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  9. Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator PO-33 K.O!

Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator PO-33 K.O!

£75.00

The K.O! Pocket Operator is a micro-sampler.

The built-in microphone and 3.5mm jack input can capture audio from a variety of sources and store it using the onboard memory. It can hold up to 40 seconds of audio, shared across the 16 available sample slots.

It has a micro sampler with 40 second sample memory and built-in recording microphone. Sample any sound source using line in or the built in microphone. Melodic mode lets you play chromatic melodies and drum mode lets you play drums. Sequence it all and add effects on top.

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Since the launch in 2015, Teenage Engineering Pocket Operators have had a big impact in the world of electronic instruments. A series of pocket-sized synthesizers and drum machines, representing the bare essentials of what you need to create electronic music. To keep cost down they’ve even left out the casing, exposing all the components and PCB. Their affordability and simplicity make them so accessible, especially for those venturing into electronic music for the first time and therefore don’t want to drop big money on hardware.

Sampling

To sample, press & hold ‘record’ + number 1-16. This will initiate recording once the audio input level passes a threshold which is particularly useful to avoid silence and maximise storage space. You can only store one recording per slot, so make sure you select a new slot when sampling.

The K.O! Processes samples in two ways:

  • Melodic Sample (Slot 1-8): Recording to a melodic sample slot stretches the pitch of the sound across each of the 16 key buttons.  The start / end of the entire sample can be trimmed for precision.

  • Drum Sample (Slot 9-16): Recording to a drum slot will divide the whole sample equally and assign slices to each key, making it ideal for chopping up phrases or separating out drum beats. You may often need to trim the start and end of each slice to make sure each slice plays back correctly.

Editing Samples

Once captured, you can manipulate your sounds with 6 parameters linked to knobs A & B. To cycle through them, press the ‘fx’ button.

  • Tone – A:Pitch / B:Volume: Each sample can be pitched up + down. As there is no key setting, this is important for shifting melodic sequences. Sample volume can be adjusted separately from the master volume.

  • Filter – A: Cutoff / B: Resonance: The K.O! has a simple multimode filter assigned to each slot. Cutoff morphs from ‘low-pass’ through to ‘high-pass’ with ‘no filter’ in the middle position. The B knob controls the resonance of the filter

  • Trim – A: Start / B: End: Using these controls you can trim the start and end of your sample. In a drum slot, these controls trim the selected slice as opposed to the whole sample. Select a slice by pressing it’s associated key. You’ll notice the meter on the screen moves to the slice’s relative location in the sample.

FX

Each PO has a unique selection of sound effects. By pressing + holding ‘fx’ and then numbers 1-16, you can apply these to your entire sequence. They can be adde on the fly in performance mode or record to your sequence with edit mode. Here’s a summary list of effects on K.O!:

1. Loop 16 – loops & retriggers 16th note segments
2. Loop 12 – loops & retriggers 12th note segments
3. Loop short – loops & retriggers 32nd note segments
4. Loop shorter – loops & retriggers 48th note segments
5. Unison – Adds a thick chorusing effect
6. Unison low – Adds a lower chorusing effect
7. Octave up – Pitches the sequence an octave up
8. Octave down – Pitches the sequence an octave down
9. Stutter 4 – Tremolo effect that syncs 8th notes
10. Stutter 3 – Tremolo effect that syncs to 12th notes
11. Scratch – ‘Scratches’ a audio segment back & forth
12. Scratch fast – Like scratch, but quicker
13. 6 / 8 quantize – Quantises sequence from 4/4 to 6/8
14. Retrigger pattern – Randomly rearranges sequence
15. Reverse – Plays sequence in order, but samples in reverse
16. No effect – Does what it says on the tin.

‘No effect’ is particularly useful when you want to clear recorded effects. Simply press hold + ‘fx’ with button 16 in write mode to erase all the automated effects.

Data Transfer / Backup

This feature appears on the PO-32PO-33 and PO-35. It allows you to export your data as audio for external storage through the 3.5mm line out. You can then play this data back from the storage device into the line input of the Pocket Operator. Here’s the method on the PO-33:

– To send data: Press ‘write’ + ‘sound’ + ‘play’. The Pocket Operator will emit digital noise which you can record to anything that will playback the sound.

– To receive data: Press ‘write’ + ‘sound’ + ‘record’. The Pocket Operator will then start listening for the data signal which you can playback from the device it’s stored on.

This feature means you can export your samples and patterns if you want to start something fresh but don’t want to lose your current work. It means you can also share your ideas straight to other K.O! Pocket Operators.

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