Managed to get lucky and get my hands on Teenage Engineering's new sequencer/synth/all-in-one portable music studio thing. In order to work out the details of it I set about condensing the manual. Ended up with three pages of quick reference details that you can print, fold up and keep with your OP-Z so you can play with it without hooking it up to a screen. Links below.

General observations:

  • The interface is a lot like the Pocket Operators in that you hold down a button to change the meaning of a set of other buttons. (The OP-Z is essentially a professional-grade PO.) Page 3 below has diagrams that show this.
  • At first, tapping shift to change parameter pages for each track can seem like a huge amount of information to memorize, but as you can see on Page 1 below, the colors are consistent across tracks and the functions rarely change. Memorize the meaning of the five colors (main, ADSR, LFO, ARP, FX) and you're well on your way.
  • Only two parameters act like menus with specific choices instead of a range of values. (LFO destination and ARP pattern)
  • The yellow and red dials are always filter and resonance for drums, synths, FX and main.
  • Punch-in effects are almost identical for the drum side and the synth side, with just three buttons behaving differently.
  • There are three types of step components. They seem to be rhythm-based, note/sound-based, and programming-based. The last three (the spark components) have very little associated documentation for now.
  • Step buttons change colors, and this is what they mean:


Tutorials and resources:

Download A4 pdf files here:

Monochrome-friendly/higher contrast versions: