Op1's "downfalls"

People say "i love OP1, except for the ______". Or "why doesnt it do ______?" Spring is noisy, Punch is confusing, Phone is weird, CWO is crazy....but they're not only cute names for traditional effects like Distortion, Chorus, Flanger, Phaser. And for the "i'm using an effect!" effect, most would prefer their name-brand stompboxes, rack mounts, or plug ins.
For me, i find the effects very useful & educational, especially in the Mixer stage. Since its global, you can be subtle with them and thats where they shine. Too much high end, use a little Nitro. Mix sounding cold, brittle or abrasive...Punch can tame it & glue it back together. Quiet samples too small, too thin...Spring can open that up wide. Seems like a nod to an earlier era of recording when effects were actual effects of a process or technique, or used sparingly as a solution to a problem with the sound. IMO, TE didnt really leave anything out. You can combine the effects available in so many different ways, not only can you get any sound you're looking for, you can also learn a lot about what actual "effects" are really made of. After 2+ years, this thing still surprises me often.
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Comments

  • edited February 16
    i think it is mainly a disconnect between what ppl build up in there heads, and how a device actually works.  
     coupled w/ the expansiveness of technology today.  more and more ppl are used to devices that do EVERYTHING in an easy and convenient manner.

    the op1 is very like... "non-traditional" i guess in the sense, that there are a lot of things that u can do that aren't immediately obvious, and may not have a traditional workflow, so ppl get confused and say this doesn't do that or this doesn't work the way i want it to.  

    if i've learned anything about the op1, is that for a good time, it wants u to bend to it rather than the other way around more times than not.
    and like you said its a great learning tool for many things.  effects, mixing, signal flow, synthesis, sampling, etc etc.  

    for me, op1 is kinda like the gravity chamber from dbz.  it has upped my skills in many aspects, faster than any other device i own 
  • I agree that the OP-1 has taught me a whole lot about music production. The tools are extremely powerful when you start using them effectively. I really have only two quibbles with it as I try to do more with it. I'd like a bigger keyboard. I'd like more recording space. That's it.
  • It's definitely not for everyone. Many do not like having to accept what a thing is, and desire for it to be more "conventional" to be accessible. I love the child-like accessibility of it. Just using it makes me smile. It's robust and as editable as anything (within what "it is"). My only complaints are related to performance usability... but that's me wanting it to be something it's not. It's not a "hold all your midi patterns for performance" device. Though, you can make it do many things in a performance workflow... You just have to be creative with it. I don't create songs directly on it as much as many people on this site, but I apply it's sounds to a ton of my productions. I use the sequencers and drop stuff from the DAW to the tape, then back to the DAW with some character and effects... I've been more creative and inspired in using the OP1 more than any other toy in my arsenal, and I'm just a sax player... 

  • ^yea u don't have to use all the stuff on it.  
    which can def be overwhelming at first.  

    i mostly just used the synth engines for like first year i had it.
    then the other pieces started coming together as i got more comfortable and more adventurous. mainly the tape.  
    its been beautiful ever since.  1000x worth it.  

    sometimes ppl just don't jive w/ something and thats perfectly okay too.
  • ^yea u don't have to use all the stuff on it.  

    which can def be overwhelming at first.  

    i mostly just used the synth engines for like first year i had it.
    then the other pieces started coming together as i got more comfortable and more adventurous. mainly the tape.  
    its been beautiful ever since.  1000x worth it.  

    sometimes ppl just don't jive w/ something and thats perfectly okay too.
    What would you say are the most creative tricks and things you can do with the tape? Asides from the 3 stop, reverse etc? Im always on the lookout for new ideas, working outside the box. Ive looked through tips and tricks but a lot of it is quite obvious stuff. Any help much appreciated
  • Having 4 tracks of different drum rhythms (for example) and having a jam by muting/un muting, using the various tape effects and creating a new rhythm. You record this new drum jam to album and then bounce it back to tape and then maybe repeat this process with hi hats etc
  • edited February 17
    i doubt these are anything new but off the top of my head

    lift+drop for undo and getting intimate w/ overdubbing / ear were prob the two biggest things for me.

    getting comfortable w/ tape takes time & practice.  i think its major. b/c there are a lot ways to fuck your vibe up to varying degrees in tape that aren't that easily or at all restorable.  

    dubbing basically removes the 4 track limit, and forces you to really focus on the levels/mix when u dub or else you're gunna be doing a lot of post work that may or may not really even work all that well, depending on how good u are at post type stuff, trying to fix your levels later on.

