Stockholm-based design technistas and boutique synth shop Teenage Engineering have evidently worked out how to keep busy and brighten those dark Swedish winters. They showed up in Southern California this week with a slew of new stuff to show off. And while mention of their OP-1 synth may elicit controversy in comment threads online, their booths are crowd pleasers. In contrast to the buttoned-up, business-like atmosphere of a lot of tech vendors at NAMM, TE’s whimsical science lab seems to spill out onto the show floor, and – along with more analog-tilted booths Big City and Analog Haven – attracted crowds like no other tech.

What was actually going on? There’s a new OS update and a new product. The OS update delivers new drum and sequencer modes and badly-needed MIDI sync, plus cool MIDI modulation. Combined, it seems the OP-1 has really matured – sync alone removes a major obstacle for some adopters.

The new hardware is Opbox, a combination USB host / MIDI / CV box with analog sensors – and it has pretty plug-in modules and even custom-made shoes to match. The shoes may not be terribly practical, but the Oplab fits a unique niche in hardware I/O and DIY projects – provided it’s a niche that people actually want. We’ve got some details plus some exclusive images.

Early prototype for a musical shoe – now, a successor is in production. Roland, Yamaha, and Korg were not offering shoe accessories in their lineups for this year. Photo courtesy Teenage Engineering. Hipster jokes courtesy you.

OP-1 Update

New in the OS:

  • Finger step-sequencer, with 32 step patterns per key and 14 polyphonic patterns. (It’s an unfortunate name, given that’s also Tim Exile’s excellent Reaktor creation. Toe? But it looks cool.
  • DrumBox, a drum synth. More on that in a second.
  • MIDI LFOs for modulating four parameters at once – very cool.
  • MIDI sync – at last, you can sync to clock messages.

Bonus: you get Reason integration (if you enjoy superior Swedish engineering), and, oddly, a game.

http://www.teenageengineering.com/products/op-1/os-update

I ran into CDM reader Neil Bufkin on the show floor, and he’s back with a new video of the OP-1 update and other goodies. Watch:

Teenage Engineer David Ericksson also shares some thoughts with CDM on DrumBox:

The idea behind DrumBox is to provide a spiced up version of classic beat box designs with everything from digital wave-shaping to FM and more. You get 24 keys each with a custom 2 oscillator setup where you can morph between different modes. The same knob also includes a volume envelope to balance the drum sounds. It’s been very tricky to build this up using only 8 parameters and still get a versatile drum machine. The payoff is that it’s pretty hands on and when you start using the LFO’s to control these params you can really do crazy stuff.

TE also shares with CDM the rough sketch from which this feature originated, plus a look at how it looks in the final product:

Oplab

Photo: Marsha Vdovin, for CDM.

Oplab is an all-new product. It’s marketed as complementing the OP-1, but it’s really a general-purpose board. Imagine an Arduino-like prototyping platform on steroids, with stuff you’d want to use for music applications. And then imagine that, much to the surprise of me and a number of other people with whom I spoke, that they made a bare circuit board look strangely beautiful and finished. This board looks better than a lot of housings. In one box, you combine lots of I/O connections and inputs for sensors.

  • Three USB connections. One turns the Oplab itself into a USB device, so you can connect to a computer. But the other two are USB hosts. That means you can use the Oplab with USB devices and no computer in sight.
  • Three MIDI connections. MIDI IN, MIDI OUT, and then a third MIDI port that can be either THRU or SYNC24.
  • 2 CV in, 2 CV out for analog connections – using any analog connection you like.
  • Program select switches. Easy access to settings.
  • Ins and outs for anything else. 2 12-bit connections can be switched to input or output, so you can do everything from add sensors to use as music controllers or drive lights or motors. Now, that’s not many connections – but notice also the headers and coming development kit.
  • Plug-and-play sensors. For those who want something that lets them hack around without having wires pop up or worrying about delicate, exposed boards, TE is making ready-to-use sensors. Flip is an accelerometer, Poke a pressure sensor, and Tap a piezo. You could also make your own and save some scratch.

http://www.teenageengineering.com/products/oplab/

All of this goodness costs you – US$299 is the price for the board, sensors costs $49 each, and the pretty red tray with the sensors and board all put together top US$425. But you do get some fairly sophisticated functionality in the form of adding MIDI and CV and USB hosting. Hosting isn’t easy. This also opens up some new interconnections with devices like iOS and Android and the OP-1, since the USB hosts can negate the need for a dedicated computer for USB MIDI gadgetry.

