Thursday, 5 March 2015

Pocket Operators - SonicLab review

Arriving in my inbox this morning was notification that Gaz Williams, frequent contributor and panellist for Sonic State, had published a series of videos about the wonderful new Pocket Operator series of digital synths. These are a look into these three machines and I have quite a few take homes from a more thorough look into them.


  • Lots of interesting sounds
  • Shuffle (Volcas, take note!)
  • Built in effects
  • Syncable
  • Charming Game & Watch style displays
  • Cheap
  • Straightforward to use


  • AAA battery powered only
  • Only Ionian scale (no sharps/flats!)
  • Danger of damaging components too easily
  • Game & Watch display nearly useless when making music
  • Controls look far too small
  • Very few parameters
  • Almost demands the use of the case (sold separately)

Any negative feedback for the Pocket Operators can be easily dismissed in terms of the especially low price, though getting hold of one (or all three) is another thing altogether, with stock shortages at the moment. The more I look at them, the scaling problem in particular, I have started to see a number of large compromises in these units that will make me want to take a closer look at them until I eventually get to play with them myself.

Keep any eye on Sonic State as they are due to release another video on chaining all three together and good to see Gaz outside of Sonic Talk!