OP1 field : audio clicks and how to avoid them?

Hey all!

Does anyone have a way to deal with audio clips when recording to tape?

Lately, I’ve been transferring my OP1f reels to Logic Pro for further editing and polishing.
And, basically, every time I’ve cut a tape segment, I end up with an audible audio clip.
So far, I’ve been using the iZotope RX suite to declick the heck out of stuff. But the time consuming process and the very fact that it doesn’t play well with some sources makes it a bit of a pain.
Now. I’ve been recording for the past 20+ years in various settings (mainly studio, but more than often live). And I know I got used to post editing every single take. Audio clips are part of the game. And it, ultimately, boils down to the player’s ability to aim right on time.
But that one issue is a bit problematic when operating the OP1f and its limitations.
Can’t really structure a song easily if there isn’t some kind of general automatic fade-in/fade-out applied to each cut of tape.
And before I get hammered with the usual « why don’t you just play in time » conundrum, bear in mind that audio clips have been an issue since day 1 in every studio and pro workflow.
And, most of all, this is a basic option in every daw since their debuts.

Now. Owning the OP1 field for less than a week, I’m guessing I’m part of the problem. In 10+ years, it’s just not possible for Teenage Engineering to have miss such an issue.
So here I am at it again.
Do you guys have any kind of workflow advice, workarounds or tips and tricks to share?
Anyways, thanks for taking the time to read this one. At the very least.

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I have the same issue…

Sometimes, (depending on the source material) I can work around it. But it is a pain in the ass.

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It’s all the more baffling knowing that this is a paramount issue/feature in the audio world…and that TE’s OPs are on the market for a good decade now.

I just remembered a workaround for tape segments.
You would need to lift your take, drop it in a sampler and edit its fade in. Tidious, but workable.
But then…NO FADE OUT?!?

And don’t get me started on audio clips when playing samples. Playing the same kick twice in a short amount of time makes audio freakin clips. Rendering your take unusable. It’s just crazy that they decided not to fix this one years ago.

The worst part of this is that it is fixable. Gimme a fade in/fade out tool with a curve setting and I’m all good (at least for the tape). And as for samples playability, the OP1f is probably one of the last hardware beast to get that kind of dealbreaker issue.
It baffles me to a point where I have no word.

But if you do have workarounds, lemme know.

Gotta find a way to suggest this to TE. AfSAfP.

Like a guitar the op-1 is an instrument and you need time to learn to play it.
One week is nog enough time.
Give it a lot of time and practice and maybe you will succeed.

That is my understanding too.
But, and bear with me for a second, I’m pretty used to record in a studio setting - that’s my actual living.
And although I’ve been at it for 20+ years, it is a given that recording the first note of a cycled region (or with a metronome, etc) is a big hit or miss.
If your reasoning was 100% true (and despite the very fact that in theory you are correct 100%), any pro would still argue otherwise.
I could (and will probably) use the OP1 Field for a full decade, 2 hours a day (let’s be realistic here), and still have a badly placed audio clip. The kind you just HAVE TO edit. Hence the fact that since the beginning of modern recording, fade-ins and fade-outs are the first tool you learn to master as an audio engineer.
That being said, you made me curious about your workflow. I’m presuming you don’t suffer from audio clips on the OP1 Field and would owe you a big one if you were to share the very ways you avoid them. And, believe you me, many pros I know would owe you forever too!
Thanks for any tips!

Yes please… Any tips here, are greatly appreciated!!! I have owned the OG since 2012 and the field for about a year. And I still run into this issue from time to time (depending on the source material). By no means am I an expert OP, but I would like to think by this point I have developed some skill working with the OP-1 work flow. I too, am curious about how other OPs work around this issue.

Thanks all.

Well, dunno if this is gonna help at all, but here goes my workflow so far, regarding audio clips and how to avoid or correct them.
Bear in mind that I’ve only own the OP1f for about 5 days at this point.

Samples :

  • I typically always apply a fade-in to any sample I intend to play. Even when going for TE’s factory presets.
  • I usually get an audio clip when playing the same sample twice real fast (ie. two kick hits played too close usually results in an audio clip on the first kick, since its waveform is interrupted randomly). To avoid that regarding beats. I track a first simple beat in loop mode and try to lay down the second kick in the second pass. A bit tedious, but it works. As for melodies, I usually leave the audio clip in and get rid of it with iZotope’s RX10 declick module in Logic Pro (macOS only).
  • when playing with samples I imported myself, I carefully apply fade-ins and outs to the sample in my DAW and I usually leave a very short blank at the start and end points. Doesn’t help with audio clips I get when releasing a note in the middle of the sample. But micro-silences here and there really help later on when editing on tape.

Tape :

  • the biggest audio clips I get on tape are usually located at the beginning of a loop/tape cut I made. I’m the one to blame, my timing is not always perfect (as pointed out earlier in this thread). So, when I want to keep a good take with an early first note, I usually lift said-take to a sampler and apply a fade-in there. I then drop the take again at the right place in the tape. Tedious too, but works. Just gotta be weary of losing too much of the attack. In which case I punch in about 1 bar of tape.
  • One other workaround I use (especially on beats) is to set up a loop twice the length I need and record my idea twice in a row. Usually, this helps a bit (this comes in handy when I record the kick+snare(s)+hats at the same time).
  • One last trick (that I’m both proud and kind if ashamed of) is programming beats or melodic ideas in my DAW (usually on the iPad or the MacBook), MIDI sync the OP1f and the DAW, and recording straight to tape. Helps with audio clips (both on tape and with samples) and it allows me to play a bit with the DAW’s onboard effects while taping.

