Making music on a TV remote – full review of Teenage Engineering’s OP-Z

After years of speculation, teasers and delays, the world has finally been introduced to Teenage Engineering‘s latest wonder device, the OP-Z.

The Swedish company’s OP-1, has already gone down as both a synth and design classic, and was a genuinely revolutionary product on its release, packing incredible power into a tiny case – with a focus on fun, portability, and also productivity.

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Is the MPC Live a Rip-Off?

At £800, the MPC Live was already a costly investment for any musician looking to take advantage of the legendary workflow, and chunky pads. Add in the fact that a couple of weeks before it was finally released, the price was quietly ramped up by a whopping £160 for those who hadn’t pre-ordered, and a fair few people were left feeling bemused and angry.

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New Gear Warning – Akai Professional MPC Live

It happened again…

Here at GBM Music we love to create background music as varied and interesting as possible, and to keep doing so on a consistent basis means we have to keep adding to our arsenal of music creation gear that we can call on.

At least that’s what we tell ourselves to make ourselves feel better about shelling out on some exciting new gear that we could probably survive without.

The truth is that there’s nothing more inspiring than discovering a new piece of equipment, and new ways to work and create music. Especially if things ever feel a little stale.

We’ve opted to purchase this new piece of gear from Akai as it offers a whole new workflow – combining the best of standalone work with the best of computer-based work.

The Sampler can be used in a completely standalone state and includes a hefty battery. While the cliche of playing and composing on the bus or in the park is even less applicable to this unit than usual, there’s no doubt that being able to leave the studio or the computer and crash on the sofa or bed with a device can be really great.

Equally, being able to throw an entire project in your bag and take it to a different studio or a collaborator is very appealing.

With a massive memory, and what looks like a buttery smooth touch screen interface to boot, the MPC Live is causing a lot of interest for music geeks, and MPC fans.

At £800, this is no small investment, but a device that’s being effectively marketed as a DAW in a box is potentially worth that level of investment, if it’s going to result in an improved workflow that results in more musical output.

We were tempted to hold out for the Elektron Digitakt, which looks like great fun, and perhaps even looks a little more adept at sample mangling, but the sheer workhorse nature of the MPC Live, and the smooth integration of the workflow from head, to MPC Live, to computer, made this device irresistible.

We’ll be sure to let you know how we get on with the new device once it’s arrived, and we’ve had a chance to test it out. But what do you think – did we make the right choice?


GBM Music instrument photo shoot

 

We’ve got something a little different for you in the blog today. Last night, I was let loose in the studio with my new camera, and decided to try and get a few different snaps of some of our favourite pieces of equipment, which we use to create the background music that GBM Music sells.

Here are some of our favourite snaps from the shoot – let us know what you think of them! You can find more info on many of these synths in our blog about favourite gear.

Korg Monotribe

The Monotribe is a real beast, and it looks as good as it sounds, when its MS20 filter is screaming.

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Arturia Microbrute

We mainly use this brutish synth to add crunchy basslines, and we love its chunky knobs and dials!

Microbrute GBM Music

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Korg Electribe

We also love this guy, complete with useless but cool LEDS on the bottom, and a great little touchpad for adding effects to your instrumental tracks.

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Teenage Engineering OP-1

It’s hard to take a bad picture of this stylish all-in-one synthesiser from Sweden. It just looks great!

Teenage Engineering OP-1 GBM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Novation Circuit

One of our favourite new pieces of hardware, this colourful synth simply keeps getting better and better.dscf0202