Teenage Engineering OP-Z


I wouldn’t not call the OP-Z a groove box. It’s not even a box. That’s Elektron’s department.

Voluntary beta testing has been happening for months before release. And there have been several YouTube and Instagram videos out in the wild for the past year now.


I love this line from their product page.

this time the machine is so small we guarantee it will upset you.

Just like with the release of every Teenage Engineering product before it, haters are going to hate no matter what. You can already hear the wails of agony before the OP-Z is even out. Is there nothing we can do to comfort these poor, wretched souls? :joy:


I think that page is confusing and leaves lots of questions:

  • What features are included and what need additional purchasing via ”modules” on top of the 599 asking price?
  • Are the paid modules only hardware upgrades or also software?
  • What kinds of synth engines are there?
  • What kinds of sampler engines are there?
  • What effects are included?
  • What is up with the photo / video feature? What does it actually do? Seems it is some sort of automatic music video generator which seems kind of useless? Or is it something more?
  • What can be done with the Unity integration? They say in the page Unity was chosen because of ”excellent VR support”… what does VR have to do with OP-Z?
  • Can people sell their OP-Z stuff made with Unity?


To paraphrase Williams from Enter the Dragon

“When it comes, I won’t even notice, I’ll be too busy having fun”


At 2.30 on that tutorial video he mentions the yellow outputs are not part of the standard device .

Does he mean missing from firmware ( as he’s working on beta ) , paid firmware upgrade , another more costly version of hardware ?

And I’m sure I saw a tech page on TE webpage with details on 2x mono inputs , 2 mono outputs ( 3.5mm headphone out I guess ) , usb host etc , but i cant find it anymore.


I’m sorry you find it confusing! I find it exciting :slight_smile:

Some of these are great questions! I’m also interested in the answers. If I find any out, I’ll post here! Plz do the same when you find the answers.

You might need to be patient though; it won’t be shipping for another few weeks.


As they are already selling it, they should surely be able to provide answers to prospective buyers too…


Maybe you could ask them? https://www.teenageengineering.com/contact

(BTW keep in mind it’s in PRE-order phase, with all the risks entailed…)


I believe that is the CV module he has inside his unit. I’m guessing that is the one that’s coming later this year.


Using “vr” in marketing is usually a good way to get interest by the normal public person.
I’d guess if you make animations in unity and want to trigger them from opz, pc , phone , it’s up to you , I’m sure some might use it but it’s a modern multimedia gimmick to sell the device.
It’s just spitting a few parameters to a polygon playback engine . It could be used as a game controller if you write a game and use the sdk for this instead if a joystick .

And if you want to sell it requiring he opz in some way , you are narrowing your market substantially
Im not familiar with dmz lighting , but presumably it’s a specific data protocol that many other devices can use , but how many users will ever go to a gig with their own lights / lasers and perform an opz gig .

Unity playback / animation trigger would never get used,
Lighting control would never get used.
P.O./volca sync might be used , but not much .
Sampling in , used a little but I’d prefer to transfer from Mac/pc/iOS
I’d probably use iOS screen to display parameters / work with the sequencers But that’s no different to using any othe librarian / editor

But , I think it will be a fun device to use and you’ll see a pop star using it at some point , and they’ll get some extra publicity from it due to its uniqueness.


Exactly. I’m already sold on what’s been shown so far. But that doesn’t mean I feel any compulsion to pre-order. There is no rush, no stress. I don’t require this technology to make my music. It’s not the missing key that will magically unlock my creativity. I just appreciate it from a design perspective and will pick one up later on, when all is revealed. Plus, that sequencer looks like a hell of a lot of fun.


