Fattening, widening, stereoising, mastering after making OP-1 track

Sorry to ask such a broad question. I’ve enjoyed my OP1 for years as a standalone box with headphones. I can make whole tunes, love the workflow, and love how it all sounds a bit like something I’d have made in the late 1980s with four track tape and synths.

But I’ve just got back into working with DAW (after a long period of rejecting any computer in the music process). I’ve imported the tape tracks from OP1. But these tape tracks are often mono mixdowns of previous single tracks, with effects baked in, and all the other glorious things you end up doing with an OP1 you know and love. I have no complaints about the OP1 sound character, and I have a lot of general experience mixing and mastering.

But like most people, mixing and mastering in DAW has always been with things that came down the line in a more predictable way (stereo high quality drums, one track per instrument where I can do EQ and dynamics, etc). So polishing up the lovely sound jumble of four mono OP1 tracks is another kettle of fish.

I can find my way around with prior knowledge and experiments but I feel like it’s a challenge others will have faced, so I am posting to ask if anyone has previously posted any tips or workflows. In particular, I’d love to hear any tricks about widening the stereo image, and any dynamics or saturation approaches that sound good.

I’m also keen to hear if anyone has come across eg a stereo buss compressor and EQ combination that works very similarly to that on the OP1, so that there can be some consistency between “working with four tape tracks inside the OP1” and “working with 4 tracks extracted from the OP1 in a DAW”.

Sorry again if this is both too broad and too niche! I did look around for tips on “mastering after OP1”, if I’ve somehow missed a mega-thread then, please, point me to it and I’ll dive in there!

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personally i think all this stuff can be done inside the box with some patience and creativity with the OP1 but i dont think thats maybe what your after here?

don’t forget that u can run your DAW tracks back thru the OP1 as an FX buss to get the compression // drive & EQ & master FX.

or instead of transfering files via disk mode u can record them over individually. sync them up via midi so they will all line up.

i really disliked how the tracks sound when u transfer them with disk mode.
the OP1 has a lot of vibe going on when dialed in

i think spring when used subtly actually works really well at widening and fattening sounds // tracks.


I often start a track on the OP1 and then take it into my DAW. I tend not to bounce down too much - or I do I copy the tracks over to my computer first so they are saved as single entities as well. I have a few tricks that I use to make the sounds from the OP1 sound better - I chop drums loops up as much as possible and put them on different tracks so I can pan them and eq them separately. With synth tracks, I usually copy them onto stereo tracks (I work in Cubase), sometimes double them up and offset them slightly then put different effects on to them. I also like to use a tiny amount of soundtoys crystallizer to give dimension to sounds. Everything goes through something like Vallhala Vintage reverb which is much nicer sounding than the OP1 reverb. I guess it all depends on taste and what sort of music you make, think the OP1 has a lovely sound all on its own, but for my own tracks I need to enhance it a bit to feel like something is finished.

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for fattening synth tape tracks, i might duplicate it and pan the two apart and pop them out of phase or detune them some.
for drums i’ll often recreate the same pattern with another kit, and position it somewhere else in the mix. maybe not even the whole pattern but just a layer or two of it.
another thing you can do is split-band fx processing so you can pan the highs and mids and lows of a tape track to different places in the mix, and also apply different effects to them (for instance you can target the EQ to the hats, pan them over and add a little reverb too them. you’ll get some cross from other instruments that hit that get into that frequency but that usually sounds good :))