Teenage Engineering Goes Modular!

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Teenage Engineering is a Swedish company that got famous for its innovative products, both sound and design-wise. Their products, such as the flagship OP-1 portable synth, and their Pocket Operators series of mini music devices got in the hands of many artists. This products resemble toys, especially the Pocket Operators series that look just like the LCD video games from the 80's, and even mimic them in the interface, use parts that are Lego compatible, and also have some funny accessories such as the plastic cranks that you turn in order to record etc. but also deliver a wide range of interesting sounds.

Now they decided to go modular! Teenage Engineering presented their first line of products for modular synthesis that consists of units titled: Pocket Operator Modular 16, 170 and 400. The 16 is a keyboard and a step sequencer with tunable keys, intended to control the 400 kit (16 is included with the 170). 170 is a monophonic analog synthesizer that has a total of 9 modules, built in keyboard and sequencer and speaker, priced at 399 EUR, a good choice to start with, cause you have everything out of the box.

The most expensive and the most interesting model is Pocket Operator Modular 400, which has a total of 16 modules, includes the 16 step sequencer, three oscillators, LFO, filter and more. It is priced at 549 EUR and that is a very good price in regard to all the possible ways in which you can use it, especially combined with other devices (all the signal levels are Eurorack compatibile).

Interesting thing is that the devices come as a kit, and you need to assemble them yourself, including the folding of the sheet metal. Some will find this "Ikea" approach interesting, and some will not.

As for the sound that these devices can produce, the best is to check a little demo:

This can be a very nice way to enter the otherwise very expensive world of modular synthesizers, for a reasonable price, just bear in mind that its easy to get hooked :) 

 

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