po-33 k.o! Hidden Features and Extended Manual

This is a list of hidden features for teenage engineering's pocket operator 33 k.o! It also covers a few things that are left out of the manual that comes with the device or the online version. It also goes over copying slices and sounds because the manual doesn't explain the button combination very well.

Each feature is formatted in the order as follows: First a name of the feature in bold, then the conditions required to use it in italics, the button combination used to do the action in blue, and a description of what the action does.

step note/length: in write mode, hold a lit step + (knob A/B)
On a melodic track, knob A adjusts the note value (the display value is which button on the grid is used to play the note value), and knob B the length of the note in steps. On a drum track, knob A adjust which drum slice is used.
retrigger: in write mode on a drum track, (keep holding a step) + bpm
Cycles between 1,2,3,4,6,8 retrigs for that step. A value of 1 will play the sound once (default).
step copy: in write mode, hold a step for a second
Will copy that steps note/slice and parameters to the default note/slice and parameters.
display selected slot/slice: hold sound
The first two digits of the display show the currently selected slot, and the last two digits, the currently selected slice. Useful after copying a step to know which slice it is.

copy to slot: sound + write + (1-16)
Will copy the last played drum slice or drum/melodic slot to the selected slot.
copy to slice: (keep sound and write held), press and release a drum slot (9-16), press and release a drum slice (1-16), then let go of sound and write
Will copy the last played drum slice or melodic slot to the selected drum slice in the selected drum slot.
parameter reset: record + (knob A/B)
Will reset the currently selected slot's tone, volume, filter, and resonance parameters to a default value.
system info: (keep holding sound) + bpm
Cycles between the following system information on the display: battery percent, seconds remaining for recording, cpu percent, release number, and battery voltage.

Tips and Tricks

  • When switching between sounds or if the sequence is played, the parameter page will switch to tone, and the indicator icons will not be updated.
  • trim save: When adjusting trim on a drum slice if another slice is played quickly after adjusting a value, that value will be copied to the second slice. To avoid, wait until the AM and PM of the clock is displayed, or enter and exit write mode, or cycle the parameter pages. The AM and PM of the clock is also displayed when on other operations have finished such as deleting, copying, and recording.
  • The swing and bmp can not be adjusted while on the trim parameter page.

Sound management
  • When trimming a sound it is best to move the in point past the cusp or loudest point of the sound, and move back until it has the desired attack. This helps get rid of any delay before the sound and makes much snappier sounds. The out point should be moved forward until the sound is no longer getting cut off.
  • The reverse effect (fx+15) plays sounds from the end of their trimmed area. If the effect is delayed or nothing is heard while using it then those sounds need a shorter trim length/out point.
  • drum length: Since drum length can not be changed in a pattern; a copy of the slice with a different trim length can be used, or a slice trimmed to an area of silence can be used to choke the track.

  • Copying sounds will never reduce the amount of memory left for recording; it can only delete the overwritten sounds from memory if they are not in any other slot.
  • Individual slices can be deleted by copying an empty slice or slot to the desired slice.
  • The tone and filter of a slot are never changed during a copy, allowing for swapping sounds/kits in a pattern and can be done live (copies are executed when sound or write are released). Deleting sounds can also be done live.
  • There are a total of 6 sound copy operations:
    1. melodic to melodic
    2. melodic to drum slot (The melodic slot's trimmed area will be split evenly across the 16 slices. This is different from the recording separation by transience.)
    3. melodic to drum slice / drum slice to melodic
    4. drum slot to drum slot (All slices are copied.)
    5. drum slice to drum slice
    6. drum slice to drum slot can be done by copying the slice to a melodic slot and then copying that melodic slot to a drum slot.
  • Once a recording has started, the number button can be released and it will continue to record. If recording from the built-in microphone the sound from the button presses and releases will be recorded as well.
  • distortion: If the volume of recorded sounds are loud enough, the volume parameter can be used as distortion. Just make sure it doesn't clip while recording. (the display will say CLP)

  • If the alarm is set to a blank pattern it will play a high pitched laser like sound on every step.
  • After stopping a sequence, the bottom bar on the display will stay as a volume meter for a little while and can be used with individual sounds.
  • The tone, volume, filter, resonance, and last note/slice selected for that slot are used when placing notes in write mode. This can be used for more precise parameter adjustment.
  • If a recorded sound is long enough, it's notes can continue to play past the end of a pattern, and change how other patterns are played by taking one or more of the available tracks.
  • Even though only 4 sounds can be heard at one time, all 16 slots can be sequenced and brought in and out by changing the step length.
  • Backups can be saved as a stereo mp3 170-210 kbps at 44100 Hz. Make multiple wav recordings, at different volumes, before trying to restore; once the wav file restores successfully then convert it to an mp3 and restore again.
Updated June 21, 2020