It wouldn’t be NAMM season unless Teenage Engineering did something crazy, right? This time, they’re announcing a huge move for their Pocket Operator family: a whole modular system with build-it-yourself chassis, a bunch of modules, and more. Keep reading for the details.
Modular Pocket Operators
Today’s announcement from Teenage Engineering is no surprise to anyone who has followed the Pocket Operator story closely. This product line has been all about taking decent quality synthesizers and putting them in super cheap but intelligently designed enclosures. The little PO units appeared everywhere (I remember seeing a display at Urban Outfitters a few years ago) and made Teenage Engineering the darlings of the synthesizer industry.
the pocket operator is all about compromising on everything that adds cost – everything except sound quality. all modules are designed to last, with high quality components and clever circuit design.
This new launch has three new kits, each at different price levels.
The 400 kit is a “top of the line analog synthesizer with 3 oscillators, noise, random generator, 2 envelopes, 2 VCAs, LFO, filter, mixer, speaker box, power pack, and a 1-16 step sequencer.” It’s a complete kit, meaning that you get 16 modules, a bunch of patch cables, and a fold-to-build-it-yourself chassis.
There’s even a carrying handle on the back of the unit for taking your modular rig on an adventure. The 400 will run $499.
The 170 kit is simpler but different – it’s “a monophonic analog synthesizer with built-in keyboard, programmable sequencer, speaker box, and battery pack.” You get 9 modules with this one, and it’ll run $349.
This is effectively the bottom third of the 170 – it’s a standalone keyboard that has “individual tuneable keys and a programmable step sequencer”. It can send CV, pitch, and trig. If you already use a modular setup, this could be a great simple addition to your rig. The 16 will run $149.
At the start, the only modules will only be available as a part of a kit. In the future, it looks like Teenage Engineering will add each module for sale individually.
The units are already available to preorder on the Teenage Engineering website, expected ship time of 4 weeks from today. I have to say, considering the prices of these units, it’s likely we’ll see a ton of new modular fanatics in the next year. As if the love for outboard synthesis gear wasn’t already incredibly prominent at NAMM, this is likely to help the popularity skyrocket.
If you have questions about this new release, ask in the comments and we’ll get it answered.