Teenage Engineering OP-1 Late 2015 Update

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Teenage Engineering OP-1 Late 2015 Update

So recently I had a massive clearout of gear. Even the OP-1 was up on eBay but the thought of it sitting there then having to let it go played too much on my mind, I bottled-it and took it down from eBay.

The OP-1 is such a fun piece of gear and it's so experimental. I do find it hard to get songs finalised on it - but then that's not what it's all about and not it's strong points.

Another reason why I hung onto the OP-1 is that I'm really intrigued as to what the next update will bring. There are lots of rumours flying around the community!


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Live Jams Album

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Live Jams Album

I've really been using Landr.com a lot since I signed up to it. It's a great way to quickly master music and gives a decent result.

Don't ask me how they do it - I read somewhere that their software compares your music to other similar music that has been mastered and does similar to yours. Pretty crazy stuff!

I've not had a lot of spare time recently but I have promised myself more focus on music in 2015 and releasing music in particular rather than having hundreds of unfinished songs sitting on hard drives that no one will ever hear.

This week I mastered the audio from songs from my YouTube Channel where I record little jams with various synths and toys. All of these songs feature Teenage Engineering's OP-1 Synth.

This album is a FREE download. Please download and enjoy!


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TE PO Rant

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TE PO Rant

They're here! Or so we thought!

Teenage Engineering's new Pocket Operators are affordable, hackable synth fun fun fun - there's no denying that. The anticipation within the TE fan community was huge as no one knew what the company were going to be announcing at NAMM 2015. We knew that there was a little drum machine on the horizon but had no idea there was a Bass and Synth PO too!

Sales were to be from Colette (an amazing little tech and fashion boutique in Paris) and from Teenage Engineering directly. I was ready to pounce and literally was hitting refresh on both sites and making sure I was never too far away from a computer.

When the PO's appeared on the Colette website I was sitting around a boardroom table engaged in a meeting. I was keeping an eye on the stock action on my phone and had even added some to basket. Then I thought .... "Nah, I'll buy from Teenage Engineering directly - give them my custom directly and maybe even get some little freebies like stickers or badges thrown into the deal 'cos that's the kind of company they are.".

So I disregard my basket but still watch Colette site where the items sell out ridiculously fast!

The TE site still wasn't live. I was still hitting refresh .......

 

Then it appears! I dive into the site and into the new shop - only briefly glancing to notice "oo nice new site!" but not hanging around to look around as I just want into the shop.
Everything is still in stock (YES!) as I can add all three PO's to basket (Sadly I don't seem to be able to add the cases though) get to the checkout, pay .... and relax in the knowledge I've just bought three amazing little new synths. I feel very happy in the knowledge that I got in there fast before they sold out which would mean I'd get them quick and be able to make some jamming videos on my Youtube Channel.

This doesn't seem to be the case though. I got a receipt email immediately but as the hours went on and into the next day I still had not received my confirmation email of dispatch.

A visit to operator-1.com (The OP-1 community) confirms that no one else there had their confirmation either. I sent TE an email and they let me know they'll send out an email to everyone during that week to let them know when the PO's will be sent.

The email gets sent out by TE saying that some will be sent out but most will be 2-3 months.

I realise that the demand for these devices must have been massive but I would have thought TE would have accounted for this. Nowhere on their site was it indicated that it was a PRE-ORDER I was making rather than a straight purchase. The site could have jumped to a "pre-order" status once the current stock was sold out.

If I had been told that I wouldn't receive the units for 2-3 months I wouldn't have minded. The fact I wasn't has left me a little peeved to say the least.
Have I the patience to wait? I don't know. The money returned from a refund could go towards something like an iPad where I could get some instant gratification happiness from Korg Gadget!

I still love my OP-1 but TE, I'm not loving you guys much at the moment :P


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Deadmau5 STME Remix

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Deadmau5 STME Remix

At the end of 2014 Beatport announced a remix great competition that had an amazing first prize. 

Artists and producers were invited to remix the Dillion Francis Remix of Deadmau5 "Some Chords". The first prize for the competition is to get a release on the Deadmau5 label Mau5trap.

Initially I wasn't going to enter the competition as even though it had only been hours since the comp announcement, there were already HUNDREDS of submissions or poor "EDM".

The night before the closing of the competition I remembered about it and checked out the submissions - it was still EDM dominated so I thought "F*ck it, i'll throw something a little different into the mix". I know my submission will be lost within the thousands upon thousands of doomf doomf wakka wakka wakka dubsteppy EDM hardcore stuff but at least I gave it a shot. Gotta be in it to win it.

My entry uses midi of the main riff to drive L & R channels separately. These were fed into my Teenage Engineering OP-1 tape where I could knock the sync out slightly for some crazy stereo effect. Everything else is a little f*cked up, off-time, dirty, distorted and mostly driven by the chaos of machines than scrutinised and quantized.


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Akai Rhythm Wolf

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Akai Rhythm Wolf

I managed to grab an Akai Rhythm Wolf as soon it was available in the UK. I was excited about getting this analogue drum machine following all the hype that Akai had been giving the thing. The build-up between the announcement of the product and the release was really well done by their marketing department especially getting the endorsement of Richard Devine.

Well it turns out that I fell foul to marketing hype.

This machine really was a let-down! Don't get me wrong, the look of the thing is great as it the build for the money - in comparison to Korg's plastic Volca range. I don't know what I expected for the price but it was something more .... So rather than Akai scrimping on nice things to keep the price down, I'd rather have paid a little bit more money to get those extra things. 

If this had been a kickass drum machine - even for £100 more it could have been great competition for Roland and their Aira Drum Machine.

Watch the video above to see what I thought about the sound this thing puts out.

Below is a little jam with the Akai Rhythm Wolf, Teenage Engineering OP-1 and Arturia Beatstep. In general I found the Wolf really flat so the video below uses some reverb on the drums to give a little depth.

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