In fact, it’s nice to see a polished, designed product that does this kind of DIY stuff; that’s something we had seen in past entries from vendors like Eowave but had largely fallen away in recent years. There’s just no question that if you’re on a budget you should look to other ways of doing this. And I think the bigger question is whether people will like this I/O setup. It won’t suit people with lots of CV, and it’ll be overkill for people with simpler setups. My guess is it’ll make a lot of people happy in between, but I honestly don’t know. Let us know if you’re intrigued.

All of this is capped off by more Teenage oddities. The latest addition: they’ve designed their own custom shoe, complete with a pouch to hold their accelerometer.

More information – and lots of ideas for how you might use the Oplab, put quite articulately if a bit scant on technical details – at:

http://www.teenageengineering.com/products/oplab/
http://www.teenageengineering.com/products/op-1/os-update

Updated: Making Over Your Lifestyle with Design

Comments are getting a bit … heated … below. So, I simply wish to take this opportunity to say, if you don’t like the chic design of Teenage Engineering’s products, you can be easily replaced.

(PS – IKEA is now based in the Netherlands, so it’s fitting this is a Dutch, not a Swedish, film. But watch and learn. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to pop open a can of Budweiser and use a real synth – one with wooden endcaps – in the back of my truck, before catching the NFC championship football game. None of this Swedish nonsense. And remember, all national stereotypes in your head are completely true! America!)

It bears saying: a lot of the taste for Scandinavian design was cultivated in the US. Along with other European modernists, key designers settled places like Los Angeles, and their style mingled with American style. If you don’t like the looks (or, crucially, function) of this, tell us what you do like: more variety is better.

  • http://www.franzschuier.com franz

    I ordered one right away. Hopefully they will update the lab as the are updating the OP-1.
    And I am pretty sure the editor will be easier to handle than writing arduino processing scetches.

    Of course a lot of people will be mourning how expensive this is, you can build that yourself for a lot less blabla..
    But not everybody is into building, some people enjoy playing more than tickling.

    Peter did you ask them by any chance what voltage ranges the CV ins and outs have?

  • Arvid

    The oplab look really nice, could be a huge step forward in an ambiguous setup, where there's little practical difference between DIY or unprofessional instruments, analog or digital..
    Though I wonder how the routing works. Programmed via those little switches, over usb or switchable via Sysex?

  • http://rchrd.net Richard

    A great feature of the Op-Lab is that it adds computer-less midi control to the Op-1. You can now hook up any midi keyboard or devices directly to the Op-1 for performance. I would love to try playing the Op-1 with a 88 key weighted keyboard.

  • http://crudlabs.org Steve

    Looks like they're not open source-ing the OpLab?  Wonder how long it will be before someone else does…

  • http://www.teenageengineering.com/products/op-1/os-update Miscojones

    $299 for a fucking plastic tray and some connectors? Are they living in the real world?..
    I've got many analogue sytnhs that I would love to control through USB-CV-Midi but the price is just mad..
    Haven't they heard about how things are moneywise?
    We are poor guys don't tease us!!

  • Korhan Erel

    The OP-1 can do many things but can only do one of them at a time, is that right? Like, you cannot do sample playback and the DrumBox at the same time, except for when you use the tape machine. If I am not mistaken, then MIDI control of the OP-1 actually defeats the purpose of the design. If I am mistaken, then simulateous MIDI control of all those machines would be awesome.

  • Mike

    I'm not convinced by Teenage Engineering. Like look at that sneaker, it's box fresh never worn, yet they meticulously ruffle up the laces and probably spent 20 minutes arranging the wires to look like they are carelessly tangled up. They should stop trying to pretend to be krazy with a k and just embrace the fact that they are boring swedish perfectionists. Which can be a good thing. But at the moment it just comes off as way too try hard and contrived. The worst thing is that all this messing about is the reason why they think they can charge crazy prices, like it actually adds value. When you strip all this away what are you left with in reality?

    The most interesting thing at NAMM was definitely the Arturia all analog mono synth for $499, granted it looks like it fell out the ugly factory and got hit by every fork lift on the way out, but the sound….