I will certainly be playing with Unity integration! My partner is a developer who’s done lots of VR things with Unity, and knows Takahashi’s truly excellent work from much earlier than the OP-Z came onto the scene, so there’s a lot for us to be excited about XD

Collaboration is wonderful.



but lol I do :blush: :smiley:

At least for op-z. I trust TE’s engineering, like I trust Elektron’s.


i’m quite cyncial with vr , I’ve was involved in one big title release a little over 1 year ago ,I’ve done games for 30 years (mostly artwork , last 10 years art/mostly production) … a good vr game can be very good , a bad one will make many people sick . theres always unreal4 , the amazon one , whatever other engines are still going but unity is free and scalable , ive installed it , but the projects ive worked on in the last 10 years or more have been unreal 3 / unreal 4 , both heavily modified .

a vr experience can vary from a few cubes and cows floating around a green floor to some very well produced pieces of work.

i had a quick look at a vimeo thing from takahashi , fairly strightforward (animating bones , adding noise transform to vertices , video processing , changing rgb value on the main shader)… and more clever things that are probably harder to do in unity than loading up an 3d modelling package like max/maya/softimage etc … … but as you can see its easily done via midi , given the right lead it could be triggered by octatrack/dx7/any midi device with midi cc out / midi note on/off / velocity.

I’m not trying to dismiss the opz - i guess i’m just not easily impressed by some of the claims as i’ve been developing games for far too long … but many people will see this and think its all very interesting and buy one , if theyre happy , thats the main thing . I’d be happy with one , but i’d focus on the audio/sequencing side which does look like it has some interesing ideas in terms of sequence probabilities / options.


teenage engineering have worked closely with keijiro takahashi and the unity tokyo studio to fully integrate OP-Z with the unity game engine. as keijiro-san is both a full time software evangelist at unity and a renowned VJ at night, we have had access to a selection of keijiro-san’s personally developed tools and shaders which deliver stunning 3D graphics that run at full speed on iphone or ipad. keijiro-san’s tool-set and real life experience in performances with motion graphics have been invaluable in making OP-Z an inspiring live tool for moving images in sync with music.

the weakest point of VJ-ing has always been the creation of content. by exposing the inner control data of the OP-Z and linking it to unity, users can create anything within unity, build the project and just drop the build to a dropbox folder. customizing every single polygon in a performance.

sounds cool, but im interested in just how much time and energy is saved in terms of the prep work and “content creation”… because like the previous poster said, its possible to do these things already with conventional, already existing devices

but if they have already set up systems and compatibility that obviates much of the setup and busywork and allows you to just jump in and start playing and creating, then it might be quite nice to have one


I can sort of answer this by saying OP-1 aif patch files can be loaded. Drum patches on tracks 1-4 and synth sampler patches on tracks 4-8.

EDIT: 4-8, not 1-8



Completely off topic, but I’m now sweating from playing 15 minutes of Beat Saber, which is the game that renewed my excitement about VR games in general. (I admit I was also feeling a little jaded about VR games. I suffer badly from VR motion sickness - all i wanted was to fly my Python around a space station in Elite:Dangerous but I get too sick :cry: but Beat Saber is not like that for me.)

OK, maybe not off topic at all though; a two-player game, experience, whatever, combining OP-Z and VR could really be amazing.

If you’ve still got your VR kit set up, @re5et, and if you don’t feel too jaded about VR, and since you’re obviously into sounds, I can strongly suggest giving Beat Saber a red hot go ^^ It’s a wonderful full-body experience.


It’s kind of hard to fathom what OP-Z can bring to table in VR. You can’t see it so you would need to use it blind. If they made a OP-Z Vive tracker module, maybe then.

I guess you could use OP-Z to create some sort of VR experiences in the same vein as the ”photomode” but I don’t have high hopes on how useful that would be.


Hence, two-player. There’s a really interesting genre of VR games called “asymmetrical multiplayer”, where one player is in VR and the other(s) is/are not - I recommend you check it out! You might find some inspiration there, it’s a fascinating mode of playing games. And it can combine different talents, which I find wonderful.

Panoptic and Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes are two that come immediately to mind, but there are loads more - apologies for the reddit link.

a reddit link



I haven’t watched any of the tutorial videos yet, but I’m scratching my head at how all of this complexity in the sequencer can be shoved into a screenless UI with LEDs doing all the visual indication work… (quote is from a non-official news piece I have open)

Step components in three groups allow players to add unique behaviors to each individual and independent track, such as note variation, micro sequencing, parameter changes, direction tweaking and more. And each component has 10 values and behaviors, essentially meaning that a single step can be altered any one of 140 different ways.

I’m rolling with an Android phone and have no plans to buy back into the iOS ecosystem (leaving it was a great decision), so if I get this it’ll be without bringing my own screen. Keeping keen eyes on it, but extremely skeptical.