Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator PO-32 Tonic Drum Machine

92
GEARANK

92 out of 100. Incorporating 175+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$89
Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator PO-32 Tonic Drum Machine
Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator PO-32 Tonic Drum Machine

Teenage Engineering may not be a household name similar to the likes of Roland but with a growing list of big name artists using their products, this Swedish electronics company is soon to be on everyone's radar.

The Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator PO-32 sports a minimal, almost utilitarian and unfinished look; but don't let that fool you.

The PO-32 is a compact yet fully featured drum sequencer sporting a powerful 16 step sequencer with various effects as well as 16 preset sounds all crammed into a drum machine no larger than your average business card or pocket calculator.

With the ability to sync with other Teenage Engineering products, The PO-32 might just be the start of a new musical addiction.

Features:

  • LCD screen
  • 16 preset sounds
  • 16-step sequencer with punch-in effects, parameter locks, and step multiplier
  • Effects Types: Distortion, Pitch, Granular, Reverse, Half-rate
  • Analog Inputs: 1 x 1/8" TRS (audio/sync in)
  • Analog Outputs: 1 x 1/8" TRS (audio/sync out)
  • Power Supply: 2 x AAA batteries

Pros

Aside from its small form factor and features, the PO-32 punches above its weight class for the price point. Many users praise it's intuitive controls and depth of the editing capabilities from such a small device. A few people admire the LCD graphics done by the designer's young daughter. Based on the reviews it appeals to people who like to take note of the little artistic details that go into the product. The PO-32 is evidently a labor of love made by Teenage Engineering and literally hides nothing from that fact.

Cons

With how the PO-32 is constructed, general feedback from the user base show concerns of the long term durability of the product. A protective case is available for purchase though in my opinion shouldn't be a separate accessory. Users in forums consistently note the workflow and usage of the PO-32 isn't as inherently obvious as it could be and requires some reading of the manual to be able to maximize use of its feature set. The learning curve definitely isn't steep but takes a little getting used to.

Overall

With a low barrier to entry with regards to the price, The PO-32 is a fun creative tool for the casual musician while still being able to provide depth for more experienced tinkerers. Long term durability concerns aside, hearing sound samples and music written with it shows that the PO-32 is a great sounding little device.

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