    tape also really helped me simplify my approach and helped me focus on what i am doing when i am recording because i'm trying not to do a million takes.  after awhile i started to notice that i was just getting better at laying down more or less what i was trying to do w/ less and less takes and it was all moving much smoother and faster and funner than before. and that it started transferring over to other devices as well.  mixing better on the fly rather than needing to fix it later, getting down what i was doing faster so i could move on to the next thing, etc.

    for me, resampling w/ tape is where u can really open things up 
    (& being really comfortable w/ dubbing, ear/mic, levels comes in handy). 
    tape to tape.  tape to drum/synth.  tape to album.  album to tape/drum/synth. op to external devices and back.  rechop up back in the drum. replay.  add more fx, lfos, etc  mess around w/ stuff, envelopes, whatever.  EQ, master comp/drive, glue, widen specific parts  etc etc.  
    really helps me when things are feeling stale. and u start to really use all the functionality in the op which is cool.
    i think thats why its all there.  yea sometimes its weird getting there but its there.
  • @docshermsticks Great post, I didn't get on great initially with the op1 and then put it to one side as an after work college course started and took up my free time. This makes me really want to get into it again. Funny you point out that getting into the record to album and back again was a game changer, it's prob what I've done least. This has fired up my enthusiasm again!
  • I don't miss anything. I can always figure out a way to do what I want, even if it's different than how I would do it with other equipment.
    Tape is where I really connected with it. I've used 4-track cassettes a lot, and I already think in terms of bouncing down and having more than one instrument on a track.
    So I see it as a 4-track with a built in sampler, drum sampler, many different kinds of synths, sequencers and a mixdown deck, and there is nothing on it that I can't work with.
  • @docshermsticks 

    Great post. When you refer to "ear", do you mean bouncing tape tracks down?

    I mean, obviously you do, but just checking.

    I used the OP-1 for about 6 months or so without knowing about the lift/drop undo hack. So awesome. I like that it's 1 level of undo only. You get one increment of grace, so you still gotta think about what you're doing.
  • edited February 17
    @docshermsticks Love the gravity chamber reference :D
    I've never took time to do much resampling on the little beast...I really have to look at it deeper :)
    Didn't know the undo trick !
    I used to make "prevention" lifts to avoid loop loose :)
  • It's all about expectations and alternative methods.
  • @ludicrouspeed yea i mean the ear function.  not just bouncing tape tracks but u can also record back to drum/synth from tape this way.  i think u can also just lift+drop from tape into drum/synth too.  ear is super handy.

    ear can also be tricky to get the hang of.  remember that when using album or ear, your sounds will be recorded thru the EQ, Mixer & Master Drive/Compression.  u def don't want to always keep doubling up on these unless that is your intent.

    @hindsite i prob use album the least too but getting comfy bouncing sounds around from tape to whatever and back again was huge.  ear kinda cuts out the need to bounce to album and back, but sometimes its helpful when u r running out of space on the tape or if u just like to use album just because its there.

    @flybry definitely +1000.  expectations always shape one's experiences.  moreso than i think sometimes ppl realize
  • I think the most creative thing involves sampling in drum mode and using the chopped sample as a rhythmic source or as background sound. Sampling in synth mode makes it easy to sample all analog equipment or other synths as well as environmental sounds. It reminds me to be more creative.
    lescour1 said:

    ^yea u don't have to use all the stuff on it.  

    which can def be overwhelming at first.  

    i mostly just used the synth engines for like first year i had it.
    then the other pieces started coming together as i got more comfortable and more adventurous. mainly the tape.  
    its been beautiful ever since.  1000x worth it.  

    sometimes ppl just don't jive w/ something and thats perfectly okay too.
    What would you say are the most creative tricks and things you can do with the tape? Asides from the 3 stop, reverse etc? Im always on the lookout for new ideas, working outside the box. Ive looked through tips and tricks but a lot of it is quite obvious stuff. Any help much appreciated

  • I'm clumsy at quoting text ombrrd $)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

  • The user is it's downfall.
  • It's a tool like any other, tools always have limits. You can use a shovel to dig a hole, and do it very well, but you can't fly to Albuquerque with it. 

    Limits are what make things interesting, I think. While I love making music on a computer, there just too much damn choice sometimes. Flying through 500 different kicks in Ableton eats up too much creative energy.

