NAMM 2023: Polish hardware developer Polyend, who produced the innovative Trackera couple of years back, might well have stolen the NAMM show before it's even started. Yes, it's time to reveal Polyend Tracker Mini.
Tracker Mini is a smaller and lighter version of the original Polyend Tracker, a device that enables you to make complete tunes using onboard sampling and a granular synthesis engine. It utilises some of the more unusual ideas developed on software trackers from the early days of computer music making, and this gives it both an esoteric appeal and sometimes baffling workflow.
However, it has sold well and scored some incredible reviews – we called it "a sleek, well-designed hardware sampler that’s both fun and inspiring".
Tracker Mini is aimed even more at the mobile music maker - just look at the pictures and you can imagine someone tracking on the train. And as Polyend has used the original's success to refine its ideas about hardware tracking, it has also managed to cram more into less space with Tracker Mini.
So, while it's smaller and lighter, it boasts bigger specs, like all-stereo sample playback, a built-in mic, USB audio and an onboard battery (the original used a battery pack).
One or two of the original, more esoteric features have also been given an overhaul with Mini. Polyend has improved project workflow so much for the device that Piotr Raczynski, CEO of Polyend claims: "Mini is easy to use and suitable for both experienced and novice music producers", and that, "its workflow is easy to pick up, allowing you to get creative in no time".
Tracker Mini certainly looks the part, and even though it is designed to be a handheld device - to the point where it resembles a Game Boy-style video game - that large screen should make it great fun to work with. And as it's more mobile and powerful than the original, we can almost forgive the price hike.
Tracker Mini will cost $/€699 and be available from the Polyend website and via selected dealers in July/August.