Teenage Engineering: OP-1

Posted by Beamer


This thing’s gonna change everything. The new Operator 1 (OP-1) from Teenage Engineering truly shows how beautiful synthesis can be (though the Buchla 200e definitely has some chips in the pile).

A hybrid digital synthesizer and MIDI controller with enough features to question if this thing is even real.

8 synthesizer models (FM, Virtual Analog, String, +), 8 samplers, on board effects, OLED display, battery powered, built in microphone, FM radio, built in speaker, mp3 export, and a sequencer so cool – it’s still “secret”.

ETA: 10-12 months. Price TBA.

More info here:



“TE-10” – Audio Sample


OLED Display Test

21 Comments Leave A Comment


Matt says:

April 3, 2009 at 3:59 pm

It’s look is reminiscent of the old Casio VL-1 (VL-Tone) I had. Little did I know at the time it would be an all time classic synthesizer.

Also, OLED sure is coming out. It’s on the new Intuos4 as well.


frank says:

April 3, 2009 at 4:18 pm

LOL, I’m feeling the same way. I keep looking at the site over and over, hoping it will somehow change. That’s some truly beautiful product design.

I’m guessing it will be over $3k though. These guys are from Elektron and that stuff was never cheap. This looks like it uses even more fancy molded knobs & case and that screen must be pretty expensive. If it actually comes out and does what they say though I’m totally selling everything else I own to get one.

The built in speaker is great too. This is like the Synthi AKS for the laptop generation.


frank says:

April 3, 2009 at 4:23 pm

I also love the whole plotter aesthetic. Anyone know a font like that with an old school plotter look?


ken says:

April 3, 2009 at 4:54 pm

I shouldn’t be envious, I just got my monome a few months ago.

But I am.

And I signed up for their beta.


Beamer says:

April 3, 2009 at 5:09 pm

@ken Mmm – I’m in the process of building an Arduinome clone. Looking forward to the Akai APC40 as well.

@frank – Scott should know!


kimoni says:

April 4, 2009 at 2:55 pm

That’s some stunning design right there. If only more machines were made like this!

I’m trying very hard in my mind to separate the gorgeous design of the synth and its actual function as a synth- Who are Teenage Engineering? They seem more like design studio than audio manufacturer. The exquisite design of the operator does reflect a high level of quality that runs through the company, but do they know about synthesis?


frank says:

April 4, 2009 at 4:14 pm

“The team includes veterans of Elektron, the ACNE design firm that worked on MachineDrum and MonoMachine packaging and UI, and Johan of LSDJ fame.”


“Pricing: It’s unofficially expected to be “under the 1000 Euros mark.” Note that the target price is EUR600, which is pretty far under EUR1000. Anywhere near that, and it’s a steal. ”


Tardlovski says:

April 4, 2009 at 9:28 pm

man i’ve been thinking about this thing all night. it’s so bad ass. i don’t think i’ve been so excited for a piece of gear since i bought my mpc 2000 a decade ago.


Beltazor says:

April 5, 2009 at 10:55 am

Hello ,I think that the OP-1 is a great piece of design and a great instrument… unfortunately 600$ are many, I believed that an instrument of this type could be between 250 and 300 euro but not more. with this money you can buy a micro korg used or micromodular or… (others) … I know that is not the same thing but … and then, in a period of crisis such as this, are likely to make a hole in the water and sell a few pieces … Remember the end of the neuron, very promising but very expensive …


frank says:

April 5, 2009 at 5:38 pm

Yeah, I saw that lamp which is why I estimated over $3k.

Beltazor, the nord mm is an incredible steal used but I think it was originally around $600 new, and that was a decade ago! Plus it has no interface to speak of and that’s the expensive part: knobs, switches, display, case, etc. The microkorg is a chintzy piece of plastic, mass produced by a major corporation, so of course it’s cheaper.

But regardless of what the price is, I’m willing to pay for good design. There’s a reason why gear like the Synthi or the Wasp sells for ridiculous money, despite the fact that they were also originally seen as chintzy pieces of plastic.