OP-1 Field Total n00b Questions - Tape, Presets, Sequencers

I looked at other threads similar to mine, but they don’t ask these questions. Bear with me, please.

I’ve read the manual, and have played around with settings (and factory resetting when I totally mess up). I just have a few specific questions.

1. When I commit something to tape, all four tracks - the presets for those tracks I can save, but I don’t know if they all end up in an aggregate single file, or how that is handled. Is it per instrument? Synth preset, Drum preset – especially the sequencer – I like something I made for drums in the “Step” sequencer, but to work on something new I have to wipe that out… can I preserve this sequence somehow in memory?

2. I’ve been setting up working on songs by using the 1 - 8 keys to the right of the main tape 1 - 4 keys. Is there a way (related to the above) where you can save that entire state?

If not, no big deal, I’ll just use the tape for rough sketches and then just pipe things to Ableton or something. My big sticking point is taking the time to make a sequence and then other than recording it to tape, not being able to preserve it.

Thanks in advance!

100+ views… and nothing in reply.

Ouch.

Guess I gotta learn it the hard way – any suggestions for resources welcome. And no - the manual isn’t enough. Its just basic description, doesn’t give me the internal details.

Help, please. Maybe?

yes, by using tape. the op workflow is centered around the tape metaphor. make something and record it. (if you like a sequence you make, and want to keep it, maybe you can use the op1 as a midi controller and record the midi sequence in a DAW?)

you can always email TE if you have questions that aren’t being answered. to my knowledge, this forum is just users. no one here is fielding questions for TE or giving official support…

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I’ve hooked it up to Ableton, so no problem there.

So the tape is it, eh? I can’t save patterns from the sequencers at all unless I record the midi as I do it?

Appreciate any clarification. Also, the synth presets are separate files per instrument? And, if I have saved instruments in the 1 - 5 slots, no way to save that in aggregate?

Thanks again for any pointers.

yes. there’s no way to save the whole “bank” of presets or anything like that.

Well that’s a complication. I guess I’ll have to do a deep-dive and understand the underlying operating system then.

Never hit a forum where people don’t help each other - glad you replied - but your response of “no support” is a bit jarring. Never? That’s a bit rough.

Okay then, have a good one.

no “official” support. people help out, but you can’t feel entitled to it. that’s all. i was responding to:

apologies if i came off jarring, it wasn’t my intention. text based internet communication is weird :cowboy_hat_face:

Take 100+ views as others are likewise interested or curious, but probably don’t have the answer… don’t just assume it is a “hey, go figure it out yourself”. I’m on forums that are far more active and it can still take days for people to actually get an answer.

I think you’ve got it at this point… but I’m with mat, the expectation is that if you’re trying to do everything in the OP-1 then really you’re trying to do this to tape. If you’re uncomfortable with this, then I’d say just give it a try… instead of trying to make a full track just practice making two/four bar loops and experimenting. The process is quite different, and as a result can lead you to results and outcomes you might not have gotten to otherwise. Like other more physical art forms, the OP-1 tends to make your mistakes part of the end product, so it becomes about figuring out how to work/live/highlight those mistakes instead of just throwing the whole thing in the trash “as it were”.

About the best you’re going to get out of the OP-1 for storing/saving patterns is probably Finger, though YMMV. Personally I use Finger (or any of the other sequencers) as a scratch pad, so for me I’m changing them up fairly frequently, and just experimenting from time to time to see if old sequences work for a new song.

Beyond that, as mat says… if you’re looking to offload/archive content you’re probably going to want to either backup your projects wholesale to a computer/tablet/phone which would likely be the preferred way… or use a DAW to do a lot of the heavy lifting for saving a song or parts of a song and recording that into the OP-1. There are many paths to making music and honestly I don’t think anything is inherently wrong. My best advice is to use what you’ve got, push yourself to learn new techniques, but don’t be afraid to realize something isn’t working for you and to try a different tactic.

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I’ve been frequenting this forum a bit, while I wait for mine. The workflow questions you have are for the most part very similar to the original OP-1 - not many people have their OP-1 Field yet. Mine is yet to ship. So this particular bit of the forum may not have been the best place to get some prompt answers. I only saw your post today, maybe because it’s only today it had activity.

Anyway, saved presets for synth and drum appear in the browser. (Shift + 1-8) this present contains the synth/sample [1] the envelope and play mode eg unison [2] effects [3] and LFO [4] you can keep the envelope effects and LFO and swap out the synth engine with Shift [1]

I have not done this, but it’s possible to ‘lift’ the synth preset and drop it onto tape, as a preset - it can then be loaded back off the tape.

