The Teenage Engineering OP-1: If It’s ‘A Perfect Instrument’, Why Do So Many People Slag On It?

Teenage Engineering OP-1

Synthesist Jyoti Mishra shared thoughts on his site, Synthlover, today about his new Teenage Engineering OP-1 synthesizer. And just his site’s name would suggest, he loves it.

In fact, Mishra seems to have nothing but good things to say about his OP-1 synth:

This is one of the most musical musical instruments I have ever used. I’m working on a synth sound, the envelope is a bit off, press one button and then twiddle the appropriately color-coded knob. It is so easy, so intuitive.

All of that would be charming but rather pointless if the OP-1 was, as its detractors claim, an over-priced toy. It is not. It packs enough DSP to create full tracks, I’ve been hammering it and I’ve never had it give up on me like my Micron does when I try to sequence too many parts.

Remember the fun of your first synth, just fucking about on it and creating magical symphonies? The OP-1 is that again.

This seems to be the reaction of just about everybody that has tried out the OP-1.

When I covered the OP-1 synthesizer at NAMM, the Teenage Engineering booth was swamped with people, fascinated by the little synth workstation. And most of the OP-1 owners that I’ve talked to since rave about it.

So, I’m surprised that so many people seem to slag on the Teenage Engineering OP-1, on concept alone.

A representative comment:

“It’s a product deliberately aimed at people who have bought into a certain aesthetic, with plenty disposable of income,” comments one reader. “I don’t particularly hate the OP-1 (though the design repels me a bit), I hate what it represents and the reason it exists.”

What do you think explains the disconnect?


87 thoughts on “The Teenage Engineering OP-1: If It’s ‘A Perfect Instrument’, Why Do So Many People Slag On It?

  1. its funny that most people dont even slightly get the point. its about the limitations that chalanges your creativity. its about being crative and not about endless routing filtering and other technical stuff you tend to do on your computer.

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    • yes! i guess i have my most creative moments when i just have a cheap yamaha synth, my guitar and a 4 track tape recorder. endless fun. nowadays after i start up ableton i just stare at the screen for 5 minutes and shut it down again … :)

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  2. The OP1 is truely an innovative digital synth. I had some good time with it , altho’ i deciced to sell my OP1 & went for that old Jupiter6 which costed me as much as the OP1.

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    • So then you got a Jup 6 for around $800ish??? Did you buy it from a crackhead? LOL Jup 6s go for $3,000+. You got a really good deal.

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  3. On one hand the OP-1 feels like it could be a device that democratises the music making process.

    On the other; it’s an expensive, over engineered, luxury item – marketed exclusively at hipster douche-bags.

    I wonder why people hate on it?

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  4. The Beatles made Sergeant Pepper’s with a Fourtrack.!
    King Tubby and Lee Perry changed everything with Fourtracks…
    The op-1 is an embarassment of riches…
    The message is the important thing but the OP-1 is one hell of a medium!

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