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Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator PO-35 Speak

£82.00

Vocal synthesizer and sequencer with built-in microphone for 8 different voice character sampling. On PO-35 use the built in microphone to instantly record your own voice, and completely change its character. play with it, sequence it and add effects and drums on top.

In stock

Teenage Engineering Pocket Operators

Since the launch in 2015, Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator has 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.

The Speak Pocket Operator is a vocal synthesizer. Instead of capturing and storing audio, it records speech parameters such as pitch, envelope and formant. It then resynthesizes this information to create vocoder-style speech sounds. Also, this Pocket Operator was designed in conjunction with Magnus Lindström of music software company Sonic Charge. Magnus and Teenage Engineering have previously worked together on their devices, namely the PO-32 Tonic. The sound of Tonic’s synthesized drums is derived from the Sonic Charge Microtonic VST. In a similar way, the design of speak originates from bitspeek – a vocal resynthesizer VST Plugin.

Recording Speech Parameters.

Recording on speak is pretty much the same as it is on the K.O! Hold record + number 1-15 to capture a sound. You cannot record to button ’16’ because it’s assigned to a drum voice, which we will get into later.  As the term ‘speech parameters’ might suggest, speak reprocesses vocals very effectively as it’s emulating voice characteristics. However, this  shouldn’t stop you from recording anything else. Processing other sounds will produce some very creative results. The unit can store up to 120 seconds of input information, so you have a bit more to work with.

Editing Your Sound.

Just like the Pocket operator PO-33, you can edit and manipulate your recordings. ‘Speech parameters’ offer different manipulation possibilities to audio. Press the ‘fx’ button to cycle parameters and then turn knobs A & B to edit them.

  • Tone – A: Pitch / B: Formant: You can change the pitch and formant separately without affecting the speed of the recorded sound.

  • Trim – A: Start / B: Speed: You can adjust the start, but not the end of the sampled information. You do however gain the ability to adjust the playback speed without affecting the pitch.

Hidden Parameters.

By pressing and holding ‘record’ + ‘fx’ together, you can access an extra set of features to further manipulate your sounds:

  • ‘FPS’ – Determines the input resolution. Setting it higher or lower affects the quality and clarity of the sound.

  • ‘Tune’ – Allows you to fine tune the pitch of your sound

  • ‘MIH’ – Gives you control over noise level and volume of your sound

  • ‘Hi-R’ / ‘Lo-R’ – Optimizes recording for high pitched (Hi-R) and low pitched (Lo-R) sources.

Voicing Modes & FX.

Instead of 16 effects, speak has 8 voice modes assignable to your samples and 8 effects. Here is a list from the manual with a short description of each:

1. Neutral – Plain resynthesis with no modulation
2. Autotune – Locks pitch to steps in the key you set
3. Retro – Low-res voice synthesis – think speak & spell!
4. Noise – Only uses noise, super creepy.
5. Robot – Keeps pitch constant to button pressed
6. Fifth – Adds a fifth above the note being played
7. Vocoder – A deep resonant vocoder sound
8. Synth – Square wave carrier that sounds less like a voice

Here’s the list of FX used in conjuction with the sequencer:

9. Stutter sweep – Volume tremolo & filter sweep
10. Trance gate – Stepped gate that chops the sound
11. Half rate – Halves speed and pitch
12. 16 bar build up – Ramps up pitch over 16 bars
13. 6/8 quantize – Quantizes from 4/4 to 6/8
14. Retrigger pattern – Randomly rearranges sequence
15. Reverse – Plays sequence in order, but samples backwards
16. No effect – same as K.O! – clears all FX

Tonic. The PO-35 also includes a single instance of the PO-32 Tonic drum synthesizer. This is accessed by pressing ‘Sound’ + button 16. It comes loaded with 16 drum sounds optimised for single voice playback. Although you can’t edit the drum sounds any further than pitch and morph on the PO-35, you can create your own sounds from scratch using Sonic Charge’s plugin Microtonic and load them straight to your device. This is done in the same way as a Data Backup / Restore as outlined in the PO-33.
Data backup / transfer. Just like the PO-33, you can transfer and backup your settings from the PO-35. Pressing ‘write’ + ‘sound’ transmits data as an audio packet through the 3.5mm out. Pressing ‘write’ + ‘record’ receives this data. You can also change the sounds in the instance of Tonic on button 16 using the AU/VST plugin Microtonic. Once you have created a patch of drum sounds you want to export, click the Teenage Engineering symbol in the top right. On speak, press record and sound together. This audio packet can be received via both line in and microphone. Once loaded, your drums slots should match those from the plugin.

 

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