  • http://www.beautypill.com Chad

    Wow, the sneaker thing.  I think you might be overthinking this a bit, Mike.

  • murray

    that shoe in the photo was a prototype and the other in-use photo was at NAMM i believe.

  • humanchu

    The oplab is by far the most fun and creative launch of entire NAMM. No other company invites you to play/control your device by tap dancing. And more importantly to not take yourself so damn seriously. 

  • Leslie

    OP1 is a flop, so they introduce TV dinner…
    There is absolutely nothing in this video (or any previous ones for that matter) that will convince me to buy it – even at $50 price mark…
    In one word – CRAP
    PS; Wearing flame resistant suit, so don't bother ;)

  • Leslie

    BTW; You can do SO MUCH more with iPad and huge selection of apps for under $30 bucks… ;)

  • 1OP1 user

    you can do SO MUCH more BORING things with the ipad, rofl. sure ;)  

     op1 is where its AT! all the "serious" guys, please do your  serious work with the serious gear somewhere else. we're having fun over here. new os is crazy, btw, loving the monkeys. 

    • Leslie

      You must be joking of course .

    • 1OP1 user

      no… YOU. 

      YOU must be joking.

  • Andy

    It looks like a toy, it sounds like a toy, it is a toy. A very price toy,

    • 1OP1 user

      this is so funny. I am dying over here :)

  • Two Long Peoples

    Peter did they confirm the midi sync to external clock messages on the OP-1? Can't see any mention of this on the web page or in the video. Would definitely be interested if I could sync this up with Ableton/machinedrum looks a whole world of fun. Thanks for the article very interesting

  • Mike

    TV Dinner!

    Ask yourself, what is Sweden famous for? H&M, Ikea & Abba. All three are based around style and aesthetics over substance. I just think there is something Uncanny Valley Stepford Wives going on with things are too over contrived, controlled and perfect, it just doesn't seem natural. Teenage Engineering are taking a lot of the style from make culture and then just repackaging it back to us and charging a premium. I'm just not convinced by that. 

    • 1OP1 user

      "Mike" talking about substance. This is gold! haha.

  • sweden

    @mike 
     we also have the nobelprice,something you for sure never going to win.

  • http://www.suecae.com Suecae

    Toys can be very productive. I dont fid it negative that teenage engineering makes toylike stuff. :) I just want their stuff at half price. 

  • Mike

    I bet you have perfectly combed slicked back hair though?

    I'm only having a bit of fun, don't take it serious, but being from Sweden you *must* have some inclination of what I am talking about? What I am saying is that the irreverence of American culture just can't be emulated, when you try it just comes off wrong and try hard.

  • J

    Design is seductive. The way this could work: team up with Ikea and release affordable products. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is just a way to “advertise” their design skills. The sound doesn’t get much focus..

  • France

    Irreverence is not vulgarity.

  • Mike

    Just read your updated post Peter :)

    I think that there is an cultural aversion in the States towards aesthetic perfectionism. It just gives us the creeps a bit. If you look at the heroes of American culture, it's always the rebel, the GI with the cigarette hanging out his mouth, his dirty boots and the helmet tilted to the side, juxtaposed against the German officer with his impeccably tailored Hugo Boss uniform and perfectly shined leather boots. In the last century pragmatism trumped style in a monumental way (or so the narrative is told in black and white war film reruns). I also think that the prevailing American blue collar hair style that is so popular at the moment with young Swedes is no coincidence. It's like they also want to rebel, but it's just not in their nature. Maybe this is manifesting in the contrived irreverence of Teenage Engineering's marketing also.

  • peterkirn

    Heh, I long ago lost track of what some people are even saying in this thread, but — carry on.

    @Mike: I think it's fine. The IKEA parody, of course, is brilliant. Obviously, aestheticizing your life can be taken to extremes. That can be interesting, too. I suppose what's interesting is that the style you describe is also about aestheticizing your life, and it can also be beautiful. And Hugo Boss is popular in the US, too, though I see your point.

    I don't personally feel the TE crew are taking it too far – indeed, what they did with the Oplab to me is very interesting, which is to make it more visually appealing but without adding an enclosure. The reality is, speaking as someone also involved in hardware, most of us don't have the chops to even pull that off. 

