Teenage Engineering’s Portable Synth Gets a Thinner Body, More Power, and a Heartbreaking Price


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Teenage Engineering was recently in the spotlight for helping Panic create his portable playdate, but the company is best known for its brilliant OP-1 portable synthesizer and sequencer. He was a beloved electronic instrument for musicians for 11 years now, so instead of completely reinventing it, the company instead gave it some major feature updates and a sleeker design with the new field OP-1.

Although tablets have become powerful music creation tools tools through apps that can recreate the sound and capabilities of classic sequencers, drum machines and synthesizers, Teenage Engineering devices, including the Tiny Pocket operatorsremain a popular choice among musicians for the simple reason that they feature physical knobs and buttons that can make performing easier and more enjoyable than touching a touchscreen.

Teenage Engineer recently announced TX-6 Hand Blender is a great example of what the company does best. It’s as small as a Game Boy but packed with features that someone who mixes music would actually want, and despite the small size of its knobs and sliders, you can’t help but feel the urge to play with it. for hours.

The original OP-1 (bottom) and the new OP-1 field (top).

Eleven years later, the new OP-1 scope looks almost identical to the original OP-1, a testament to what the designers at Teenage Engineering got right the first time around. There are some subtle color changes, and overall it’s considerably thinner with a new aluminum casing, but anyone experienced with the original OP-1 will feel immediately at home with the new version.

The biggest changes to the OP-1 field are on the inside, with Teenage Engineering boasting that there are around 100 different upgrades to the device, including an upgraded speaker for louder sound, 32-bit stereo audio throughout, one USB-C port, Bluetooth MIDI, 24 hours of battery life per charge, all-glass OLED display that now sits flush with the rest of the interface, 160 minutes of recorded sample storage, four styles of tapes to record on, and an FM antenna for streaming audio through a radio or radio stations to record and sample.

When the TX-6 portable mixer was revealed with a price tag of $1,200, it seemed that Teenage Engineering was shifting its focus from affordable audio toys towards more powerful tools for music creation, and that trend continues with the OP-1 estate. the original OP-1 is still available for $1,400, but the new version gets a price jumps to $2,000 making it less of an audio toy for amateur musicians and more of serious music-making equipment for professionals.


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