Could this OP-1-inspired ‘smartphone synth’ be the electronic instrument of the future?

Gris Design OP-S
(Image credit: Gris Design/Instagram)

Before you get too excited, this isn’t a real electronic instrument, but many who gaze upon the OP-S - a concept product from Spanish agency Gris Design - will wish that it could be.

Unashamedly inspired by Teenage Engineering’s OP-1, which itself took design cues from Casio’s VL-1, the OP-S is billed as a ‘smartphone synthesizer’ that enables you to create complete productions wherever you go. It’s suggested that this would have audio I/O, built-in microphones, front-facing speakers and a set of three cameras.

Of course, if you have an iPhone, this kind of functionality already exists - there are a multitude of great music-making apps on iOS - but you’ll need external hardware if you want proper audio I/O and MIDI control.

Whether there’s a big enough market for a product like the OP-S for it to come to market is debatable, though, so these images might be as close as it ever gets to becoming a reality.

Check out all the images on the Gris Design Instagram feed.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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