You’re going to need some bigger pockets. (Overalls?)

British-born, Kyoto-based Ally Mobbs has hacked the inexpensive Teenage Engineering PO-12 drum machine into a full-sized box. Instead of the tiny, fingertip-challenging buttons, you get nice, big arcade buttons. He’s also made a lovely-looking wooden case and a jack connector.

All in all, what you get is decidedly less mobile, but also nicer to play. I can imagine running even further with this board – perhaps MIDI and, if someone is very clever indeed, a “dock” so you can disconnect the PO-12 and get going.

This isn’t the only lovely object Ally has created. He’s also made an exhibition of works made for kids, including a kid-friendly MIDI controller.


And there’s some excellent music to hear, too, under the heading “instrumental hip hop.”


I really love the PO-12. Its all-digital sound source can be just massive – and it’s also not noisy like the inexpensive analog drum boxes currently on the market. I had a play with the calculator-style rubber case you can add to it. It leaves the bottom of the circuit board bare, but otherwise makes the PO-12 a lot more comfortable to use and finally something you might actually consider taking out of the house with you. It transforms the PO-12 into something resembling a fine Dieter Rams Braun product. I’m just waiting for mine to ship.

But I think it was an unexpected surprise getting this incredible, ultra-cheap machine – and you can actually make music on it.

Nintendo Game & Watch Inspires Tiny, $59 Synths from Teenage Engineering [CDM Hands-on]

Now, maybe Ally will inspire some other hacks and mods.