18 thoughts on “Teenage Engineering OP-Z Sneak Preview

  1. I really wonder what they were thinking when they made this device without a screen. Hopefully the price is really low given the omission of the wonderful screen on the OP1.

  2. I think they were thinking everyone already carries a screen with them I the shape of a phone or tablet- lower cost, better (bigger) external screen.

    1. Yup. From TE’s site: “…we introduce the concept of BYOS – bring your own screen. you already have the phone with that gorgeous retina display in your pocket, right?”. Pretty smart, I like it.

      1. Screens – especially touch screens – always seem like the weak link on a synth; delicate, difficult to replace, and brief in lifespan compared to rest of the synth’s construction, so I welcome this trend. I always get slightly paranoid about the screen on my Vsynth going out.

        It’s also nice to give a second life for your old tablets that would otherwise just sit in a drawer or a landfill.

  3. It doesn’t look that hard to learn to use without a screen. He mentions at the end of the video that he thought he learned the functions faster without one. The minimal interface does seem a bit confusing, with track-shift and shift-track doing different things. I’m coming from a DAW sequencing setup and all of these performance sequencer functions Cuckoo shows on the OP-Z have me kind of jealous. I’m thinking about how i could integrate it into my setup. It reminds me of why i like keep a Kaoss Pad around for easy hands on way to trigger FX accents and phrase repeats, because you can’t really do that simply on a DAW. It would be cool if the tablet app/screen option includes an XY pad or graph to write parameter automation into the sequences instead of just the dials on the panel.

    1. I was a bit vague, but I mentioned the kaoss (though it has no seq features) to say i appreciate the value of tactile control over sequencing functions vs mousing around visually. Now that I think about it, a complex hardware sequencer is what i’ve always wanted but didn’t know it. I guess I assumed it’d have a hundred buttons and a big screen. If I could actually get around on this minimal interface without fuss and getting lost, then TE have really accomplished something.

    1. Agreed. The UI is not really that intuitive. I like TE but have to say that if this was not a TE product, people would be all over this ‘innovative’ basic UI. Just look at the old digital synths of the 90s. Many of those were horrible UIs yet against this, seem like a god send. I hope that the production instrument proves me wrong, but at this stage in the game, I don’t see it improving that much.

      1. The horrible UIs of the early digital synths and samplers were more down to having to menu dive on a tiny screen several layers to access parameters, or worse, having to type a 2 digit code to access filter cutoff or something. And also no knobs, just a data access slider if you’re lucky. This seq may not be intuitive however, i’ll grant you that. I like the comparison to the stenography machine below, though in my opinion thats a plus not a criticism: A stenographer doesn’t need to look at the keys.

  4. This seems odd to me. Part of the appeal of hardware is the hands on nature, right? This seems so fiddly with all those multi-mode TINY buttons. It’s like a musical stenographer machine!

    Seems like you’d be better off with the iPhone or iPad which you need anyway, and a good, small midi controller like the Korg nano studio. Then you have a nearly infinite amount of stuff you can do… for way less money.

  5. I don’t know if any of you guys who criticize the interface have a pocket operator…I just got a PO-28 a few days ago and is such a little amazing machine!. Yes, you need some practice to get how it works, study the manual a bit, memorize a bunch of little combinations-is not intuitive, but it is simple…Once this is done and with a little practice, it is as fun and fast as it can get!. Of course if you have to explain every step you are doing it will sound crazy. Just like playing a videogame: you need some practice to get the control mapping, then you just play.

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