Teenage Engineering Pocket operator modular system


Yeah that looks dope, personally I’d quite like a small(er) format system like this to become another standard, I’ve used pin header devices for a while and never had problems with them, and it is not like any such issue would be difficult or expensive to repair.


But i have to say TE design is superb !


you could only get about 2 2hp modules and a case for the price of a whole 400 system. It really is a great deal.


Ahh yea, now I gets it

OPZ + 400 System PO =

not bad


I hope they make a 2hp case with battery/speaker for people who want to try a fully customizable experience on there stuff, and 2hp face plates.


M 11 speaker is already one of the individual modules they’re launching with.


It all looks beautiful but nobody seems to see the big design fail when using batteries with the 2 smaller units. Reading the manual and build process it seems that you always need to reopen your casing to take the batteries out! With the 400 you can just access them without opening the whole case. Anyway reading further it seems to me a basic modular synth, also you can’t just connect with other gear because you need to attenuate voltage. It seems pretty flimsy just like how Lego is but hey what you want for this money! GAS is tempered and Soma pulsar 23 stays on top of the 2019 list :grinning:


The lack of a hold input on the M-16 keyboard sequencer and the M-12 sequencer was the first thing I spotted. I also wonder if these sequencers can play at audio rates and if the M-4 filter can be driven into self oscillation. Really, like you, I could go on and on picking this thing apart. But with all of that in mind, it’s still brilliant. The 400 is all killer, no filler, and takes up less space than a sheet of legal paper. My advice for a really powerful system is to buy two of them.


Revisit the guide again. For the M-16 keyboard sequencer, the top just pops off in order to change the batteries. Really easy. For the 170 system, there are 4 screws to remove. No big deal. Hardly a ‘big design fail’. More like playing with Lego.


just wondering: its seems that the layout of the 170 and 400 is pretty much fixed. but TE wrote that they plan to sell individual modules as well. but where can you put those? they wouldnt fit in the 170 and 400, unless Im missing something. maybe they will sell empty cases for their 2u modules as well. being able to change layout and expand is the whole point of modular, otherwise synths with fixed architecture are always cheaper.

otherwise i would call these systems semimodular: you can patch them, but you cant change the layout or expand them.


No big deal maybe the first times! And the screws are plastic? so they wear out easely… Think twice, bend once! hehe not a casing to build when you are stoned!


The 170 and the 400 systems are truly modular in the sense that there does not appear to be normalled connections. There’s no pre-patching going on behind the scenes. Therefore, it’s not really ‘semi-modular’. But it is a fixed system, like ordering a Serge ‘Animal’ or ‘Soup Kitchen’ panel.

Individual modules will ship later on as stated on the website. You can either rack them up in a 2U ‘pocket rack’ configuration or make faceplates to convert them to fit in a taller, 3U ‘eurorack’ system. For me, I’m much more excited about creating a 2U pocket rack system.


Did you also notice the rubber band for the battery compartment in the 170 system? It may be easier to change batteries than I first described. Besides, real stoners use 12v power adaptors anyway.


This is a good laugh but I much rather would have actual pocket operator sized modular blocks with well chosen functions so we could still build a modular to our taste.
This looks like a typical monosynth design with limited patchability, although I’m not motivated to look further.
I’d rather a minibrute or similar but good luck to TE with it.


I built a Korg MS20 kit whilst significantly straddling dimensions!

And yes I did and it worked :brain:


someone read the manual properly (not me !) , and found this at the end (my emphasis)

that sounds to me like, TE are (likely) planning a open frame chassis (aka rack :wink: ) once modules are available separately, which would require faceplates. Id hope they go for eurorack sized, but I guess your comment might infer they want their own eco-system - hence pocket rack?


These days it is pretty easy to get one off panels made, a weekend spent measuring and messing with a graphics program such as inkscape, print it out onto paper, stick the paper onto some card, test fit your modules to it, if all good send the svg files to a sign maker (dibond or whatever material you fancy) a couple of days later you have your own custom panel, drill the holes, fit modules, enjoy.


Yeah. ‘pocket rack’ is their nomenclature, not mine. Make way for 2U! And there’s no reason why 2U and 3U systems can’t co-exist on the same rack, though not on the same rack row. :slight_smile:


I might even make some of my own modules for utility stuff, depending on what if any omissions from the TE line up there may be.


I’d buy 2U from U. Comparators, switches, etc. are what I’m looking for. Also, CV processors and mixers. May as well throw in a freq shifter and delay while you’re at it. :smile: