Op1 field for assembling and arranging audio clips: reality check please!

Longstanding TE lover here, seeking a reality check from op1f owners if you can spare the time!

I’ve had the OP1 since beta (also opz, almost all the POs). I love using the OP1 for noodling, composing, and so on. I lay out songs on it, by putting clips in order. Sometimes it’s a bit sketchy - a click, an imperfection. But in context that’s fine: the audio quality of the op1 is its own thing, I’ve no complaints, it’s just not a device for perfect reproduction.

I now also want a portable device that will let me capture loops from other devices in glorious accurate stereo, let me overdub mic recordings and live keyboard playing, and then let me arrange those clips on tracks into end to end songs.

I’ve experimented but not found anything I love. Loopy Pro on iPhone is great, but I prefer to avoid phones and DAWs. 1010 BlackBox was awkward, limited, and has no battery. Akai Force was great but too huge and cumbersome, with no battery (Push3 has battery but would still be massive). MPC Live and SP404mk2 don’t do quantised clip capture, so they’re no good.

I’m tempted to buy an OP1F for this purpose, because I know and love the workflow. But it’s very expensive. So I’m really keen to get a clear sense on sound quality, specifically, in real usage for laying out songs from copy/pasted clips. The OP1F is obviously able to record in stereo, and deliver accurate sound reproduction. But when I come to lay out clips in order along the timeline of the OG OP1, it can be a bit shonky with clicks etc. I tolerate that in the wider chaotic sound of the OG OP1. But I’m worried that’ll be more noticable, and annoying, if I’m trying to do proper arrangements on OP1F.

Am I wrong to worry about this? It’s very hard to disentangle true reports of audio limitations from grumbles emerging from people who are just generally annoyed with the OP1F workflow (which I love).


Oh sorry, I’m an annoying person on the internet. I didn’t look hard enough, this has been done a lot on the forum, and it sounds like it really is an issue. Bum!

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I recognized myself in your post.
For real.
Had the exact same thoughts and questions about the op1f back in July.

I’m gonna TLDR this one for you right now : I wouldn’t have bought the op1f if I’d owned the og1 and the op-z.
Mono is limiting in its own rights, and the small amount of memory on the og1 would have been limited af. But 2000€/$ is a lot of money.
A lot of money for a piece of gear that delivers, packs a punch…but lacks so many simple features that, at this price point, it just seems like a half-baked device.

I’m with you on the whole « no alternatives » business.
1010music’s offerings are limited and quirky, Akai’s MPCs are just DAWs disguised as MPCs, Roland’s SPs are all about menu dives, Elektrons and Sonicwares are either too pricey and complicated or too bulky and limited…I could go on, but you get the idea.
Not even Behringer has been able to top the op1.
The Field does have some great features. Stereo, 4 tapes, 8 reels total on the machine, 500 user slots for samples and patches, revised engines and new FX/Synth, etc.
I purchased it because I couldn’t find a combo like this anywhere else : compact, audio/midi interface, line in, output, screen, encoders, keyboard, recording, sampling, synthesis, FXs, import/export, build-in mic, correct tiny speaker, sturdy build, etc.
It’s one hell of a workstation. I can write about any genre. Can use external gear fairly easily. And, importantly enough, I can export to the DAW to polish and finish the tracks.

Had to go through 3 units (two defective screens, and current unit has a little bit of double triggering).
Still no fade tools.
Clicks happening fairly easily (while playing back samples, chopping loops, cutting tape, etc).
Limited memory with no SD card capabilities.
Not so « field » (the beige color wears out eventually, the screen will burn out too at some point, etc).
No real ecosystem to go with (the Field family lacks unity).

So yeah.
No product is perfect. And with this price tag, this one is polarizing to say the least.

If you can, try one out for a week. Either purchase and send it back or try to find one around you.
It is its own thing and could suit your needs.

It is a great piece of gear.
But quite frankly, had Apple not removed some ports on their iPads, I probably would have never purchased it. Or just the og1.

I just purchased a SP404mk2 to go with my op1f.
Both of them are their own thing and make for a great DAWless combo when creating anywhere.
But I still need a DAW to edit (now, that’s just me).

It’s all about your needs. About your budget. About what you what you wanna do with it.

I’d recommend reading through this thread too :

Some great opinions there too.

And if need be, keep asking questions. I’m sure the community here will give you the feedback you need!

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I find clicking to rarely be an issue, unlike others on this forum. You have to be super mindful of reverb tails and effectively zero cross in your head- a few attempts and some practice should get you there. Sometimes I’ll run a patch through Punch or Nitro to but only really only to control transient loudness… But of course it can sometimes take a few attempts during recording and doing that on 4 tracks with no undo can be a chore. My biggest issue over a year in is melding larger arrangements together. But I enjoy the challenge :slight_smile:

At the moment with stereo and velocity it’s more like an op1.1. If I were you I would wait a little bit longer and see how it is differentiated from og in firmware updates.

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MPC has a looper for that purpose. It’s very intuitive.

I love how one workflow differs from one another.
For me, managing big arrangements is a no brainer on such a device - for the simple fact that sections only have about 4 tracks to manage and I can take minimalist notes on my phone or note pad while writing. Although I’ll admit I’m missing some color coding at times.
But these horrendous clicks…my oh my. It’s there when you record. It’s there when you chop samples. It’s there when you trigger one shot drum samples. It’s there when you cut tapes.
And that whole « do it right on time, be a better musician » is just not the way making music works. Sometimes, you’ll record the perfect take. Intention, feeling, micro-timing…the magic of a moment captured. Only to have dreadful clicks in there. I don’t mind some other omission. But this one is baffling to me. Fade tools are at the core of studio/creative tools.

But then again, this amaze me for real. One’s prerogative is not the same as the next guy. Which is why that polarizing little machine is still a great tool. It speaks to many people with different expectations.

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Have you considered the Polyend Tracker Mini?
I certainly wouldn’t recommend buying one just yet (or if you do make sure where you buy it from has a solid returns policy) as I’m not alone in having a unit with massive manufacturing flaws…
but it really is a brilliantly compact device that seems to cater for some of your needs.

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