PO-20 Arcade first impressions

Just got my PO Arcade this morning in the mail and want to share some thoughts on this device:

First of all - TE was quick to deliver this time, they seem to have enough in stock. No long waiting lists and comparing order numbers… at least for now :wink:

The Arcade has some new tricks up its sleave. It feels deeper than the previous models. You can have a several tracks of drum-, chord- and melodic parts playing together.

These new featured stick out for me:

As seen in some of the demo videos the Arcade can transpose recorded patterns to different keys. Also it is possible to chain chord-changes together and build up a song structure. It works in a similar manner like chaining patterns by holding down the CHORD button and then pressing several number buttons ( 1 - 16 ) after each other.

Drone / Sidechain
This has not really been mentioned in the demo videos: Apart from the 16 sounds you can add another ( ! ) drone / chord track by holding CHORD + turning the A knob. The drone plays in the background of your pattern. It is always locked to the pattern chord. Also it has a sort-of sidechain parameter that can be dialed in with the B knob.

Multi FXs
YES! You can trigger several of the 16 FXs on top of each other. The display really helps here and shows what has been selected.

Multi Track
Maybe the best feature: All sounds multiple sounds can be played and sequenced at the same time. Before only the PO-12 Rhythm could play several channels up to 16 sounds. The Sub and Factory are limited to two channels - one sound and the micro-drum machine.

Lastly TE improved the display graphics, they make more sense now and they actually show what you are doing on the device i.e. a low- or highpass filter is represented by a big up- or down arrow.

To sum things up - a great new little PO with lots of potential.

The chords can be transposed! That makes up quite a bit for the scale being locked to something diatonic.

Thanks for the report.

Regarding Multi Track, I checked the PO-12 some time ago, although you can create a pattern with 16 sounds per step, not all of them will play. The actual poliphony is around 6 voices or so (I think it depends on how much CPU each sound requires). I don’t have a PO-20 yet to confirm if it also behaves that way.

@GovernorSilver the chord feature also works nicely with the arpeggiated sounds - whatever chord setting you choose all sounds will behave according to the scale.

@punji that’s good to know… I always assumed the PO-12 could play all at once.

Had mine for two days so far. Its a blast. Really simple to get the hang of. The chords function is brilliant. Turns simple sketches into proper verses etc. Since it came with a discount code for cheap monday i may pick up the robot as they look like perfect partners in crime.

They do are perfect partners in crime! Soloing with Robot on an Arcade sequence/chords is awesome!

@steveoath is it your first PO? Have you tried combining pattern- and chord-chaining together? It is a song machine.

First one, but definately not the last! @felipe will be trying that tomorrow. Commuting won’t be the same!

Quick q, does the chord function send chord info to slaved PO’s? Eg sub.

@steveoath the ‘chord slaving’ function sounds great - but you can only sync tempo between POs. should be put on a feature wishlist for TE though. maybe OP-Z will act as a chord-master for the POs… has some nice yellow outlets on the back.

Correction: at least from what I’ve noticed, it cannot actually play all 16 sounds simultaneously. I don’t know exactly what the note priority is, but I’ve noticed some voice stealing going on.

@felipe that would be nice with opZ. That’s a bit of kit that i am really looking forward to see how it develops.

Got mine a few days ago and put together a unboxing/first impressions video. Would be awesome if you guys checked it out :slight_smile:


geeze, I posted in the wrong thread. sry

@MadeUpMonster @AA_Battery nice videos guys !

my first impressions of Arcade are “Wow”!

I think with the back up beef of PO-12 and the longer lead sounds of Robot, it will sit at the heart doing its punch in mutes and fills, whilst sounding simply retro cool.

New to this forum, new to PO’s…

Arcade and Robot are my new toys, and it’s really great!

I’ve got a question regarding the arcade : some of the sounds are really louder than the others (synths vs rhytmic sounds)

I for now have found no way to lower the synths… so when switching patterns (so far only the default ones for me) I got huge level contrasts and it"s a bit too much for me… any idea?

Thanks a lot :smiley:

@monstrejumo Welcome! There is no direct access to the sound volumes, except for the drone-chord sound - that can be changed by pressing ‘chord’ + A knob

OK thank @Felipe

I guessed this would be the answer.

I noticed using the sound parameters (like filter) could make the sound less loud, so far I could use this to bring in the sound at lower volume, then increase the filter to bring it full character :smiley: