Teenage Engineering OP-Z Synthesizer (Sneak Preview)

At the 2016 NAMM Show, Teenage Engineering is previewing a new synth, the OP-Z.

In this video, synthesist Cuckoo talks with lead software engineer Jonas Åberg about the unique new synth. 


The  OP-Z is a wireless 16 track multitimbral synthesizer, with fully sequenceable parameter locks, video synthesis and including ‘per step modifiers’.

Per step modifiers can change the timing, pitch of notes and flow of the sequencer.

The OP-Z is also wireless, supporting Bluetooth MIDI.

They describe the synth capabilities as synchronized dual-domain synthesis, with equal emphasis on audio and video creation.

Details are still to be announced.

43 thoughts on “Teenage Engineering OP-Z Synthesizer (Sneak Preview)

      1. The other day I gave them a hard time for those twee thingies – I think I was wrong.

        Because of the OP-1 I perceived them as synth makers, and those little thingies as a legacy of that. But they aren’t really ‘synth makers’, they are an interesting ‘audio/visual design company’, that happened to also design a really good synth at one point.

        Sorry for my miss-evaluation – I guess it is all risky and passionate stuff, maybe not to my taste, but I actually think it is beyond that, it is art.

      2. I’ll agree with you to see if I can get my comment posted. Guess they didn’t like the disagreeing one. It “is” an expensive toy, you cant make music with it and if you do you cant call it proper music.

    1. The appeal is that they’re so inviting to play on. You mix the addictive nature of a video game or toy with a music creation device and you’ll have people actually making music in the end. I’ve had friends, who’ve previously had no interest in music making/synthesis, go out and buy a TE product. It’s intelligent design.

      1. its very intelligent, but more for people that find making music not appealing enough.
        Like for people that say “nah synths i dont know all this CV and gates and cables and you know its just too complicated to get me started”

        For those people its perfect, also for industrial designers as a real clever and stylish UI example.

        For someone that uses synths in a deeper more in-depth use, i guess its fun to use them too, but probably not as appealing as the new Oberheim SEM for example.

        Even if the oberheim has a classic “old” design opposed to the TE stuff.

        1. “its very intelligent, but more for people that find making music not appealing enough.”

          Well, isn’t that a snotty and completely untrue statement.

          Different people have different ways to get to the same end-goal.

  1. Looks good, and I want to see more. One of the things I like most about TE is that they are creating NEW and INTERESTING synths that are fun to use but quite powerful at the same time. The people complaining about the price of the OP-1 or saying it’s a toy are most likely people who have never played it. For such a long time, the same big Japanese corporations were selling the same, boring instrument one after the other. That’s changing, I think, and companies like TE are leading the way.

    1. I don’t see what’s forward thinking in this piece of plastic. Is this a new type of synthesis ? does it support microtuning ? where is the real innovation ? this is a useless overpriced gadget as usual with TE. They’re leading the way for hipsters but certainly not for musician and synth enthusiast.

      1. But its clearly not really aimed at the avid synth enthusiast is it? Its a cool little gadget/music box that makes cool sounds and looks like its a lot of fun to play around on! I’d love to have a go, don’t really care if its purist or not, it looks fun, like all their stuff is. The op-1 is great as you can carry it around with you, run it off batteries and come up with sweet ideas on it. its perfect for that, this looks as if it will be the same. And it does look fresh and new, it does visuals as well as audio, thats great for live electronic musicians who wish to integrate visuals..

        cut long story short…cheer up mate 😛 x

    2. hmm, it depends.

      as an industrial designer their stuff is just nothing but perfect to me.

      As a musician, it depends.

      Stuff thats good for on the bus, sucks in the studio, form factor wise because its as small as possible.
      If we assume that the sound is the same. So when designing a mobile synth, i can totally understand their approach of clean design.

      But that design also limits their product to the “take it with you” group of synths.
      I think TE stuff is for people with no money issues, that dont want ipads, go on long bus rides, and dont produce music, or plan to do so on the TE stuff.

      I really want an OP1 🙂
      But i just cant get me buy one with all my modular and analogue stuff around me hehe

  2. Errr…sweating it out at NAMM. Oh no, here comes the castaway…and he’s got a mic! I just hope that Nora Jones don’t drown out our new toy (which we haven’t quite figured out yet).

    1. it took me a few seconds to read your comment, that was also quite painful, the guy is going to the trouble of going to Namm and producing these videos for the public who can’t be there whilst your lameass is probably in bed reading this.

  3. You could have done this in an app?

    Would have saved alot of time and money in engineering costs.

    But then again, it’s teenage engineering? 🙂

    Expensive toys.

  4. I’d LOVE to own the op- 1 toy or not…

    Not sure about this one. Why do these designs always remind me of ikea? 50 hot dogs anyone?

  5. A Ferrari is an expensive ‘toy’ that journeys from A to B like a crap car, albeit faster, whereas Teenage Engineering products are creative pioneering concepts that redefine the journey itself. 😛

  6. I love how many people call the OP-1 a toy. Has about 7 or 8 different synth engines, 4 track recording with proper overdub, many different forms of sequencing, pretty nice FX and a range of ways to work it for live performances. I have one and I will never get rid of my toy. I actually like it when people call it a toy, makes me feel like a genius, like I have unlocked a great device that most are too pompous to even give it proper respect.
    Toy, hahahahahah! Korg and Teenage Engineering are making the best toys ever! Give it a few more years, you see less of these expensive “proper” synths.

  7. I had an OP-1 for a few months. It’s a really cool machine, but I found the synth fell short tone wise. Also all the “different” stuff isn’t all that great. The effects were very disappointing as well. I don’t regret buying it or selling it, and I don’t miss it at all. This one looks like a pain to me already. If you need to see the display and you want to go somewhere without a tv or whatever. If it doesn’t sound as good as the electribe, what’s the point? Not to mention the price, which I bet will be too much. Still a fan of TE anyhow. Always excited to see new stuff from them.

    1. They could give me 2 more tracks and the ADSR from the synth engine to the sampler engine and a simple way to sync them and I’d by another one.

      I’ll get my hopes up about this next machine once they do an official release with “proper” information.

  8. this is way more interesting to me than the OP1… i dont consider either of them toys, but they are certainly non-standard instruments in the extreme.. which i like, but again, the OP1 was not my bag

    this however… this shit is crazy – id like to spend some time with it myself – hard to know if i *need* one just from these demos, its just too bizarre to understand without putting my hands on it

        1. Let your freak flag fly. Long hair don’t cost a thing, if you can afford it. No one’s ever gonna find ya if you don’t get yerself lost….

  9. Been singing lead for 35 years, guitar for 25 years, still playing clubs every week… bought OP-1 as my first keyboard. It taught me a lot. I love the recorder, beats, synth, etc all in one unit. It caused me to buy a Moog as a stand-alone synth. Love the OP-1. A great ideas tool and fun at the same time 🙂

  10. No diss to anyone. Personally I’m attracted to the OP-1 although it has its place and a lot of people take it to new territories. The PO series although… Iif they were just sample packs nobody would care. And they priceis not as cheap cointing what you could get in the second hand market.

    You have to admit that the brand uses a lotof hipster factor. However, as I said, I’m sure thisone has some potential.

  11. To me Teenage Engineering are a bunch of industrial designers that happen to like synths.

    Their stuff is more a design statement and UI prototype than instruments.

    I like them a lot, but wouldn’t buy stuff from them to actually make music with it, more to play around for fun.

    OP1 seems to be a decent thing though, but the formfactor makes it not practical in my modular and desktop setup. For a long train ride, it would be cool, but only if i wouldn’t have an ipad, or the machinedrum wouldn’t run on batteries 🙂

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