Teenage Engineering OpLab

Teenage Engineering OpLab

At the 2012 NAMM Show, Teenage Engineering introduced the OpLab Musical Experimental Board – a sort of electronics kit for music.

The OpLab is designed to let you interconnect virtually any electronic musical instruments and to do it easily. MIDI, CV & USB are all available and designed to be plug and play. Just connect your cables, ‘set the appropriate scenario’ and go.

The OpLab also offers 2 x 12 bit switchable digital outputs, which you can use to connect lights, LEDs, buzzers, motors, sensors, etc. For OP-1 synth users, the OpLab adds MIDI In, Out & Thru – but the OpLab is not limited to OP-1 users.

The primary idea behind the OpLab is that it should be easy to connect anything that you want to your synth, or to use it to create new controllers or types of synths.

Teenage Engineering also plans a variety of sensors that you will be able to connect to the OpLab, including pressure sensors, shake sensors and more.

The Teenage Engineering OpLab is available now for $299.

18 thoughts on “Teenage Engineering OpLab

  1. Innovative! I don’t have many synths but I’m sure guys/some gals hopefully, have been pondering how to get “this connected to this or that” or thought “i wish i could just use this with that”. I haven’t ran into many of those problems but I am positive they are out there. How do you modular guys see this working in your set up? I’d like some examples of the applicable use of this though. Like a couple of things that aren’t supposed to link up, function together. Even though the OP-1 is expensive and out of my price range I got to test one out at a synth fest and it was pretty awesome. Maybe in a couple of years I’ll be able to purchase one on ebay, but I like what they are doing here, it makes me excited about electronic music again. It was getting a little stale there but with all these new products coming out I’m getting gear hungry!

  2. An overpriced toy IMHO.
    With a bit of electronics components knowledge and manual skills you can handle an Arduino or similar microcontrollers and have nearly the same functions for 60-70 dollars

    1. Ok, but not everyone wants to invest time in learning how to program an Arduino, and this kit makes it easy and painless for those of us who would like to achieve this kind of control. it’s all inclusive.

      i feel it’s like Apple Computers- people complain about how expensive the products are, and about how you can do the exact same thing for less. but look how widely used apple products are now. it might become the same way with teenage engineering products.

  3. The guys never disappoint! This is what it’s about! The say their developing a program language so that you can design your own synths/controller/process etc. I don’t believe there’s a company out there that takes into account all the different elements of electronic. music technology like these guys are, hack/chip/circuit bending/ obscure synthesis. types/ sampling/ recording/ control and now home brew! Are you you kidding me!!! These guys just made me a dedicated follower

  4. Saw a demo yesterday on another blog, and I’m concerned that this is nothing more than a toy. You can connect a couple interfaces to your synth to do things that your synth can most likely already do. A nob to control a nob that is already on your synth, a pad to control a key. It seems very limited, and I’m interested in seeing how complex the interfaces can get. Would this allow you to connect a keyboard to a kaossilator, or something like that?

    Also, how is it that you can create your own synth with this? From what I have seen, this seems to only act as a controller interface, and I haven’t seen any indication that you can create a “new type of synth.”

  5. I agree there are other avenues that one can explore to accomplish similar results ( I’m quite familiar with circuit bending/ ardunio etc. I did for years early on ) but combining those values with style, and presenting it to a new audience of people and artists that very well might not think in those terms is in of itself very fresh and exciting for the synth world. You can tell these guys really love what the do , and in their execution of ideas they appear to let everyone that works there throw something into mix. You simply don’t get that vibe from any other company and in their case a collective. I wish elektron

  6. As I was saying I wish elektron would have gone this route! Sometimes the simplist ideas produce the best results…their OPlab is very simple in concept but on another level their asking their users to take an active role. As opposed to just buying a ready made product which will become stagnant…this one appears to be more about you and your own creative impulses… And that’s what it’s about…a fantastic addition to the electronic music proccess!!!wow after reading this I think I just blew these guys like a gay guy at a rest stop!!! Nice…dk

  7. I’m not sure how this is different from several other and less expensive options. (livid, highly liquid, midibox,etc). And I might be wrong, but for the $300 brain, it looks like you only get a few analog and digital i/o’s. Maybe I’m missing something?
    Also, if they dedicated this much time and money in this product, why not have a demo ready that makes people say “wow!”?
    That can be said of many new products these days.

    1. Dual USB host out of the box? Name me another device that does the same (not being PC)… Note that even iConnect MIDI has only one USB host…

  8. I think that some of the commenters here are giving arduino a little more credit than it deserves, for lack of a better phrasing. I love arduino, but it’s become apparent to me that people who have probabky never used it think that you can just bang out an awesome synth or midi controller quick and easy with tons of functionality, just because they have seen some of the work others have done. It’s a great platform, but many opt for much more expensive and powerful stuff. Depends on what your trying to do.

    I don’t have enough info/specs on this to determine how powerful it is yet. It may be something similar to arduino, I don’t know what platform it based on. How you program it will be the biggest thing, that’s what makes arduino great IMHO. The biggest difference is that’s it’s aimed at music related projects, where arduino is a general purpose hobby platform. So it’s really sort of apples and oranges.

  9. I Meant my earlier comment as constructive, more than negative. The more diy options, the better. I want small companies like this to succeed so they can keep making new gear for me to lust. I just think they really could have done a much better job showing why this thing is special, rather than showing how to make a single $400 drum trigger, which I made a whole kit of triggers+brain+meshhead drums for less than $150 10 years ago.
    So please small music tech companies: put a little effort into showing off your hard work so I’ll want to buy it!

  10. When the OP-1 was taking a $#!+ bath for being an “over-priced toy” there may even have been some complaints about a lack of midi or 3.5mm audio i/o. This seems to resolve those issues, giving some modular connectivity and options to that innovative rig.

    Two points I’d add: maybe it isn’t made in a giant chinese sweatshop, maybe it has some growing room.

    1. So paying $1000 for a underpowered OP-1 and another $300 for midi makes sense to you?

      I like this little gizmo but charging $300 for it makes me laugh.

  11. Love the idea but, as with everything from this company, it’s overpriced. The little “side dishes” and the fucking shoe are sort of stupid. But something like this would be great to tie together my iPhone, midi-fied Monotribe and Foogers, so here’s hoping another company takes the idea and runs with it. And as for Arduino- great way to learn and experiment, but c’mon unless you’re talented, those DIY deals are usually far from resilient for people who actually leave their room and play music… drunk…and pack and unpack equipment. I’m looking at a packed breadboard now that, while great for giving me some extra midi options, is the equivalent of a Charlie Brown Christmas tree compared to the rest of my very humble set up.

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