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teenage engineering PO - 20 review

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I’ve had the teenage engineering PO - 20 Arcade edition for a little over a month now, and I have to say it’s one of the best gifts I’ve ever received. It’s basically a little pocket synth with loads of options, and there are lots of different types listed on the site with different sounds, functions, and abilities put into them. They cost anywhere from $50 to $90. I would highly recommend getting one of the silicone cases at the very least for yours, though, because after just a few days, mine fell off a table and now the screen is dead forever. I really enjoy the bare bones look of it; it’s something where I’d be interested if a person sitting next to me on the subway had one. There are two knobs in the top right corner of the button “tray,” which I personally think that they got the feel spot on for. There are 16 main pads that you can use to do a variety of things. I would say that there are overlays that you can hold down to give these pads a specific set of functions. To start, you can hold pattern to select from 16 open slots. These come preloaded with examples of what you can do. Then you select one of the 16 sounds, which you can modify the pitch and hollowness of, and where in those 16 bars of music it’ll play. The FX key allows you to get a strong effect sound by turning the knobs, and select different effects that you can put over your music. And the chord button lets you choose from pretty much unlimited chord progressions that, mind you, alter the sound of all of the sounds and effects at the same time. It’s powered by a low power chip and takes 2 AAA batteries that should take a while to drain. There’s also a folding metal on the piece to stand it up, a jack to plug in a better speaker, and a very, very impressive speaker inside, hidden from view. It gets loud and has plenty of bass for the available effects. If you keep the screen alive, there is some neat artwork that’ll go along with your music and help indicate some things, but I just feel lucky that mine still works fine and the only broken part is the screen. There are lights for each button that help as well when you are composing. You can even daisy-chain them together in order to get a wider set of buttons used for sampling. Overall, I’d say that the pocket operator series can provide lots of fun for a nerdy person like me looking for a toy with so many possibilities like this, and I could sit for hours on the plane just playing around. My only complaint is the durability, everything else is amazing and works without flaw. Take a look and listen to samples here: https://www.teenageengineering.com/products/po

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