Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator Reviews

In this series of videos, via sonicstate, Gaz Williams takes a look at the recently introduced Teenage Engineering Pocket Operators.

There are three models in the Pocket Operator line:

  • PO-12 rhythm – drum synthesizer and sequencer with parameter locks, individual step re-trig and punch-in effects.
  • PO-14 sub – bass line synthesizer and sequencer with parameter locks, punch-in effects and play styles.
  • PO-16 factory – melody synthesizer and sequencer with parameter locks, punch-in effects, arpeggio and chord play styles.

Each of the Pocket Operators is priced at US $59. Details on the synths are available at the Teenage Engineering site.

If you’ve used the Teenage Engineering Pocket Operators, leave a comment and share your thoughts!

26 thoughts on “Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator Reviews

  1. its not “key-ooh”, mate… thats “key” and then a picture of glasses for the secondary function… so its more properly the “key-glasses” button… key as in keyboard – glasses as in nerding out? geeking out? something like that i guess… there are other pictures on other buttons that are weird too

    like, you wouldnt call those other ones the “bpm-m” button… or the “write-c” button

    two functions… two names…

  2. Weird that it has no sharps or flats – particularly as it is shown as being able to produce those notes, albeit through an effect.
    They remind me of a hardware version of something like nanoloop. But obviously nanoloop can play black keys and cost <£3

    1. Well, I was hoping Gaz was missing some setting for changing the key. But if this is a key of C only rig, than it’s more like a hardware version of a nincompoop.

      If true, that’s a deal breaker. Well, not that I was really that interested anyways.

      They do look like fun toys for the “kids” (in us all).

  3. I much prefer the idea of them in a case, but when you look at the price with case, it’s pretty high for such a limited tool. I understand this is boutique production so it’s always going to cost more. But the price of the case seems exorbitant.

    I think if they had thought out the whole thing a bit more they could have produced something more usable for a slightly higher price. When it can only realistically play in one key, it really is an expensive toy.

    1. I am with you on hat – but I still may end up getting the 12 – the drum one because I really do like the lofi tones it gives…. just don’t think that I can justify paying nearly as much for the case as for the unit itself

  4. These will sell like hot cakes, but they are too limited to be musically useful, like several steps below the Volcas.

    At least the OP-1 is a useful instrument.

  5. Somehow, SonicLab screwed up their YouTube playlist. If you’re trying to find the video for the drum machine review (the most useful of the three, in my opinion) it’s here.

  6. So this is what TAE is doing with the profits from the OP1…hmmm…nah …not interested….now back to my real synths.

  7. I don’t get it. Why so many companies start to manufacture toys instead of instruments? Perhaps there’s a new market for people who aren’t musicians but like to play with musical toys… And I am not kidding.

    1. Because almost all musical instruments are sold to non-professionals who just want to make sounds, that’s why.

      How many of the guitars that are sold each year actually ever get recorded? Or used live in a show?

      Music instruments are all toys.

    2. For sure there’s a market for musical toys. I’m all over this kind of stuff and I don’t pretend to be a musician at all. I can’t wait to get mine and pass it around so my friends and I can have some creative fun. It’s good to engage people’s interest -especially if they’re not musicians.

  8. I have the Volcas. All three OP’s with cases cost less than two Volcas and I think they look like a lot more fun. To each his own. Or her own.

  9. These things seem like buyers regret waiting to happen. I am sure they will give playable fun for a few days, maybe hours, then suddenly that feeling of wasting good money on a purposeless tool will eat you whole. I am trying to think of a purpose I would use them for? I can’t think of one – but if squeezing out digital cheese on a circuit board is your thing then knock yourself out – quickly, before someone else does.

    1. There are lots and lots of instruments that are good for two or three sounds then you move on.

      Quite a few music apps are that way. You make a couple sounds then move on.

      These would be fun to mess with, but I do see a large number of them on eBay in the future.

  10. According to their website the key is called “Keyoo”.

    “add play styles while playing, hold keyoo and press any key 1-16 to punch in playstyles, such as chords, arpeggios and transpositions. release write when finished. hold keyoo without pressing any key to clear play styles.”

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