    As for the unhappiness in this comment thread – hey, I'm down for disagreement but, yikes, folks, go get some sun or snow or rain or whatever is outside. Please *do* criticize all this stuff; but surely you can do that without attacking other people or Sweden or what have you.

    I don't understand the anger at TE specifically. The Oplab is pricey, but what makes the board expensive is that *it's an expensive board* (and while I'm not sure I can share at this time which board it is, the platform on which it's based is expensive no matter whom you buy it from). And the OP-1 is actually at what would be considered an entry-level price point for synths these days, or close to it. Now, of course, if it isn't valuable to you, then it's too much – but that's about its value to you, not its price.

  • Damon kirby

    Man!!! I am so sick of the OP-1 haters! Here’s the deal, it’s obvious that some of you out there can’t stand the op-1, but cant you find a piece of gear that you like and comment on that page instead of of coming to a page where some of us actually want to here and discuss this synth without being bombarded by some junior high intellectuals that feel the overwelling desire to share their unevolved

  • Spazmatron

    1.  I wish someone would make just a USB host for connecting USB devices to midi devices. One that is affordable, that just does that one job. 

    2.  @peterkirn. I think it’s about time for the diy midi(etc) option roundup that you promised way back when the Livid Builder stuff came out. 

    3.  I wish small companies like this would put a little more time and thought into how to show off their new products. Show us why it’s “special”. 

  • Damon kirby

    As I was saying unevolved wit. Please!!! I’m sorry you can’t afford one! Me I worked hard for mine and I love it…find some place else to troll!

  • Mike

    I think what is happening is that because of the success of Apple, alot of companies now think that design is a unique selling point and can be used to charge a premium. But that is a misunderstanding and a lesson Steve jobs learned all to well at next. To appeal to America, in order of importance it is "What does it do?", "How much does it cost" and finally then "What does it look like?". If you miss out on the innovation part, "What does it do?" you never make it the next question and so forth. Also you have to factor in the American everyman, in that most American companies are aim at supplying regular Joe. He/she is the backbone of the economy, and who Henry Ford built his cars for, and they are used to being able to afford what they want. They are highly attuned consumers, so if they see something that they want on a functional level, but for some other reason, like making it unaffordable due to a premium charged for the aesthetic design, they dismiss the product.

    So you need to get all three questions right for Apple like success. The above falls down on the first two though. Also the premium for aesthetic design ties back into the comments made about pragmatism and the American hero. It's not so important and can even rub people up the wrong way if the first two questions are not delivered on.

    • http://www.papanoongaku.com gunboat diplomacy

      Mike, you need to lay off the drugs.  what you wrote makes no sense.  apple, henry ford, joe america.  it's like youre writing a parody of a parody of an Engadget Troll.  I want to make fun of it, but I also don't want to upset you in case English is not your first language.

  • freesoul

    I was interested in oplab right from the start. I've wanted so badly to learn arduino but my main uses for it would be musical only. This set,while more expensive then the rest come with the inherent "provenance" that TE have built for themselves. A pay-to-play idea that comes with high end tech is to be expected ala Apple. The choice is love it or hate(on) it,pass or play. It should be as simple as that. If feelings get involved then there might be a deeper issue that needs working out,probably in a controlled environment with a paid professional wielding a legal pad and a chaise lounge. This product(keyword)has piqued my interest just as the OP-1 did when I first saw it. I was sold. I drank the kool-aid. While some might think I'm crazy that's their view and by all means take it and run with it. Nothing anyone says or does(more then likely)will not sway my curiosity or desire to own one of these two TE devices in the future. Not even post-IKEA-extremism could turn my interest into anything but. I have looked at the OP-1 and it's specs in detail since its debut in the spotlight and with the latest update the OS seems more fun(keyword) then ever. (Damn those keywords). The additional content,sans game,make this product appeal even more to my inner craving to create beautiful music with this device. Chances are,and I've accepted this,that I will never own my very own TE product. That doesn't keep me from wanting it any less or appreciating the design(however said design tickles your own fancy). I am a fan. I read these replies and respect the owners of them for having thier own opinions but when its all said and done this is just a product,a tool,a device. Some people like shit brown sofa's. Some people won't buy white cars. That is their choice. People have strange reasons for liking or disliking any number of consumer goods we use day to day so respect the choices others make even if they are not your own. Remember to breathe and if something doesn't float your boat don't bring down the ship with your capsized dingy. You can hop on board my island or make a break for your own.  

