Am I missing something about the OP-1?


#21
OK, I think one of the problems is tape, because it's not a loop of four tracks where you can have the same notes played but randomly change the instrument or drum sound. Looping on my other (hardware) instruments provides me with a background to come in and out with different loops as a way of experimenting with new ideas. With tape, I feel this sort of obligation to make "tracks", which seems to inherently mean "tracks of a song". I know there are looping possibilities for the drum sequencers and synth sequencers, which are actually not bad, but you can't run both at the same time. Also, you have to record something, like a drum loop, so you can experiment with adding a synth sound to it, which seems to block creativity. I know I could also record one as a track and then loop the other one or ones, but it doesn't "flow", right?

I had a similar feeling about it when I got mine and so I have other instruments for that purpose as well. But that is where I sometimes get ‘stuck’ because I can lay out a melody, for instance on my electribe, and keep going back and adjusting the instrument sound or moving some of the notes around until I like it. And that works great for me sometimes, but other times I NEED the OP-1’s tape to make me just get on with it an record it. I find that with the OP-1 I will practice what I am going to record over and over before recording it, which of course makes me better at music.


So I find I have multiple mind sets when working on music and the OP-1 fits one of them perfectly!

#22
"Any advice on how to love the OP-1?"

I think that you love the OP-1 or you don't. My opinion is that the OP1 makes you very creative. It's also cool that you can connect it to several resources - like an ipad for example (in combination with Auxy).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7evfcW7LuE

#23
I'm not using tape as a DAW replacement. As a matter of fact, with my other instruments, I mostly play live and don't record anything or even use a computer. I just have them all hooked up via a mixer and play with knobs and buttons and my samples and instruments and fun stuff like that. I figured that I would have a similar feeling using the OP-1 as on the outside it appears to be sort of free-form, but I feel really boxed in. If that makes any sense!
I think I understand the workflow you're going for. Others here will be better able to confirm if your desired workflow is possible on the Tape, as the Tape is so rich with "tricks," but I don't think so. Given the multitrack sequencing and looping you'd like, perhaps an Elektron or the recently revealed OP-Z (by Teenage Engineering as well) would be better suited for you. Their workflow doesn't have the firm commitment the Tape does.
Interesting conversation.
@squigges Tape is not the place where you can tweak a lot a loop indeed. Well, it's not really true : there are some tweakings, like mixer effect + EQ and actions available when on Tape screen (rewind, scratch stop, and memory buttons for instant recall).
And, of course, the fact that you can mute tracks and jump from one loop to another.

But you will not find the tweakability of Elektron gear as on Tape you write audio in the marble, sort of.
I think you really got the point when you express your feeling to be "boxed in" : OP-1 is not what you're looking for, you should check any Elektron (maybe one of the drum machines first, or the Octatrack if you're using samples).

OP-1 stays a very cool instrument, multi-purpose and very cool if you have the idea of creating a track (or building loops).
But it's not really live oriented imo, or not as much as an Octatrack.
For this I think it's lacking the MIDI-oriented sequences, where you would be able to affect the source of the signal instead of the result as an fixed audio.

Note that you can go close from this with OP-1 Drum sequencer... Limitation : the total of your samples should be less than 12 seconds.
You can organize 8 presets of samples+FX and while a pattern is playing switch from one to the other.
You can also add variations by changing the octave the pattern is played to.
Maybe this is the path you should investigate.
But as cool as your result will be, I think you need an OT :D


#24
Thanks, all. Obviously, this is a very intelligent and interesting community. I'm going to spend more time learning from the tips and tricks and also join in on a battle when ready!

Hey man , similar experience. Had the Op1 for 2 years and only started having fun with it. I’m also classically trained and just like to play, not spend ages with sequencers. So I stopped using them, period. Having loads of fun live looping on tape. Watch jtomes videos on YouTube. Enjoy!


#25

Yah I also don’t use the sequencers. I use the monkeys for drum shenanigans sometimes. But its mostly live play. Endless is fun to use. But for the most part I ignore the sequencers.


#26
Learning Tape is a new way of working. I had this curve.But it also doesn't make creating music too easy for you.A lot of music tech stops us from having to play or develope arrangement skills,by doing it for us..or so it seems to me. This machine suites players.Having said that ,there is endless depth for things to explore and it helps me work on my weaknesses.

I think this may be one of the issues I’m having. I do come from playing a classical instrument, and then when I got into electronic instruments, the thing I enjoyed was being able to loop different instruments in and out freely. Something about the tape makes me feel trapped, like I must keep the track. It seems such a chore to put down 3 or 4 minutes of something and then throw it totally out. Then I get worried about throwing out something in case I may want it back later. That’s what I mean by it seems like a strange workflow. Maybe I just need to go completely nuts with it and stop worrying.

I only use tape to make short loops (4-8 bars) and the jump between the them thus not having to come up with a fixed song structure. Sometimes i record everything live to album but mostly I only use tape as a backtrack player together with other instruments. Another good use I think is to trig other instruments with the op-1 sequencers over midi.


#27

I find this thread particularly interesting because I too struggled with the OP-1 for a year and ultimately found that it wasn’t the instrument for me. I just didn’t like the majority of the sounds it produces and found Tape to be difficult to understand.

The music I make is quite linear and not really based on loops or short phrases. I used the various sequencers which were excellent as idea starters but ultimately found that I never really finished anything I started. Personally, I would have preferred an actual 4 track sequencer instead of a 4 track tape recorder as being able to edit notes after the fact is important to the way I write music.

I’ll give an instrument a year and if I can’t make any headway with it then I’ll sell it for something else. It was a hard decision but I sold my OP-1 last year and hopefully the new owner is having an awesome time with it.

