Pocket Operators are cool as heck, but they have a slight problem. They’re notoriously difficult to sync and mix separately. The fine folks at Teenage Engineering have made an awesome product, and they even made a very slick solution for synchronizing two or three at a time, but after stringing a few together, the audio output gets pretty messy.
The way the device is built, audio from the first device in the chain goes into the second, which can them amplify it or attenuate it before sending it along to the next device, and so on. The end result is that the first device gets modified by every subsequent device, each stage adding distortion. Also, it’s very difficult to balance levels out the way you’d like to with a mixer, and it’s also difficult to use things like pedals for just one device.
The p0k3t0 splitter fixes this problem by creating a signal flow that addresses this problem, and as far as I know, it’s the only device specifically made to help you link your Pocket Operators together better.
The splitter is also the perfectly complement to the Bastl Dude. Together, they’ll let you easily mix 5 POs, then output them to a recording device or your amplifier.
Here’s how it works:
- First, choose a Pocket Operator to act as your tempo master. Set it to sync mode 1 and connect a stereo headphone cable from the Output jack (right side) on the PO to the “IN” port on the splitter.
- To synchronize another PO to the master tempo, simply run a stereo 3.5mm cable from any one of the four jacks on the bottom to the Input jack (left side) on the next PO. Then, switch the slave PO to sync mode 4. (Note, a Pocket operator cannot be put in sync mode 4 unless it has a cable plugged in to the input jack)
- Follow step 2 for up to three more devices.
- Now, when you press “Play” on the first device, the sync signal will be distributed to all of your other POs.
- Note that the master device will not make any sound in this configuration. But, the audio coming from the master device is still available through the “OUT” connector on the right side of the splitter.
- You can also use a Volca as the master device. Just connect the “sync out” jack to the “IN” jack on the splitter.
- As you change the tempo on the master device, every device attached to the splitter will automatically match the tempo.
- If you use cheap, unshielded cables, or coiled cables, it might be possible to pick up some cross-talk from the sync click to the audio channel. The p0k3t0 splitter has some circuitry in place to greatly reduce the amount of cross talk, but the best option will always be to use shielded cables.
The device are currently available for sale at Tindie.com, so please take a look and buy one if you think it’s something you might like to have. I currently ship to about a dozen different countries, and I’m willing to add any that are not on the list.