BEAT TAPE: Pocket Operators + Digitone + Analog Heat


I released in the end of december in Osaka/Japan a new cassette beat tape made with the Teenage Engineering PO-33 K.O and the PO-32.

Ultra lofi riddims inside! :yin_yang: I sampled crunchy 8-bit old FM synthesis, weird digital strings from the Digitone, vinyl records, cassette tapes & field recordings from Japan. Everything was after processed with Analog Heat MK1 (Saturation mode), before being recorded in the mighty and warm Tascam 112.

The cassette tape is sold out but the digital album is available in Bandcamp: Hope that you like it!


Great stuff. Tasty vignettes that remind me of 1950s pop – they say their piece and get out.

Quite impressed with the quality of sound you’re getting. I’ve never heard the Pocket Operators sounding so good, so I expect the Heat and Tascam are adding lots of warmth. Was the OP-1 involved at all?

Really nice sampling work too. If you haven’t heard Ash Day/Nohay’s tribute to Nujabes you might enjoy it.


Super nice artwork there!


good looks. I’ll def give it a listen later when I get chance


I really enjoyed this too. Hard to believe these tunes were made on PO-33 / PO-35. Lots of short and sweet beats. As an aside, these jams were great for having on in the background while working. Cheers.


Sounds great , lovely trip hop feel to it all


I really really like this.

How was it arranged/recorded?

Superb work


Thanks a lot, @dubathonic. Happy that you liked it.

I think that “vignettes” are a good definition for those beats - this beat tape (indeed, the same thing with the other two that I have released done with the Pocket Operators) was composed with a live perspective so I needed to fit the drum programmings and samples in a pair of PO-33s & 32 - basically every beat was made with 4 drums patterns variations (plus PO-32 effects), one or two samples (of 2-4 seconds each) and a vocal sample/field recording texture that I added after (but was also sampled with the PO-33). Everything is very objective! :slight_smile:

This beat tape (and the other two that came before) was made having in mind exactly the idea of exploring the Pocket Operators extreme simplicity, investigating if it´s possible to make fat and warm beats with them. I think that the bass drums in the PO-12 & PO-32 can sound massive in a volume sweet spot (anything between 11-14 volume/pads, if you have a PO), without distorting.

I´ve also found that in the more high volume levels (13-14) the dynamic between the bass drums and other drum parts can sound a little bit like sidechain compression, with a very gentle/discrete “pump”.

The PO-33 have also a very interesting crunchy sound, with smooth textures, characteristic of low bitrate samples, that sounds specially beautiful in the mid ranges. There´s also a trick that I used a lot in this work and the one before it: a sample in the K.O! can be longer than the 4-steps column limit that I used, leaving a sound “trail” that overlaps other samples (the K.O have a good polyphony), in a very lush and vaporous way, specially with a little of reverb and a more long delay/echo.

The Heat use was very gentle (Saturation in the master, but subtle). The Tascam was a bit more incisive, peaking the drums in the red saturation levels. However, even without any processing, just with the Pocket Operators hitting hard, I think that is possible to sound heavy. I did lives with the POs and those beats in Kyoto and Osaka - the Kyoto gig was recorded from the mixing board, I´ll post in the future so will be possible to listen to it without any further processing.

Those 8 where chosen from a batch of approximately 20 beats made in two pairs of POs. I used the OP-1 as sample source for a lot of beats, but in the final beat tape if I´m not wrong only the last beat was made sampling it (but with two complex melodic samples, with real time synth twisting on the OP etc).

It´s also important to note that some of the samples where reversed and modified with the very musical fx of the PO-33 (and obviously with reverb/delay/echo in the track).

I <3 Nujabees! Didn´t know about Ash Day/Nohay tribute, listening to it now. So beautiful! Apparently they are reissuing Nujabees records in Japan, missed one in last December because my luggage was overweighted and I was fearful of my return :’(

@jb hope that you like it! :slight_smile:

Thank you very much, @LittleRooms :slight_smile: ! It´s a drawing of the Dotonbori neon paradise in Osaka made by an artist from my hometown.