BTW, I’m still here visiting this site even though I no longer own an OP-1 because I like the participants, like to listen to the music produced and enjoy the conversations about other gear.


#28
Why not try the Pattern Sequencer (or Endless Sequencer) to put down a drum pattern, bass loop or arpeggio, leave it looping and try playing over that, leaving the tape alone for a while.

CB

Can you clarify? When I switch from drum mode to synth mode, the drum sequencer stops.


#29

“Put down” = record to Tape I guess


#30

I had dismissed the OP-1 as something I would probably not get much use out of, from the moment it was announced until about 1 month before I purchased it (a couple months ago).


It is one of those instruments that either rescues you or imprisons you, and whichever reaction you have to it is wholly dependent on where you are mentally, at the time. If now is not the right time for you, then let go of it. I’m not suggesting that it is something you graduate to, but rather that it can be a place… a vacation destination, that you either desperately need to or don’t need to travel to to get your head right.

I’ve never had such a subjective reaction to any other instrument, and never so instantly.
It has not only influenced my musical works and direction, but it has also influenced the desires I have with musical workflow in general. I’ve had portable instruments before, but never anything that could go from zero to mastered .aif in one box. So now, I have a new appreciation for mobility. I wasn’t all that into my iPad Air for music before the OP-1 either, but now I see Patterning & AUM as logical extensions of the OP-1 mobile workflow.

I’m now looking to trade in my 2009 15" MacBook Pro for a 2013 13" MacBook Air for greater mobility so that I can always swap in .aifs from AUM or apply quick mid/side reverb and mastering touches to OP-1 album recordings, as I’ll always seek to bring these tools with me each day, no matter where I am headed. I’m looking into a portable lithium battery pack to make my Analog Rytm just as mobile, and use it in conjunction with OP-1 synths and the SDS Drop app.

It is true that an Octatrack is certainly better for live performance, but the OP-1 still has a place in my setup. With a bit of planning and organizing on the tape, I have 10 tunes set up in 16 bar segments each across the 6 minutes of tape. I use different cut marks to create different segment lengths in each track, so that I can easily change the loop segment length and have greater control for jamming.
Add to that, several user synth presets, and a saved state for each sequencer. It will easily turn my 90 minute live act into a more dynamic, 120 minute, techno and electro performance.

#31

Well, here I am back again a few months later with an update. Do I still have my OP-1? Yes. I have found that it took time for me to love the OP-1, but now I honestly do and almost have a “what would I do without it” feeling.


What changed? I think the biggest thing that was different is that it IS different from other instruments, and the user must do a bit of a different style of learning to understand and be able to utilize the OP-1 to its fullest extent. I have found the more time I spend with it that I continue to have more and more “what if I tried this” moments and “OH! That’s what Nitro does to the sound!” kind of experiences.

Fortunately, I didn’t give up on the OP-1 and I encourage anyone who may at first think it’s not the instrument they had hoped for to give it some time. I firmly believe anyone with a drop of creativity running through their veins will become an OP-1 addict if left alone with it long enough.



#32

Give it a year.


#33

Giving this a bump as I too am wondering what I might be missing.

What is your workflow for recording to tape ? (mostly getting solid drums/beats) …Using the pattern seq, or ?

Once you get something you like, do
you back up immediately worried that one wrong lift or drop and your screwed ?

I’ve watched many videos but struggle
to get past getting a workflow that doesn’t seem to be a vibe killer.


#34

I like the finger sequencer for drums. You can do some interesting things with the ‘fill in’ mode


#35

@chet try live playing some drums in the finger seq. Program some hi hats as a metronome on one pattern and jam away on another with the seq running. Use JOIN mode. Took me a while to figure out that was possible, but once I did it opened up a new world of fun. Also you can hold shift to edit the drum sounds with the seq running. Also very handy. I plan to make a new workflow vid soon as my most popular one is getting outdated


#36

Nice - that’s awesome. Thanks for keeping us up to date.


#37

Helpful stuff. Will investigate.

Always glad for interesting insights to finding more efficient op workflows!


#38

Yes the finger sequencer is my favourite too. Using JOIN and FILL is very inspiring. When youre building your own drumsets out of samples, you can switch from sequence to sequence and always astounding new variations appear which youve never done when you think to much about programming a certain beat. Like someone said it before:
Let It Flow, the OP-1 shows the way, a new not complicated one…

I use live drumming a lot. Sometimes the sequencers stop your flow…


#39
[...] I plan to make a new workflow vid soon as my most popular one is getting outdated

@sammyjams A workflow video using the Finger Sequencer would be awesome. I’m stuck on Endless at the moment as Pattern is too limited (not in a good way) and I’m just not getting into the groove with Finger.


#40

It is true that an Octatrack is certainly better for live performance, but the OP-1 still has a place in my setup. With a bit of planning and organizing on the tape, I have 10 tunes set up in 16 bar segments each across the 6 minutes of tape. I use different cut marks to create different segment lengths in each track, so that I can easily change the loop segment length and have greater control for jamming.

Add to that, several user synth presets, and a saved state for each sequencer. It will easily turn my 90 minute live act into a more dynamic, 120 minute, techno and electro performance.

Ay, I know this thread was was years ago, but I was wondering if you could elaborate on the “10 tunes set up in 16 bar segments each across the 6 minutes of tape”. I’ve always thought about doing this, but I can never figure out how to get around tempo change problems. Are all your 16 bar segments the same tempo? If not, how do you switch seamlessly between them? I know about the shift loop function but still I just can’t wrap my head around how to set up the tape. Thanks.