About the OP-Z
The Teenage Engineering OP-Z is a radically portable sequencer, synthesizer, groovebox, and live controller. It’s the successor to the now famous OP-1 which was released in 2011 and grew a cult-like following and is used by world famous musicians such as Bon Iver, Chvrches, and many more. Teenage Engineering is known for their quirky, but immediate design that gets you creating music instantly. The OP-Z introduces a new take, with some different design choices that are more similar to an Elektron Digitakt, but rediculously small. In fact, Teeenage Engineering claims it’s so small it’s guaranteed to offend you.
About the size of a TV remote.
The OP-Z features a 16 track (8 audio, 8 fx/midi/tape/cv/etc.), 16 step sequencer, and storage for 160 patterns. Each track can be it’s own length (polyrhythms!) and can be either step sequenced or performance recorded. You can get more than 16 steps of fidelity by using Step Components or performing live.
Patterns can be augmented with 14 different step components which can be linked together to breath life into your sequences. This is similar to what you might find on Elektron gear which can make a huge difference to the variations and uniqueness to your performances. Examples include [TODO INCLUDE EXAMPLE]
Not only can you sequence audio, you can even trigger images, 3D graphics, and DMX lights. There is a standalone track for midi, CV and trig, light, and motion to help you bring live performance (the Z dimension) to your sequences.
Unity 3D integration
The OP-Z in integrated with Unity to sequence 3D video. No details yet on an SDK for developing your own programs and it looks like this will require the accompanying iOS app.
iOS device as a screen
You can use an accompanying iOS app to turn your iPhone or iPad into a glorious screen to visualize your performance and help manage the device. They’ve also made it clear you should be able to use the OP-Z without a screen and can comfortably get by without one. There also seems to be some novel approach to avoiding audio latency between the devices, but no real details are available yet.
Lift to activate microphone
On the quirkier side, you can lift the OP-Z to activate the built-in microphone, apply FX, and augment live.
Rediculous battery life
The OP-Z battery life is supposed to last 24 hours on a single charge with a standby time of up to 1 year and is user replaceable:gasp:. This is great news for worry free live performances and jamming on the go without the need to keep feeding the device with juice.
Price & Availability
The OP-Z is priced between the OP-1 and the Pocket Operators at $599 USD and was released in September 2018.
You can learn a more on the Teenage Engineering website.