DAW-less workflow

Hi fellow OP-1ers!

After a few months with the OP-1, I’m realizing I’m much more prolific and creative away from the computer, and exclusively on hardware, I feel like I’m really making music. But I do have to go back to my DAW (Logic) to finish off and mix my tracks (I import my 4 separate tracks, then add some other bits and pieces). I noticed that when I’m on the DAW, I suddenly “lose the creative flow”, things become tedious, perfectionism kicks in, and I end up abandoning my poor tracks which sounded so amazing on the OP-1…
The question is, how to make a proper finished track, as simply as possible, without losing myself in the DAW?


Record live.
I like to record to stereo on a hardware CD burner when jamming.Makes for interesting performance and is instant.
Album is fun too.Or Audacity.

Thanks @Spheric_El ! Yeah I like Album, but what if I want to add tracks or vocals, or whatever on top, or tweak?
What are the advantages of Audacity? I’ve never used it.

Oh I see,
I use Audacity to record in one take,live,like Album.I would consider a DAW for over dubs.Audacity is good for editing wave forms.Making them shorter and louder.Maybe mild compression,EQ.Trimming intro/outro.You can over dub ,but Ableton may be better…but I like hardware …
I have a hardware 8 track that is useful for multitracking.It has midi so can trigger start other gear in time.
So most of the time I record a vibe live,that is almost a finished track,then can edit with a comp later it need be.
I also DJ so I often just take the track straight into a cd player and remix live or over lay that way.
My main advantage of recording into a CD burner or 8 track is its much faster and safer at capturing a vibe.The comp doesn’t need to be on or boot up.No software to interface with.The burner has a remote control .Just hit record…

Audacity is really useful for taking a stereo file (like album recording) and splitting L+R channels into two files then importing to two tracks on OP-1 Tape.Or mix together into one mono file ,then dropping onto tape.

@Spheric_El i like your idea of using a CD burner!

i was thinking of picking up a minidisc player/recorder and doing the same thing. but then i realized i have this powerful $1000 phone in my pocket, that could probably handle at least some level of recording :slight_smile:

hmm, but the MD recorder would probably be cheaper solution than having to buy some type of audio interface for iOS…

what do you guys think? anyone know of any budget audio interfaces with more than one input that play well with iOS? :slight_smile:

i was thinking of picking up a minidisc player/recorder and doing the same thing.
I was a huge minidisc fanatic at one time. Like I recorded EVERYTHING on them. Now I have a drawer full of annoying minidiscs that I don't know what to do with. The only thing you can do to get the sounds off of them is to play them into something else in real time, and I don't even have a working player any longer (they tended not to last too long - I went through several). Also they do a kind of weird pre-mp3 compression to fit everything on the small disks.

I just recently got a Zoom recorder, and it does everything minidisc recorders did, but way better, plus a lot more. And the SD cards have no moving parts, hold way more, and take up way less space. Minidisc might seem like a cool esoteric way to do digital recording, but IMO they are not as convenient or user-friendly as current technology. YMMV.

@wingo great points. i remember having a zoom h4n years ago, and i loved it! hm i should probably go with something like that instead, it’d work great :slight_smile:

@Spheric_El can you explain that a little further? I’m also looking for ways to improve song-making on the OP-1, and I just started using Audacity.

Hi @ice9ismine,
You may have recorded a jam to Album or have another stereo source from a PC,etc. Throw in into Audacity and either copy one channel,like the left,then paist it to a new window.Save that as a mono file,then drop this Aif into OP-1 Tape (in disk mode) so you can over dub with OP-1 and continue your production.You can also save to different formats so Mp3s and wav can convert to Aif. I forget exactly where but its somewhere in preferences to choose file type-I think ,I’m not at home to check.
There is a load of processes in the effects section ,for normalising and edits of sound files.We should be able to mix L+R channels here and mono-ise here.Other useful processes too.We can ofcourse get busy with VSTs for effects with a wave editor like this ,but most useful is chopping and changing a file -cut excess off beginning and ends and create new sounds simply by copying portions (even micro slices) and repeating or deleting.Like I first mentioned,most useful for preparing your file for OP-1 Tape.You could copy left channel to one file ,Right to another,then save these files under the name tape1.aif and tape2.aif then drop then to Tape and pan your tracks left and right in mixer for stereo playback on OP-1.Then over dub more performances.
You can also bit depth and frequency convert files for OP-1.(24bit 41kHz from memory-but check in manual).

Thank you so much for your help!
I’m just beginning with hardware and trying to find the right workflow…

Why not mix down to Album, then use ear to bounce back to a fresh track, then add vocals, etc?

Yes sure and good point,but this is more for external gear/recordings.
One thing about Album to Tape,aligning exact track sync has always bugged me.Especially a stereo source to two tracks recorded one at a time.
Haas effect ?

I’m just thinking for the future… so far I only have the op1 and a mic, but would love to get another synth and a drum machine, and also something like an mpc1000 or an Octatrack, and a mixer. Still researching what my needs are and discovering my work flow. So I’m trying to anticipate how I will combine all these and record my jams/tracks… without using the DAW. Somehow things don’t sound as good and “natural” once I put them on the DAW.