The Teenage Engineering OP-1 is an instrument that has become quite famous among the world of synthesizers over recent years. When it first arrived on the scene, many had their minds boggled at how something that looks so far from a typical synthesizer keyboard could come at such a price point. It really looked like a toy when people first saw this instrument, but no one could have expected this “toy” to be the beast that we later found it out to be. One should not underestimate it from first sight, and as they say, big things come in small packages and the OP-1 is a true testament to that. So how did the OP-1 become known as one of the top synthesizers in the world?Check Price On Amazon
If you’ve never gotten the chance to feel this device in person, then you might expect it to be a light keyboard. Sure, it’s no 88 key keyboard, but it is surprisingly heavier than you might believe it to be at first, and that is just because the build-quality is so pristine. All of the components are top-notch, the screen is sharp and bright, and the color-coded multi-function knobs feel like they’re made from premium materials. In general, there’s not a lot to say about the body and UI of the Teenage Engineering OP-1; it’s exactly what you would expect it to be – compact, mobile, durable, and simple. Clearly, there are not too many knobs and buttons, and this keeps the interface clutter-free and tidy.
The sound quality of the OP-1 by Teenage Engineering is fantastic. There really isn’t much more to say about it because this instrument realistically has very few flaws, and the comparison to Apple products is easily understood. In terms of what kinds of sounds you can produce, the sky is the limit – this tiny workstation is deceptively versatile! As far as portable units go, the Teenage Engineering OP-1 is the best, and it isn’t even close. When you look at something like the Yamaha Montage 8 and then you look at the OP-1, you will likely be inclined to think that the Yamaha is superior due to the price-point difference being so drastic and the fact that the Montage 8 seems to have so many more things filling out its UI, you’d be pleasantly surprised to discover that the OP-1 can do a lot of the same things that the Montage 8 can do. Now can you say that this is the superior product? Probably not, but it shouldn’t take away from the fact that just being in the same discussion is an admirable facet.
This tiny synthesizer, has multiple synthesizer engines for ultimate diversity. While other products only come with their base engine and are limited to one style of play, the OP-1 is an instrument that can adhere to more than one musical playing styles. It has two samplers; one that is used in the same way as other regular keyboards would be used, and another sampler that is specifically tailored to drums. It has a wide variety of neat yet practical sound effects, and it also has a ton of creative sequencer modes. The Teenage Engineering OP-1 also has a four track recorder that lets you cut, paste, loop, perform, and mix. External audio can be recorded with the external microphone or the line input, and funnily enough it also has a built-in radio feature. As you can see, the OP-1 is totally jam-packed with features and abilities, and you’ll have no shortage of potential in expressing yourself musically with this instrument. It’s quite comical that those who initially downplayed the capabilities of this synth ended up being the ones most shocked to find out how incredibly powerful this keyboard is.
The biggest “feature” of this instrument however, is its size. In such a small package, one would be able to reproduce impeccable sounds that you would normally only be able to produce on a very large, complex synthesizer. This is especially huge if you’re someone that does this live and for other people – you might not care about having a 40 lbs synthesizer in your home if it will never leave your home, but you certainly have to take a look at the OP-1 if you will need to move around your instrument often. You can easily take the Teenage Engineering OP-1 on a bus, small car, or even an airplane. Can you do that with the Roland JUNO DS88? Probably not.
The OP-1 comes in at a tiny frame of just 11 inches by 4 inches, and a thickness of 0.5 inches. When traveling, the OP-1 synthesizer could fit virtually anywhere.
Overall – Is The OP-1 Worth It?
Generally speaking, this is one of the best synths you can get on the market today, period. This is not about whether or not the OP-1 is a top-notch small or “mini” synth, that has already been established. You can genuinely put this synthesizer in the conversation of being one of the best synthesizers, and yes, that does include the likes of a Korg Kronos or Yamaha Montage 8. The fact that it is such a small device seals the deal for most people – it might have a few drawbacks when comparing to those beasts, but the portability of it is too illustrious to pass for many people, and you can’t blame them. In today’s world, musicians need to be mobile quite frequently, and while it may not be a problem once or twice, carrying around a massive synthesizer workstation becomes a hassle to deal with. The Teenage Engineering OP-1 solves those problems, and makes music production a joy at the same time.