Technology seems to be getting smaller and smaller nowadays, as companies are attempting to make gadgets handheld and more appealing. With absurdly complex programs converting to app form and 3D printers becoming miniature, nothing seems safe from the onslaught of cute contraptions. Well synth production could never become portable, right? Wrong. Operating at the size of a credit card, Teenage Engineering has released a series of “Pocket Operators” that can fully produce synth-laden sound design with complete percussion tracks.

DSC_0878I know what you’re thinking. There’s no way something this small could efficiently create layered tracks, let alone a listenable song. However, reviews have shown that the miniature, DIY devices actually produce a harmonious sound.

A full track requires the usage of all three different operating systems. There’s a drum apparatus (PO-12 Rhythm), a sub-bass synth (PO-14 Sub), and a melody maker (PO-16 Factory), with each individually costing $59. They all come equipped with an abundance of multi-purpose buttons, and allow you to loop and record melodic ditties, suiting the needs of a bedroom DJ or a music hobbyist. Each unit also displays the tempo and mode at which you are recording, and provides a jaunty animation when you playback your current piece. While the quality may sound a tad 8-bit, you can export the audio to more primitive audio editors such as GarageBand to clean up the mixing. For the musically non-inclined, all three units come preset with 16 samples, so you can start fooling around the moment you get your hands on them. This definitely comes in handy, as you can mess with each individual knob and figure out the different effects whilst tinkering with the 16-step sequencer.

Regardless of the less-than-stellar sound quality, these portable production systems are definitely worth their moderate price. Sound design has never been so simple, and you can easily produce a full-blown track on these handheld devices within hours. Purchases can be made here, and judge the quality for yourself below!


H/T & Image Sources: Engadget