Teenage engineering has been in the spotlight lately for helping to create Panic Playdate handheld, but the company is best known for its brilliant OP-1 portable synth and sequencer. It was a lover electronic instrument for musicians for 11 years. Rather than completely reinventing it, the company has instead given it some key feature updates and a sleeker design with the new OP-1 field.
Although tablet devices have become powerful music makers Tools thanks to apps capable of recreating the sound and capabilities of classic sequencers, drum machines and synthesizers, Teenage Engineering devices, including the tiny ones Pocket Operatorsremain a popular choice among musicians for the simple reason that they have physical buttons and knobs that can make playing easier and more enjoyable than tapping a touch screen.
Teenage Engineer was recently announced TX-6 hand mixer is a great example of what the company does best. It’s as small as a Game Boy, but packed with plenty of features that anyone who mixes music would want, and despite the tiny size of its knobs and sliders, you can’t help but feel the urge to play around with it for hours.
Eleven years later, the new OP-1 field looks almost identical to the original OP-1, which is a testament to what Teenage Engineering’s designers pulled off the first time. There are some subtle color changes, and overall it’s considerably thinner with a new aluminum body, but anyone familiar with the original OP-1 will feel right at home with the new version.
The biggest changes to the OP-1 panel are found inside, with Teenage Engineering boasting about 100 different improvements to the device, including an upgraded speaker for louder sound, 32-bit stereo audio throughout, one USB-C port, Bluetooth MIDI, 24 hours of battery life per charge, an all-glass OLED screen that is now flush with the rest of the user interface, 160 minutes of recorded sampling memory, four types of tapes for recording and an FM antenna that allows audio to be transmitted over a radio or radio stations can be recorded and sampled.
If the Portable mixer TX-6 was unveiled with a $1,200 price tag, it seemed like Teenage Engineering was shifting its focus from affordable audio toys to more powerful music creation tools, and that trend continues in the OP-1 space. The original OP-1 is still available for $1,400, but the new version gets one Price jump to $2,000 This makes it less of an audio toy for amateur musicians and more of a serious piece of music-making gear for professionals.