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Polyend Tracker Compact Standalone Sampling Workstation

Polyend Tracker Compact Standalone Sampling Workstation
Key Features
  • New Firmware 1.5 Update
  • Classic Retro Tracker Form Factor
  • Large Screen and Vertical Timeline
  • Powerful Sequencer + Mechanical Keyboard
By leveraging a retro form factor with an updated and forward-thinking functionality, the Polyend Tracker is a compact standalone workstation with an integrated sampling engine, well suited for any creative artists looking to break patterns and forge unique avenues of sonic construction.
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Polyend Tracker Overview

  • 1Description
  • 2Firmware Update 1.5
  • 3Power Tools
  • 4Advanced Sound Design and Editing
  • 5Additional Features

By leveraging a retro form factor with an updated and forward-thinking functionality, the Polyend Tracker is a compact standalone workstation with an integrated sampling engine, well suited for any creative artists looking to break patterns and forge unique avenues of sonic construction.

The Polyend Tracker incorporates all the characteristics of a classic tracker with a vertical timeline, a powerful sequencer, and mechanical keyboard which combine with an updated interface that enables you to create and perform music in a new and intuitive way. Equipped with a variety of powerful sound-design tools, the Tracker uses your existing sample library and allows you to record new ones with line or mic inputs. What's more, a built-in FM radio provides ample fodder for inspiration.

Record samples, play them, slice them, mash them, or even make a synth out of them using Wavetable and Granular synthesis with its all necessary parts (filters, ADSRs, LFO, etc.) Tracker also works great with other instruments. Thanks to the bilateral MIDI implementation, you can use it to sequence and control external gear, or it can be used as a sound module controlled by any external MIDI software or hardware devices.

Polyend Tracker is light, portable, and energy efficient, allowing you to use it with any USB power source for truly mobile applications. Its sturdy and compact form factor makes it a great companion for music creation wherever and whenever you feel like it. No matter if you're in your studio, on the run, or at the gig.

Firmware Update 1.5

Your Tracker can now save separate instruments with all their settings. This allows importing those instruments to other projects you’re working on. And sharing them with other users. 

1.5.0 New Features:

  • Tracker can now save separate instruments with all their settings. This allows importing those instruments to other projects you’re working on
  • You can now select slices in sample playback Beat Slice mode by pressing the corresponding pads
  • The “Step” function button label in Pattern Editor is now labeled “Step jump”
  • Share instruments with other users and download new instruments that other users (and Polyend) are creating

Bug Fixes 

  • Incorrect Fill range in certain settings is now fixed
  • Sample recorder wasn’t recording if MIDI chord was playing
  • Undelete-able instrument after loading project from the previous version is now fixed
  • 1.5.0b1 regression: samples could be normalized to 0 after adding a new sample to the song
  • Fixed freeze after changing granular LFO settings
  • Bringing up the Instruments popup on the Tracker screen occasionally resulted in a flickering screen
  • Slice fill effect counted “From” and “To” ranges incorrectly
  • Tracker mixer’s visual performance is now better
  • Removing OFF events revealed a left-over MIDI instrument on the track
  • Beat slices weren’t fully displaying
  • “Render Selection” was sometimes inconsistent
  • Horizontal view mode edits weren’t always refreshing correctly on-screen
  • Sample preview in Sample Recorder was sometimes distorted
  • Volume of fast rolls was increasing on the last step of a pattern
  • TSTP FX is not anymore interfering with song export
  • Tempo FX values below 40 were treated as T40
  • Current playing pattern wasn’t always in sync with highlighted song slot on the Song screen
  • Sidechain limiter stopped working after playing sound in Sample Editor/Sample Recorder
  • Active Reverb was cut when Sample Recorder was entered, even if “No” was selected
  • Subtle Limiter attack and release sounded too short after device restart
  • Changing radio region to Japanese didn’t apply until device restart
  • Part of the “Additional Info” bar was clearing when moving between Pattern Editor and other screens
  • Using Shift+Up to select contents of the current track selected all tracks instead when sequencer was running

Power Tools

  • Powerful Sequencer with Advanced Tools
    • Project holds up to 48 instruments, 256 patterns, with a maximum of 128 steps per pattern
    • Maintains original quick and straightforward workflow
    • Armed with an updated arsenal of sonic weapons:
      • Automatic filling
      • Randomizer
      • Probability
      • Selection rendering
      • Effects per step
      • Live recording
      • Batch parameter editing
      • Micro-tuning
      • Micro-timing
      • Rolls
      • Plus more, to give you the tools to be endlessly creative
  • MOD File Compatibility
    • Compatibility with MOD files allows you to be endlessly creative by importing finished tracks from back in the days or export and finalize them in the modern software trackers
  • Compete Projects Start to Finish
    • Create patterns and organize them into the entire piece using song arrangement
    • Seamlessly export your tracks to Stems or Master Track, and directly to the microSD card
    • Publish the project at Polyend Label, a community platform for sharing the projects, instruments, sample packs, and wavetables
  • Performance Mode
    • Creatively break, mangle, and augment patterns when playing live
    • Add dimension to your tracks remixing all patterns tracks available in your current project
    • Combine assignable punch-in effect
    • Batch edit selected parameters for all selected tracks
    • Create a powerful remix and live performance instrument by extending the possibilities of a reprogrammed track with endless variations

