OP-1 Good for Sampling on a trip to Patagonia ?

Hi All, Looking for some advice from you good people about how good the Op-1 would be at sampling (just using the internal mic) to record small samples of Vocal and instrumental stuff on a trip to Patagonia with The BBC national orchestra of Wales in October. I need something really portable and battery operated recording some ambient noises, local South American Musicians etc, and need something that will do this quick and without masses of setting up. Also how many samples can the OP-1 hold in its memory before it needs backing up and what might be the best way to back up on a trip like this if I don’t have a PC to hand ?

I love the idea of the OP -1 but not sure if it will be the right tool for the job, in which case I may just end up getting a dedicated mobile hand recorder and be done with it (though this sounds like the really boring option !) Any advice much appreciated.

Andy, UK

I have a Zoom H5 and I’m really impressed with the quality. If it’s just capturing samples that you’re after, I reckon a handy recorder might be a good bet. My Op-1 doesn’t capture audio that brilliantly from the internal mic. I get lots of a kind of funny digital whiring in the background (also reported by other users). So, I tend to use the internal mic when I’m not that bothered about the quality.

Obviously, the op-1 is loads of fun and so I recommend getting that too at some point :wink: but for no-hassle sample capture, I’d opt for a handy recorder.

Thank you Yoof, I had been looking at the zoom stuff, though I don’t mind if the samples are a little ‘lo-fi’ I will be taking my Korg Kronos with me but from what I have seen the OP-1 just seems so much fun to manipulate audio with !

You don’t even have to splash out on an H5. I have a Zoom H1 and it does me fine.

Got some great field recordings in Korea and China earlier this year.
Make sure you get a furry cover for the mic though to cut out wind (or movement) noise.

The OP-1 would be up to the job if it’s all you had. You could plug in an external mic and record stuff but you would be limited to sample memory constraints.

Much better solution would be to get something like a Zoom field mic, record as much as you like onto SD cards.
Then when you are chilling or evenings on the holiday you can sample onto the OP-1 from the Zoom then have fun with the samples.

In terms of sampling, you could end up filling up your onboard memory pretty quick and so would need a facility to download to a laptop or tablet.

  • You would have 4 separate mono tracks to record to up to 6 min long recordings
  • You could then chop these up and save in sample slots (6 or 12 second max depending on whether synth or drum sampler used)
  • Alternatively you can save directly into the sampler slot
  • From this thread you can save approx 30 synth and 30 drum patches before you have to back up to a laptop.

I say... get both! You can pick up a Zoom H2 recorder for £50 or so on ebay and can then sub sample into the OP1 if you want to manipulate the audio. That's what I do (except I use a Boss Micro BR portable multitracker).

I recently got a Tascam DR-40 and I’m really impressed with it.

I personally love using my OP-1’s internal mic for sampling, as like you said, it is just way to fun/immediate to jump on the sample and start messing with it.

I typically record straight into the Drum sample engine, but have used the tape tracks as well.

I will agree with @yoof about the digital noise though. However this does not bother me, as I don’t hold any sample as ‘precious’, nor need to retain the original quality of my samples 95% of the time. (Also messing with the Master settings can help decrease this I believe?)

If you’re on the fence, listen to these fine folks and pick up an inexpensive Zoom and then an OP-1 and see what you think yourself.

I like sampling on the go with just the internal mic.If there is a decent background ambience noise level it can record some nice environments .Fun vocal samples good too.Ruff and ready.(Sequencers for instant manipulation).
I use a RAVPower file hub onto SD and run with iOS app via iPod or phone for back up.