    (Sorry for writing a bunch of personal nonsense above. I felt like giving my brain a workout and spending a paragraph writing here on CDM is a favorite pastime of mine. Feel free to skip over this and dismiss it entirely as its just a self-serving expression and an exercise in writing. Sometimes I feel like writing some introspective piece,no matter how mundane and self-serving,it keeps me sharp and my brain feels more limber after spitting out this wordial diarrhea that might make sense to my brain as it spews out,however my finger might not translate it in a way that readers accept/understand. Take it for what it is. My thoughts and opinions as they are,welll,thought out and typed. Thanks for the soap-box,as always)

  • Damon kirby

    Moving on… For those that are curious about the new OS….its fantastic!! This update moves the OP-1 into a fuller fledged synth, with features we’ve come to expect from a product like OP-1. the new sequencer is very simple an intuitive to use/ as well as mildly entertaining. The new drum synth is what you’d expect from T.E, simple and harmonically rich, you’ be finding new drum sound, weird efx noises etc. For ages, I’d say it sounds like how you’d wish the er-1 would of sounded if korg loved it enough when they developed it…one word brilliant!! As for the midi lfo!!! A must! This is as close as were going to get to parameter locks etc. Until the OP-1/OPlab updates become realized. I tested it with renoise and I have to say it really opens the OP-1 up!!! You’ll be using this feature on every patch.. Period!!! And of coarse the choplifter

  • Mike

    No, I think freesoul it's good to examine these things, we live in a consumer society and it is important to reflect on what is important and not important, why you like something, why you don't…100 times better than the usually "OMG Awesome #NEW PRODUCT!!!"

    "Chances are,and I've accepted this,that I will never own my very own TE product." The reverse right there is what the American dream is based on.

  • Spazmatron

    Well, as for a standalone USB midi host, I found this:
    http://www.kentonuk.com/products/items/utilities/usb-host.shtml

    I’d prefer a diy option for less $$, but this reasonable. 

  • Damon kirby

    My phone sucks! Choplifter is great and kind of represents the collective modus of T.E…if you love old video games atari etc. This is the game for you! With lofi sound efx to boot!! Me I think the all that own an OP-1 will be more that happy, it’s still cute but now far more powerful…dk

  • peterkirn

    I've lost track of what the thread is.

    There isn't currently an accessory that offers easy access to two USB hosts, plus MIDI and CV and analog, for $300. If you buy those separately, you'll be well over $300. (A box that does MIDI and hosting alone, like the iConnectMIDI, will easily run you $200, and you'd miss the additional analog I/O and CV, and eventually this will be programmable.) So the TE Oplab is at the very least *not* more expensive than other options. Like I said, if you want cheaper piezos, they're easy to build yourself and can be used with the Oplab. 

    The OP-1 at $800 is not out of line with other multifunction hardware synthesizers on pricing. I mean, generally, when you go out and buy a synth module, you might spend as little as about $500 (a little less if you get a microKORG), or up to $1500. It might not do what an OP-1 does, but it'd qualify in the category of "I bought a box that makes sounds that doesn't require a computer to operate." Yes, you can compare it to an iPad, but you could compare any hardware synth to any computing platform. 

    So, in other words, the whole premise of this weird and convoluted discussion – that TE is selling luxury products based purely on aesthetics – is false, at least in regards to the OP-1 and the Oplab, the major products. Now, if you get into the shoes and custom stands and things like that, then you're splurging, but to me the discussion focused on OP-1 and Oplab. 

    I think the issue is this – because these guys come from a design background and the things look nice, people are actually *assuming* that they're overpriced, even if they're not. But if you pick apart things like the Atmel proto platform the Oplab is based on, or the cost of custom synth hardware with a nice screen, they're actually middle of the road.

    I have no idea what it costs to make custom shoes, but I'm happy to operate an OP-1 and Oplab in a pair of Converse All-Stars and duct-tape a home-built piezo to my shoe if I need to. That said, I respect the other design experiments, even if to me, they're peripheral.

