OP-Z Tips and Tricks

Since I couldn’t find a post that collects all OP-Z tips & tricks here I thought I’d start one myself.

/////// Please feel free to post your favorite special tricks one the OP-Z ///////

Here are two tutorials I made, hope it helps you out!


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both are really nice. especially the tape track panning and the scratching on vocal samples are really inspiring.

Great Job!

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Great stuff! How long did it take to piece together the epic mask?

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Thank you! It took me a day to get the basic structure…and then a few afternoons tweaking to finally decide that it’s done :slight_smile:
I didn’t go by any kind of instruction so it was a lot of trial and error

Thanks! I really hope they come out with some other type of soon for some extra weirdness.
Also LFO on the tape track…being able to modulate the finetune would make for some nice shaperbox-ish effects.

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yeah, a few more fx and some modulation options would be killer. :innocent:

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another quick video of tips…

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Seems like this is still the closest to a general tips & tricks thread.

Here’s one I just stumbled on that’s guaranteed to save me a lot of headaches:

Quickly copying a step without deleting it

  1. Hold the step you want to copy
  2. Press - then + (or + then -)

This immediately copies the step and guarantees you won’t accidentally erase it in the process. Especially helpful if you sometimes lose steps when your device double-triggers.

Pressing + then - avoids changing the microtiming unless the step is at a maximum value (e.g., if a step is as far right as it goes and you select it, press + then -, it will now be slightly earlier).

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The performance FX track (Track 13) only lets you use one octave on the OP-Z’s keyboard, but it’s much more powerful when controlled externally.

Here are some tips for adding variation to drums on Track 13:

  • Each octave controls 1 audio track. The lowest is the kick, second-lowest is the snare, and third-lowest is the hi-hat
  • F ducks the track’s audio & outgoing MIDI
  • G plays 16th notes of the last note played
  • A plays 32nd notes of the last note played
  • The black keys generally soften the sound via envelope/filter modifications

Track 13 has pretty decent polyphony, so it’s pretty easy to take a 1-bar drum loop and make it into 4, 8, or 16 bars by adding some ducks and loops to the Kick, Snare, and Hi Hat.

This has already changed how I plan to program hi-hats since it’s easier to get them to drop out for a bit and add in the occasional roll.

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I’d overlooked the sampler until the past week, and it’s quickly become a crucial part of my workflow.

The issue is that, if you want to play back a loop you’ve sampled on the OP-Z, you’re limited to 6s in the synth sample engine or 12s in the drum sample engine.

The good news is you can use the “old school” technique of recording a sped-up version of the sample and pitching it back down on the OP-Z.

The sample engine allows you to pitch a sample down by up to 48 semitones. That’s 4 octaves, which means playback will be 1/(2^4) of the regular rate, which is 1/16 or 6.25%.

If you’re willing to deal with extreme lofi playback, this means you could theoretically fit a 96 second sample onto the synth engine or a 192 second sample onto the drum engine.

In my experience things degrade really quickly when they’re sped up by more than 2 octaves, but that didn’t stop my from testing the limits by fitting a 3:00 song into the drum sampler and the synth sampler.

Here’s what that process looked like using REAPER:

  1. Record 3:00 song into REAPER
  2. Open the recorded item and uncheck the option to preserve pitch when changing playback speed
  3. Change the item’s playback rate to 16 for the drum sampler and 32 for the synth sampler
  4. Record the sped-up versions into OP-Z
  5. Pitch down by 36 semitones for the drum sampler or 48 for the synth sampler

I’m mostly using this to sample loops I make on the OP-1 which are longer than 12s, in which case the process generally looks more like this:

  1. Set the OP-1 to play the tape back at 25% of its normal rate (-24 semitones)
  2. Record the audio/synth/whatever to the OP-1’s tape at this slower rate
  3. Set the OP-1’s tape playback rate to 100%, which is 2 octaves higher (or 4 times faster) than before
  4. Record the faster version into the OP-Z
  5. Pitch the sample down by 24 semitones
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I’m not sure if everyone knows this, but if you want to move recorded notes from one track to another on the OP-Z, you can do it using the line module. Simply connect a 3.5mm cable from your MIDI in to MIDI out, then access your MIDI settings by holding down Metronome and the screen button simultaneously. Turn on MIDI out and MIDI in, by pressing the numbers 2, 3 and 10.

While still holding Metronome and the screen button, press and hold the track you want to receive MIDI on, then turn the green dial to select the desired MIDI channel. Release the track once you’ve selected the channel. Next, while still holding Metronome and Shift, press and hold the track from which you want MIDI sent, and again use the green dial to select the same MIDI channel you chose for receiving.

Now you can release the Metronome and screen button, navigate to the receiving track, and hit record. If needed, I’ve also created a short video demonstrating these steps.

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damn that is insane i had no idea. how did you figure this out?

When I noticed the MIDI echo feature for MIDI Thru, I realized that you could probably use MIDI in and out simultaneously, so I started experimenting with it.

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that’s the exact behavior I discovered like 6 years ago when I set up my raspberry pi image to control everything with usb midi….this way I created a midi loopback which had the ability to record from one to the other track :see_no_evil::sunflower:

Lately I’ve been using my OP-Z to store presets for SimplexFM, which only has 16 parameters total. I’ve been using a glitch to store more than 1 plug/set of presets on tracks that are only supposed to have 1 set.

Let’s say you want to add a slot for plug 2 on the Motion track. Here’s how you’d do that:

  1. Switch to an audio track
  2. If there’s a plug on track 2, remove it by holding down track and the plug/slot number
  3. To create a new slot on the audio track, hold track down while again holding the number of the blank plug
  4. While the sequencer’s LEDs are lighting up (but before they’re all lit), change tracks to the Motion track

You should now be able to save presets in slot 2.


Relatedly, today I discovered presets will store CC values even if they’re not visible on that track on the OP-Z. For example, the lighting track only has parameters 1-4 and 13-16. I already knew it would pass through CC 9 even if that doesn’t control anything on the lighting track.

What I didn’t know is that saving a preset will save the last CC value even if the track’s engine doesn’t respond to that value.

I don’t think this tip will be super helpful for people who aren’t in my specific situation but I wanted to share it somewhere as a reference.

do you mean it’ll change from 8 to 16 controls simply by saving that audio track to a control track?

tape for instance?

Unfortunately I mean something way less exciting–afaik this only affects external devices and not the OP-Z’s sounds themselves :frowning:

It might help if I describe my specific use case:

I wanted to layer the OP-Z’s bass engine with an external synth I was controlling with my OP-Z. I needed to use another track to send the appropriate preset parameters to that other synth, and I thought my only option for doing so was on the Motion track since it has all 16 parameters.

It turns out I could also use the lighting track to save some of these presets because it’ll still save and send CCs from parameters 5-12, though you can’t directly see or control them from the OP-Z.

So kind of an edge case but I’m glad you asked for clarification!

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