Three Tiny Synths Put ’80s Video Game Sounds Back in Your Pocket
There are countless electronic sequencer apps available for your mobile device, but based on the popularity of Teenage Engineering’s tiny Pocket Operator synths, people still like pushing real made-of-matter buttons. That’s why the company is now introducing three new models with its PO-20 series.
All three new models will still sell for $59, and include the same base features as the original models, including a 16-step sequencer with 16 different patterns, a retro, monochrome animated LCD display, parameter locks, and a headphone jack. TE estimates you’ll get an impressive two-month battery life on a pair of AAA batteries.
The new PO-20 Arcade adds synthesized 8-bit arcade sounds reminiscent of your favorite ’80s video game console, so you don’t need to hack apart your beloved Game Boy to start producing some catchy chiptunes.
The PO-24 Office comes packed full of sounds sampled from the average ’80s-era workplace including disk drives and dot-matrix printers. The sounds it produces might be more recognizable by your parents who toiled away on classic Apple IIs or IBM PCs, but the PO-24 will still appeal to anyone with an appreciation for retro gear.
Finally there’ the PO-28 Robot which can be used for creating sequenced blip-bloop tunes, but actually seems more designed for live performances thanks to 8-bit synthesizer engines and the introduction of a glide button for creating smooth transitions between notes.
The new models each sound just as capable as the original Pocket Operators were on their own, with just a little more whimsy this time around. Put all three of the new PO-20 series together and you’ve got the start of the next great chiptunes band. There have been other chiptune bands, right?