  • http://www.quikphix.org xonox

    I always thought the OP-1 was not very expensive for what it was. Some software plugins cost over 300$ for a single virtual analogue modeled instrument. A "cheap" korg nano controller costs 50-60$. The OP-1 is made of aluminum, runs on its own battery and seems to be made of high quality components. Plus, they keep adding functionality to it. I haven't bought much music gear in the last few years but this one is a contender. This and my laptop running Reason is a dream setup for bringing with me on vacation or at a friend's place.

    The OP-Lab seems expensive but when compared to midi-usb and midi-cv boxes i've seen, the price seems decent. Maybe it's expensive but not overpriced ? I'm asking anyone thinking the TE stuff is too expensive to provide comparables examples.

    If someone knows about something like an OP-1 but costs 60% of it, i'm all ears.

  • http://www.quikphix.org xonox

    I feel like arguing today.

    Someone complains the OP-Lab is too expensive to control his many analogue synths because he is too poor. Having many analogue synths means you're not poor. And i don't think the OP-Lab is meant for just controlling analogue synths, it does more than that. Other midi-cv boxes exist and are cheaper and do not do sensor stuff and all…

    An iPad and software does more than the OP-1? Surely, but it also costs a bunch of money to buy an iPad, then all the software.

    • http://www.teenageengineering.com/products/op-1/os-update Miscojones

      300 dollars for a plastic tray and some connectors that are not even cased and can break easily seems to be very expensive in my world.. Maybe that guy got all those synths after many years of hard work, like 25 years+ doing music my friend.. He might know what he is talking about.. How old are you? 25.. :)

  • Leslie

    For 80% of the price and If you don't have a computer already?!
    Netbook + Reason + nanokey….
    Need I say more… ;)

  • Leslie

    BTW; Nanokey is velocity sensitive OP1 isn't …

    • http://www.teenageengineering.com/products/op-1/os-update Miscojones

      ha ha ha fab!

    • Andy

      It actually doesn't matter since you can't really play a "keyboard" like that. You have to press buttons just like to operate a pocket calculator, which is not the same like playing an instrument.

  • peterkirn

    I'm not going to do the computer argument versus hardware thing. If you're going to say that about the OP-1, you have to say it about every other hardware synth, too; it's not any *more* true of the OP-1. 

    Oplab, though, I can say this – no, of course, it doesn't compare to dedicate MIDI and CV solutions if that's all you need. What they added is a beefy microcontroller and USB hosting capability. *That's* expensive. And it's not just expensive on the Oplab; it requires a more expensive board. Whether it's valuable to you is dependent on whether you want this additional programmability and are in need of USB host features.

    Of course, you should judge a $300 investment – or any investment – based on whether it fits your needs and is a good value for those needs. But I can't say that the Oplab in this case is artificially expensive, because requisite hardware that has this combination of features is also expensive.

    So, yes, as earlier in comments, "expensive but not overpriced."

    • http://www.teenageengineering.com/products/op-1/os-update Miscojones

      This is so counterproductive for their own business.. They want to be unique nerdy connoisseur.. I'm sure they could sell it for 150 and still make good profit, and probably.. well not probably but surely they will sell many many more.. Just drop the tray its beyond silly, and case the convertors in a sturdy box ready to tour in the real world not in a school lunch tray.. My friend it is overpriced well overpriced

  • adam

    i like sweden.

  • leslie mom

    dont listen to this leslie loser.this person took many drugs in the past and is a failure at everything in life…

  • http://www.wholeheartedsongs.com Whole: Heart

    I have had my op-1 for a month now and have never been so inspired by any electronic instrument in my life, and I have used quite a bit of gear. Working with the synth engines is so effortless and the sampler is phenomenal when combined with the endless sequencer. And to find out about the updates and that TE has a bunch more updates in store makes me feel like TE really wants there users to be rewarded. What a fun and creative company. Much continued success. 

  • http://www.beautypill.com Chad

    Dismissing an entire culture the way Mike did is foul.  What's next?  "Ahh, you Japanese… what are you good for, anyway?…"  Fine line.

    - c

  • dbell

    I'm always cracked up by the people who decide an item isn't worth the sales price because the parts inside it were significantly cheaper than the item, the "I'm not paying $300 for a plastic tray" or similar. You aren't buying the plastic tray by itself, you're buying the hours of time that the people who made it have invested in it, their support, and hopefully giving them some incentive/means to make future products. I'm sure you have a cell phone, and it probably was was cheaper to make (I'm guessing) due to volume than any boutique synth stuff, and if it weren't partially subsidized by your contract, would cost as much as, say, this product or a minitaur or the arturia thing (not to mention having no resale value in a few years). Times are hard, yes, but if you demand cheap products all the time you'll get exactly that- cheap, boring products.