    That's just me, though. I wish one could save sequencer patterns on the OP-1 because I have a poor memory when it comes to what actual notes I played and would like to keep those patterns around in a changeable form, even as files on my laptop. But there we go, trying to fly to Albuquerque on a shovel
  • If you pick up enough speed @jellygeist you might actually be able to fly in Albuquerque on a shovel https://www.abqjournal.com/718655/angel-fire-resort-hosts-world-championship-shovel-races.html
  • Flying through 500 different kicks in Ableton eats up too much creative energy.

    This right here is the reason I got into hardware :P
  • Let me try this comment once more... wanted to echo what dtwilson said about using the sampler for drum kits. Use sounds with long tails, make multiple chops of just the tail in different lengths, reverse some, they fit nice into the spaces between beats, adds a lot of ambience. Plus you can go seriously crazy with extreme pitch shifts +/-. You would be amazed at what new sounds you can conjure up.
    With the Tape, you can get some very skittery glitch sounds from a spoken word bit by adjusting the speed and start/end points really tight, on the fly. Phone/delay or CWO for fx... A little hard to control, but fun for the weirdness factor.
  • Anfim said:

    Flying through 500 different kicks in Ableton eats up too much creative energy.

    This right here is the reason I got into hardware :P
    This is what began to really bore me after a few years with Maschine. I've been making wayyyyy more beats with the OP1, all with variations of the internal preset kits (pitch shifting and fx, mainly). I think I've made more music with teh OP in 3 months than the entire year before that with Maschine and Ableton
  • I guess it depends on what kind of producer you are. Some folks are fine with just sitting down, getting something recorded and moving on quick, others are more easily distracted and overwhelmed by infinite options. 
  • edited February 21
    The reverb is not popular
    Not being able to save sequencers (with the exception of endless)
    Exporting to a DAW is a faff, especially if you like keeping sounds on individual tracks.  A perfect solution is album mode containing your sequenced tune as a 4 track for export.

    But despite these flaws, I use mine everyday. 

    Btw - A TE store which allows you to swap sequencers to ones with bigger memory or new ones would be great.  Bye bye Tombola 
  • @jonesy_op does the album really save all 4 tracks? I know a computer can see the 4 tape tracks but though album was just a stereo bounce. Big if true as you could use it to back up an entire song (have I missed this really obvious feature this whole time?)
  • Jonesy is just saying that this feature would be rad... 

    All cry

  • edited February 23
    No I wish it did...just the one track....its fraustrating making a nice tune by picking various loops live and recording it to album but then that's it, you can't take that lovely sequence as a 4 track to daw....it would be a killer feature and surely possible as it already has 4 track capability. Arguably it's a feature that people would pay for as a special optional OS upgrade. Any thoughts?
  • jonesy_op said:

    No I wish it did...just the one track....its fraustrating making a nice tune by picking various loops live and recording it to album but then that's it, you can't take that lovely sequence as a 4 track to daw....it would be a killer feature and surely possible as it already has 4 track capability. Arguably it's a feature that people would pay for as a special optional OS upgrade. Any thoughts?

    I guess it's not seen as too necessary because you can already export all 4 tracks from tape before you put it on album. Granted you lose any tape tricks that were part of a performance but that has nothing on the arranging possibilities that a DAW opens up. 
  • edited February 23
    Yeah I guess. I just got really comfortable and happy flicking through loops for composition. Also I like making beat/hi hat/snare patterns by muting/unmuting tracks (and other tape tricks) and recording it to album and bouncing back to tape. It would be nice to quickly archive those album bounces as 4 tracks to the laptop
  • True true, I guess if you´re already bouncing back to tape you could just be mindful to stash the segments  on to spare sections of 4 track tape in preparation for dumping back to computer? Abuse the resampling abilities..
  • This would definitely be an awesome feature - however the problem is that everything is summed through the master channel (mixer, EQ, master drive, master fx), so this sums them down to stereo track.

    Would be awesome if there was some way to do it though, as I often will do some panning to the album, but this is impossible to resample back to the track as it only resamples in mono :,(

    I've been using the old school method of working on a final bounce and using key gate triggers etc to make the bounce more pro sounding. Not super flexible though. Wish we could have all the separate bits with tape tricks and what not all contained. 

    In the drum machine world this is where someone would drill some holes, install some mini jacks, and have individual outs for the 4 tracks, which for obvious reasons would be impossible (and sacrilegous?) to do to the OP1
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