 102.0 x 13.5 mm)
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 1.65 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 12.5 x 5.2 x 1.5"

    teenage engineering OP-1 reviews

    OP-1 Portable Synthesizer is rated 4.5 out of 5 by 15.
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great little synth if you can afford it I love using the OP-1 to sketch out ideas, even if they don't pan out. The synths are interesting and somewhat force you to get creative. You'll find yourself making new styles of music and really enjoying where this thing takes you. What makes the OP-1 great is also a drawback, the synth engines aren't too deep so you have to make due with what you have. That is what inspires your creativity but also sometimes leaves you wanting a bit more. The battery life is great and it can easily fit in a backpack or large handbag. Perfect if you are always on the go and need something to keep you occupied and want a hardware synth.
    Date published: 2015-09-17
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Flexibility within limits = creativity The OP-1 and its tape metaphor allow you to work in a variety of genres: ambient, techno, experimental ... all are possible depending on how you use the machine. Several different sequencers give lots of flexibility about how you work with rhythm. Of course you can also play freely on the keyboard and record onto the tape. Tracks can be mixed on the OP-1 or lifted into a DAW for further polishing and production. An incredibly useful musical tool that's built like a tank.
    Date published: 2013-11-26
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Far From a Toy I've tried to get into digital music production many times over the years but ultimately couldn't stay engaged working with software DAWs. While this little unit has it's limitations, I feel that they help me stay focused on the creative process rather than spending time mucking about with finding the right sound for a melody or drum loop. The portability also lends itself to the creative process very nicely and I've found myself bringing it to work, using it on the couch, taking it to friend's house's, etc. This was ultimately a big purchase for a hobbyist but I have no regrets after getting my hands dirty with it.
    Date published: 2015-07-20
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from very pliable I originally scoffed at this instrument when a friend first showed it to me a year or two ago, but in the past two weeks since I have had it I am completely convinced that it is so much more than a toy. The interface is intuitive and logical. All of the functions are one or two button taps away, and almost everything is pliable. The limitations (4 record and playback tracks) are hardly noticeable, as almost every other parameter is adjustable - and the sheer tape-y-ness of it (speeds, shuttle sounds, loops) is so adorably analog. It actually reminds me of the early Casio sampler keyboards, like the SK-1, only way more expansive. I suspect that these instruments will become as ubiquitous.
    Date published: 2015-03-16
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Pure Heaven I've wanted an op-1 for over a year and it has lived up to every expectation and then some. And I feel like I haven't even scratched the surface of what it can do. It's my first hardware synth and I couldn't be happier. It just begs me to design sounds and write melodies.
    Date published: 2016-02-11
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Toy or Professional Music Machine? Both - and neither. It's a testament to the success of the OP-1 that 4+ years after its release, it still holds its value on the used market and people are still flocking to it. So right off the bat, you know you're dealing with a special kind of instrument. First, the things I find frustrating. As many have stated, the output is very noisy when the USB connection is hooked up. There are ways to lessen that noise, but it is there, no doubt about it. Also, (and this is a biggie for me) there is no Undo. I find myself wishing more and more for this. Okay, now to talk about how wonderful this machine is. The simplified knobs, buttons and graphics force you to approach the OP-1 in a certain way - a childlike way. If you are one who likes everything by the numbers and want to be able to get exactly the same sound by dialing in parameters, you will be frustrated by this device. That's not what it's about. It's more about the joy of discovering new sounds by twisting knobs, and then recording those sounds, sampling those sounds, and being creative in the process. One of the harder things to do with an OP-1 is to recreate a piece of music. It just isn't designed to do this well. It is more about making original beats, not about recreating songs or other beats. You will drive yourself crazy trying to emulate someone else's work on this machine, so my advice is don't try. Can this be used professionally? The short answer is yes. In fact, several major music acts have incorporated the OP-1 into their workflow. The long answer is that it's not going to replace your DAW or become your main centerpiece of a keyboard rig. As a fun toy approach it can bring you hours and hours of unbridled fun. Approaching it professionally will force you to work within it's limitations, and sometimes that can be frustrating - but still can lead to amazing sounds and results. Is it a toy? Yes. Can it play grown up and be pro? Yes, with limits. It's about being creative and letting your inner child out.
    Date published: 2016-07-14
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing gear - 21st century synth This thing is fantastic. Gave to my boss (yes - I'm a kick-butt employee), and he loves it!
    Date published: 2013-12-31
    Rated 1 out of 5 by from THE BEST OF THE WORST DEVICE The in- and outputs aren't of the greatest quality, something that you especially notice when connecting some low-impedance headphones or when tracking out your OP-1 in a DAW. You can be confronted with an audible (LOUD) noise level (think of a HD noise in a laptop output) or clicks and pops at times. I bought it for making music and now I cant do any music because of this NOISY OUTPUT.
    Date published: 2014-08-18
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