Op-z master compressor discussion

The guide basically just confirms its existence, anyone have any more knowledge about it?

Maybe what kind of compressor it is?

Possible attack / decay / threshold settings and such

Even just anecdotes about how you use it will be helpful (・・?)

my ears still aren’t super used to listening to compression yet so any info any one can provide would be a huge help.

I’m not gonna pretend to understand how it works but I can definitely describe how I’ve been using it lately.

I think the compressor is split between a few parts:

  1. Punch (yellow encoder on mixer page): this is the most important. To my hobbyist ears, it seems to both set the threshold and the release, but I’m not sure. Note: it seems to take a second to apply changes to this value.
  2. Master Send (Red encoder on mixer page): seems to control overall loudness; not sure if it’s pre- or post-compression.
  3. Master Drive (Blue encoder on Master track): seems to add saturation and makeup gain. Similarly, not sure if this is pre- or post-compression gain.

So the small adjustments I make look like this:

  • Increase Punch at least a bit
  • Increase synth group gain (blue encoder on mixer) until it’s just triggering the punch/compressor, which is shown when the yellow encoder’s LED slightly turns blue while the sequencer is running
  • Increase drum group gain until the kick and/or snare are running into the compressor, creating that sidechain-like sound
  • Make small adjustments to Punch, Synth group gain, and Drum group gain until it fits the song
  • Adjust Master track drive for each section of the song according to how “full” or saturated I want it to sound to be.

Thanks for the run down, it’s very helpful to see other peoples processes.

This clears a lot up for me :slight_smile:

I wish there was a map of the entire signal chain of the OP-Z so we could all know exactly where the compressor sits in it all ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°).

Gunna make a new forum triple dog daring some one to map it all out, hopefully some one will come forward.

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It’s me
I’m the someone it’s me

I’m working on a video about this and I made a lot of progress today. I’m thinking of using this post as the outline/notes for the video.

I’m at that weird stage where I think I get it but not well enough to explain or map out clearly yet. I’m sure I’m misunderstanding or missing stuff here, so I’d love any corrections or additions.

And please tell me what doesn’t make sense!

Tracks 1-8 routing

  • Volume controlled by CC 16 (parameter page 4 encoder 4) on the track’s channel
  • Gain controlled by CC 50 on the track’s channel; value 64 by default
  • If sent to the line module’s line out, track 14’s dry level determines remaining signal
  • Routed to the aux tracks (tracks 9-11) and the remaining dry signal is sent to the master

Gain groups

  • You can control the gain of tracks 1-4 using the 1st encoder on the Mixer page
  • You can control the gain of tracks 5-8 using the 2nd encoder
  • These don’t seem to be buses but instead seem to modify individual track gain (CC 50) for 4 tracks at once. Here’s how I tested it:
    • Sent value 64 to CC 50 on Channels 1 and 2
    • Increased the drum group gain to the maximum value, which noticeably increased the volume of the kick and snare
    • Sent value 64 to CC 50 on Channel one, which noticeably decreased the volume of the kick.
  • If the individual gain were separate from the group gain, I think the kick and snare would have remained at the same level… right? I dunno.

The input bus (Track 14)

  • Four inputs are sent to the input bus: the mic, headset, USB, and line in (line module only). To the best of my knowledge, the volume and levels for individual inputs can’t be controlled from the OP-Z.
  • Similarly to tracks 1-8, The input bus’s volume can be controlled by volume (CC 16) or gain… I think (CC 50)
  • The input bus is then routed alongside tracks 1-8 directly to the master and to the aux buses

Aux track routing (Tracks 9-11)

  • The OP-Z has 3 aux tracks that send audio to the master track: FX1, FX2, and the tape
  • The tape track can also send audio to FX1/FX2
  • CC 50 can control the gain of FX1 and FX2, which otherwise don’t have a volume control
  • I believe the dry levels kind of “steal” from the remaining signal. I’m not totally sure on this, but here’s how I mapped the hierarchy earlier:
    1. Line module line out dry level
    2. Tape dry level (while tape is playing)
    3. FX1 dry level
    4. FX 2 dry level
  • I’m not totally confident in this, but I think it means that, if the kick is sent to FX1 and the dry level is 0, FX2 will receive none of the signal from the kick track. In this same scenario, if the kick is sent to the tape track, which is also at dry level 0, and the tape is playing then FX1 will receive none of the dry signal.

The mixer

  • Encoders 3 and 4
    • Encoder 3 is Punch, and controls the compressor. Greater values increase the release time on the compressor as well as the amount of compression applied. It might also decrease the threshold (?)
    • When the sequencer is running, the brightness of the LED by encoder 3 shows how much compression is applied.
    • Encoder 4 is Master gain, and adds gain to the mix… I think it’s before it hits the master track but it could be after
    • When the sequencer is running, the brightness of LED 4 shows the level of the master output–just like track 12’s LED does when Track is held
  • Mutes & levels
    • Shift + mute specifically mutes the master send from tracks 1-8, though they can still produce audio through the aux sends.
    • Shift + mute can also mute the master send from the aux buses (FX1/FX2/Tape) and the I/O track.
    • Note that the levels shown in the mixer in the app only reflect CC 16 (volume) and not gain.

Regular mute mutes the master send for tracks 1-8 and mutes all outgoing MIDI from the track as well.

The master track
The master track has four main parameters that affect the final mix (again, maybe before the master gain is applied from the mixer):

  1. Chorus (stereo effect)
  2. Drive (saturation): by far my favorite–imo, high levels of drive are the only way to make a track really sound “full” on the OP-Z
  3. Filter cutoff
  4. Filter resonance

These can dramatically change the way the track sounds, but I’m just getting the hang of them. I think chorus and drive can help distinguish sections of a song, while filter cutoff is fun for adjusting on the fly while holding shift.


  1. Normally, the OP-Z sends the master bus to the 3.5mm output on the side and USB output.
  2. However, if input monitoring is turned on, the master bus is bypassed and the USB and 3.5mm outputs only play the monitored inputs.
  3. If you have the line module, you can think of its 3.5mm line out as an aux out

and that’s all I have to say about that… video probably on Sunday


Once again you are the GOAT!

So I’m assuming there is no way to access the gain of each track (cc 50) internally in the op-z and instead I need to map it to an external controller?

Also since you graced my humble forum I will ask

How do you personally apply the cc50 value in your gain staging? What are all the tricks and secrets?

Admittedly finding out that there is another secret layer in the gain structure is disturbing as I’ve just started to get comfortable navigating and making a mix with the visible parameters.

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Aww thanks!

This is totally fair, but the good news is that I now think CC 50 can be completely ignored unless you very specifically want to decrease the volume of the FX tracks.

I think the gain is already set to max on FX1, FX2, and the I/O track by default, and the gain on Tracks 1-8 is set to the halfway mark but can be controlled by the first two encoders on the mixer page. So I don’t know that there’s much that individual gain does that you can’t accomplish with group gain and/or volume. Except for decreasing FX volume.

The bigger takeaway about gain is that it suggests there’s no drum bus or synth bus.

That’s a lot of words just to say: I think the most important parameters are still volume, group gain, punch, master gain, and master track drive/chorus.

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