The factory sample kits that ship on the OP-Z are grouped by sample type. As TE put it on their website…
OP–Z comes with 16 sample packs, each containing 24 samples. the basic configuration is divided into kicks, snares, percussion and effects…
When I’m programming a sequence on the Kick track this means I can choose from 96 kick drum samples. I get a similar amount of choice when seqencing the Snare, Perc and Effects tracks.
This is quite different to the conventional approach taken by the OP-1, Novation Circuit, et al where a sample kit typically comprises a range of hits from different instruments or drums – kick, snare, open and closed hats, cymbals, toms – perhaps with a few different articulations.
As I see it, conventional kits offer a number of advantages over the OP-Z’s homogenous kits:
Conventional kits support finger drumming – pointless with an OP-z factory kit as all available drum sounds are just variations on the same instrument part.
I’ll never need 96 different kick or snare sounds. Using a few conventional kits made up of the sounds I like will free up slots on my OP-Z for a wider variety of other samples.
Each of the OP-Z’s four sample-based drum tracks has two note polyphony per step. Placing two hits on a step makes sense with a conventional kit (e.g. a kick and a hat) but not so much if your kit is exclusively kicks.
Now I totally understand that I can replace the OP-Z factory kits with my own and organise them however I like. However I assume that TE has good reasons for taking this approach. I suppose it makes the user interface more intuitive given the lack of a screen and is in keeping with the neat icon graphics used to label the track buttons.
So before I ditch the factory kits in favour of my own curated versions, can anybody persuade me that TE’s way is better?