Workflow Discussion


#1

Ok so I’ve finally filled up all of the pattern slots on the op-z and I need to save, archive or record them so I don’t feel like I’m losing precious masterpieces ?. Obviously just a month in and it’s all practice at this point, if I lost it all it would just be more fun to fill up more patterns.
On the op-1 I would just copy the tape tracks to my computer and clear it off, starting new with a fresh tape.
I even started chopping those tapes up in Beatmaker 3 and assigning the separate loops to pads for easy reference.
With the op-z I need a different solution. Maybe chain all of the patterns and record into Beatmaker?
The bounces might help but I can only save ten of those maybe? The step components have allowed for long, complex loops, so It’s not always easy to know how long to record a pattern.
So far I’ve been dumping the whole contents of the op-z into archive folders, so I can drop that back onto the z if I need an old pattern.
But it’s impossible to review old patterns without bounce files.
Also, if you change the plugs, that changes the pattern output, so I need to keep them together somehow.
Anyway, wondering how anyone else is backing up their work (or if anyone else even does backups). Any good apps or DAWs I need to know about? Been holding off on Ableton, should I take that plunge? Looking forward to hearing your ideas!


#2

Since the entire backup is quite small (32mb?) I tend to just do the same for now, in the hope that eventually there will be a tool which will allow preview and extraction of ‘the juicy bits’ But yes probably best for now just to record/sample into an external sampler or computer I guess.


#3

It would be nice if the app had a way to save presets so you don’t have to manually set up the plugs after every factory reset.


#4

@Lymtronics said:
It would be nice if the app had a way to save presets so you don’t have to manually set up the plugs after every factory reset.

Haven’t done a factory reset but I’m assuming you can just drag the samplepacks folder from an old backup onto a newly-reset op-z to get all your plugs back, right?


#5

There is a backup tool for android. - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=app.metske.oputility


#6

@kingof9x said:
There is a backup tool for android. - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=app.metske.oputility

Thanks for the tip - maybe when the op-z app gets ported to Android, I might consider picking up an old android phone or tablet for this.


#7

@sketcherazzi said:
Thanks for the tip - maybe when the op-z app gets ported to Android, I might consider picking up an old android phone or tablet for this.

I started using my girlfriends old iphone 6s for the ios app. I was hoping the trrs splitter would let me use the iphone as a field recorder for recording performance but it isn’t working to well. I have a sound card that is compatible with ios, but it isn’t battery powered. Some stereo input device I can monitor with my android would be awesome to pair with the backup app.


#8

@kingof9x said:
Some stereo input device I can monitor with my android would be awesome to pair with the backup app.

Why not just get something like a Zoom H1? You can plug headphones directly into it.


#9

@pselodux said:
Why not just get something like a Zoom H1? You can plug headphones directly into it.

trying to work with what I have. but if I need to spend more than $50 I might as well do that.


#10

@kingof9x said:

@pselodux said:
Why not just get something like a Zoom H1? You can plug headphones directly into it.

trying to work with what I have. but if I need to spend more than $50 I might as well do that.

I use the Behringer uca202 usb audio interface for my phone and iPad, it runs off the iPhone or iPad’s power and lets me record into Audioshare, AUM or BeatMaker 3. It’s a little bulkier than I’d like though, the wires need to be tied up with rubber bands. I like recording this way because I find it easier to review recordings through an app. However, I am getting interested in the Zoom recorders, maybe just to have an easier sampling mic.


#11

The Zoom recorders are great. They can also be used as audio interfaces, even for phones.


#12

I have the Izotope Spire and it works great flawlessly with my iPhone/IPad. Sound quality is great.


#13

Thanks for discussing recording gear (helpful), though I was hoping to hear more about user strategies for backing up and recording from the op-z.
Currently, I save the whole op-z folder to my Mac for regular backups, and replace weaker patterns on the op-z from the full bank of projects and patterns. I’ve been keeping a sketched out list of which patterns I want to keep, and which ones I can replace with new patterns. But it’s still really full and I’d Like to start longer pattern chains varying a base pattern.
Does anyone else do this, or record the playback of a pattern to a DAW before erasing, or just erase them without backup? Just curious about overall workflow strategies.


#14

I have been using the bounce pattern to save a little audio snippit of the pattern. When looking at backups it’s easy to tell what is what if you can listen to it to. The file system is so tiny, even with audio samples that I feel no burden to just save everything.


#15

I think the op-z can only hold 5 bounces at a time though - do you just save those five and then erase the patterns you didn’t bounce? Wondering if I need to bounce five at a time, do a few rounds of five bounces before clearing out the patterns.


#16

I don’t use bounces as a way to export audio, just as a reference point in backups


#17

I’ve been thinking about this as well. I am using the OP-Z in a live set-up with a guitar and vocalist. My current favourite way of doing this is to create one pattern and use the mixer mute features to bring in and take out parts as the song develops. I am the guitarist so that’s a bit of a challenge but if I set the mixes up sequentially I haven’t gone wrong (yet).
During rehearsal, I am making notes as to where various songs are and navigating to them between each song.
Like everyone else I imagine, when you are messing around on the op-z creating music you aren’t particularly paying attention to where you are creating a thing and even if you were you might not end up using that pattern.
I am saving backups as I go along.
I asked one of the TE guys at Superbooth whether I could switch patterns between backups on the computer and then download them back onto the OP-Z as I thought that might be an option for organising a gig a little more sensibly. He said he thought so but had not tried it…
But that does not solve the problem of the mess of patterns within projects.
I think there is no solution other than to write an explanation file/chart that maps out each project and hope that they can be swapped without problem between saves when preparing for a live show. I can’t face it really but searching for this thread was my first step!
On the other hand, my method of using the patterns as whole songs means I have a lot of potential space! But it limits the other ways of creating longer and more complex musical pieces.


#18

That’s sort of how I’m using it too, each pattern is a different ‘song’ for me and I’ve been using mute groups for variation. A big issue is that the presets or ‘plugs’ have to match what you had when you created a pattern; change a plug and the whole pattern changes. So backups need to stay associated with the plugs used when they were created.

This is going to be a bigger problem with the sampling update. Plugs will be changing every time we do a new sample. I leave my Mac at home most days and work with the op-z and iPad all the time, so I’m hoping they allow content mode for backups directly within iOS.


#19

I’ve seen people talk about the patch/plug thing before in terms of resetting the op-z. Does that mean that if you reload a backup at the moment it loads with the factory setting plugs regardless of how you had it set when you saved it?
I have not messed with the plugs very much, created a few new sounds with the randomiser and loaded one sample set from the op-1, so not experienced this problem yet.


#20

It means that if you have a synth set up a certain way in slot 5 for example and you change what’s in slot 5, the pattern will reflect that change. So say you have some old patterns you like but you add a new synth or drum pack in a slot that those patterns use, the sounds the patterns make are going to change.
A solution to this is to keep your sample packs and patterns backed up together, so if you want to get back to how they sounded you just have to drag them all over to the op-z at once.
Another issue is that you can’t review the patterns from the backup folder because they’re technically not audio, they’re just patterns that reference samples and synths.
The best you can do to review content is bounce the patterns you like to 10 second audio files that are stored in the bounce folder. I think it only holds five at a time.
I find myself holding on to various sample packs and trying not to touch them because I know I have several patterns I’m working on that use those plugs. Eventually one does change and surprise! My pattern now sounds like garbage. So I just delete that pattern and make something new. I think this will be more of an issue when the sampling update drops, because I think I’ll be recording over existing plugs more. Probably a good thing though as I’m becoming less precious with my process!
tl;dr - changing the plug slots changes the sound of the patterns that reference them