OP-1 Used in Kanye Albums & Questions about HipHop Production

I’m currently considering buying an OP-1 and have been doing research, when I’ve searched for information regarding songs that use it it seems there aren’t any by mainstream artists. I found that odd considering how sought after this synth is. Then I found this; it doesn’t seem like many people knew about it, but Mike Dean uses the OP-1 and considers it one of his essentials. Mike Dean is Kanye’s main producer & engineer, he helps Kanye West & Travis Scott with basically everything they make.

Kanye is my favorite artist and I’m primarily a rapper/vocalist, but during quarantine boredom I’ve started getting into production and have been making some beats on a Akai MPK Mini using Logic. I’m obsessed with everything I own being aesthetically pleasing which is partially what draws me to the OP-1 but I feel I’m trying to convince myself I like it due to how cool it looks :stuck_out_tongue:

Is the OP-1 a good tool for making pop-rap music? (think production similar to My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy or Graduation by Kanye). When it comes to hip hop production I’ve come across some LoFi boom bap style beats made with the OP-1, but not very much in the vain of pop-rap or trap music.

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the op1 is certainly aesthetically pleasing. very, very pleasing.
it can make clean-sounding tracks, not just lo-fi.
you can make whole tracks just with the op1, or you can easily integrate the op1 with logic and synths machines. it’s very flexbile.
so yeah, you can make the music you want with the op1.

but here’s the real reason to buy one…if the op1 clicks with you, you will absolutely love it. it will change how you make music. the workflow is amazing. maybe you won’t like the op1, but i think it’s more than worth taking that chance.
if you don’t like it, the second hand market is very strong. you can sell it for pretty much what you paid new.

and this lockdown could be very long…you need a friend. let the op1 be your friend.


this can’t be mike deans backpack without a ton of WEED :stuck_out_tongue:

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the real best friend in lockdown…


Yes, you can certainly make most types of music on the OP-1. You will not be able to do everything – the FX are fairly limited if you are trying to do autotune or vocal effect type stuff. But you can pair with phone/tablet apps and have a very flexible setup. This is not a put-down, but making pop-rap and trap can be done on a lot of platforms if you put your mind to it. Madlib reportedly did the Bandana beats on iPad and that album is incredible.

Of course, it’s a sampler so what style you make with it depends on the samples used and your skill as an artist.

Most producers of pop rap are more likely to use MPC or just the features of their favourite daw…

I don’t listen to Kanye so can’t say for sure but if his go-to producer frequently uses an OP you should be able to come close to the sound you seek (given enough time).

Also check out Monte Booker if you haven’t cause he uses the OP to make pretty clean sounding rap beats

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I’m pretty much doing hip-hop production on the 1 and the Z. They are both awesome especially if you already have a ‘proper’ computer DAW. I have a few videos on my youtube (Mikromix Studio DMV) if you are interested.

BTW - Jay Z has one too…and plenty of your other favorites…

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