Tackling the build of the Pocket Operator Modular 400 after doing the 170 was a good idea! Whist the build is quite straight forward, there were a few things that I learned along the way with the POM-170 that made it a lot more straight forward the second time around.

To start with, the bending of the metal chassis was more familiar and whilst some of the actual bends were more ‘extreme’, bending beyond 90° angles, I definitely felt that I had developed a good technique, bending against the flat surface of my tabletop, bending the whole surface slowly at the same time, doing my best not to ‘crack the paint’ by doing it too quickly.

The POM-400 build differs from the POM-170 in that you do all the chassis bending as the first step, so once it’s done that, and put together the main structure, really feels like you’ve done the majority of the ‘scary’ stuff.

A should let you know that whilst I was building the 400, I was also watching the ‘POM-400 live build’ video that Tobias and Albin from TE did during Midnight Operator Episode 8. This was a bit like building with a buddy and I highly recommend it!

Putting in the power distribution and modules was really easy and straight forward. I used the technique of attaching the spacers to the chassis first, then attaching to the module to the spacers. I found this easy as I could do the vast majority of screw-tightening by hand. The final *loose* tightening I did with a screw-driver rather than the included tool.

The 400 has a lot of modules, and as such, by the time all were installed, there were cables everywhere! I decided to get some yellow cable ties and organise this prior to attaching the front face-plate with the modules to the back chassis.

The final piece of the puzzle, once everything is screwed together is attaching all of the lego-styled knobs. This takes some time, and precision to ensure that all of them are set to zero in the same place.

I found this a really straight forward build, and even though there are a lot more modules, it probably took me around the same build time as the 170.

Sounds and patch ideas to come!

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Last month I ran a Process Lab workshop at Arts Centre Melbourne as part of Melbourne Music Week focusing on Mobile Music Making. I am pretty obsessed with mobile music-making devices and enjoy the unique workflows that these sort of devices provide you.

There were a number of focuses on this workshop including Sampling in iOS using Koala Sampler, the teenage engineering PO30-KO! and OP-Z, and I went through workflows and techniques on how to integrate these portable devices into your Ableton Live studio setup.

I also showed some of my favourite iOS apps for iPad including AUM, Fugue Machine, Spacecraft, Patterning 2, Eos 2, Enso and Samplr, how you can create a digital connection to route audio directly into Live without the need for an audio interface, and how you can sync it all up using Ableton Link.

Big thanks to The Channel at Arts Centre Melbourne and MMW.

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Some of the workshops I’ve been doing lately have been focused on the unique workflows of Teenage Engineering’s awesome portable devices, the OP-1, OP-Z and Pocket Operator series.

I’ve been a huge fan of Teenage Engineering products for a long time since I first bought my OP-1 seven or so years ago.

So, I’m really excited to now be featured on the Teenage Engineering website as one of their mentors of #ems.

Expect some more Ableton Live x Teenage Engineering things from me soon, including the next Process Lab – Mobile Music Making event on November 15.

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