The OP-1 Discipline Makes Creating Music Straightforward and Enjoyable Once more

Making music could be so simple as choosing up a guitar and taking part in

Making music could be so simple as choosing up a guitar and taking part in it right into a tape recorder or as complicated as constructing a mission in a digital audio workstation (DAW). Now think about if it might be each.

Teenage Engineering’s OP-1 Discipline is a tiny, transportable, battery-powered music studio. It is also nearly essentially the most enjoyable you possibly can have making and recording music. It is an replace to the decade-old OP-1, bringing refinements greater than something new, however these adjustments take the OP-1 Discipline from quirky to important. In brief, the OP-1 Discipline makes music enjoyable once more. 

“For me, it provides me a transportable take-on-the-train all-in-one manufacturing system that I also can use at dwelling in the home with an acoustic piano or Nord Grand, and lets me keep in a musical mind set relatively than a pc mind set,” stated OP-1 F person and musician Rowan Pope (aka darwiniandude) on a discussion board thread participated in by Lifewire. 

It was that you’d begin a tape recording, then play your instrument. You’d lay down a number of tracks on that tape and have a tune. The plain draw back was you needed to spend years studying your instrument so that you’d be adequate to get all of it down in a single take. 

Computer systems make it attainable for anybody to make music and make new sorts of music attainable. However they’ve their one draw back. The software program is complicated and may usually really feel extra like utilizing Excel than making a banging tune. {Hardware}—drum machines, synthesizers, samplers, and many others.—is equally complicated and sometimes hides options behind menus. 

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The OP-1 F is the very reverse. It’s designed round a digital tape recorder that behaves quite a bit like an actual tape recorder. You possibly can sluggish it down, run it backward, and overdub on any monitor, infinitely. It solely has 4 tracks, however that restrict forces you to focus. As a substitute of letting your mission sprawl right into a 50-track monster, you will need to make choices as you go, decide to tape, and transfer on. 

However the magic is in how simple this all is to make use of. 

For instance, if you wish to pattern a sound on a devoted sampler machine, you often need to enter document mode, document the pattern, trim it, then assign it to a key or keys. And that’s with the straightforward ones. On the OP-1 F, you simply activate the pattern enter (built-in FM radio or an exterior supply through line-in or USB-C) and press a key on the keyboard. Let go, and recording ends. That’s it. You possibly can instantly begin taking part in. This allows you to pattern one other synth that doesn’t play chords after which play chords with the OP-1.

Recording to tape is simply as simple. Hit document, then play. There’s additionally a drum sampler, which helps you to document a number of drum sounds and slice them up onto particular person keys, however this will slice any sound. The opposite energy of the OP-1s, each the OP-1 Discipline and the OG OP-1, is it’s simple to get wild, quick.

“There actually is not any competitors, and that is thoughts boggling on condition that [the original has] been out for 10 years,” digital musician and OP-1 F proprietor Oscar Brouwer (aka tendingtropic) stated on the Elektronauts boards. “I’ve been taking part in with my OP-1 Discipline for 2 weeks now and nonetheless have 75 p.c of battery.”

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Between sampling off the radio, slicing up the outcome, and taking part in it via the bizarre (and typically fantastic) results, you’ll continuously shock your self. Famously, Bon Iver took an OP-1 to a cabin within the woods to document his first album. If you happen to document your self singing “Oooooh” into the OP-1’s sampler, then play it again as a chord, you’ll acknowledge his sound instantly. 

What makes the brand new OP-1 Discipline so significantly better is that it now samples in stereo, and the 4 tape tracks are additionally stereo. Its built-in speaker has gone from a vestigial afterthought to “Wow, does that sound come from there?”

And general, it is simply higher. Even when you don’t need all of the system’s quirks, it’s nonetheless essentially the most rapid strategy to document. It simply will get out of the best way. 

A closing instance. I had an thought for a tune the opposite day whereas on a stroll. Usually, I’d open up Ableton on my Mac later, futz round, and overlook about it. This time, I discovered a bench underneath a shady tree, switched on the OP-1 Discipline, and performed with my thought. It isn’t excellent, however as a result of the sound high quality is excellent, I can drop the entire tape into Ableton and end it there.

Like I stated, the OP-1 Discipline makes music enjoyable once more.