Teenage Engineering OP-Z


#1760

How does it compare (the op-z sequencer) to octatrack or squid sequencer?
From the videos seems to be similar to Octatrack seq.


#1761

I know nothing about Squid so I’ll compare to the Octatrack only.

The OP-Z is, feature-wise, more capable than the OT for sequencing. It’s possible to jump to various places in the pattern, hold certain steps, affect the note/sound assigned to a step, and various other features, using the step components, which go much deeper than the OT’s trig conditions.

However! It’s much more fiddly and somewhat less reliable/predictable than the OT’s sequencer. Maybe it’s because I’ve had two years with the OT and only 6 months or so with the OP-Z, but I’ve found that it’s much easier to irreversibly destroy patterns on the Z, for better or worse. The OT’s interface is spacious enough that you can fairly easily tell what’s going on, where with the Z you kinda need to remember certain LED position/colour combinations unless you’re using the app.

The OP-Z’s unpredictability can be used to its advantage though, especially if you’re into more abstract IDM or generative music. The step components alone make it able to take melodic content into interesting aleatoric/self-playing territory very quickly. The OT on the other hand, is solid and reliable; probably the one to go for if you want to compose something and have it come out exactly the way you wrote it.

Another option you could look at is the Squarp Pyramid; it’s not the same kind of sequencer as the OT or OP-Z, but if you only want a sequencer it might be a better option, as it’s got a lot of features that the other devices lack.


#1762

Indeed, the OP-Z is excellent in function but slightly let down by its tiny size and buttons, much as I really enjoy mine I think using it with a midi controller is much more satisfactory which of course takes away a bit from the portability and using a single device, had TE used the same or similar size as the OP-1 I think the OP-Z would be so much better. Even in their marketing blurb they warned that its small size would annoy, and they were kind of right :rofl: (although I also love the extreme portability #conflict)

Personally no way would I expect the OP-Z to fulfil the role of main sequencer in a set up, it would probably drive you nuts, however as a portable composition instrument with a lot of interesting and fun features it is brilliant, that is what it is sold as and that is what it is, trying to use it as a main sequencer and not using the internal sounds is kind like using a hammer in place of a screwdriver.


#1763

My biggest problem with the OP-Z sequencer is how it handles pattern-length and step-lengths. I want to make longer patterns without losing resolution. I wish there was a page-feature like on the elektron machines so that it has 4 pages at 16 steps resolution.

I know there are step components to make shorter patterns more interesting but IMO most of the step components just mess with the play-position of the indiviudal track, forcing it out of sync with the rest of my tracks, resulting in a chaotic mess instead of musically pleasing variations shrug


#1764

Some dark breakbeats from the tiny, fiddly but lovely OP-Z…


#1765

Only three (iirc) step components mess with the timing, and I always thought that this was kind of the point of them. Especially the jump component.

The rest stay in time. For me, the step components are the whole reason to use the OP-Z. I’d far rather vary one pattern with step components, than have to manage 12 separate patterns to do the same thing. And they’re so intuitive.

I was working out how to use it to slice samples today. I hooked it up to an OP-1, and used the OP-Z to sequence the drum sampler on the OP-1. You can use the randomizer step component to get some really glitchy patterns. Then, you can resample into the drum sampler on the fly, and the new sample gets chopped up.

It’s like a mini Octatrack!

You can also use the sweep step component as an LFO to modulate up any two knobs on the OP-1. Slice start, drum pitch, volume. Anything that can be accessed by the OP-1’s own MIDI-in LFO.


#1766

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#1767

@pselodux Do you use the Octatrack and the OP-Z together? Can or do they complement each other in some way(s)?


#1768

Make beats on OP-Z, sample into Octatrack!


#1769

I haven’t used them together yet! It works nicely with the Digitone though—just a USB-C to USB-B cable for MIDI!


#1770

Anyone used the OP-z with the Bolt Visual Scripting extension in Unity?


#1771

Am I the only one thinking a Mixer-Module with 4 (stereo) inputs would be amazing?

I kinda don’t like the internal synth engine, but the sequencer is cool. Sequencing external synth while having a build in mixer?! (Mini octatrack ) Yes, please!


#1772

the OP-Z has become the main sequencer in my set up because it makes no hassle recording midi inputs as they should recall while playing back, velocity values and such, cc sweeps all captured!

at the end you can‘t control a unit less than Op-Z which is sometimes just pressing two buttons with two fingers, no thinking no disturbing menus full concentration on music.

like pre historic men used to hunt


#1773

Whoa - you got me thinking. This would be a really awesome module. From the module track you could have the 4 input tracks correspond to the 4 encoders, paging through various parameters. Or, alternately, you could have up to 4 parameters to control for each input pair. Anyway, this is a cool idea.


#1774

Went and cracked and picked up an OP-Z yesterday. I’d already watched enough videos that I had a decent head start on using it, and I wasn’t disappointed at all. It’s clearly designed to have a very wide sweet spot, which might falter a little when I start putting my own samples in, but the sequencer is epic - I went all-in and created a one-track, single step sequence, and ten minutes later the three spark types and various components had turned that into an evolving melodic patch.

Being able to stack the three sparks is what takes this beyond the already expansive Elektron realm - and the immediacy of the sound pool is also important, compensating for the lack of depth in editing.

I’ve just ordered a USB cable to hook it up to the Digis / OT etc., for what I fully anticipate will be an epic combo. In particular I reckon combining the sparks on the OP-Z with conditional live sampling on the OT should keep me busy for a while (or the OP-Z tape with live sampling - possibilities at every turn).


#1775

Everyone I hear talking about the OP-Z praises its sequencer…Anyone would care to explain me what makes it stand against concurrence please ? Thanks a lot.


#1776

Two words: Step components


#1777

Thanks for the link ! A bit abstract just reading the list but I guess it gives an idea.

What do the spark components do ?

The manual states this : step components can be applied to any of the audio tracks.

Does this mean that step components cannot be used to sequence external gear ?

Thanks a lot.


#1778

Kinda. You can sacrifice one of the audio tracks though and use it to sequence external MIDI.

If you’re interested in further information about step components, Cuckoo’s video on them is very informative!


#1779

Ok thanks I’ll check @cuckoomusic 's and one more time “be happy again” ™ ! :smile: