Teenage Engineering OP-Z In-Depth Demo

In this video, Cuckoo takes an in-depth look at the new Teenage Engineering OP-Z synthesizer.

Video Summary:

The OP-Z is finally here! How does it work? After hanging out with me in this video you will get the workflow into your backbone. There’s SOOOO MUCH you can do with this tiny device, so I don’t want to stress it. If you’re really interested in learning how to manoeuvre this machine, let’s take our time. So make yourself a cup of tea, and let’s get going.

27 thoughts on “Teenage Engineering OP-Z In-Depth Demo

  1. The OP-1 was a beautiful piece of design work, very playful and fun, super interface, and possibly the best mobile music-making solution (even if the 4-track “tape” deck was annoyingly limiting).

    But I don’t understand how I could possibly use this OP-Z piece of plastic with no display. Sounds good. But the interface is abysmal. And if I’m going to have to use an iPhone or iPad to get the most out of it, I might as well use the other apps on there too and dispense with the grey uninspiring slab.

    1. The retail cost of adding a high resolution display nearly length of OP-Z would have been about $35 per unit. That is a fairly educated retail cost. Never mind that even a small batch of 5000 units would have lowered that price by at least nearly 40%. And if they chose a clam-shall design both the ‘instruments’ buttons and display would have been protected whilst not in use.

      This is more than merely whether this is perceived as a toy or not, it is the odd choices an experienced company such as TE makes that continues to create this divisiveness within their product line.

      1. Hi Mod6,
        It’s a great way to look it at, how much would the cost to the user be? Although, I think your estimation of the cost is off by around a factor 3.5. More like 120 USD for the user to get an OLED display with that size into a product like OP-Z. And how useful would that display be? Surely not as useful as an iPhone display, or even your TV? Not sure they’re planning on a tvOS version of the app but that would be amazing.

        I think there are other factors to consider here too, such as the lifetime of the product and ability to offer a repair service for years to come. It’s unlikely TE would make their own custom displays (millions in investment), so they’d be forced to use something found on the open market. Right now it’s smart watch displays that might fit the product the best, but how long will the be available for? What happens if the display they integrate becomes end-of-life? Kill the product? What about units that need to be repaired? Dead forever?

        TE has been offering OP-1 for almost 10 years, and I see each of my two units has a different display. I wonder if that’s linked to the out-of-stock issues they sometimes have. I’m not sure it’s as simple as we think….

    1. You played it already? You should do a review and post it to the YouTubes. It would be more informative than just saying it’s horrid and pointless. Wait… unless you haven’t actually played it. But then how would you actually know it’s horrid and pointless? So many questions.

      1. I’m with Jose on this: you can see that this a plastic gadget where too many corners have been cut, you have to learn lots of arcane buttons + shift alternatives, no way are you going to figure it out without learning the user manual off by heart. Ultimately this is never going to be an intuitive pick-it-up and easy-to-play device. Then there’s the price: it costs more than 2 novation circuits.

    2. I was in this camp until fairly recently. I won’t lie, Cuckoo’s video hasn’t converted my fully but I watched it from start to finish and repeated a few sections and got to say, I am impressed with what they have put inside this. Some of the sequencing and synth engines sound great (to me) and the FX application looks a blast. The app functionality is a nice cherry on top.

      So, is it a must have? Absolutely not. But can I see its value – yes, I can though admittedly I still think the UI would drive me up the wall. I’m old enough to remember the TV remotes from yesteryear – hated using them!

    3. How much time did you spend playing it? You should post a review and explain why you think it’s horrible and pointless. Unless… now wait just a minute. Unless you’ve never actually played it, in which case how would you know it’s horrible and pointless? So many questions!

      1. I don’t really get people saying that I (or anyone not instantly poring praise on every new product) need to get this and do a review before we have any criticism?
        First of all why would I spend any time or money on a product that just seem pointless to me?
        I would rather spend that time playing with something that gives the impression of being a joyful experience.
        Secondly; why do Youtube reviews even exist?
        I mean if no one can get any impression what so ever from watching an hour long video, why do anyone bother with making these reviews in the first place?
        Thirdly; Do I really need to have physical contact with an object to form an opinion?
        I have never hit myself in the head with a hammer, but I’m pretty sure that it will hurt. Even if I had hit myself in the head with a hammer would I need to redo that every-time a new hammer was brought to market? After all my experience would be from a completely unrelated brand of hammers so how could I assume that this new hammer would feel and work the same way?

        Watching the user interface on this thing and having experience from other combo-pushing, multi-function LED-blinking interfaces tells me immediately that this is one hammer I am not particularly interested in trying…

  2. I like that people offer these kind of opinions without having tried the gear, seen the gear, played the gear or built an experience from the gear. It saves them the time to allow facts to influence an opinion, and they can better spend that time posting on the forum their thougths on said gear, from a perspective that is quite unique. I mean, Cuckoo’s had access to the hardware for over a year, I’d say. Anyone can have an informed opinion based on that. But to clearly state the truth and say it like it is, without having even seen the gear in real life, that is something else, and not for everyone to lightly share or distribute on the internet. And that is an accomplishment in itself.

  3. I have watched every OP-Z video and have ordered one (I have the case already)

    This looks to have more connectivity and a more powerful sequencer than just about anything on the market. I am a hardcore step sequencer use (Elektron dark trinity and a bunch of Eurorack stuff) once you add the midi and CV to this the sequencer alone is worth the cost to me….more advanced P-Locking than Elektron- Different tracks at different step numbers (up to 256!), speed and time signatures per pattern, so may time of lock that can be combined like mini-macros (all written on the keys….if you actually watch the video using it witout a screen seemed quite strait forward) In my opinion BYOS is a great idea- keep it small (pocked sized) but if you need/want a screen use your phone/iPAD…I am never witout my phone, I suspect this will live in my jacket pocket as well!

    1. what do you mean by more advanced P-Locking than Elektron ?
      I’m really interested in this to replace my digitakt to sequence my euro

  4. I’d like to hear Santana or Gary Moore bitching like : “Oh this freaking amp doesn’t have a display. I can’t see while I turn it up to 11”. Really?

    The beauty of this is … “USE YOUR EARS”. It will make you a better musician.
    When I got the first Maschine, the displays were limited and when I adjusted EQs and Compressors I learned to use my ears.

  5. Some good sounds but boooring design and horrid user experience. Smellls like a BIG flop at its suggested crazy high retailprice. I’ll bet you can pick up this for around 99 Pounds within a year.

    1. ”Smellls like a BIG flop at its suggested crazy high retailprice.”
      Sold out in under 1 hour….I guess you were totally wrong!

      1. It’s easy to advertise “sold out” if you only put out 500 of them. This is classic marketing strategy, and I see the shills are ignoring to mention it.

    1. Well it seems I supported the wrong company when I purchases Teenage OP-1, as I don’t own any shitty Apple products and have no intention to purchase scam products from scam manufacturer. Seeing how they’re giving a big “F U” to any non-mac users as it doesn’t have display, I’m going to have to boycott this company from now on.

  6. why do people keeping saying that it’s got a better sequencer than elektron but don’t say how it’s better, please explain yourself.

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