If OP-Z was just a sequencer, what synths...?

OK this should be fun, and might expand the Christmas list…

The OP-Z sequencer is universally pretty highly rated. If it was only a sequencer with no sound engines what external synths/modules would you pick for the available tracks? 1 synth per synth track, as many drum machines as you need (max 3) and a sampler for track 4.

I can imagine some might pack it out with the whole Volca range or Roland boutiques, some might have a wish list of expensive dream synths, and others might go with obscure niche synth makers…

Has anyone done this already and made many of their sounds external?

Would you buy a cheaper OP-Z which was just a sequencer?

Curious to hear people’s responses.

I would absolutely buy an op-z that was just a sequencer. And I would pair it with the op-1 :stuck_out_tongue:


I use mine just as a sequencer (except for track 1 which I will be using for sidechaining when my compressor arrives).

I have the oplab module connected to:
Track 2 - Modal Craft
Track 3 - Modal Skulpt (sometimes swapped with a Behringer Model D)
Track 4 - Korg NTS1
Track 5 - Waldorf Pulse2
Track 6 - Roland MC 101 track 2
Track 7 - Roland MC 101 track 3
Track 8 - Roland MC 101 track 4
Track 14 - Waldorf Blofeld

The MC 101 does drums much better the the OPZ.

My only issue is the OPZ sequencer is that it struggles when recording 8 bar loops - missed notes etc.

As my OPZ is not used as a portable device and lives on my desk fulltime I would like to be able to use it without having to rely on the battery for power, but I don’t think that’s possible.

Take the battery out and plug in the usb. Have you tried that?

Just tried taking the battery out. The OPZ turns on but seems unstable, must be a power issue coupled with the way I have things set up.
I use a Keystep midi keyboard to input to the OPZ via a usb hub. Feeding extra power to either the OPZ or Keystep doesn’t work and just causes usb noise issues.

There is a setting in the opz for sending power to a external usb device, like a keystep in case you want to power it from the opz. You should turn that off. I’m not sure how to, but it’s in the manual.

Looks like a powerful setup for jam sessions! could you describe your setup with the mc 101? When I connect the mc101 to the op-z, I teach a not very stable setting. that is, when the clips on the mc101 change, various parameters of the synthesizer often go astray, and then the mc101 becomes silent. did you have these problems? maybe it’s the midi settings?

Thanks for the tip, I will have a look.

I had all kinds of problems with the OPZ linking to other synths. In particular the Pulse2 would go crazy if I sent a mod wheel message through the OPZ.
My solution was to stop the OPZ sending any CC messages via midi on all the tracks. You can do this via the app midi setup page e.g. go to the Bass track and set all the values to 0.
This stops the OPZ’s four dials sending midi CC to external gear.
From there you can choose which midi CC messages you want to the dials to send.
Now my Pulse2 behaves nicely, and I have set the OPZ to send midi CC to the Pulse2via the green dial only.
Now I have no issues with the MC 101.

love really the opz for sequencing also…try to use it as main and only sequencer.
push you quickely to find varition / parts and going on with the track,can be done on other sequencer but it’s more easy on the opz ( for me at least )

tried digitone sounds nice but not using his sequencer made me sell it …
got a nord drum 2 recentely works well with opz but more drum specific even if it can do really nice percussive/plucky synth sound.
next try will be with ipad ,some app sound amazing and looks really flexible and adding maybe a bassstation 2 to this setup like opz sequencing nord drum/ipad/bassstation

second lakin you 've to fine tune your midi CC’s 'cause as is (default setting) it can be quickely messy and not sounding great but once done sound really cool.

Thank you, it’s simple and effective idea!

Nice to read these responses and different setups.

So @lakin are all your drums on the mc-101 and that frees you to use the OP-Z drum tracks for external synths?

I just got a MicroFreak and have an NTS-1 which is what triggered the question. Hopefully those two synths will keep me occupied for a while yet…

Yes, the mc 101 does drums really well. It has a 16 track drum sequencer and a big selection of kits.
This frees up my OPZ drum tracks for sequencing other stuff. It was a bit of a surprise when I realised I could use the OPZ so flexibly.

The nts-1 is great bit of kit. I mainly use mine as an effects unit for the Waldorf Pulse2.

FYI you may need to set the dials to a CC value other than 0, depending on your gear. I saw you use the Skulpt, which uses CC 0 as ‘Load Sequence’. I couldn’t figure out what the hell was happening when I first connected my Skulpt to the OP-Z, thinking that CC 0 meant it was disabled. I found it easiest to start with all 16 CC values to ‘2’ in the OP-Z app, (the Skulpt does not use 2 for anything), and then turn on specific values like cutoff or oscillator mix.

Thanks I will give that a go. My main issue with the Skulpt and the Craft is that they both ‘lose’ notes when I live record 8 bar sequences via the OPZ. Do you have this issue?

As far as I know, that probably isn’t specific to the Skulpt or Craft - the OP-Z only allows 3 or 4 notes per step - usually you’ll see this when you try to record a chord with more than three notes and only three play, but it also means if you have a longer (8 bar) sequence or a very slow BPM, it will not save all the notes you’re playing within a single step - only the first three will save (or four depending on which track you’re using and I think a firmware setting also has some effect on this).

If this isn’t the cause, it’s probably that you have the track set to quantize your notes - if you play two quick notes on a multi-bar sequence, and then turn quantize up, you’ll see them sometimes collapse into a single note, depending on the timing.

It seems to be with only the Craft and Skulpt. The sequences I have problems with are not chord based, plus I tend to have quantize set low. Also, don’t have swing enabled - this has caused me issues in the past. It must be something in my set up.
Anyhow it’s no big problem, just a minor annoyance.
Thanks for your feedback.