OP-1 & OP-1f tips / tricks / etc

In the vein of OCTATRACK // uses / tips / tricks //, for those of you who have an OP-1, how do you like to use it?

I’ve been running into some walls lately with figuring out how to use mine, and looking for some inspiration.


Great thread. One thing I’ve done recently is take some modular thinking and use the lfo envelope on the punch filter cutoff to make a pluck. It didn’t end up a pluck as I planned but with filter gain up high it ended up this huge reverse divebombey sound which is now one of my favourite presets.


Push the synth, the drum, the tape and the mixer buttons at the same time and enjoy the helicopter game :wink:

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A guy on youtube called Mason Self has a lot of really inspiring videos that utilize the op-1 in distinct ways, usually in a performative context. recently he put up a bunch of videos using the sequencer as the main driver of the tune and the tape as the flavor, which is the opposite of anything that i had ever thought to do:


I go through these cycles myself and will put it away for 2-4 weeks. Sometimes the break will help.

My other tactic is to try combinations I’ve never or rarely used avoid my usual combos (e.g. synth sampler > nitro driven by endless sequencer). Between all of the engines, effects, and sequencers there are probably options you haven’t used as much (Dr. Wave > Phone with heavy Vibrato) - at least that is how it is for me. Also, resampling adds a lot of extra mileage for me.

I like to modulate a sample’s start/end/loop parameters with the random LFO for gritty clicks glitchy effects that I imagine are a little like the cocoquantus


This! I find that walking away from it for a bit helps a lot.

As odd as this might sound, I try to make myself use it in different ways after each reset. So if i’ve been relying heavily on it as a synth, I might only use the drum machine. Currently trying to only use sounds that i’ve sampled in. it just helps remind me of how diverse it is.

Shameless plug we’ve been trying to post more tutorial / new usage videos on @op1andchill (IG). So that could also help to inspire.


I like the sampling technique as done by Hainbach:



This Hainbach video is really, really great.

Digging the other suggestions as well!

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took me forever to figure out that you could “lift” a sound off the tape and “drop” it in a sampler (synth or drum) using the tape lift/drop buttons, or vice versa (or sampler to sampler!) huge creative workflow improvement.


I really like to record something on the tape (usually a pad) and then slow it down a lot…you’ll get instant ambient tone!


Yeah and record the faintest layer of radio static or an obscure channel that’s not quite tuned in and have a dusty lofi backdrop.


this is super clever. I always find the same video on youtube. thanks.

I was dramatically disappointed to learn that the helicopter game doesn’t make any sound

Which video? Hadn’t seen anything myself but keen to check it out

for record pops? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eipTCsDkuf8

I use the string synth most (of the synths) but really spend 90% of my OP-1 time in the 4 track. I put it on an effects channel and then loop and manipulate stuff. I love the filter (I can’t remember the name, the one with the car driving fast) and the spring reverb. I just started getting more serious about messing with the LFO’s and have been happy with the results.

The endless sequencer applied to the string synth, slowed waaaaaay down in the four track is a pretty regular go to when I’m looking to start a new piece from scratch.

Also, if you like a bit of weird noise, try recording to a track from the microphone, while playing other tracks at high volume, essentially bouncing a track via the mic. It creates some weird digital artifacts that when you slow the tape way down sound super cool. I don’t have an example at hand. Your mileage may vary.

The newish volt synth is also great.

Last but not least - read the manual, I re-read chunks of it every couple of months and always find something new.


love the newish PO-SYNC mode - use a stereo --> dual mono cable and you get a totally useable click track on one channel for syncing modular stuff to the 4-track tape deck.


it also works great into a video synths :smile:

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Time stretching!