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.

Learn more

OP-Z First Impressions

October 22, 2018

We received our OP-Z pre-order today directly from Teenage Engineering! We opted in for the pvc carrying case (more on that later) and it all arrived together. Let’s check out some unboxing pics.

Peaking into the box:

OP-Z first impressions 1

Jumping right into it, we waited 4 years…

OP-Z first impressions 2

All the things in the box:

OP-Z first impressions 3

With the yellow pvc case (yes it’s that intensely yellow):

OP-Z first impressions 4

Fits right in!

OP-Z first impressions 5

Button details:

OP-Z first impressions 6

This thing is so smole…

OP-Z first impressions 7

Being a mini monololith:

OP-Z first impressions 8

Firing it up:

OP-Z first impressions 9

Jamming from the lap:

OP-Z first impressions 10

Overlay instructions in the OP-Z box:

OP-Z first impressions 11

You can see the unique plastic details:

OP-Z first impressions 12

Dog for scale:

OP-Z first impressions 13

Alex’s Quick Impressions

  • Overall, it definitely lives up to the hype. Super small with a big sound and goes all in on sequencing
  • Again, this thing is small. Hard to grasp from images and videos online, but holding it in the hand is something different
  • Sound quality is really good. To my ears the OP-1 can be very lo-fi, the OP-Z is certainly not.
  • The custom rotary knobs work well, smooth and responsive
  • The edges and corners of the unit are sharp and unforgiving. God help the pvc case when I try to stick it in.
  • The stereo effect on FX send (not sure what it is yet) expands the soundscape of any instrument. Hard to describe, but widens and livens things right up!
  • Mostly intuitive even without the iOS app (haven’t tried it yet), after watching videos and reading about the OP-Z for several years it feels pretty straight forward. I did however accidentally copy over a pattern :facepalm:
  • Most patterns I want to make are more than one bar long and it’s kind of tedious to increase the track length on each track and I forget when recording live.
  • The multiple layers of parameters per track are nicely done, the LEDs make this intuitive and fun
  • Charged the unit pretty darn quick. Oh and the battery is user replaceable!
  • The power/volume knob is nice and thoughtful (doesn’t really make sense as it’s own encoder), but feels like it’s going to get broken in a case.

More soon once we get a chance to play around a bit more!

OP-Z Modules - What We Know So Far

October 20, 2018

Details about OP-Z modules that Teenage Engineering talking up are still scarce. People are now receiving their pre-orders, but there is no new information about modules. All we’ve known is that they go underneath the unit which you access by removing the underside (check out the OP-Z unboxing video from Boe Dye on YouTube.

To be clear, there have been some videos showing off OP-Z connectivity, but we’ve only just found a picture of a module in the wild from @anfim on the Elektronauts forum.

The OP-Z ZM-1 module has both midi, cv, and pocket operator interoperability. You can see it closer in this link here taking advantage of all 4 expansion ports in the back of the OP-Z.

OP-Z ZM-1 module

It’s pretty cool that you will soon be able to extend the OP-Z beyond what the factory included. What other modules do you think are in the works? A sampler? Combine this with firmware updates and software updates, the OP-Z is already showing off that Z dimension in an X, Y world.

Teenage Engineering OP-Z Official Guide, Unboxing, and More

October 19, 2018

Just as many people are starting to recieve their pre-order OP-Z, Teenage Engineering has released the full guide and manual on their website.

As the lucky few have gotten their OP-Z, we’re starting to see more pictures of the packaging and full unboxing videos. We’ve rounded up some of the best ones from around the internets so the rest of us can drool and cross our fingers we will get our’s soon!

Unboxing Pics

Detailed OP-Z unboxing pictures from @metawops on imgur:

Unboxing Videos

From Boe Dye, part 1:

From Boe Dye, part 2:

Listening notes:

  • John takes apart the back to reveal a replaceable battery
  • Module slot in the underside is revealed by removing the back
  • Talks a bit about the plastic color

From Somnambule:

OP-Z iOS App Released

October 17, 2018

Earlier today, the companion OP-Z app for iOS was relesaed and is available in the app store. We’ve since downloaded it to take a look and see if there is any other information we could squeeze out of it.

Quick impressions:

  • Slick UI and animations
  • You need a unit to do… just about anything
  • Photomatic can quickly import photos directly from your camera roll
  • In the motion sub-app, you can see the scenes that were shown off in other previews, it looks crisp and fluid
  • The link to the guide just opens a web view of the quickstart guide on Teenage Engineering’s website

So pretty

OP-Z iOS screenshot 1

Yes, please take my money

OP-Z iOS screenshot 2

Mini apps

OP-Z iOS screenshot 3


OP-Z iOS screenshot 4

OP-Z and Unity - What We Know So Far

October 15, 2018

We are fast approaching OP-Z launch time and still without any details about the Unity3D integration. Despite the brief showing off of the iOS app in Cuckoo’s latest mega tutorial, we still don’t know how one would create their own or all the ways to sequence unity visualizations.