  • tape recorder

    I own an OP-1 and it's the best instrument I've ever gotten.  The sound is awesome, the workflow is inspiring, and they continue to improve the product.  Everyone I share it with is floored, and most importantly *I'm having fun making music*.  I'm pysched to use the lab to allow my OP-1 to talk via usb to some of my cv gear.  I think $299 is reasonable for this swedish armyknife.

  • great_planes

    It never ceases to amaze me how much hate and fervor gets thrown into the TE/OP1 debate. Honestly, folks – if you don't want one, don't need one, would rather use 'real' instruments, etc., etc., that's cool. What I tend to sense out of most of the opposition is a tinge of jealousy for a group of guys that are making things they are passionate about and are actually having success doing it.

    For the record, no, I do not own an OP-1. Not in my price point at the moment. But I'm not on here screaming at them for it.

  • http://www.papanoongaku.com gunboat diplomacy

    wow.  the haterade is particularly concentrated today.  it's up to Monome Arc levels.  Might we have a few sockpuppets in our midst?

    @800, the OP-1 is right where it should be, price wise.  it's only 100$ more than all the synths that andy mentioned, but it's also small enough to throw in a backpack and it runs on batteries.  

    the oplab looks awesome.  the design is perfect.  and it does CV and midi.  It's competitive with Eowave's analog to midi box and it's just as flexible (moreso if you want CV).

  • griotspeak

    Ummmm how easy or difficult would it be to use this with a HD44780 driven LCD? If I could <goes and checks> dag. it doesn't look like there is a simple way to drive an LCD from this. If I could drive an LCD… I think I would actually try to make a self contained drum machine. I would. Yes. I would. It would be delicious. I may need to make this anyway.

    • griotspeak

      goes to show how much I know. LCD should be manageable. This is 'expensive' compared to an arduino, but this could, without much else, drive custom custom workstation hardware that accepts USB controllers. That is awesome. 

  • trauma norms

    yawn! are people still going on about this mythical thing? Does it even do anything? I think someone said CRAP?

  • 1OP1 user

    and he keeps on giving. yeah, tell us. GO MIKE! :)

  • peterkirn

    I don't care how old anyone is; I don't know where you're getting the $300 figure. It's €400 for the tray, but that includes 3 sensors, and the Oplab board itself. So what you're paying for is the board, which as I said, involves a more powerful protoboard in order to support CV *and* MIDI *and* (crucially) USB host. So, for instance, if you just wanted to get some analog inputs, you could use an Arduino, but that microcontroller is nowhere close to being able to do USB hosting.

    As I said, I thought the sensors were expensive, and for some people, it'll be better to make their own piezo, etc. But those are cased, so I'm not sure what you mean by that. The board itself is not cased, but the sensors and connectors are.

  • http://www.quikphix.org xonox

    My age does not matter. I hope i stay open minded all my life to listen to younger and older ones alike.

    I checked a few midi to cv converters online and they were at least 225$. So i do not understand why you keep on insisting that the 300$ board (the plastic tray with sensors is 425$) is so overpriced when it does stuff that regular cv converters do not do. Tell me which brands make the cheapest midi-cv converters. I'd like to save money.

  • http://www.teenageengineering.com/products/op-1/os-update Miscojones

    For a 100 more you could get a analogue synth with keyboard and all the usb, cv, midi connectors.. its call minibrute.. Its a no brainer

  • Andy

    For (less than) 800$ you could get a decent instrument with a keyboard that deserves the term "keyboard", e.g. a Korg X50, a Microkorg or a Novation UltraNova or a Roland GAIA etc. etc. Or you could buy this wimpy toy. Folks, I can't believe it …

  • paul
  • peterkirn

    Right – which handle CV and MIDI.

    The advantage of the OpLab is that it adds a hefty programmable microprocessor, and USB hosting capabilities. And that's what adds cost to the price. TE hasn't yet talked as much as I'd like about the programmability of the microprocessor, but it's a new product; I expect we'll get more info on that in time.

    But yes, Expert Sleepers is a great vendor if you're just looking for MIDI and CV.