Following a bunch of videos teasing a new instrument, and the leak of infos via a Polish magazine advert the time has finally come. The new hardware from Polyend is now official – Tracker is here and available for pre-order.
More than just a sampler
At first, it was rumored that Tracker is a sampler with granular synthesis. The device also seemed to house a sequencer. However, the first teaser pictures were very blurry. They showed a desktop unit with a large control dial and display. And that’s really the way it is. Tracker is an all-encompassing audio workstation with an old-school tracker sequencer. Designed very nicely, the hardware includes an integrated sampler, synthesizer, and an FM radio for sample fodder. Cute!
Tracker’s centerpiece is, of course, the step sequencer as known from the Commodore C-64 and Amiga 500 days – or Renoise in the present. The tracker is actually programmed by entering parameters manually, somewhat similar to a programming music row by row. Your doings are visible on the large, clear display. The sequencer handles 8 tracks, 48 instruments per project, 255 patterns per song, and up to 128 steps per pattern.
Sequencer and display
A sampler and wavetable or granular synthesizers make sounds, arranged via the song arranger. You can also control external synthesizers over a bidirectional MIDI connection. All functions are designed so that you can edit the sounds and samples live in a musical context in every detail. There are even sequencer step effects for your live performance. These include Roll, Chance, Random, Reverse, Microtuning, Microtiming, Cutoff, Panning, Glide, Sample Position, Sample Slice, Reverb Send, and more.
Optimized for mobility
The workstation can be powered by USB devices, so you can use a power bank on the go to sample sounds, edit them, and create new songs. For sampling, you have a line input, microphone input (high gain, low gain), and an integrated FM radio. Your recordings (16bit / 44.1kHz) and creations are saved on a microSD card.
The sound generators have volume, tuning, panning, filters, reverb sends, LFOs and ADSR envelopes for sound shaping. The hardware can be expanded with updates. When finished, you can export your song and its sounds as complete tracks in WAV format. Or you can choose to export nine stems (eight tracks plus one reverb track). For mastering, there are effects such as limiter and bit depth adjustment.
Price and specifications
You can pre-order Polyend Tracker on the manufacturer’s website at the price of EUR 499 + EUR 25 shipping costs. The first pre-orders will also receive a matching hard case. The package includes the hardware, a USB-A power adapter, a 2-meter USB-C cable, a 3.5 millimeter to 2x 6.3 millimeter jack adapter cable, mini jack to DIN-MIDI adapter, a 16 gigabyte microSD card, a microSD to USB-A adapter, and a manual. The unit weighs 2 kilograms and is 35.79 x 24.59 x 1.62 centimeters (W x D x H) big. On the output side, there are USB-C, Stereo Out, and MIDI Out connections.