Every now and again a new instrument crops up to shake-up the tech world. Swedish company Teenage Engineering have made their mark with the OP-1, a box of tricks that promises to be a one-stop music making device.
What can it do? Don’t let its size and simple design fool you. The OP-1 is in essence a synth, a sampler, a mini keyboard, an effects unit, a sequencer with four different modes, a four track recorder and, bizarrely, an FM radio. The synth alone uses seven music-making oscillators to create your sounds. And if the selling points under the bonnet aren’t enough, the tough aluminium build and cool LED display will have you reaching for your wallet.
How does it work? Start off by programming beats and recording them via the cool tape recording function. You can then record samples or play your own riffs onto the four tracks via the synth setting and overdub them as you need. The buttons and knobs are neatly organised so that different functions double-up depending on what mode you’re in. It can be charged by an iPhone charger.
Weaknesses? It looks and feels simple to use but you’ll need to hit the manual hard to get the best out of it. What’s more, it’s expensive, and not that easy to sync with the rest of your studio.