Although we still haven’t gotten the full official specs for the Teenage Engineering OP-Z, there have been rumblings in the recent OP-Z release date rumors and in the operator-1 forums about what the OP-Z can actually do.
As we previously speculated about with the mysterious 4 ports in the back of the OP-Z, the first glimpse of a module for OP-Z is midi! In this video we can see the OP-Z controlling external midi gear via a midi bus and confirmation that you can do parameter locking. This makes the OP-Z much more extensible than the OP-1 and could take a similar role that people use Digitakt sequencers as the central hub for their setups.
Livestream from OP-Z beta tester
There was a temporary video/livestream from an OP-Z beta tester (@op1andchill on Instagram) that revealed a few unconfirmed specs. In total you can have up to 10 projects, there are 8 tracks with restrictions on engines vs sample. While there are 8 tracks, only 4 of them are sample based and the other 4 are engine based (the rest of the tracks are for controlling CV/midi/tape/etc). That seems to imply that you can’t select a sampler for all audio tracks which might be a drag for some.
There were some effects shown off and many that have existed previously in Pocker Operators or in the OP-1 or totally new. There’s 16 effects, but no sightings yet of the beloved COW. You can record effect perameters which is good news for recording performances and adding some additional expressiveness. Speaking of which there’s a pitch bend button! It also appears to be stereo effects which might explain what others have said about the OP-Z having a stereo synth engine.
Some other small dissapointments: the microphone is only for voice over effects and there doesn’t appear to be sampling that can be directly on unit unlike the predecessor OP-1. However you can load your own kits into sample tracks.
Bonus Video… in German!
Update 9/9/2018: Bruno Kramm made a video in english.
For those German speakers out there, you can check out a brand new OP-Z tutorial video. For those who can’t speak Deutsch, @johnnyego on operator-1 helped to summarize. It seems to confirm the 4 sample tracks 4 engine tracks from the op1andchill livestream, but introduces some other new rumors such as pitch bend button that can be reassigned to volume of a sample and that all keys are velocity sensitive. The latter seems pretty unlikely based on previous videos so we’ll see if that turns out to be true.
Things are slowly starting to reveal themselves! There’s definitely a lot in here to make interesting sequences and full blown performances all in a package the size of a remote control.