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Teenage Engineering’s OP-1 Field just got a nifty bit crusher effect

Teenage Engineer’s OP-1 Field synthesizer/groovebox/thingamajig just got a fairly substantial system update. Software version 1.5.0 brings a fun new effect to the instrument and a long-requested feature.

First up, there’s a new effect called Terminal. This is a bit crusher, finally bringing distortion to the synthesizer. The OP-1 Field and its lower-powered sibling have always been known for a stellar effects lineup, but these instruments have never had a bit crusher or any real way to add color via distortion. As an avid player, I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had to use workarounds to fake overdrive and distortion.

It looks simple enough to operate, with an aesthetic that calls to mind an old PC. You should be able to use this tool for gentle distortion and all-out audio mangling. Like all OP-1 effects, there are four parameters to fiddle with.

The update also brings a much easier way to bounce, or merge, tracks. Teenage Engineering’s calling it “tape merge drop” and the tool includes a shortcut that automatically combines all of the audio from copied tracks into one track, so you can drop it down and continue building out a song. You could always bounce tracks on the OP-1 and Field, but it required some menu diving and a lot more time.

Teenage Engineering has always been good about supporting the OP-1 line. It dropped a vocoder for the Field earlier this year and released multiple system updates for the original OP-1 in the recent past, and that thing came out in 2011. Obama wasn’t even in his second term yet.

The company has had a busy month or so. It set music gear internet ablaze with the surprise launch of the EP-133 sampler and did the exact opposite with whatever this is. The new OP-1 Field update is available now.

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