What comes to mind when you think of Sweden? Skiing in the Alps? Banks? How about forward-thinking products, masterfully engineered and designed to push your creativity with streamlined interfaces and ever-expanding modular capabilities; that too? If not, you soon will, thanks to the amazing team at Teenage Engineering. Created by musicians who also happen to be engineers, the company has earned international acclaim for their innovative gadgets designed to help performers (especially those with a soft spot for electronics) take their game to the next level. Their products include a portable synthesizer, simple ribbon instruments, and a modular studio system to hold audio gear, cameras, or anything else you can imagine. This small team of engineers/musicians works hard to make sure their stuff is put together well before bringing it out for the public to see, and it’s paid off. TE products are well thought out and are known for their sleek designs and reliability. All Teenage Engineering products are manufactured in Sweden.
The OP-1 Portable Synthesizer
The OP-1 was inspired by the glory days of hardware: Clive Sinclair’s home computers, mini Casio keyboards, and the ever-loved 4-track cassette mix tape. The team at Teenage Engineering wanted to bring back the fun in its interface with a powerful, yet portable synthesizer for today’s musician on-the-go. They succeeded wonderfully. Inside its stylish, color-coded exterior lies a veritable Swiss Army knife of production – with 8 synthesizer engines, a 24-voice instant live sampler, a 4 track tape recorder with variable tape speed, a 4 track mixer with EQ and FX, 5 built-in effects, 3 sequencers, and it can pare down to a MIDI controller when need be. Compatible with Macs and PCs, it talks easily with your DAW or can be interfaced as a mass storage device. Since its release, the OP-1 has developed a community of producers who, along with the Team at Teenage Engineering, are constantly adding to the model’s capabilities. Its sexy look has also garnered fans and landed it a starring spot in Swedish House Mafia’s “One” music video.