NAMM 2019: Teenage Engineering introduces the “poor man’s modular” with new PO synth range

NAMM 2019: Teenage Engineering has gone all ‘flat-pack’ with the new Pocket Operator Modular synthesizers.

Three new models adorn the range with prices starting at $149, rising to $499 and each one comes as a kit that will require assembly. 

Continuing the ethos of low-cost instruments, the PO modular range was developed as a platform for people new to modular synthesis and enable them to explore and grow their own system.

Teenage Engineering even encourages users to expand on the format by moving the modules to an open frame chassis, where they can start to add more modules and configurations of their own choosing. 

The smallest of the range is the 16, which, no doubt, gets its name from the 16 keys and it includes an individual tuning option. The 16 is just a controller and comes with a built-in programmable sequencer, powered by four AA batteries. 

The middle model is the 170, a monophonic analogue synthesizer with built-in keyboard, programmable sequencer, speaker box and battery pack. It comes with nine modules in total and eight patch cables. 

The 400 is the top-of-the-range modular synthesizer and includes a 16 step sequencer, three oscillators, filter, LFO and features 16 modules in total and comes with eight patch cables. 

Each unit is pre-configured chassis, made out of thin bendable aluminium sheet metal and Eurorack compatible: ±12 volt, with 3.5 mm patch points. All kits come with a 70-page full-colour build manual including examples of patches, while the single module option, we’re promised, will be introduced later this year.

The synths are available now and you can find out more on the Teenage Engineering website.


NAMM 2019 - all the news

The dust is settling, but our ears are still ringing. You'll find all the stories that counted in our massive news hub. Below, enjoy our editors' findings as we regrouped at the end of the show.

Simon Arblaster
Video Producer & Reviews Editor

I take care of the reviews on MusicRadar and Future Music magazine, though can sometimes be spotted in front of a camera talking little sense in the presence of real musicians. For the past 30 years, I have been unable to decide on which instrument to master, so haven't bothered. Currently, a lover of all things high-gain in the guitar stakes and never one to resist churning out sub-standard funky breaks, the likes of which you'll never hear.

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