For visualization creators there is a library for exporting unity programs for the OP-Z called (videolab)[]. There’s some sparse documentation and after a quick perusal through the code this looks like pretty standard unity3D componentry. Out of the box there looks like there is support for different kinds of animation and handling of the OP-Z inputs into the program. It’s unclear what the step is to get it onto the iOS device, but I’m sure info will emerge soon and we’re looking forward to giving it a shot.

Additionally, we found out Eran Hilleli is working/collaborating on some OP-Z visualizations. If you don’t know, they are the creator of some our favorite interactive animations visualizations and having their attention on the OP-Z is a match made in heaven.

Eran, if you see this, can we please bring this one to the OP-Z? Please and thank you.


First Preorders Shipping This Week

October 15, 2018

Update 10/19/2018: We have confirmation of shipping to the USA (we’re based in California, USA) with an ETA of Monday October 22nd.

Update 10/16/2018: There are confirmed reports of people getting shipping notices in Canada, Netherlands, the UK. Nothing yet from the USA!

According to Teenage Engineering (as well as a support person we talked to over email) the first OP-Z pre-order should be shipping this week. Unfortunately Teenage Engineering doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to shipping dates so :shrugs:

Step Components of the OP-Z

October 14, 2018

Here’s what we know so far about step components. They can be added to any track per step. They can be stacked (i.e multiple step components can be added per step). They can’t be edited in the case where the pattern length is greater than 16 steps.

List of OP-Z step components

From a recent pic of the OP-Z manual we can derive the full list of step components for the OP-Z. Each component can be set to 10 values which differs by component. For example, the

Let’s go over each of them and try to piece it together with previous information and videos that we’ve seen.

Component Values
pulse count 1-9, 0 is random
pulse hold count 1-9, 0 is random
multiple multiply by 1-8, 9 is ‘broken chord’, 0 is quantize
velocity 1-9 are -4 to +3 velocity, 5 is default, 9 is mute, 0 is random
ramp up 1-9 are the number of steps and octaves, 6 and up is 3 octaves
ramp down 1-9 are the number of steps and octaves, 6 and up is 3 octaves
random 1-9 are the number of steps and octaves, 6 and up is 3 octaves
glide 1-8 are amount of glide, 9 is ‘direct’, 0 is random
sweepthrough 0-9 take different parameters and sweep including filter, synth, and panning
tonality 0-9 changes things like pitch and transposition
jump Shifts the step to a different time signature or reverses
param spark See note below
comp spark See note below
trigger spark See note below

A few notes on sparks thanks to sammyjams from the operator-1 forums: ‘sparks’ are similar to conditional trigs you would find in Elektron devices. For example, a param spark component triggers the step each time, but only triggers param change on every nth time through the pattern. Components can be triggered together conditionally when using the comp spark. The trigger spark will only play the step every nth time. Fascinating!

Thanks to u/drlbradley on Reddit for posting a picture of the manual!

First OP-Z Pre-orders Shipping Next Week

October 9, 2018

This morning the first batch of OP-Z pre-order customers got an email from Teenage Engineering with an update that units will be shipping next week! This seems to coincide with the mid-October ship date when the OP-Z pre-order was announced in September.

We received the email this morning at 2:55am PDT (we’re in California). Hopefully that means it will be here in the next two weeks.

almost there. next week your OP-Z will be shipped out.

Teenage Engineering also posted this on their Instagram which points to a possible October release date.

One other thing to note for pre-order customers, some people in the USA have reported not receiving their yellow PVC case yet (ourselves included). We’ll post updates on the case when we get it.

OP-Z Connectivity Features Revealed in Video from Bruno Kramm

October 5, 2018

Bruno is back at it with a reveal of OP-Z connectivity features. Check out the video below for more ways the OP-Z can be at the heart of your setup.

Listening notes:

  • Pocket Operator sync
  • Midi in/out over usb c
  • Midi in/out via TRS (this looks like an add-on module)
  • Bluetooth midi

via Bruno Kramm

New OP-Z Tutorial From Cuckoo

October 3, 2018

Cuckoo (@cuckoomusic) surprised us early this morning with a new OP-Z mega tutorial! It’s about an hour and a half long which covers everything you’ll need to get started making mucic on the Teenage Engineering OP-Z. Looks like there will be a follow up to this one too. Check it out!

Listening notes:

  • Chain patterns together on-the-fly similar to Elektron’s ‘song mode’ (lot’s of flexibility here that promotes live jamming)
  • OP-Z saves as you go, but you can take a snapshot of a project and revert (great for experimentation!)
  • Plugs can be downloaded and sync’d with the OP-Z for example different percussion track plugs (there’s a cuckoo plug!)
  • Towards the end of the video we get a first glimpse at the iOS app
  • Transposition can be done on the Master track, by default only the synth tracks transpose, but can be configured
  • [confirmed] Stereo panning LFO
  • [confirmed] 3 note polyphony on synth tracks

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