As portable as it is pretty, this imaginative new synthesizer is a music warehouse in a tiny form factor. The Teenage Engineering OP-1 Synthesizer includes eight unique synthesis engines, a slew of onboard effects, a live sampler and a built-in 4-track tape-style recorder. If you’re a synth geek (like us), you just got really excited. If you’re a bit foggy on the details, let us demystify!
Synthesizers like this one produce a nearly innumerable amount of electronic sounds by the manipulation of wave forms. Select a basic wave form or two (like a sawtooth, which sounds sharp and abrasive just like the name suggests), twiddle a few of the knobs to effect its tone and volume over time, then play out a melody with the two-octave keyboard. You can then record your melody on the included 4-track recorder which works just like old-fashioned analog tape. Next, you can sample a sound from another song, something you say or sing, or even something off of the built-in (and totally awesome) FM radio.
That recording capability (and the FM radio) make this little stunner a serious synthesizer. Add to it that it’s fully portable (and capable of 16 hours of use per charge) and you have reason to celebrate. It can connect to PC/Mac/Linux systems via USB for greater control and to transfer completed songs to and from the device for storage. It’s available now for $849, and we’re already making room on our desk as we start saving our pennies. [via uncrate]