Getting out of OP-Z

Alright so I have a bunch of pretty cool “project” on my OP-Z. Some are full tracks, I used the master compressor, etc…
and some are just cool loops.

Just would like to know how you guys do to actually complete a track with it, meaning ready for mass distribution for a label release, club, etc… I guess there are different way, just curious and looking for some workflow inspiration…

My fav way so far is to match BPM in your DAW (manually, cause when slave my Z to ableton via midi clock, it seems to save the new BPM, even if I synced it by accident. Have lost BPM that way, and kinda wish the MIDI clock slave would just apply while receiving clock, and then reset to prior BPM) start recording your loops in. Solo each track & then jumble them back together. It’s not at all elegant, but it’s the best way I know.

If you’re happy with the sound, though, just record the stereo out and master it.

A few different options:

For fully arranged tracks you’ve made in the OP-Z, I simple record the main L/R output of the OP-Z into my daw. This process typically involves me “performing” the song. I’ll do a couple passes, and then if they’re and any errors, I Comp the passes together. This is the process I did for my latest album.

For simple loops or rough ideas, you can use the bounce feature on the OP-Z to export those loops, and/or mute tracks and export them one at a time to get stems.

One other cool note: you can also record all the midi data into your daw. Each midi channel corresponds to a track channel. So in the first example where I recorded the main output, I also was multi-tracking all the midi data. That way when I mixing and mastering the song, if I’m like “Man, I wish I had more snare in the track” I can use the snare midi data to layer an additional snare. Or I can just layer more stuff for the sake of deeper sounds.

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Very interesting.
Thanks for the headsup LudicouSpeed, with the BPM. So with midi synch, Ableton overwrite the BPM of the opZ project.
And then simply record all the tracks. Pure analogue style ^^

And Davnak, yes that’s the thing, I am used to record my volcas, or a one track from my Maschine, but with the opz, in a matter of minute, you have a fun cohesive track. So you made an album with some tracks straight from the opz master? No problem during mastering?

multi tracking the midi data can be an intersting middle ground option as well. and we can even do that while tracking each audio track one by one as well…

But then again wondering if that is not overkill finally… Maybe just embrasse the limits of the device, otherwise I already have ableton suite for total control anyway…

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Yeah, just the OP-Z master. Now keep in mind, I would also sit there with my OP-Z connected to my studio monitors and try to get the best possible mix straight out of the unit. Which, isn’t terribly hard since you’re only working with 8 tracks.

Then I would use the midi data to layer anything additional, or use it as a phedeu EQ. If I wanted more top in for my kick, I’d layer a filtered kick sample with just to top end with my midi data. Pads feeling a little far back in the mix, laying a simple additional pad using the Chord midi. It was actually a really good method to “mix.”

Again, I spent a lot of time making sure the mix coming out of the OP-Z was really good.

The main reason I did it this way is because the OP-Z has such a performance aspect that would be too hard to re-create in the DAW using exported loops. I liked using all the different punch-in FX, master FX, tape FX, and so on.

This was the end product:

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That’s exactly the way I’ve been doing it - doing a ‘performance’ then working with the MIDI capture to add additional sounds via some VSTs - my one issue with the stereo file is the lack of separation in the drums - I do take time to mix and EQ in the OPZ but it’s hard to really make them jump out - and there’s an issue ‘doubling’ the various drums if you’ve chopped up a beat for your drum track - although my thought is just to record the drums separately - but all in all making near full tracks in the Z is possible and can sound awesome…

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Knowing that the Z is limited in I/O, I too feel it’s a bit of a process to track out all 8 tracks, especially since I often have 6+ patterns, and use all the audio tracks. Since the Z has awesome/unique metronome audio, I was thinking a cool enhancement would use a “track out” script countdown alert that would mute all sounds but track 1 followed by the metronome 8 count, followed by track 2 playing solo, metronome 8 count, etc.

This script would avoid manually mid-muting tracks, and let you just shift what track you record on in your daw as the metronome segment plays.

