Tiny sound devices

let’s talk about our favourite tiny/small soundmakers and sound processors!

what devices fit (literally) this category? i would say anything roughly palm/pocket sized, preferably battery/USB powered, but maybe it’s more about the feel than the size. something that invites you to play with it. something that’s maybe more about childlike exploration of some mysterious object you found than the specs.

to reflect that spirit, i don’t feel this post should be a comprehensive list of all such devices - part of the fun is realizing there are so many of them, including some truly bizarre or obscure ones - it’ll be more interesting to hear about your personal finds and experience with them.

special note on modulars: i feel modular systems like eurorack etc don’t truly belong here (and micro systems are a whole separate category) but we could certainly include devices that are meant to be patched together (littlebits) or self patched (kastle).

we also have dedicated threads for some of the devices - this thread is not meant to replace them but to have a general discussion thread [i couldn’t find an existing thread on this topic, mods - please merge if missed one!]

related threads:


I’ll take “Pocket Operators” for 100 please.

These tick just about every box for small device…

Battery :heavy_check_mark:
Sequencer :heavy_check_mark:
Sound cool :heavy_check_mark:
Connect to others :heavy_check_mark:
Easy to use :heavy_check_mark:

My personal favourite is the Arcade. It’s got such a distinctive sound, and the drone feature makes it feel like a complete groovebox. I have the Robot and KO, but neither of those give me the same feeling as when playing the arcade. (Even though my 2nd hand KO had been filled with the previous owner swearing on every note lol).


These type of portable noise generators which often include white/pink noise plus environmental sounds like surf, running water, heartbeats and so on.


Shout out for dictaphones. I have a few and they’re really nice for processing audio (instant lo-fi) as well as getting some nice lo-fi sounds & textures when out and about.


also, the Korg mini Kaoss Pad is really overlooked as a portable effects processor/sample playback device.


Hard to beat the iPhone as a portable music device and it’s always in your pocket. Other than that, I am fond of the Gecho Loopsynth and the OP-Z.

Edit: forgot to mention the Nanoloop FM


This seems like it might count?


they haven’t update the kaoss line in a while, have they? would be cool to get a nu:tekt hackable version of it.


Korg Monotrons, the stylophone of the 2010s. Pushing the limits of some pockets are the Boss DR55 and HC2 which sound awesome. +1 for dictaphones and older iPhones (with headphone jacks). And GameBoys.


the original microgranny powers on 9v batt and still fits in my palm.

i’ll leave it to mk2 users to determine if that fits in the thread (mk2 seems a lil bit bigger) but yeah, microgranny


Looks like they’re now discontinued, but I had some Patchblocks for a while & really enjoyed them.

Ended up getting rid of them cos I felt there was too much overlap with Reaktor, but I do regret it from time to time.

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I love the Bastl Kastle. Sweet FM tones. The Bastl can be infinitely expanded with the Ns1 Nanosynth (http://www.sound-machines.it/product/ns1nanosynth/) (make sure to ground the devices by patching negative to negative)


I want a paripi destroyer so badly but they’re impossible to find for a reasonable price.


pretty sure I could fit norns in a cargo pocket…

I’m particularly excited for @MengQiMusic’s Wingie as a portable sound processor (albeit one that requires a powerbank).


we’ve got two usb batteries in the house that i’m sure could power that and now i’ve got a little bit of GAS for a little bit of gear


wingie is great. for a compact set up you definitely want to use it with a stereo mixer as it sounds great in stereo. here is a couple of videos i made, processing the sound of raindrops and borderlands granular through it:


And also these while we’re at it:

(Not normally packed up, and no these aren’t going to end up in my system reboot sale hah)

(Avoiding doublepost cc: @instantjuggler)



sorry, i don’t recognize them, what are those? also something by tristan?

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The Bastl Microgranny is definitely making the cut for my upcoming unhoused stint.


Koala app for iPhone is really like the SP303 you always wanted for 20 bones. A marvel of modern technology tbh.