Teenage Engineering OP-Z


Just tried pausing playback this morning, great tip! I’ve found that this technique works really well with maximum note length/drone mode (hold track, green knob all the way to the right) so you can play the tape parameters without needing to hold down the key to keep it going.


Ah that’s cool, thank you for the tip! Wasn’t aware of drone mode.

Now I’m wishing there was a way to “freeze” the recording buffer. At the very least, it’s nice mute tracks from going to the tape if you want to just have one or two parts running through it.


Hey all, I was wondering how many note polyphony when loading samples. I want to hook this bad boy up to my keyboard.



On the chord track you can get 4 voices. With some midi routing wizardry, and having the same sound/settings on each track, you could add lead(3) and bass(1) tracks to bring the total to 8. Avoid the drum tracks, I think they have a 2 voice limit.

Speaking of voices… Has anybody else noticed voices dropping out on busy projects with all 8 patterns blazing? There must be a total voice maximum for the Z…


Can anyone with OP-Z and FH-2 test few things for me?

  1. Are you able to sync OP-Z from the modular clock and output sequences from OP-Z at the same time?
  2. If you mute the track will it mute the MIDI out of that track or do I have to do it via the MIDI track?
  3. Do step the components on the OP-Z work for MIDI too?
  4. Does Arp track actually outputs arpeggios when using MIDI?
  5. If pattern is longer than 16 steps is there a way to zoom in to see all the steps?
    Thank you!:bowing_man:


I don’t have a FH-2, so these answers are based on OP-Z passing midi to Bitwig, my comments in bold.

  1. Are you able to sync OP-Z from the modular clock and output sequences from OP-Z at the same time? I can sync from the Bitwig clock, I can also sync the Bitwig clock to the OP-Z clock and transport control, which is my preference.
  2. If you mute the track will it mute the MIDI out of that track or do I have to do it via the MIDI track? Yes! In fact, the Z has two kinds of mute - all mute and audio mute. You can mute the audio without muting the Midi output.
  3. Do step the components on the OP-Z work for MIDI too? They do!
  4. Does Arp track actually outputs arpeggios when using MIDI? I haven’t tried, good question.
  5. If pattern is longer than 16 steps is there a way to zoom in to see all the steps? Not that I’ve found. I haven’t done a super detailed search through the manual though. The manual makes me believe that the Z treats all patterns as 16 step patterns, they just slow things down to simulate more than one bar of material. I’d love to see zoom into a pattern released in a firmware update at some point.


I just tried, the Arp track does indeed output arpeggios through MIDI.


Some more tricks for the tape track. It has it’s own set of track parameters (where you usually set note length and quantize).

Seems like Green is note length (including drone mode :slight_smile:), I can’t quite tell what Blue is doing (seems it would be the same as the sample tracks - retrig, gate, loop), Yellow seems like quantize and Red sets the level of the tracks being fed into the tape machine (basically a “dry” level).

I say seems like so much because there’s no indication in the app.


Thanks for the link…

Processor: Analog Devices model ADSP-BF703 – Low Power 400MHz Blackfin+ with 256KByte SRAM
DRAM memory: Micron MT47H64M16NF-25E – 64MB, DDR2-800, x16 width
FLASH memory: Micron FBGA code NW228, unknown part number and unknown size. It may be similar to code NW225.

Interesting that they’ve gone with a Blackfin (same as the OP-1), rather than use an ARM core, I think the OP-1 might even have a higher spec’d core.


I’m not sure if I understand your experience, but I wonder if these tricks are some sort of combined effort of the track parameters and the tape parameters? Or maybe just something as yet undocumented.


Green dial

note length

note length controls the duration of notes that are of default note length. all other notes remain unaffected.

hold track and turn the green dial to set note length
from 1/64 notes to a whole bar.

turning all the way to the right enables drone mode.

Blue dial

note style
note style is set using track together with the blue dial.
settings for drum tracks:

  • retrig
  • gate
  • loop

settings for synth tracks:

  • poly
  • mono
  • legato

Yellow dial


quantize live recorded notes by holding track and turning the yellow dial.

this lets you control quantization amount per track, from 0 – 100 %.

Red dial


portamento adds glide between notes.

hold track and turn the red dial to adjust portamento.

0 is no portamento and 100 is very slow.


13.2 tape parameters

Green dial

speed coarse

set the speed of the buffer playback. left plays back at regular speed. scrolling right increases the speed and then once again decreases to a full stop.

Blue dial

speed fine

the center position (led green) will play the buffer at normal speed. rotating left will play at half speed and rotating right will play at double speed.

Yellow dial


control the filter of the tape effect

Red dial


control the resonance on the tape filter.

pro-tip: sending midi cc simultaneously to parameters 1 and 2 can result in some cool scratching effects.


The warez ascii art, cracked by: teenage engineering sortof easter egg in the on disk readmes is brilliant.


Yes! Such a perfect fit. If you were part of the old warez/artScene in the nineties, thats the first thing that comes to mind when you see the opZ – its basically a loader creator, updated to today’s technology. From midi music, ascii art and pixel graphics – to sequencing 20k modular systems, syncing light rigs and animated real time rendering.

its really come full circle on what was the most fun back then and the most fun now. Its hard to imagine that a company would take such a leap of faith, and at the same time, hard to imagine it was not made sooner.

whether it turns out to be amazing or not, as someone from those old times, I find the concept is nothing short of incredible.


It’s definitely something resembling the track parameters. Note length seems to be the same. Note style does not have any noticeable effect that I can discern. Quantize is the same. The Red Dial does not dial in Portamento, but rather brings up the dry mix of any tracks being fed to the tape. Normally, if you use the tape effect, you’ll only hear the tape effected version of whatever is being fed to it.

It seems like all of the other effects tracks have track parameters as well. But on these it’s harder to tell if they are doing anything besides Quantizing.


Nothing to add to this discussion – yet! But I’ve been an avid reader.

I pre-ordered mine today. Can’t wait to join the crew of anthropologists interacting with this alien artifact…


Thank you, I appreciate your insight and applied research. I’m still in the “waiting for more units to arrive” phase of this adventure. But all good things take time.


May I ask how you expand pattern length and still be able to keep the grid resolution? Thanks


https://www.teenageengineering.com/guides/op-z/track#step-length < I think this is the part of the manual that explains it. I can’t speak to resolution, just that it gives me up to four measures, maybe 8? Instead of just the one 16-step measure.


Looks like the MoMA store has more in stock if anyone is looking in the US.


interestingly on the moma store they are still advertising the old battery life…

Battery life: Four times back and forth across the Atlantic Ocean

wonder if anything close to that is achievable via software update.


I think they just didn’t update the “could change on the final product” specs. It’s pretty clear here https://support.teenage.engineering/hc/en-us/articles/360011586773-how-long-is-the-OP-Z-battery-life- and already seems slightly improved over the 4h reported if true.

PS: it’s the Moma after all and this kind of dreaming-out-loud-about-specs-we-cant-garanty-but-hey-people-buy-it-before-you-can-make-sure-of-that is definitely a heavily practiced form of modern art.