How does Elektron sequencer compare to op-z

Can someone share some thoughts on the similarities and difference between the elektron sequencer and the op-z?

I have started to like the workflow of using my phone or op-1 as the sampler then putting my samples on the op-z. I am thinking about getting something that has more sample playback ability than the op-z/op-1. I really like step sequencing so I am leaning towards one of the elektron boxes over a mpc or sp404.

i’ve been using an Octatrack for 2 years before the OP-Z, here are some differences i can tell on its sequencer :

  • there are 4 pages to access 64 steps
  • trigs can have probabilities in % (there are also one-shot and “fill” trigs)
  • you can add slides between parameter locks
  • sequence/pattern lenghs and timing setup are more customizable
  • you can assign samples to trigs

but :

  • sample tracks are not polyphonic
  • there are no step components
  • there’s only one punch-in fx (delay/beat-repeat), but there are A/B scenes instead (crossfader mappings)
  • you can’t change pattern on the fly like on the OP-Z

compared to TE’s, the Elektron sequencer is a bit more customizable, the overall workflow is much deeper, wich means slower, less intuitive also… :v:

8 Likes

I recently got a syntakt - which doesn’t use samples but wanted the four analogue synth engines along with the digital ones. I was getting fed up with the weedy OPZ synths. Its quite amazing, I’ve been syncing with the OPZ and using the OPZ to play back samples. The way they sequence is quite similar but I do miss some of the things on the OPZ like the Mastertrack which can really lift a basic melody line and some of the more interesting step components. Very happy to have both of them.

2 Likes

I have both opz and Digitakt. The way I would describe the main difference is that the digitakt is a drum machine with work arounds to do some of the things that the opz does.

The sequencer specifically is deeper on the digitakt, with multiple pages so each individual note is editable and p-lock able. This is my main gripe with the opz honestly, and in this regard the elektron style sequencer is much more powerful. In addition, instead of “step components,” the digitakt has pretty deep probability and organizational tools that the opz doesn’t have, although the opz can do some of these things through step components.

I literally was in your same boat. I love the opz, but the limitations on sampling memory and a few other things led me to explore the elektron world.

The main thing that you lose, that is crucial to how I make music, is polyphony. Although people will tell you “There is a work around for polyphony on the digitakt!” it involves a pricey cable and is tedious, as it records each note to a different track, and you have to resample to get the notes onto one track. Which works! But is seriously tedious comparatively.

I own both, and make music on both. People love the Digi boxes, but you give up directness for sure. I think if you had both the digitakt and Digitone, you can get an approximation of what the opz can do, but with much more depth. With the opz, I can create entire songs quickly and intuitively. With the digitakt, I can create patterns pretty quickly and easily, but, even with song mode added, I find it much more tedious overall.

Anyway, it is clearly a path you must follow, as it greatly depends on what type of music you make, etc. I find the digitakt much more suited to dance music, which is not really the genre that I work in, so that may be my issue with it.

I also own the model cycles, which is cool, and has its own thing going on completely. It is really great with other gear, and especially as a drum machine, but it is pretty limited as well.

Unfortunately, I haven’t really found another device that works as well for what I do as the opz. I just really wish there was a way to expand the sample memory so I could fill all of the instruments with samples, as I rarely use the built in synths outside of bass and arpeggiator. Hoping for the OPZ field, but also at that point, buying both of the Digi boxes may be more cost effective.

I know this is a lot of info, but elektron gear isn’t cheap! The upside is that the resale value is high, so you could always try it out and sell if it doesn’t work for you.

3 Likes

this is a fascinating topic and i don’t fully know how to answer

hopefully i can gain enough experience with elektron gear to better utilize their sequencing strengths…for now, i prefer the opz sequencer

the ease of changing time scale on each track is a highly underrated element of the opz way

I had a digitone for a couple of weeks. If you include the ability to patter chain I think the op-z sequencer workflow is way more intuitive and fun.
I really didn’t get along with the elektron workflow. I’m terms of synth sound the digitone is way better; however I preferred the delay and reverb on the op-z.

2 Likes

agreed.
The main thing i think the elektron has is the 4 pages of 16 steps for a full 64 step resolution,
On opz if you want a 4 bar loop you loose the resolution to input individual steps.
Also the % chance thing

But otherwise i think the opz sequencer is better, faster, and works better for live composing. Ie: sitting down with a friend and making a new song or jamming without a lot of prep work.

When i had the digitakt i felt like i needed 2 days to prep my drum loops and prep every sample and load everything and blah blah blah. On OPZ i can sit down when inspiration hits and have a 4 minute song recorded and ready to be mastered in ableton in half a day…

4 Likes

What is the best way to get around the loss of resolution issue?…

Accept loss of resolution and lose some usability of step components?

Get more complex with step components to make a 1 bar loop seem like a 4 bar loop? But with limitations.

Pattern chaining?

Using 4 different drum tracks within a pattern to create each of the 4 bars at high resolution and mute them on/off in sequence?

Other ideas?…

Here‘s an exercise: make a fast 2 or 3 step sequence on the lead or bass track, and see how far you can take it with just step components and the master track.

2 Likes

the best is to just control the Elektrons with the OP-Z.

the step components and punch in fx also do things with midi.

let alone retrigs triggering the A4 voices is worth the OP-Z.

if you don’t like any sounds it can do you can easily completely wipe out the OP-Z empty or just turn down the volume and only use it as a sequencer.

I like it a lot when combining the amount of tricks from the Z with trigless trigs on the Elektrons or parameter slides.

the Z can be also per track controlled by an incoming “trig” or gate to advance the seq stepwise.

this is something I really like because you could ping pong the sequence between the machines by putting out Rytms “impulse” or the A4s “gate” into the oplab module.

the results are mostly self generating things with a lot of tempo changes and that robotic machinery behavior.

OP-Z is a “Dream Machine” and has ever been. :speaking_head::speaking_head:

3 Likes

Storm TE office and take hostages. Release them once they add a shortcut for pattern pages.

2 Likes

i need to see this in action!

2 Likes

This also lets you clock it with modular. I don’t have modular, but I use it with an 0-CTRL and it’s pretty wild.

indeed. it’s responding quiet natural with fluctuating envelopes and such…:chair:

I also started to use the 0-ctrl to run it… unfortunately when you arm a track for external trigger, the trigger spark step components are ignored, I wonder if this is a bug or intentional

I have both the Syntakt and the Opz. I got the Opz first but got a little bored with the very generic synth sounds, in this respect the Syntakt is way deeper with a huge amount of different instrument sounds (machines) and filters and LFOs four of the tracks are analogue, and sound amazing… Its also very sturdily built and has a screen, but is still small enough to sit on my desk. However as a sequencer think the Opz is streets ahead, I love the master track and being able to transpose my sequences to give more life to them. The Syntakt has no way to transpose in key, and its monophonic. I’ve been syncing them together and this works well. I haven’t yet sequenced the syntakt with the OPz as it looks to be a bit of a headache swapping all the midi channels round and then swapping them back. My thoughts are that the Elektron sequencers are probably built for rhythmic music where as I am interested in exploring harmonies as well - the OPZ is really good at this.

4 Likes

The opz really is incredible for melodic music creation. I’d love to know if there are any other grooveboxes that have something similar to the M master track for harmonic musical transposition. Standalone sequencers often have it but they are no good to me on the sofa!

(Shame about the lack of sequencer page shortcut, would be nice to have more visual editing control).