Kick 1 record (pattern 1-6)
Metronome - uno, dos, tres, quatro (x2)
Snare 2 record (pattern 1-6)
Metronome - 1,2,3,4 (x2)
Etc, etc…

I totally agree, the OP-Z shines when you just play with it, using the master effects and stuff. @Davnak I’ve listened to your Album, great stuff, that show you can great something quite polished with the opz. Loved “Beneath”.

@PLNB I think that is already too cumbersome … Something like the Overbridge from Elektron should do it.

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Ok, so, I tried to connect the OPZ to Ableton Live on Windows 10, with USB. So many problems…

  • Midi is working, however, there is latency… I am really surprised, since it is through USB. Tried to play with the latency setup in Ableton, but I cannot find something that is stable. It drifts, doesnt start correctly, etc…

  • Audio: I already have a RME UCX (that I love), and with Windows 10, you can only use one audio driver at a time, so I use ASIO. So audio input with ASIO is not avaiable with OPZ on Windows… no ASIO driver on their website :frowning: . Trying to use either DX/Wave driver in ableton live, there is massive latency and audio dropouts…

  • I tried to use Audacity as a basic tape recorder, but the OPZ doesnt even shows up in the possible inputs…

  • At least, it was easy to sample FROM the PC, just setting OPZ as the system audio out (not in ableton, but in the taskbar).

-I guess I can set up ableton as a basic “tape recorder”, with 1 second latency, just to record. In USB, the volume seems to be fixed (which is good), whereas the audio out, even max out on the OPZ, is not as loud as the USB counterpart.

so, @MikeFlynnBass, @Davnak, are you using a Mac?

Am I the only one using windows and finding the USB connection with the OPZ kind of useless (unstable midi, and unusable audio, beside sampling from PC, and using PC as a tape recorder). I don’t see myself using the OPZ in sync with an Ableton session, or am I missing something?

Thank you! The OP-Z is so great to write and compose on. It would be amazing to have an over bridge type program. It would fall in love with that.

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A couple things:

  1. Check your buffer size, the lower the number, the less latency; however, the less the number, the more strain it puts on the cpu, and at certain points, you’ll see digital artifacting/distortion type sounds as the processor tries to keep up with the system. So experiment with buffer size to get a happy medium.

  2. When I recorded my album, I recorded over USB and I set the buffer size really high to avoid cpu overload. However, I still had the audio jack connected to my interface and I was monitoring though the 1/8 but recording in ableton through the USB. (My interface has its own monitoring section). This allowed me to record everything with pristine audio but still hear everything without latency as I performed.

  3. The recorded audio and midi are not always in sync. After I finish the recording, I do a couple things: 1) I make sure the track is lined up to the grid (typically there is a little delay between when I hit record and when I hit play on the OP-Z). 2) I zoom into the audio waveform, select all the midi data, and shift it so it aligned with the track. Typically I use the kick data as reference since it’s the easiest waveform to identify. Here’s the thing, if I perfectly aline a kick at the beginning of the song, when I go to the end, it will be a few ms off. Not sure why, but somehow the usb midi record drifts a little. So I try to shift everything to a happy medium.

  1. after doing all that, if I start layering sound and thing sound odd because the midi is making thing out of line, I might have to manually go in and nudge some of the midi hits. This mainly is only needed or heard on drums stuff obviously.

And yes, I use mac

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Yes I use a Mac - the latency I find is only for about a bar - after that the audio and midi are in sync - so if I record I add a bar of click and then cut it out after recording. I set my buffer size to 256 - and I record the audio over USB and sync with the clock in Ableton as well - admittedly my system will crash occasionally but that’s why I’m recording my tunes to playback without the OP-Z - I just wouldn’t trust it live if I am to perform with my bass and other FX - I think the Z will be fine to perform with on its own or minus a DAW but I’m running other things through Live so for now I’m grabbing the audio from the Z

PS in my Preferences I’m selecting the Z as the audio input - to plug in my bass etc I’m creating an Aggregate audio device - via the Audio Midi setup on the Mac - hence the occasional crash - but by using the Z as the audio input it sends midi seamlessly for me - this guy has a great grasp of using Live&OP-Z

Sorry for the late answers guys. A kid arrived so no time to do any music :smiley:
Very interesting feedback and workflow. Definitely need to adapt to the opz’ seems ways
Cheers