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Teenage Engineering releases free Pocket Operator for Pixel: sample-based audio/video groovebox comes to Google phones

Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator for Pixel
(Image credit: Teenage Engineering)

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After making headlines with the high-priced OP-1 Field and TX-6 mini mixer, Teenage Engineering’s next move is to release a free music-making app for Google phones - Pocket Operator for Pixel.

Designed to bring the Pocket Operator experience to your Pixel device - Pixel 5 and later, that is - this uses Google’s TensorFlow machine learning technology to extrapolate samples from your videos, placing them on a 4x4 grid of buttons.

You can then sequence and mix these samples - recording either live or step by step - and add effects. There are drum and melodic modes, and you get four tracks and 16 patterns. Your videos are displayed at the top of the screen, and you can add filters to these, too.

It’s all great fun and very responsive. Once you’ve finished a song, it can be exported with a single click.

It remains to be seen whether this will lead to more collaborations between Teenage Engineering and Google - or whether additional features will be added to the app in due course - but Pocket Operator for Pixel is certainly an impressive showcase for the two companies’ technology.

Pocket Operator for Pixel is available now from the Google Play (opens in new tab) store. It forms part of the latest 'feature drop' for Pixel phones.

I’m the Group Content Manager for MusicRadar, specialising in all things tech. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 20 of which I’ve also spent writing about music technology. 

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