Advanced Sound Design and Editing

  • Instrument
    • Chain of tools (Volume, Tuning, Panning, Filters, Reverb Send, ADSRs) to make an instrument from any sample
  • Sample Player Modes: 1-Shot, Forward, Backward, Ping-Pong
  • Slicer: Slice samples manually or automatically 
  • Advanced Wavetable Synthesis: Variable table length to make it compatible with most popular standards (Ableton Wave and Serum compatible)
  • Granular: Single grain creates crazy and futuristic sound from your old and boring samples
  • Sample Editor: Built-in, precise offline rendering sample editor with multiple effects
  • Record up to two minutes of 16-bit / 44 kHz samples using built-in FM radio, pattern selection, and mic or line inputs. Save them to microSD card for later, or load directly into the project

Additional Features

  • Large screen, ergonomic keyboard, and a big knob for fast and easy navigation
  • Standalone and portable – everything you need to produce an album wherever you are
  • Bidirectional MIDI to play with other software and hardware
  • Eight-channel tracker and sampler
  • 128-step patterns with up to 255 patterns per project
  • Instrument, note, and two FX parameters per step
  • Over 20 FX
  • 48 playable pads
  • MIDI in and out
  • Constructed of anodized aluminum

Polyend Tracker Specs

Item TypeSampling Workstation / Sequencer Workstation
Sound GenerationSample-Based
Number of Pads48 x Backlit Pad
Display7" / 17.8 cm Monochrome LCD
AD/DA ConversionA/D: 32-Bit
Standalone OperationYes
Set Lists & Kit ChainingYes
Sampling FormatsPCM - 44.1 kHz / 16, 24, 32-Bit
Maximum Sample Length30 Seconds
Built-In EffectsYes
Built-In SpeakersNone
Sequencing & Recording
SequencerNumber of Steps: 32 x Step
Motion SequencingYes
Audio Recording FormatsWAV
Audio I/O1 x 1/8" / 3.5 mm TRS Stereo Output
1 x 1/8" / 3.5 mm TS Unbalanced Line Input
1 x 1/8" / 3.5 mm TS Unbalanced Mic Input
Trigger Device & Pedal InputsNone
MIDI I/O1 x 1/8" / 3.5 mm TRS Input
1 x 1/8" / 3.5 mm TRS Output
CV/Gate I/ONone
Sync I/ONone
Network I/ONone
USB1 x USB Type-C (Bus Power)
Media/Memory Card SlotSingle Slot: SD/SDHC/SDXC
Power RequirementsAC/DC Power Adapter (Included)
Included AccessoriesNone
Dimensions14.1 x 9.7 x 0.6" / 35.8 x 24.6 x 1.6 cm
Weight4.3 lb / 2 kg
Packaging Info
Package Weight3.5 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH)13.9 x 13.2 x 2.8"

Polyend Tracker Reviews

It's good - could be great

By Marc
Rated 3 out of 5
Date: 2021-08-15

Easy to start right into creating if you're familiar with this style of interface, but I would prefer a more powerful option: at least 16 tracks, larger screen, longer total-sample size, faster load-times, touch-screen, built-in battery and speaker, bluetooth for audio output, letters on the white key grid to make typing easier. Little things but would make a big change. If they made this device truly portable it would be a 4/5 stars. Portable with more power would be 5/5.

Unexpectedly fun and creative machine!

By Andrew
Rated 4 out of 5
Date: 2020-09-17

I know trackers have been around for a long time but never quite made it as the de-facto workflow standard. I guess when Akai's MPC came into the scene, that became the standard - 16 pads sequencing and piano roll, etc. Or maybe it was Roland's TR808 style of 16 key-trigs. But, a tracker with its vertical column and row cell trigs are very powerful. If you use Microsoft Excel, you'd be at home with this. In each cell, by placing a note, instrument and 2 FX (4 trigs in total), you can drop some very creative compositions. It is as easy as dialing in using the large aluminium knob and preview as the sequencer is running. Sure, it doesn't have the flexibility like recording knob fx as in the Octatrack, but this machine is so easy to use, you'd be making music first, instead of deep diving through the menu morass of an Octatrack. Can it be better? Sure. I do wish there's pitch shifting and time stretch for the loops I want to drop in the cell, but then again, that's not typically how a tracker works. Who knows, maybe Polyend will consider and upgrade the firmware for it in the future. But there's plenty of firepower already built into this Tracker and you won't be running out of ideas or sounds. The other thing I hope to see is maybe some sort of numerical entry instead of spinning the knob or advancing using the tile keys. Maybe a section of the 48 keypads can be co-opted as a numerical pad too. Solidly built, FUN!, and for many of us a paradigm shift in how to compose and create music.

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