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Pocket Operator PO-32 Tonic

I’m planning to make more music this fall. I acquired a Pocket Operator PO-32 Tonic to make glitchy beats. It is super incredibly neato, but I’d stop short of calling it “the new gold standard drum machine” (as Teenage Engineering does).

Since getting it and playing with it, there are a few things I learned that weren’t obvious from the marketing and demo videos I watched.

  1. It is in fact a synth (not a sampler). You can load sound settings from the Microtonic software app. Microtonic costs an additional $99. You can download a demo, but it prohibits transferring to the PO-32. However, you can use the patches via MIDI in your DAW, and turn the results into audio samples though.
  2. When you remove the batteries, you don’t loose your patterns
  3. Backup & restore is not too hard, but it only worked for me via line in (also tried via laptop mic + speaker). You know it’s working the screen shows progress on restoring each sound and pattern. I’ll keep trying an over-the-air backup and restore.
  4. All the Pocket Operators are mono.

What do you think?

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