Behind the Sound Pt.3: The Magic of Lo-fi Drums on OP–1 Field

Stockholm-based drummer Morgan Ågren’s studio is a treasure trove of percussion, filled with a medley of instruments and non-instruments.

In one corner of Ågren’s home studio, he crafted an extensive array of drum sounds for the OP-1 Field, including kick drums, bass drums, snare sounds, hi-hats, and an assortment of cymbals and metal percussion. His creations ranged from big snares to small snares, big kick drums to dead-sounding drums with heavy dampening, and a few open ones, totaling hundreds of sounds.

The task at hand was straightforward: create trashy, lo-fi, small, percussive sounds that had a dirty, low-resolution, low-bit feel. Considering Ågren’s studio brims with two drum kits, random percussive objects, homemade instruments, and inexpensive guitars used as percussive toys, it’s clear why he was the perfect fit for the job.

Ågren’s guitar-playing method is unique; it’s more about percussive sounds than traditional strumming. Understanding what Teenage Engineering was after, he set out to record hundreds of sounds.

As if that wasn’t enough, Ågren was asked to record additional metallic sounds. He enthusiastically crashed, smashed, and struck cymbals and DIY metal creations to achieve the right blend of trashy cymbals, resulting in “cool, dry, open, and dirty, funky sounds.”

Having played drums since his school days, Ågren’s musical journey spans his entire life. After moving to Stockholm from northern Sweden in 1985, he played in various bands and attended Musikhögskolan for a year but never graduated. Instead, he started Mats/Morgan and performed with Frank Zappa and Fleshquartet.

In the past decade or so, he has primarily worked with keyboard player Mats, who also has an affinity for OP–1.

Morgan Ågren’s sample kit “Apes Are Us” is on OP–1 Field. Additionally, three more of Ågren’s kits – Wknd Raps, Peace Beats, and Fonky Beats – are also available. To access these kits on your device, simply follow the provided instructions.







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It’s a testament to their creativity and technical prowess that they’re able to construct such a complex sonic tapestry using a seemingly disparate array of sound

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