Pocket Operations: A portable book of drum machine patterns

Friends, this is my new book of drum machine patterns. I designed it to be travel-friendly companion to my OP-Z and Pocket Operators. It is only 4x6" in size. The book is just under 70 pages and includes a few hundred patterns that I have collected over the years. You can download a PDF of the book or order nice printed copy for $10 at shittyrecording.studio.


This looks great. Many thanks! Will download…

Awesome! Thanks for sharing :pray::pray::pray:

Hello, this is great. I’m struggling with it on my PO 28. Can I use it with OP28 anyway?

The PO-28 (Pocket Operator Sub) has a pretty basic “micro drum machine” on sound channel 16 that I don’t recall having polyphony. It can only play one drum sample at a time, meaning you can’t play a snare at the same time you’re playing a high hat or a kick.

But fear not, there’s a place for creativity within the bounds of the PO-Sub’s limitations.

Using Boots n’ Cats as a simple example:

First you’d enter in the Sub’s closest equivalent to a closed high hat (CH) on 1,3,7,9,11, and 14, skipping the 5 and 13 noted above.

Then, put a snare (SN) on 5 and 13.

Then you could either remove the high hats you entered on steps 1 and 9 to make room for the bass drum (BD). Alternatively, you could leave the high hats as entered and use the PO’s synth to create a bass note on 1 and 9.

When your drum machine in the number of simultaneous voices it can play, you’ll have to carve out room for each note in a way that feels good to you.

The PO-28 is under-appreciated and remains one of my favorites in the series. I hope this helps!

This was fast and detail reply. Tnx!
I thought it was like that cause of it’s drum limitations. Just needed to be sure. And I forgot to mention that I’ve got op-1. Oh yeah, that beast can maybe take those patterns in. Are there some examples with OP-1?

Once again thank you for the detailed help and hint I will learn for it. Cheers!

my channel

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Oh man this is great!

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Yup – it’s great little book. Downloaded and printed the other day after listening to the Small Operations podcast. Thanks @pwenzel for sharing.


I bought the print copy, and I’m glad I did. I need to order a second copy for my son for Christmas. Nice work, good resource, easy to carry with the OP-Z!


I don’t have an OP-1 so I can’t say anything beyond that I know it has a 16-step Pattern Sequencer.

The book aims to be a fairly generic reference guide, and not particular to any hardware device.

If anyone wants to gift me an OP-1, I’ll happily make a book supporting it. :grinning:


This is really cool! Way to go

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Just seeing this for the first time. Tried to order the book but Lulu isn’t having it. Probably a browser extension or something, I’ll have to try harder later.

Anyway, this is a very nice little library of beats. Thanks for sharing.

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Let me know if Lulu continues to have issues (I haven’t heard of many, except shipping to some countries is expensive). It’s also available at Amazon and Midwest Modular now!

Got my copy, such a great resource… :pray::raised_hands:

This book is tremendous! (I’m also very jealous of the shittyrecording.studio URL)

Another good drum pattern cookbook is the Hal Leonard volume:
260 Drum Machine Patterns https://www.amazon.com/dp/0881888877/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_oju7DbT84NCN1
…but it’s a way less portable form factor


I’d like to gauge interest in a spiral bound edition of Pocket Operations. A friend pointed how much nicer it would be if the book could lay flat on a table for easier reference during a work session.

It would increase production costs by $5-10 per book. The physical size might change or increase slightly.

Would anyone be interested in a spiral bound edition? How much would you be willing to spend for other niceties like better ink and paper quality?

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Just ordered the Amazon vs after printing the PDF, I’d 100% be interested in a spiral vs as well, this is a great resource for someone like myself just starting out. Much appreciated!