Teenage Engineering Intros Inexpensive ‘Pocket Operator’ Micro Synthesizers

Teenage_Engineering_po-122015 NAMM Show: Teenage Engineering and Cheap Monday have launched a line of ‘pocket operators’ – micro synthesizers that fit in your pocket and a line of matching gear.

The new line of musical instruments consists of three pocket sized synthesizers.

These were first seen a session at Moogfest 2014 in Asheville, NC. Here’s a Moogfest image, via photographer Robert Pluma, that offers perspective on the new devices size:


Here’s a preview of the Teenage Engineering PO-12 drum machine, via Cuckoo:

All three models come without casing, with the components and artwork are visible directly on the printed circuit board.

The 2xaaa battery-powered pocket also come with a segment lcd screen, built in speaker, alarm clock and a stand made from bent wire.

All models also feature parameter locks, as well as synchronization functionality and they all have 3.5mm line in and line out.

Each model has its own set of effects, such as filters, bit-crushing, delay, stutter and many more. They are priced at $59 each.

Here’s what they have to say about the origin of the Pocket Operator line:

The idea of the collaboration between teenage engineering and cheap monday was born in the autumn of 2013. the engineers needed new, protective, lab coats for the staff and instead of buying generic ones teenage engineering’s creative director, jesper kouthoofd, turned to his longtime friend ann-sofie back asking cheap monday to design a unique coat and additional garments for his team.

heap monday took on the challenge but asked for a return favour; what began with the engineers need for new lab wear grew into a project where a line of portable synthesizers and matching gear were born in a unique collaboration between the two brands.

14 thoughts on “Teenage Engineering Intros Inexpensive ‘Pocket Operator’ Micro Synthesizers

  1. I need one! but since I can’t decide which one is the most interesting, I’ll probably end up ordering all three… and the silicone cases are cool as hell!

  2. I want one. I like how you use them and what they do. I really hate that they by default have no protective enclosure. You don’t want to put that in your pocket or duffle bag, you would break it. Don’t want to be drinking anything near it, moisture from your finger could ruin it. They almost force you to buy the separate enclosure which doesn’t even fully cover the back. Poor design on that aspect. Great design on fun and function. Teenage engineering needs to expect that people will want to collect these and keep them for a long time, but they just don’t seem very resiliant.

  3. These look really dumb and silly.

    I will be buying ALL of them at this price point and play with them with a smile on my face until either they fall apart or I forget where I put them.

  4. The only thing we had like this when I was a teenager was the Casio VL-Tone…Things have come a long way indeed.
    The choice of gear & software available today is astounding…count yourselves lucky.

  5. Yes, these do look fun as hell, I too am concerned about the fragility, (everyone I know who was hipster or rich enough to buy an op1 has broken knobs etc)….. and the silicon cases seemed impossible to add to cart on their website…. of course most of these can be done with iOS or android apps, but there is something fun about a dedicated machine… and I like clever devs who make inexpensive toys that can spark creation. and yeah, looks like they are gunning for the monotron market, which was fun too for awhile, …..

  6. Whew! Those went fast, TE order page now states they’re sold out until April. Question is, those who did get orders in will we have to wait until then to receive them?

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