Innovative Swedish hardware company Teenage Engineering, makers of the OP-1 and Pocket Operators, have finally announced the launch of their much anticipated and most innovative product yet, the OP-Z, the world's first 16-step sequencer that can control music, visuals, and DMX lighting. For those unfamiliar with Teenage Engineering, their OP-1 synthesizer and sampler changed the landscape of synth making with the amount of power and capabilities, packed into a small package. The company is continuing on with this theme, but this time going even smaller and even more diverse. As stated above, currently there is no other controller on the market that allows for one to control three dimensions at once, whether that be sound, videos, or lighting. The OP-Z is the catalyst to a new wave of artistic performance abilities, and Teenage Engineering is once again about to turn music making on its head.
While the Z might resemble the 1, their similarities are much less than you'd expect. Yes they are both portable, yes they both work as synths (the Z containing 16 individual and independent synthesis, sampler and control tracks to be exact), and yes, you can sequence external sources, but that's about it. Where the Z really outclasses the OP-1, is in its playability. Admittedly, there is definitely a learning curve to the 1, and it takes most people a few days of solid noodling to get the gist of its power, but with the Z, the company took great lengths to change that, and now, most users can be up and running in a matter of hours. This is huge. A big problem with ideas like the Z, is that many times they aren't executed in a way that is approachable by the majority of users, regardless of skill level. Being able to have solid ideas within hours of first touching your new hardware is so important, it honestly can't be stressed enough.
And that's just the music side of the OP-Z. Once you've gotten that down, or maybe you've forgone that all together, the ability to control your synced visuals, and lighting to your music, opens up so many possibilities for truly all-encompassing performances. Granted, you'll need at least a basic understanding of how DMX and Unity work, but the fact you are even able to do that makes this little device so much more powerful than it looks. Unfortunately, getting your hands on one at the launch may prove to be more difficult than learning how to use the device, but nevertheless, if you are looking for that tool to not only tie your studio or live rig together, in a small and easy to use package, this is it. As if this couldn't get any better, the Teenage Engineering will eventually be releasing additional modules for the OP-Z, once again expanding the possibilities of the little synth. For full functionality, see below.
*As a bonus, for those in London, the OP-Z will be showcased at the We Are Robots Festival
Advanced multi-speed 16-track sequencer.
- step component composing
- endless sequencing steps
- track independent length
- track independent speed
- parameter locks
- step recording
- live recording
- midi sequencing
- image and 3D graphics sequencing
- DMX light sequencing (needs external interface)
16 individual and independent synthesis, sampler and control tracks.
- FX slot 1
- FX slot 2
- cv & trig
160 user programmable patterns
upgradeable modular effects architecture. included effects: delay, reverb, filters, tremolo etc.
14 multi-program step components for advanced step sequencing.
when paired or connected to an ios device, the ios device will act as a screen for OP-Z.
OP-Z iOS app will be free to download from app store.
compatible with any ios device that is apple metal graphics specified.
- analog devices blackfin 70X dsp
- cirrus logic audio co-processor
- 1250 mmacs
- 48kHz 24-bit dac
- 115 dB dynamic range
6 axis motion sensor (g-force)
bluetooth 5.0 LE
> 6-month standby time
- usb type c
- 3.5 mm 4-pole jack
2 octaves of musical keys
51 mechanical keys in total
pressure sensitive pitch bend
4 x multi-purpose color coded high-resolution encoders
volume knob / on switch
29 rgb+w led indicators
24 w led indicators
integrated mems microphone
rigid engineering plastic housing
IXEF 1022 PARA + 50% glass fiber
Unique encoder design
teenage engineering designed floating ball bearing hall sensor encoders for minimal stacking height and wear.
L 212.5 mm
H 57.5 mm
D 10 mm
+ 6 mm length for volume knob
Included in package
USB type c to USB a for charging and content management.