how do you handle working on different projects on the OP-1?

Hi all

I have my op-1 for about a week now, and although I love most aspects of it, there is something that starts to worry me. I am used to starting different projects and the later going back to them. But a project on a OP-1 is basically nothing more than a section on the tape right? So… how do you guys work on different projects? I could imagine that it is very inspiring to have to finish something before moving on to the next… but still…

I will be working with the OP-1 midi synced to my IPad running Patterning and Cubasis… maybe the key should be there?

Hope to hear from you!


You can either just use different parts of the tape or move stuff in and out of a computer / iPad / Android device. Oh if the OP1 had the ability to store projects…

So you can move the audio to the ipad? Using what?
And can you move presets as well?
And I agree… oh if it only had the ability to store projects…

Thanks for your reply of course!

Only backup & restore via USB (no sequences and master mix & fx settings unfortunately).

Mostly I force myself to finish the current project, and then move on to the next one. Curiously I feel this is a big advantage of the OP-1: finish or drop the current stuff, before starting something new.

yeah I can imagine it is a advantage, I went from pc with cubase to OP-1 plus iPad to force some limitations to get more creative…I am a bit in doubt though if this is not too much limitations…

I don’t ever “finish” anything… My whole tape is filled with 1 to 4 bar loops. When the tape is full I do the culling and only the “best” sounds survive. It’s a bit Darwinian I suppose. But I’m a hoarder and for the life of me I can’t just delete everything. The up-side to this is that I always have a beat to live-jam with using mute, FX, and ad-hoc improvisation.

Good pint. For iPad I actually used a Kingston G2 wireless battery router thing, all files stored on the onboard SD card rather than iPad.

Because Android is much more user friendly you can just use an OTG cable.

Agree with @motone though, being forced to finish your tracks is actually a GREAT thing!

One little thing I do is always is change the tempo (with beat match) to match whatever new project I’m doing before I start it. I also leave enough length after each previous project so that I can go back and add at least one whole new section to it later if I’m so inclined. I’m very careful to write down the BPM of every previous project on the same tape in a little notebook I have (I also mark down stuff like the chord changes, voicings, etc. to make up for lack of ability to save sequences. It’s actually been quite welcome, has been helping my brain memory more with such things!). That way whenever I go back to an older project I can switch the BPM back and have it be much easier to subdivide or add to it. Also makes it much easier, I think, for when I’m ready to upload the tape to Ableton and quickly cut out each part precisely and save separately.

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sometimes i use album to record my voice saying the BPMs when i dont have a pad/pen handy.

Thanks all for the tips!
I am really really sad to say that I will probably let go of the OP-1… I would love to keep is as a sketchbook, but I don’t have sufficient money to keep it just for that…

No dont. You will regret it.

I am the biggest procrastinator on the planet. I never finish anything. This box forces you to finish. And that as an artist is a wonderful thing.

Pink Floyd did most of Dark Side of the Moon in one go. No coming back to the studio day after day. The best stuff is done spontaneously. The Op-1 is a studio that you will grow to love.

I keep hearing sketchpad. Oh its much more than that.

You can do more than one track at the same time on the OP-1.
So much can be done with 8 bar stretch of tape because it loops. Mute,solos,tape tricks,FX and Sequencers in real time on top. 3 tracks or more may be played with/worked on, then the two Albums sides for quick capture and dropping onto computer.
Though true that it doesn’t recall tons of old projects (like a DAW) and requires a completely different mindset.
Some users get great results combining with a DAW,finishing tracks by importing OP-1 Tape over. If you already import audio to your Ipad ,then maybe this is a consideration.
I like OP-1 because its such a good ,portable instrument, with all those Seqs and Tapes included.

I wish the album export was like a 4 track export of whatever track you still on the album…would make life easier for exporting op-1 tracks to indiv channels in daw (as a lot of my album tracks are created by flicking through various loops)

I wish the album export was like a 4 track export of whatever track you still on the album....would make life easier for exporting op-1 tracks to indiv channels in daw (as a lot of my album tracks are created by flicking through various loops)
What if you join all the loops together, instead of having them be individual segments? I found it's easy to join a number of segments together by starting at the end.

backup the tracks every time you wanna start a new project :slight_smile: