Totally OT: Does any have an OP-1?

OT i know, but just curious if anyone uses the OP-1 in their rig?

Just looking at it - feels like it would make an interesting addition. I imagine a mobile sound design rig containing my KB37 with the 301 and choice eurorack, a mic and something like the OP for additional sounds/sequencer/twiddly things.

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Oooh in on this one, and have been considering picking one up for a few months now. I came into euro from the angle of an electric bassist with lots of pedals, and euro clicked with me when I realized there were parallels between the two practices. After transferring a lot of my resources from pedals//efx into euro, I’m looking to integrate “out of the case” elements into my music making again. Liminal spaces! :slight_smile:

They are fun - but I sold mine eventually as I wasn’t really using it!

It is limited in many ways, but some folk do get along with them - the tape analogy is nice, the sequencer is good (my favourite bit of it actually) the algorithms will seem limited after the openness of the ER-301, the radio is nice! The build quality is excellent :slight_smile:

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After accidentally and not on purpose watching a whole bunch of videos of the OP-1 :wink: , I developed a little bit of gear lust for this thing too. Pretty amazing little device. One thing I considered is that it actually might pair pretty nicely with the ER-301, given that whatever the OP-1 produces could be recorded into the ER-301 [once the analog gain parameters are exposed, maybe even recorded directly ] and then sliced, diced, and mangled even further inside the modular.

So far I have resisted the temptation. The price point is pretty far up there for something like this so I guess I’d just have to convince myself it would really get used enough after the honeymoon period. In a way an iPad loaded up with an arsenal of music apps is probably pretty comparable and maybe less limited, so I try to remember that when the trigger finger gets itchy.

Nonetheless, very sexy device!

I was an early adopter: bought OP-1 when it first came out. I kept it for years, went through the number of OS updates, and while I enjoyed a number of aspects of it, I ultimately sold it just last year. Main reason being that I was never able to meaningfully integrate it with my module, which is my main instrument. The Op-Lab I found infinitely frustrating, and unable to really do what they said it would do: “make everything talk to everything”. I suppose there might be more option now for interfacing the OP-1 with modular via various MIDI options, but the implementation of MIDI on Op-1 in my opinion was rather minimal to begin with… so, it had to go. I don’t miss it much, and I certainly do not miss the endless frustration of trying to have it work with my rig.
As a “stand alone” I think it is a totally brilliant design, but personally, I am well beyond that way of working, and never used it that way.
So, just my two cents of feedback on this.


Actually recording out of the audio output on the OP-1 was super noisy. Noisier year if you had the USB power plugged into it. The only way to maintain a good quality sound was to copy the files from the OP-1 mounted to your computer as USB drive. That means several steps between op-1 and er-301: you’d need to record something onto the op-1, mount the op-1 to your laptop, copying files from op-1, then getting the card out of er-301, and finally copying files from computer. This might not seem like much, but it killed any sort of organic integration for me. Plugging the audio out from op-1 directly into er-301 is certainly possible, but will produce substandard results, unless one is looking for noise or a “low-fi” vibes, in which case the noise floor of the op-1 will be sufficiently masked by content.

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it’s a wonderful machine. so creative and fun! i use mine to sequence and play the modular (via oplab). i bought a usb ground loop isolator and that has killed all the noise problems. i regularly sample the modular into the op-1 & play the op-1 into the er-301. they all work really well together.

the op-1 is a very capable portable studio. i’ve made some of my favorite tracks on it (finishing in ableton usually).

before the 301 was announced i was building an expansion box for the op-lab that would take 8 modular level triggers and convert them to midi notes on the op-1 for drum sequencing.

but 301 :slight_smile:


i read somewhere that you needed a computer to even name the files beyond a weird numbering system. Is that the case or was that ancient firmware?

yeah when you save a preset it gets a long time+date stamp. there’s no naming interface on the op-1.
i tend to just save my favorite sounds of the moment to the 8 quicksave slots but i could see that not working for some folks.

It’s a wonderful machine, I made very creative stuff (IMO) with it. But in the end I used it only standalone, and I decided to sell it last week and keep only stuff that’s easily interfaceable with the modular. I still love it though.

I’m glad you said that. That would have been super-disappointing to discover. Would have definitely expected high quality, low noise audio output to be a given at that price point.

Guess I’ll stick with the iPad. It’s really infinitely expandable by way of the hundreds (thousands?) of low cost, third-party synth, effect, sequencer, DAW, and other music apps available for it. And it already interfaces well with my Euro, or I can pick it up and go standalone. :slight_smile:


I agree that as a standalone, OP-1 is a great piece!
Really stellar design.
But the noise is an issue.
I also bought and used the ground loop isolator, and, in my opinion, it made a barely noticeable difference.
Acceptable noise floor is a matter of taste/tolerance I suppose, but to me it was just too much.
One could really appreciate the quality drop if you compared the actual digital file copied off the op-1 drive with the same thing recorded through the audio output…

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Hmm… lots to think about! Thanks for all feedback on this!

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for those interested in the op-1 i recommend getting your hands on one for a few hours and playing around. that’s what sold me. nothing else like it!

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Storytime: @rdevine1 gave a performance at UCSB about four or five years ago when I was a student there and stayed at my apartment for a few days. He brought three pieces of gear: A 12U modular, a laptop, and an OP-1. At the time, I think the OP-1 still had a sort of dismissive “toy” label on most forums (or worse: “If Apple designed a synth”). One afternoon he was editing a commercial soundtrack and I asked why he would use such a goofy device. He laughed, handed it to me, and told me to go test it out. I fell into an OP-1 vortex for over an hour, sold some stuff, and bought one within a month.

Some quick, unorganized thoughts:

  • It does MIDI-over-USB. That means you can use all of the creative sequencers for other gear. With an Ansible, FH-1, Shuttle Control, or similar module, you can sequence Eurorack. In a pinch, you can use it as a MIDI control surface. The keys aren’t velocity-sensitive and it only has 4 knobs, so that isn’t the best use for it. Still, one less piece of gear to travel with.
  • 16 hours of battery life and 2 years of stand-by. This is the least fussy piece of gear I own for traveling. I usually throw it into my bag without double-checking the current power status.
  • The Tape Mode is very, very cool. If you buy the blue crank, you can treat the OP-1 like a digital version of the Landscape HC-TT manual tape player.
  • You can plug in an antenna and sample live radio.

It’s one of my favorite single pieces of standalone gear. I have money reserved in my PayPal account to buy an OP-Z the day it comes out.

With all of that being said: Try one out before buying one.


I liked your post @trickyflemming because I agree with your quick thoughts, but I am still with @Joe in that the iPad, if you get along with them, is a more flexible choice!

MIDI over USB is definitely there, battery life is not as good (of course), live radio is available on the iPad, including the mystery that is short wave radio over the various repeater stations.

The tape mode and crank is definitely awesome, but this just makes me want to develop the firmware to suit and build a ‘crank’ for the ER-301 - that would be ridiculously good and very much in keeping with @odevices idea that the sample looper is intended as an interesting way to play with field recordings :smiley:

This is probably worth a topic in itself!

edit: I just re-read this now because of the like (thanks @phonk ), and noticed ‘uninteresting’ hehe… that should of course have been ‘an interesting’

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