NAMM 2012: Teenage Engineering Oplab Musical Experimental Board

The Teenage Engineering Oplab: tray bon?
The Teenage Engineering Oplab: tray bon?

NAMM 2012: When Teenage Engineering revealed that it was rocking up to NAMM with something new, we suspected it would defy convention. And so it's proved, with the announcement of the Oplab Musical Experimental Board.

This has so many potential applications that it's difficult to get your head around, but what we can confirm is that it enables you to connect up all your MIDI, CV and USB gear using just a single plug 'n' play board.

You can purchase additional sensors, too, including the Tap TS-2 piezo microphone, Flip TS-3 accelerometer and Poke TS-4 pressure sensitive sensor. Oh, and there's a special pair of trainers, too (yep, you read that right).

The Oplab board costs €279 and the price of the sensors start at €45. Here's what Teenage Engineering has to say about the project.

Teenage Engineering Oplab product into

The Oplab Musical Experimental Board allows you to interconnect virtually any electronic musical instruments. And finally it's just plug and play. No more hassle with one box for MIDI and another for CV or a third for USB. Oplab has it all in one place. Just connect your cables, set the appropriate scenario and experience a perfect sync.

But there is more...

Tap or Kick?

We have worked hard to design some nice accessories for you to start lab with. Like the TS-1 sneaker with a special made rubber side pocket for our TS-1W wireless Gyro sensor. Trig a kick drum or maybe an invisible sustain pedal?

One of the fundamental ideas behind Oplab is to let you connect things, toys or junk that you already have around you and to make it interact with your electronic musical instruments. Grab a broken hard drive, rip it apart, connect and use it as a scratchpad. A simple one is to just connect a mouse. Eureka! The mouse is now a pitch bender.

Lights, Please

With 2 x 12 bit switchable Digital in- and outputs you can interconnect more than just synthersizers. How about lights, LEDs, buzzers, motors or sensors? All in sync with your music or controlled by MIDI data from your sequencer.

From drumpad to iPad

Oplab has two standard USB host ports and one mini USB device port. So, any mobile device or computer that sends MIDI over USB or can output a audio trig click sound will work as a controller or slave via your Oplab.

Easy conversion from MIDI to CV and even Roland SYNC for the 303, 606 etc.

Build your own synth

Connect knobs, potentiometers and LEDs and add some programming skills and you are able to build your own soundmaking machine solely on Oplab. With MIDI in and out straight from the board. A development kit will be ready in the near future.

OP-1 no exception

Oplab is the perfect companion to your OP-1. Just plug and play for instant MIDI IN, OUT and THRU.

And to please our precious OP-1 owners even more, there will be future OP OS updates that will unlock even more cool functions.

Eurorack or cigar box?

Oplab comes as a bare PCB for maximum flexibility. If you need heavy protection go for the optional Eurorack mounting plate and mount it straight in your rack or build a neat custom case for your Oplab.

From MIDI to CV to USB. All scenarios covered. Oplab is available now. Starting at € 279.

Technical Specifications

  • USB IN and OUT x 2. Plus one Micro USB. Oplab can act as Host unit.
  • CV IN or any Analogue INPUT
  • CV OUT or any Analogue OUTPUT
  • Program selection switches
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.