OP-1 tips / tricks / etc


Still hoping to one day erase all the presets.


When TE was visiting Los Angeles a few weeks ago they mentioned improved op-z connectivity was going to be the in next op-1 update; surprised it wasn’t fully included.


From Reddit regarding other things that have been changed.

  1. Graphics: The vector based graphics have been improved across the board, and no longer stretch to fit the screen. Any op-1 user with a keen eye would’ve noticed that the lines making up the UI did not perfectly match in width / height before (looked very slightly stretched / smushed), however this has been fixed entirely.

  2. Brightness / Colour: The colours seem to pop more on the new os, and i’m not entirely sure if it’s RGB tweaking or an adjustment to brightness (most likely RGB).

  3. Compression / Mixing (BIG): The old op-1 software has horrible gain structure. Period. Especially with low end frequencies, where you would even struggle to play several notes at a time on some synth patches without nasty digital clipping. This has been FIXED, and i’m assuming it’s to do with the compression used. All up this makes the op-1 sound less like a 10y/o digital mess and more like a modern gadget for the modern musician.

  4. Tape Pops / Clicks: Now this hasn’t been fully tested, however from what i’ve experienced so far this seems to be much better on 235. Low end again was the culprit previously, scarring the tape when cut during a bass sample, kick, etc. This seems better now, and at least is consistently removable when recording over & lifting empty takes (rather than shifting further along the tape).

  5. Frame Rate: CPU load seems vastly improved, and this makes the graphics more buttery & consistent. This is most noticeable in tape mode & when modulating dsynth (which previously had criminally bad frame dips when you pushed it).


20 characters of whoa


Yeah! I’ve yet to confirm it all myself, but I’m especially pleased about the changes in the gain staging.


Are we 100% sure #3 is an actual update? I personally don’t really hear a difference and just surprised TE wouldn’t write it in the patch notes.


Now that OP-1 is over a $1000 I can finally consider buying one.
Joking aside, I have a question.
I wonder can I use OP-1 like Earthsea and record loops and sequences without a clock or tempo? I see mention of Free Mode in the manual but no YouTube videos or any discussion of Free Mode that I can find.
Way back when, I made a bunch of music with an Oberheim Echoplex, I used to enjoy finding a delay and playing to it, or across it. And then making loops, and then pieces, combining them. There is something to this method that sets it aside from finding a tempo and working to it, and I think I still prefer it in certain circumstances…
Any help much appreciated, thanks.


There’s not really a phrase recorder sequencer like Earthsea, but a tape loop can be set to whatever length you want. Free mode should de-couple the tempo of the sequencers so you can run them separately, slow them down or speed them up without affecting the tape speed. There are some tempo based sequencers and more random like tombola or sketch. Based on your experience working with real tape, I think you’d enjoy the workflow of the digital op-1 tape.


Nothing about the new price tag, I just got a question regarding sync:
I just bought/traded me an OP-1 and really really enjoy it so far. No complaints except for the fact that I find it to be a total mess to get synced from external gear. I have only looked around trying to find the best solution and that’s a mess… Can someone please explain to me why the now discontinued oplab was such a disappointment and why they haven’t released anything releted to that? What should I buy to get it in sync externally from my eurorack setup (I’ve got the Pamela’s new workout expander, Pexp-1 that should work I guess)?


Not 100%, but I have got a feeling the low end is a bit cleaner now. Could be my mind playing tricks on me though.


Yeah the oplab was kind of a failure, but I heard the last revision of the firmware was decent. Not sure why they don’t make them anymore. Maybe things will change now that they are doing PO modular.

Regarding sync, monome Ansible is a good pairing to get the MIDI to CV going into the modular. The PO sync is another option, splitting the audio out so you get a clock signal and audio signal.

I don’t think that the Pamela’s workout expander would work by itself since it’s MIDI din out. The op-1 can listen to midi time code over a usb connection. Maybe something like Endorphines Shuttle Control could do it.


The Expert Sleepers FH-1 can do this.

EDIT: I stand corrected - this apparently is a widespread issue.


I’ve found the FH-1 is not a good choice. It often crashes the OP-1 for no apparent reason( also heard the same about FH-2. Had no issues with Hermod though.


Just checking back in several weeks into the update. It’s made me think about how human memory is fallible, and that it’s a little weird to have an instrument change underneath your fingertips to the point where you aren’t quite sure if something is genuinely new, or your perception is just different, so you have to go on an internet forum to check if your reality corresponds with others’.

The graphics are noticeably bolder - I’m sure they had to rewrite the graphics engine to accommodate the new display. But I also feel like the audio engine has a little extra headroom/clarity, and I can’t tell if it’s genuinely a sonic difference or that seeing the colors on the screen more sharply makes me hear them as sharper.

Also, is it me or did the DNA synth get deeper visually? And, like, did the delay screen always turn into a slowly drifting time travel wormhole at 70+ feedback, and I’m only just now noticing, or is that new?

Either way, I feel like I totally understand the OP-Z now - I was just playing around with those two and wishing I could project them.


I also noticed the wormhole in de delay and asked me the same thing :blush:


Longtime OP1 user with older model, the wormhole has always been there :slight_smile:

Delay is a secretly overpowered looper with pitch shifting and the ability to record to different slices of the buffer(blue knob). Has a nice digital rolloff to the tone too. One of my favorites.


I just put the OP-1 into PO sync mode and use a stereo to R and L mono cable and the sync output is enough to clock pams through clock in, so then the OP-1 is master but one way to do it. cheap.


Definitely need to experiment with this, nice tip


Forgot to add another fun thing: build up a big texture in the delay, slow it down a little for that aliasing/rolloff and record it to tape with the ear, to drop it into the synth sampler.


20 characters of NICE!!!