Singing tips with OP1


So recently, I wrote and recorded a song using just the OP1, my voice, and something to write down the lyrics, chords, and scribbled instructions to iterate the song and guide my next takes.

I am not a good singer, the piano is not my instrument, but I aim to learn more about writing songs with lyrics. No aspirations to be a vocalist performance. My gut is that the constraints of just the OP1 and voice will organically teach me a lot. And I can tell you I have already learned a lot. For instance – the impact of chord voicings.

So I am going to keep doing this. Given that, any tips for better vocal tracks for non-vocalist?

A couple of things that helped:

  • I “passed the ball” between the piano and my voice quite a bit to compose and refine the melody
  • Having the piano as a partner in my ears to lead me on melody helped
  • Using low registers on the piano for simple bass helped define the chords
  • Using the pattern sequencer with the piano helped to work out the chord voicings
  • Also used my voice at times to chant “1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and” to keep the rhythm straight

I have to wonder if I should also try using my voice on the synth sampler to record the best straight pitch of my own voice, and harmonize with that.

Anyway, any tips?


  • Joe

P.S. This also has cemented the OP1 as my primary tool of interest musically for right now. FWIW, it’s been very therapeutic to work with the OP1 in my car for an hour at the same time every weekday morning. It’s part of forgetting about the cares of the world, getting out of the house, and getting better at something.

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The sampler is not exactly great for making chorus or similar effects in my mind, mostly because as you pitch up/down it is effecting the tempo of what you’ve recorded. That said, absolutely play with it, as you can get some really cool effects out of it and do plenty of amazing things. It’s also a pretty fun way to add automated effects with the LFO’s and such…

Not exactly a tip, but I guess more of a trick? You can sing the same pitch (but longer/shorter), by speeding up or slowing down the tape track and singing to it that way. Perhaps not so great as it will change the timing, but you can sing at the same pitch for a second take with the tape speed +4, and a third take with the tape speed at +7 and get yourself a major chord. It might sound weird, yet it is an easier way to hit notes that are outside of your range.

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Nice documentation of your creative output on the OP-1 and your voice, thank!
Btw maybe this is helpful for you:

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Good idea with using the tape speed. You could probably get interesting formant changes that way. But I doubt you’ll get chords if you sing in unison with the sped up track. When you slow the tape back down you will get all takes in unison a few steps lower again.

Unless I’m misunderstanding you in some way