Here goes for now.

On a side note, I wrote to TE’s support about the issue and they were kind enough to point out that they know about this and are working towards a solution. No ETA or details. But still. It was nice to get their feedback.

Here’s hope it kinda helps a bit!

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Is everyone here discussing clips, as in clipping the audio levels, or clicks associated with cutting audio at a place where there is no zero crossing point?

I’ve never heard any clipping from the OP-1f, but I’ve had a few clicks when lining up several lift/drops. It’s easy to avoid with drum beats, I record longer passages than I need, cut right before the hit, then lift and drop again in place, but for continuous sounds, like a synth part, I get clicks. What we need is automatic crossfades.

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Sorry. My bad. I’m used to say « audio clips » and not « clicks ».
Talking about audio clicks.

And yes. We do need automatic zero crossfade for sample playback, a general fade tool in the tape context and fades in the sample engine.

It is a known issue, it is annoyingly frustrating. But let’s hope for a quick fix.
That being said, there are workaround.

And btw, I’m pretty curious as to how they handled the audio click/clips on their other gear (the PO33 the TP7 for instance)

I agree. I’ve had a lot of audio recording devices and they’ve all had some kind of crossfade to avoid clicks. I’m confused as to why it isn’t included, it limits the functionality of the “tape” recorder quite a bit. It seems like a very basic, necessary feature for the part of the machine that is so central to the workflow. (And fades in a sampler is also just a basic feature.)

Re the recorder- it doesn’t need to be complicated, just crossfade any two pieces of audio that touch each other. I use a 2ms crossfade (equal power) in the DAW and it sounds smooth every time. It should just work behind the scenes.

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Nice tricks!

I post-edit a lot in the DAW too. And post-process too.

But yeah. 10 years later, this audio click and fade tools omission is one of the weirdest.
And the limited infos displayed on the tape screen (ie no waveforms, no waveform zoom, etc) makes this all the more confusing.

Let’s hope TE hears us out. I dare to say it is critical to some extend.

I’d advocate for the (not so cheap) RX10 declick tool (or any dynamic EQ narrow band) to automate the declicking process. But crossfades work like a charm and keep the dynamics alive!

they been saying they are working on a fix pretty much since the OG came out
which is what like 10-15 years ago?
they also claimed they fixed it a couple times

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Being a newcomer to the OP1 realm, I didn’t tracked their record with this one.
But yeah. 15 years is a long time.
And the “just be precise” answer is not a great one for anyone providing it, especially not them.

Now, let’s hope for a fix at some point. because it’s either some kind of weird hardware limitation or an issue on their end with the on-board software. Anyways, they should address this more openly. I know I would’ve still bought the OP1f, but it wouldn’t had been the bad surprise it was.

At the moment, I’m trying to devise a workaround. Haven’t tried it yet, but it involves applying a fade in to a take, reversing the take, applying a fade in to the reversed version and flipping it around again.
Dunno if it’s possible at all. And it already sounds like a lot of work. But still. Working on it.

I get this from time to time and it is massively frustrating. they really do need a little fade in fade out editor. sometimes it seems relative to clipping, like too much audio input, especially with bass, but sometimes it is just unavoidable and like nothing you can do about it.

Does anyone else notice that on the field a shift lift command often leaves a slight small residual piece, or recording into a loop leaves one? I am OCD about adjusting my loop lengths much on the field to fit my drum tracks than I ever was on the original due to this.

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Yes, I have noticed that before. It has only happened to me a few times, I couldn’t reliably reproduce it. I always assume, since I’m new to the OP1f, that it is my error somehow.
So this is a problem only on the field, not the OG OP?

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Same here with that little but of tape loop left. Might very well be a bug. I assumed it was me too.
As a general rule, I know triple check my loop as to avoid any leftovers!

And yeah. They absolutely need to implement fade in/out.

Well I’m glad I am not alone. I really hope they fix it. It would only take like something automatic you could just add to the loop function, or just a simple edit command for tape pieces to apply to the end and beginning of them.

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It really is weird that they missed out on this one.
Even weirder considering the fact that it is the kind of tool that constitutes every workflow.
I guess their reasoning was centered around the old-times, when studios only used tapes and had to be creative to avoid this issue.
But working with actual tape and the OP’s tape is totally different. Hence the fact that everybody finds that to be a faulty omission on their part.
They don’t even have to implement an user feature. They could - should - at least implement an automatic crossfade. This would be the bare minimum.

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what the hell are you people talking about?
audio clipping occurs when the signal is too loud. it looks like this…

I take it you are referring to clicks that occur when you cut audio that is not at a zero crossing?

As you are using Logic – you can apply automatic crossfades to two or more audio files. Just select all the audio files and apply cross fade. Two clicks of the mouse, not tedious at all.

And if you’re working entirely on the OP-1f? I.e. building your song and recording directly to Album? This is a fundamental oversight on both generations of the OP-1.