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OP-1 as an A+ travel companion

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  • OP-1 as an A+ travel companion

    I just want to share my love for the OP-1 as a portable all-in-one musical toolbox.

    After seeing a lady using an OP-1 live in Kyoto (i think this band? http://suzmenba.jp/) I bought one secondhand in December 2012 and took it travelling for a year (2013) down through Latin America. I'd heard a bit about it previously - briefly had a go of a friend's, thought it sound interesting but a bit gimicky. But I was really impressed by the use of it as a performance instrument by this lady - interesting sounds and very delicately performed; I think she was using the accelerometer as a live LFO. So, suffering early on-set synthesiser withdrawal, I sought one out and bought one.

    It was a really great travel keyboard - discrete, looks a bit like a toy, but has a very solid build and works like a full studio - sampling, synthesisers, drum machines, effects, eq, 4 track recorder, compression, able to record a 'master' and then dump the tracks and final recording as audio files over usb to a computer (or android phone, which is what I did for backup). I also got the 'unit portables' official case for it, which latched on nicely to my satchel when I wanted it to and kept it padded and safe in my backpack at other times.

    So the first song I recorded a few days after acquisition (30 Dec 2012), playing around with the sequencers and sampling the radio (in Mexico City): http://trackypants.bandcamp.com/track/casa-luna
    I didn't understand much spanish at the time, so I really had no idea that the radio presenters were talking about 'One Direction'! So it's a bit of a cheesy mash up of sound.

    The second song I finished 6 months later (Bogota, June 2013 ):

    'Possession'
    http://trackypants.bandcamp.com/track/possession

    I was recording lots of ideas before this of course, but also learning Spanish and doing tourist type things, I didn't get much finished until we had extended stays in one place (June, July & August in Bogota and November & December in Buenos Aires).

    There was a piano in the Airbnb apartment (in La Condesa - beautiful suburb; Mexico City is a lovely place!) we were staying at, so I recorded some ideas using the OP-1 at the time (Jan 2013) and over months in buses and hotel rooms, toyed around with the ideas, before finishing the following 2 tracks using these piano recordings:

    'Sociaphobia'
    http://trackypants.bandcamp.com/track/sociaphobia - singing recorded in our apartment in Bogota, June 2013; where I felt I was spending too much time!

    'Tengo ganas de verte'
    http://trackypants.bandcamp.com/trac...ganas-de-verte

    My favourite track I recorded is 'Great Ape' - except for my voice, but you have what you have:
    http://trackypants.bandcamp.com/track/great-ape

    I just made a video for 'Ghostlight' (see below)

    Anyway, if anyone is thinking of buying an OP-1 for travelling - I heartily recommend it. Very useful, great potential for interesting sounds and potential as a performance instrument too.
    www.myspace.com/carlhiggs
    www.myspace.com/allfiresthefire

  • #2
    It seems like a great little multi-synth. I just wish the price was more reasonable. They could have sold four times as many for half the markup.
    Kronos, Fant.G8, PC3X, K2500RS, A6, Q, M3-61, Fant.X7, Motif 8, EX5(x2), V-Synth, K2000(x2), D50, JD800, JD990, JP8080, XP30, MC909, MC505, JX-10, JX-305, TR-707, Juno 1, DR-202, Radias, Triton Pro, Wavest. SR, EMX1, ESX1, ER-1, EA-1, R3, Poly 800, RS7000, FS1R (x2), RM1X, AN200, DX200, QY70, QY100, K5000S, OB-12, Maschine,ASR10,ASR88,ASR-X Pro, EPS,Virus B, Equinox,E-Mu XL-7,MiniAK, Synthstation,X-Station, XioSynth,TG33,Venom,V50,UltraNova,Z1,Spark,Moog LP Stage II, JP8000,Tetra,Supernova 2.

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    • #3
      Which would have required it to be made by Roland or Yamaha, who probably wouldn't have come up with the idea in the first place. Perhaps Korg would have, but they don\t seem to do outside ideas.
      Some Ramblings from Mr. Gueguen
      http://timgueguen.blogspot.com

      Saskatoon At 7 Megapixels
      http://saskatoonseven.blogspot.com

      A Magpie Moment.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxBVa9D0-J4

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      • #4
        I think the price is fair for what it can do and the quality of the build. I paid more for my blofeld keyboard, which is nice and sounds great, but really is buggy (eg. monophonic sounds sometimes get stuck notes; and using the free button as a switch doesn't seem to reliably work for me) and that won't get fixed. Considering the OP-1 does a heap of things without screwing up and has recently had new updates as well as some exciting expansion options (OP-Lab), I think it's a good deal.
        www.myspace.com/carlhiggs
        www.myspace.com/allfiresthefire

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        • #5
          According to the Teenage Electronics website it's now $849. So that's multiple drum machine types; multiple programmable synthesizer engines w/ good options for live use (eg. accelerometer LFO) ; various sequencer options; 4 track recorder which allows you to export as AIF files the stems as well as mixdown; midi controller (via usb); built in microphone as well as audio input for sampling or running through internal fx. I think it sounds about as good a deal as you can get - up there with the nord micro modular for me.
          www.myspace.com/carlhiggs
          www.myspace.com/allfiresthefire

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