It might be a little early to say that hardware trackers are ‘having a moment’, but with Polyend’s Tracker being followed on to the market by the gorgeous looking Dirtywave M8, you could certainly start to build a case.
The M8 is a handheld tracker that’s powered by the Teensy microcontroller and takes its inspiration from Gameboy tracker Little Sound DJ. It offers eight monophonic tracks/voices, each of which can be used for one of the built-in synthesis engines or to trigger external MIDI hardware.
Internal sound generation comes via waveform, FM and virtual analogue synthesis, and there’s also a sampler. Effects include global reverb, chorus and delay, along with a master bus limiter.
The M8 can store 255 patterns/phrases and chains, while the 256 instrument tables promise advanced modulation. You can use up to 128 instruments per song, and there’s both a song arranger and a live mode.
The interface, meanwhile, comprises an IPS TFT capacitive touchscreen and some satisfying looking mechanical keyswitches. There are stereo speakers onboard, while connectivity options include MIDI/audio I/O and USB. Storage is via SD card, and the 1200mAh USB rechargeable battery promises up to six hours of use.
The M8 is available for pre-order now from the Dirtywave website priced at $450. Shipping starts in July, coming from the United States.