The sequencers are intended as an alternative to playing a part - you can’t unfortunately save and load patterns of sequencer data. I’ve found that the sequencers retain the notes in each one however. They ALL have uses - even sketch. So if you can familiarise yourself with all of them you might use different sequencers for various things to not overwrite so often. For example using finger for drum patterns and endless for lead parts.

I start with a four bar loop and build up something interesting in the tape, maybe on all four tracks. I then lift and drop back, say the drums… and move to the next part of the tape and drop the drums there. I always leave the original drums somewhere on the tape, same for the other parts. Then I can get back to that audio if needed.

If you are going to overdub, suppose you have recorded a kick and snare and you want to live record some high hats over the top, try this: lift the drums, drop them back, then record your part over the top. If it’s crap you can drop the original back again. Lift is like cut and drop is paste. You can paste/drop and record over it and make a mess and then paste/drop the original back over the mistakes. This is the undo that people sometimes forget exists.

It’s a funny little beastie of complex simplicity but I really enjoy it’s methods once familiar.

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That is what saddens me about the OP-1 Field.

I started creating with it right away, and managed to put together something that was a good start. But then, I wanted to make sure I could recreate it, so I halted on evolving the track to find out how I could preserve things – other than just dumping a recording of it, which to be honest, I could’ve done with a TASCAM or something else.

So I’m sitting here, trying to get my drum sequence saved, but hey, I can’t. Wonderful. Or more to the point – it could – but it won’t. All I would need it to do is send out via MIDI some triggers. That’s it. And I could have it. But that doesn’t exist for some reason.

So I either have to pair up with a DAW to do what the OP-1 Field is presented as (stand-alone workstation), or laboriously make some kind of notation so I don’t lose what I’ve done.

I see the benefit to the spontaneous aspect of the OP-1 Field, but I’m also pretty annoyed about things that should’ve been included if Teenage Engineering was truly making this for musicians.

Thanks for the tips, I guess bodged-together-DAW-chimera-hybrid it will have to be.

The OP1 is made more to emulate the “old school” way of doing things, for better or worse. Usually, my work flow with it is just building a track as I go. If I am looking for a beat, I make one either by recording to tape or sequencing and then recording to tape, but as soon as you move on to the next track you lose the sequence. This is sort of the fun of it to me. The saving of presets is apparently better on the field than the OG, with renaming, but before they were just saved in the snapshots folder. This makes it difficult to recall presets by name, unless you renamed them by connecting to a computer.

The OPZ does what you are looking for, but is far more limited in its synth/sound design features. You can save sequences and replace sounds, etc. With the OPZ, you can just straight up save the entire OPZ to a folder on your PC and then start over, and if you need that one back you can reload the entire unit.

The OP1 is not a perfect system, and I think one of its main benefits is that it is not a DAW, it forces you to start from scratch over and over, which, for me (and obviously many others), sparks creativity and new ideas.

My recommendation is to record all your stuff to tape, making a basic outline of your song/beat. Then, using disk mode, you can offload each tape track individually onto your PC, dump it into ableton, or whatever DAW, mix, chop, add stuff, etc.

Thats my workflow, record a bunch of little loops onto tape, dump tape tracks into DAW, mix, chop/loop, build song, add additional sounds if needed. In 6 minutes of tape, I can actually build quite a few songs, depending on how many parts they have, by building loops for each part, and then expanding those later on a computer.

Everyone works with the OP1 a little differently, and that is why it is so great! Look into the OPZ as well, I actually find it to fit my workflow better in some cases, and the two are really complimentary.

We can all dream of the OP1Z, a hybrid of both systems in one box, but I don’t know if anyone could afford it, haha.

Hi, fully charged my OP1 field and this is what the battery indicator say. Is the indicator correct?

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Saving patterns from the sequencer would be cool. I wish we could copy and paste stuff from one sequencer to the finger sequencer and use that as a way to save sequencer data.

On the topic of presets, Did anyone else with a field not get any presets for the synth engines? All mine came with are samples, no presets for any of the synth engines. Seems kinda strange to me.

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that is super strange. mine came with lots of presets. are you accessing synths with shift + T1 or shift + 1-8?

Shift + T1
The only presets I have are for the samplers.

the 1-8 buttons do have stuff saved to them, but no named presets in the shift+T1 menu.

When I plug it in to my computer to see what’s on it there are no presets. Yes I emailed TE support but they have not replied yet.

shift + t1 shows the engine page, selecting stuff here changes the engine/synth (you can also see samples here). shift + 1-8 loads the engine/synth + a preset with fx/lfo/envelope settings.


from the manual:

Screen Shot 2022-06-29 at 6.16.24 PM

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Great post Mat - I had this issue with my OG, I ‘forgot’ there were full presets on shift 1-8

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I’ve gone through the entire OP-1 Firmware thread, all 800+ posts, cut and pasting relevant info.

I have some ideas.

I’ll update there if I get anything worthwhile.

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