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Gear Thoughts

Teenage Engineering PO-33

Recently I bought a PO-33. Fun thing to mess around with, but it has its issues.

Pros Cons
Very portable Potential fragility
Easy to take samples Editing samples is annoying
Fun to play with Doing a full song is hard
2 sampling modes Not enough space for different modes

Time to elaborate...

The PO-33 is VERY small, about the size of a credit card. It's very portable to the point where I could imagine someone carrying 3 or 4 of these things in their pockets. The downside is that
it feels like it might snap at any moment. It's mostly a pure PCB with all of the circuit chips hidden under the LCD and PCBs are both strong and fragile at the same time. Neutral strength?
There's a small "lock" tab on the left side of the LCD. I worry that, at some point, I'll accidentally snap it off. It's weird.

Making samples is very easy. It's got a built in microphone that is rather decent, but it has issues when talking directly into it. Plosives will cause it to clip horribly. I also have issues with sample volume
but I think that can be fixed in the sample editing mode.
Speaking of the sample editing mode... It's annoying. It's mostly an issue of RTFM (Read The Fucking Manual) on my end. It still feels very obtuse. Trimming samples is ok, but it replays the sample every time
you move the start or end points, which is fine if you have headphones on or are at home. If you're in public and don't have headphones it can get rather annoying hearing the sample over and over.
Changing the volume and pitch of a sample if a bit annoying, too. Sometimes my finger clips the pitch knob when I'm at a very specific setting.

Making short beats on it is very fun, especially if you find a unique sample. Making a full song is rather hard because the PO-33 does not have a dedicated mute function, making it hard to do breakdowns or other cool things.

The PO-33 has 2 sampling modes: melodic and rhythm. You can use up to 4 samples at once but each sample slot is monophonic. (e.g. you can't have a hi-hat and snare on the same kit playing at the same time)
A major issue is that there's too many drum slots and too little melodic samples. There's 16 slots and half are dedicated to drum sampling, which would be OK if I was constantly swapping drum sounds, but I'm not. Maybe some
people would be, but I think it's a rather limited selection.

Overall the PO-33 is a good beginner-level sampler, but it has its flaws and it may be frustrating to some.