Teenage Engineering Intros PO-32 Tonic Pocket Drum Machine

2017 NAMM ShowTeenage Engineering has announced a new ‘next-level’ Pocket Operator – the PO-32 Tonic drum machine.

PO-32 tonic is a powerful drum- and percussion synthesizer, based on a collaboration with Magnus Lidström of Sonic Charge. The PO-32 offers a wide range of sonic capabilities, punch-in FX and a built-in microphone that allows direct transfer of sounds and pattern data between units,.

It also features compatibility with Sonic Charge’s Microtonic, which lets you create new patches and pattern data, and transfer them wirelessly back to the PO-32 Tonic. This means that you can easily import, export and share PO-32 music.

Here’s a video demo:


  • Mic for transferring sounds
  • 16 fully customizable sounds
  • 16 punch-in effects
  • 16 step sequencer
  • Parameter locks • built-in speaker
  • 3.5 mm audio I/O • jam sync
  • LCD display
  • Folding stand
  • Watch + alarm clock
  • Battery powered (2 x AAA)
  • 1 month battery life
  • Pattern chaining, up to 64 patterns
  • Compatible with Microtonic vst/au

PO-Tonic UI Designed By A 9 Year-Old

An interesting aspect of the Tonic’s design is its UI, which features cartoon illustrations of people drinking ‘tonics’.

The cartoon illustrations were created by Ivana Kouthoofd, who is the daughter of Teenage Engineering CEO and founder Jesper Kouthoofd. CDM has more details on the devices unique UI.

Price and Availability

The PO-32 Tonic is expected to be available April 2017, priced at US $89. It will also be available as a bundle with Microtonic for $139.

via AskAudio

26 thoughts on “Teenage Engineering Intros PO-32 Tonic Pocket Drum Machine

    1. I think it needs the microphone to receive sounds sent from the computer. You can hear the old fax machine sound when he sends a sample. Totally TE to do it this way. I love it.

  1. This is really cool but I have to wonder why didn’t they just use the line in on the PO to transfer the sound? Plus can the mic be used for other things?
    Lastly I was really hoping they would make a drum machine 128 step sequencer they like have for the robot and the arcade.

  2. well i think its cool for all the people involved especially the designer . very cool and these little operators have a nice crunch too them .

  3. Although I have yet to buy it, I loved playing with the Microtonic demo many years ago. Great app. Looks like an excellent bundle.

  4. I’m not impressed that I have to buy software that costs the same as the hardware and the software is less portable than the hardware because it requires a computer. No iPhone or android app which would have made much more sense.

  5. These are great. And microtonic is a beast. However, cute as it may be I really dislike the TE display UI. Very little or no useful feedback on there whatsoever. Same goes for the OP-1. The wacky out there vibe doesn’t do it for me. Seems like a bit of a waste of that lovely display it has

  6. I don’t get the point of this. It would make more sense if the software worked from and tablet or phone, but honestly who’s going to lug around a laptop just to update the sounds for something pocket sized?

  7. So you make the sounds in the one specific application, and then transfer a sample to the device by convoluted method and then..? LMAO.. Why?????

    1. modulars – so you make a whole bunch of pieces of a synth and then have to physically have to patch them all together with a mass of cables WHY?… because it is fun same as this.

    2. Actually an acoustic carrier to load samples is brilliant. The code to or chip needed would be dirt cheap compared to WiFi or USB connectivity, driver, compatibility, mess etc…the POs are about simplicity of form and function. They aren’t controllers or recorders. They are simple sequencer sketch pads that keep you thinking about beat and hook making because there is one in your pocket.

  8. The Korg Volca Sample also uses the audio upload method to upload samples, patches and sequence data to the device by encoding the datastream using FSK. It’s done this way because that enables programming from iPhone and Android and other devices, all which can generate audio without requiring an additional purchase of a MIDI interface.

    Unlike the PO-32, the Volca’s format is published and has available a free open source implementation (https://github.com/korginc/volcasample). With the PO-32 it seems its main advantage is you can upload samples. However, you can not do so without the purchase of the developer’s software plugin. Therefore the real price of this is $139 not $89. And for that price, the Volca is a pretty apt contender.

    The PO-32 would be more competitive by providing a similar open source library so that other third party software can upload the samples as well.

    1. No samples bruh, only synthesis on the PO-32. Where’d you hear such nonsense? This is the second time I run into this misconception online..

  9. This is pretty cool. I never really looked into the other Teenage Engineering stuff but my experience with Microtonic was pretty pleasant in the past. Same developer of Synplant (pretty neat) and also Maelstrom in Reason. All in all pretty cool stuff

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