@Cornish1999 super happy that you enjoyed the beats!

@cold_fashioned glad that you liked it, brother. Glad to know that the beat tape make your day better. The Pocket Operators have a lot of potential - the Metal Series are specially sweet to work. I hope to hear other albums, tracks, beat tapes etc made with dem this year.

@COHIBA very happy that you enjoyed the beat tape! It was made with two pairs of PO-32 & PO-33. Each pair was connected to a P0k3t0 Splitter v2, which splits the sync pulse of the POs and have up to 5 channels.

With this handy little device was possible to record in two different channels (PO-32 in one, PO-33 in the other) in an Yamaha MG16XU mixing board and multitrack it using a Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 to Ableton Live 10. I sampled extra vocals and textures with a PO-33, which were added later. Each beat was 4-track:

  • PO-32 Drum track (with a little EQ to cut the highs, as I think that the PO-32 can be a little bright, and reverb - although the PO have a very musical decay and some of the drums don´t need it!);

  • PO-33 track (with Filter, Echo, Reverb, Ping Pong Delay, Bit Crusher and Autopan);

*PO-33 vocal track

*PO-33 texture track

The Analog Heat MK1 was used (via Overbridge) in the master track, in the saturator mode, kindly. In this beat tape I didn´t used the filter because of time constrains.

After rendering the files I sent them to my brother who does my masters.

I recorded the master files in the Tascam 112B, with the output knob turned up, peaking to further saturate the signal. I didn´t recorded a master tape so each copy was hand recorded. The one available in Bandcamp is a digital recording of one of the tapes (Tascam 112 > Yamaha > Focusrite).


I honestly believe you should do a video showing your work.

I adore teenage engineering’s PO series and I will go on the record to say I think you have pulled out true magic from the two units you used.

Sorry to get weird but I think your work here is sublime and I truly mean it.

Take a bow.

Thank you for sharing this with us


Very happy with your kind and positive words, brother.

The Pocket Operators are very interesting, powerful and democratic and I think that they deserve more use as central instruments - specially for more “beatcentric” sounds and sample based stuff after the K.O! release.

I truly believes that It can sounds good if took a little bit more seriously (for lack of better word - but I love that it´s so funny and informal! :smile: ) and, at the same time, accepting their very dedicated concept and using the unique fx. In some way it´s a very meditative/zen experience, full of happy accidents. You just do, without much possibilites of microeditions (although it helps a lot to have at last two channels, with the help of a pulse splitter and a mixer/audio interface!).

About the videos, I got a GoPro7 (which I recorded the lives in Japan) but i don´t have much time for the Youtube game. However, the production of this beat tape was reasonably registered in my Instagram account (@rgarrell), which shows the very simple approach that I have with them.


Great description of your process thank you . I’ve been thinking of getting the po sampler, this has very much given me the push. I look forward to your next releases @aeoner


You definitely should get a PO-33! Amazing sampler and very musical. But better than a PO-33 are two PO-33! :smile: I think that the Pocket Operators work really well in pairs. If it´s possible, get an extra one or the PO-12/PO-32, so you can have a drum machine too.


Awesome. I sold off a couple of POs, but kept the PO32 and PO33 (and Korg Monotron Delay) with the hopes of doing a beat tape with them. Your tape sounds amazing and definitely makes me want to give it a go!!!

BTW, I just added you on Instagram and I’m based in Tokyo myself.


Very happy that the beat tape inspires you, @DimensionsTomorrow! Although I love all the POs, I think that the PO-32 and PO-33 is a very powerful combo - especially if you are into a more live oriented composition structure. Hope to listen to your sounds soon.

Thanks for adding. You are in the best city in the world, already missing Tokyo :’(