New OP-1 2020. First charge

Hi all,

I’ve been curious about this little thing for months and finally pulled the trigger. I just got a unit a few hours ago. I had to prepare lunch and do some stuff so left it charging without the urge of start playing it immediately. However, it’s been charging for 3 hours now and I’m starting to feel a bit impatient.

What was your experience with the first charge? How long should it take? The leds are blinking since I plugged it.

Also, I wanted to add how excited I am to be here and start learning from you all.

Thanks in advance and sorry if I have repeated the same question.

I just turned it on and checked battery level. 1 dot after more than three hours. I turned it off again and it’s still charging. I saw a YouTube video where someone said it was advisable to turn it on and off while plugged.

it can take awhile like overnight to charge it.

usually new units, the battery level is pretty low.
how many dots do u have solid?

One dot.

just play the op-1 or leave it on as long as it takes to fully drain the battery, it will shutoff when all power is gone, if you see the black screen put the switch to the off position, plug it to your mobile charger or USB slot on a computer (with constant power) as long as the animation of uprising leds takes.

turn it on again and it should say “fully charged” shown by the 5 leds.

it’s a bit flakey and it has been flakey forever

It took nearly six hours to fully charge. Now I’m overwhelmed by all the things I have to learn.


have fun dude!

Hello, mediavita. I am also a new OP-1 user. I have had mine for two weeks. I found the first charge to be rather confusing. I think it took at least six hours to fully charge. I have not tried the technique where you let the battery run dry, then re-charge…as a way to re-calibrate the battery-indicator. Several people have mentioned this method, and someone did a youtube video on it.

It is too early for me to declare myself a fanboy or claim to have buyers’ remorse. I watched all the videos and read all the reviews, both positive and negative, then I bought it. I can’t say I wasn’t warned. Plenty of others have described the experience of using the OP-1, its creativity-inducing limitations and quirks, its unique workflow. Here are a couple of my initial impressions:

Portability: I’m actually afraid to use it out in public. I am suspicious of some user comments about “throwing it in your backpack.” What? I keep the thing rubber-banded in its carton when not in use. I ordered a plexiglass case. It will take 2 months to arrive. I appreciate how durable the aluminum body of the OP-1 is, but that means if it’s dropped, it will hit the ground with a lot more force, which kind of defeats the purpose of a durable shell.

I haven’t yet produced anything of artistic value on the OP-1. I made a few canned accompaniments for use with a beginning violin class I teach. Mostly, the projects I’ve worked on so far have only been useful for learning how to use the OP-1. It is going to take a lot of practice before I am able to make polished sounding music. Using the OP-1 is a kind of performance. It takes musical skills and understanding to work accurately within its limitations. A DAW setup, on the other hand, is more well-suited toward the application of turd-polish. I suspect the difference between OP-1 fanboys and haters may have something to do with the distinction between process and product. I was drawn to the OP-1 because of its interesting process. So far, so good!

Tiny whine: I wish the octave could be changed in the endless sequencer. Also, I would rather the octave buttons behave like most keyboards, where notes already pressed are unaffected by octave changes. The OP-1, o the other hand, re-triggers notes up or down the octave when octave keys are pressed. Kind of a cool effect, but it makes octave changes during performance glitchy. Maybe I will feel differently about these small issues…after some more time spent with the OP-1.

I couldn’t find any forum category for newbie impressions, so here it is!


Wow! Thank you for your comment. The truth is that I don’t have a formal musical education, everything I’ve learnt is from self-study, which is frustrating sometimes.

I think this machine has a lot of potential. I’ve been playing some music but it was a mess when recording in the tape mode, so I guess I have much to learn.

I’ve been reading the manual, but it contains a lot of information. Does anyone know a good video to begin with from `YouTube or similar?

I watched a lot of video tutorials about the OP-1, before and after buying it. The videos mostly did a good job of explaining the basic functionality of the OP-1. However, they didn’t really go into the differences between doing something well and doing the same thing poorly. Instead of complaining about other people’s videos, I should make my own, right?? I have not made an exhaustive study of OP-1videos, but I’ve seen very little on the subject of setting levels, for example. Or how to combine tape segments without breaking the textural or rhythmic continuity of the musical line. These issues are challenging for me. More needs to be said about them.

One of my favorite quotes is from the computer scientist, Donald Knuth: “We should continually be striving to transform every art into a science; in the process, we advance the art.”


Woo, you didn’t opt for the soft case option? I have little fear taking mine out and about as it feels very protected.

In reference to the production of things with artistic value I feel like I’m right there with you. I’ve had mine for 2 weeks (as well as an OP-Z) and I’m still coming to grips with the workflow but it is definitely improving. I feel a lot more fluent in terms of navigating and editing the tape, saving patches, etc.

I have noticed as well the issue with the octave on the sequencer. Perhaps there is a way around it? Jeremy Blake would probably know. I want to be able to do huge 6 octave arpeggiated sweeps but no dice.

I am loving mine but I did get nervous in the first week that I’d made a mistake. I think if we both stick with it it’ll come good. The pro music background helps for sure. (I’m a bass player by trade)

I found a good hard shell case that neatly fits the op-1- by Hermitshell (£16)
It’s actually designed for the for Apple Magic Keyboard.

I ordered the Decksaver DS-PC-OP1. It is rigid, and I assume none of the buttons or knobs get depressed when the Op-1 is inside the case.

My mistrust with soft cases is the same mistrust I have with soft “gig bags” for musical instruments. Any compression accident could destroy the instrument. To my understanding, something called a “hard shell” case doesn’t always protect from compression. The material may be relatively hard, but structurally the case is still compliant.

On the other hand, if I dropped a carrying case out of my hand on to the parking lot, having a more compliant, spongy case would probably be better is that instance.

I don’t like the idea of knobs and buttons being depressed in a snug, padded case. I am currently storing the Op1 in the ugly black case it came with. When I place that case into my large laptop bag, I am pretty sure the knobs are being depressed many times during the day, which is concerning to me.

I really don’t want to break this thing. I’ve already read enough about others’ repair sagas on the forums.

I just ordered mine off the teenage engineering website! Should be here Wednesday. I had one awhile back but I had to send it back due to defects internally. C button would trigger the microphone and the microphone button would trigger the synths (bought it from Sweetwater originally). Glad you got the battery to fully charge. As far as case I’m thinking the plexiglass deck saver along with a soft case would do the trick? Or maybe that’s overkill? I don’t even know if it would fit in the soft case at that point haha. I do wish to travel with mine often. Any recommendations would be awesome.

Matt_Brown, I remember reading your post about the bizarre screw-ups with your first OP-1. Hopefully, there will be no such problems next time! I ordered my OP-1 directly from TE. I only found out later that some of the U.S. resellers (Sweetwater, perhaps?) will double the warranty period. Doh!

A few days after receiving my OP-1, I performed an update. I can’t remember what the old number was, but I am currently at 241. That was a little nerve wracking. I followed the instructions I found in a youtube video (sorry, no url). Anyway, not knowing the Nordic god of software update put me at a disadvantage. I read a couple posts about people bricking their OP-1 (what a stylish paperweight!) during upgrade. Everything worked fine for my update, luckily!

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Hi there again! There’s a new OP-1 at home (another one!). This time I opened it, plugged it in to charge it and it is fully charged! Is this normal / common? Should I leave it charging (even though the lights are off)? Should I use it until the battery drains?

UPDATE: Now it seems to be charging.