Using the OP-1 to Control and Sample your Analog Synth

As a musician, you’re always looking for new tools and ways to experiment with sounds. The OP-1 by Teenage Engineering is a beloved synth among many musicians, but what if you could use it in conjunction with your analog synth for even more possibilities? In this article, we’ll delve into how to connect your OP-1 to your analog synth, how to control it, and how to sample the sounds back into your OP-1.

Connecting Your OP-1

First things first, when connecting your OP-1 to your analog synth, you’ll need a USB-B cable. While some people opt for a USB-B to USB-B cable, it won’t necessarily cause any issues. It’s essential though to make sure that the cables and your hardware synth follow the spec to avoid any damage to your OP-1 or your synth. One thing to note is that the USB-B cable isn’t designed to power a peripheral device, but it’s safe to connect the two devices.

Controlling Your Analog Synth With Your OP-1

Now for the fun part, controlling your analog synth with your OP-1. When connected, you’ll need to set your OP-1 to “CTRL” mode. In this mode, the OP-1 is set to act as a controller for external synths. With the synth set to receive MIDI messages from the OP-1, you’ll be able to control the sound from your OP-1. However, it’s essential to note that you can’t sample audio back into your OP-1 while controlling the analog synth. The OP-1 has to be either in controller mode or its default state, not both at the same time.

Sampling the Synth

Now let’s look at how to sample the sounds from your analog synth back into your OP-1. It’s possible to do this even after you’ve used your OP-1 to control the synth. You’ll need to set your OP-1 back to its default setting and then use the “ear” input to sample the sounds from the analog synth. To do this, hold the selected key down and then press the “record” button. Once the sample is recorded, you can edit it, loop it, and even play it back on your OP-1.

But what if you want to control your synth and record the audio at the same time? While it’s not possible with the OP-1, some people recommend not setting the OP-1 to CTRL. Instead, sample silence into the OP-1 and play the synth as per usual. You’ll be able to record the audio back into the OP-1 while still controlling the analog synth.

Sample, Loop, Create

In conclusion, using the OP-1 to control and sample your analog synth opens up a whole new world of possibilities and soundscapes to explore. While it’s essential to make sure that your cables and hardware synth follow the spec, once connected, the OP-1 can be used as a powerful controller for your analog synth. While you can’t control and sample at the same time, there are ways to work around it. So, go ahead and experiment, sample, loop and create with your OP-1 and analog synth combo.


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i was trying to present it as layers of skin being peeled away to get to the next section, with the glockenspiel over bryan’s piano loop, which was like the true inner self. and i kept thinking about michael jackson throughout the whole process.Jack Shite
musicianjournal.com/projects/skin-disguised-remix-project

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