News, guides, video and more featuring the Teenage Engineering OP-Z

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About the OP-Z

The Teenage Engineering OP-Z is a yet to be released portable sequencer and synthesizer. It's the successor to the venerable OP-1 with a penchant for liver performances.

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[Updated] Pop-up in NYC Pre-production OP-Z

July 29, 2018

Update 8/1/2018: There was a small preview party where people who DM’d @teenageengineering on Instagram could attend. TE still seems to be keeping tight lipped about the final OP-Z specs and had all of the attendees sign NDAs.

Update 7/31/2018: On an instagram post from Symon @symonjc, Teenage Engineering replied that the pre-production units have not cleared customs yet so the event has been canceled.

If you are in or around New York City this week you might be able to snag a pre-production OP-Z unit from the Teenage Engineering crew. In a message from Tobias on operator-1.com where he confirmed the delay to the OP-Z launch, he also mentioned that they are still making the trip to NYC and plan to have about 100 pre-production units to sell. No word on the price for this limited run or how close it will match the retail units to follow.

In unfortunate news, the OP-Z launch date has been officially delayted due to production issues.

From Tobias @one: > … there had been a chemical leak at the factory next to ours, thus causing the area, including our OP-Z factory to shut down operation for a few weeks. a little while later i saw the official internal te email stating the same. due to our super tight production plan this meant we were not going to be able to supply moma with the quantities required, and our (rather grand) plans could not be realized and had to be cancelled.

He then goes on to talk about a limited set of pre-production OP-Z units they are hoping to bring on their trip:

… we’ve shipped a handful of pre-production units (hope they’ll clear customs) so if you’re in town please check our insta for updates on where we’ll be

It looks like we will need to wait a little bit longer, but if you do happen to get your hands on an OP-Z pre-production unit we would love to hear from you.

If you are in NYC, keep an eye on the @teenageengineering Instagram page and try and get your hands on one!

OP-Z Launch Delayed

July 28, 2018

Update 7/28/2018: Tobias confirmed on the operator-1 forum that the intended OP-Z launch date of July 31st, 2018 isn’t happening. There’s been an incident at the factory that is producing the OP-Z and they are behind schedule.

Word on the street from @alvingreen on operator-1.com mentioned they went to MoMA in New York City and, when asked about the OP-Z, said that it was delayed and won’t make the July 31st OP-Z launch date that was previously mentioned.

Was just at the moma in soho they said the only details they had is that it’s delayed and not happening Monday.

This is somewhat unsurprising for Teenage Engineering as different timelines have come and gone related to the OP-Z. Fans are happy to wait to make sure that it works well and meets what we’ve all come to expect from TE. We hope the OP-Z launch date delay in the US is a matter of weeks rather than years!

Roundup: OP-Z on Instagram July

July 27, 2018

Let’s check out the latest OP-Z pictures and video on Instagram! Things have died down recently after a flurry of beta tester shots, but here are the highlights from the last month or so.

@dungeon_acid showing us some fun tape tricks and the iOS app for OP-Z (also nice funky shades!)

A moody b&w shot from of the OP-Z with headphones plugged in from @symonjc

Size of the OP-Z vs OP-1 from @mmag.ru

OP-Z Spotted in New Cuckoo Video

July 20, 2018

The Teenage Engineering OP-Z was spotted in a recent Cuckoo video that provided a few new details into the OP-Z’s synth engine. Each track has 10 “plugs” which appear to be different presets or engines that can be tweaked using the encoders.

We also catch a glimpse into composing songs as Cuckoo makes a super quick demo. There’s much anticipation into the details of the OP-Z, but it looks like it’s still not final (at least from the beta testers).

Check it out from 00:34:00 to see the OP-Z in action. Thanks Cuckoo!

Teenage Engineering OP-Z Launch Date and Price

May 3, 2018

Update 9/17/2018: Teenage Engineering announced ship dates in ‘mid October’

Update 8/31/2018: There’s a new launch date rumor that there is a party to celebrate the launch of the OP-Z on September 17th, 2018

Update 8/9/2018: Although the OP-Z launch has been delayed, Guitar Center’s website now says the OP-Z will be available 9/8/2018. This has not been confirmed by Teenage Engineering.

The Teenage Engineering OP-Z has the closest thing to a real launch date after an interview at SuperBooth with Tobias, founder of Teenage Engineering. The OP-Z launch date will be July 31st, 2018 in the US for $599 and rumors place an EU launch later in October 2018. DAW-less jammers rejoice!

Pre-orders are availble through Sweetwater.

What Are the Yellow Ports in the Back?

September 24, 2017

Since the first images of the Teenage Engineering OP-Z, people have been speculating about what the yellow circles are in the back of the device. After some sluething by some forum members on operator-1.com it has been revealed that the they are midi and CV ports for use sequencing other external gear.

Check out around the 7:30 minute mark for an explanation from the OP-Z’s lead engineer.

Mystery solved!

Cuckoo Opz Mega Beta Tutorial

March 31, 2017

Fan favorite Cuckoo has come out with an in-depth tutorial of the Teenage Engineering OP-Z on his YouTube channel cuckoomusic. He explores mostly the sequencing aspects of the device and composes a very Cuckoo song. An interesting piece to call out is the entire video is done without a screen. Many people have voiced concerns over the concept of “bring your own screen” and skepticism that the device wouldn’t be as good headless. While it seems like there might be a steep learning curve, the guts of composing a song seem pretty intuitive for those who have some experience using step sequencers.

We’re still waiting to hear more about the Unity and DMX features of the device, but this glimpse into the workflow of the core audio aspects of the device has us quite intrigued!

Highlights

There are already a few surprises in the device that have piqued our interest. We’ll dive into each one and share why we are excited.

Max portability

The OP-Z is about the size of a TV remote control. Following up on the Pocket Operators, this looks like the form factor of a big PO with deep sequencing capabilities mixed with OP-1 immediate-ness. If you’re into jamming on the go, there’s almost no competition in hardware grooveboxes.

Step components

The Elektron sequencers have really brought the industry to trigs/conditionals/retrigs as a must have for any new sequencing device. It can breath life into new sequences by adding variations to loops that make them interesting to listen to. Teenage Engineering brings their take with Step Components, but we see some similarities already. We’d like to see even more exploration of the step components, but this is a first for Teenage Engineering device and we’re sure there will be some surprises.

Global key scale

Melodies are interpreted to set the global scale of the song. This makes for easy chord progressions and arpeggiation that can follow along with the scale. We’re especially interested because this would make it for easier jamming without the extra layer of programming sequences that would be needed on say the OP-1.

Tape sequencing

The OP-Z has tape tricks similar to the OP-1, but with a new twist. They can be sequenced! There’s a dedicated track for sequencing the tape and can be applied to the overall song or a single track. This would be incredible for scrambling say just the lead or a sample.

Sounds

There’s some decent sounds in there! Even as an incomplete beta unit there’s some punchy kicks and snares in there. The synth lines are classic Cuckoo and more chiptune-ish so it’s unclear how deep the synth engines will go. The OP-1 synths (which some will be borrowed in the OP-Z) were immediate and helped you find good sounds much quicker, but lacks some in-depth tweaking (which is fine!). We can’t wait to dig deep into a basedrum and dial it in.

Poly rhythms

This seems to be a meme around polyrythms and every device these days seems to support this. The OP-Z is s 16 step sequencer, but let’s you make patterns for a track that are less than 16 steps long. The combination of this feature and Step Components will open up massive variability in your performances.

Wrap up

There’s plenty more that we are excited about and we are waiting eagerly for new details. We’ve seen the OP-Z since 2016 and no clear release date planned.