Polyend Tracker a Groove Hardware Box for €499 EUR / $599 USD
Polyend released Tracker — effectively extracting the best bits of yesteryear’s tricky tracker software classics and rebooting them with forward-looking functionality as the world’s first
hardware tracker, deftly designed as an easy-to-use compact standalone workstation with immediacy and simplicity at its creative core, and aiding artists with forging unique avenues of sonic construction to boot.
Tracker by Polayend takes the quintessential characteristics of a classic tracker — the vertical timeline, powerful sequencer, and mechanical keyboard — and cleverly combines them with a newly-designed input interface, divided into several sections: a (high resolution, crisp, and bright) big screen and associated screen keys — mechanical controls that always correspond to what is displayed on the screen directly above them; the grid — featuring 48 backlit multifunctional silicon pads for quick note and pattern value entry and visual feedback (while also acting as a highly-customizable keyboard controller with editable scales); function keys.
For fast and responsive control over all functions and options; plus navigation keys and associated (metal-manufactured) jog-wheel (with haptic feedback for fast scrolling or precise adjustments) — for facilitating transport control alongside arrow keys for navigation control, as well as dedicated Insert, Copy/Paste, Delete/Backspace, and Shift keys. All are at hand, helping to streamline making and performing music in a new and innovative way — without having to leave the world’s first hardware tracker, deftly designed as an easy-to-use compact standalone workstation with immediacy and simplicity at its creative core, and aiding artists with forging unique avenues of sonic construction to boot
Tracker puts Polyend in pole position for blazing a new trail, tooled to take the tracker concept to a new level of innovative, inspirational, and immediate music-making by effectively extracting the best bits of yesteryear’s tricky tracker software classics and rebooting them with forward-looking functionality as the world’s first hardware tracker. Thankfully, Tracker waves goodbye to hexadecimal hysterics.
Not only did those entering the brave new world of classic trackers not necessarily know what those values actually represented, but they also could not see what was affected by them. Thinking inside its beautifully-engineered box, Tracker instead implements a simplified system of readable decimals that also shows the effects parameters when those decimals are entered in a frenzied fast track to creativity.
Tracker also plays nicely with other instruments. Thanks to its bidirectional MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) implementation, it can be used to sequence and control external gear or be controlled as a sound module by any external MIDI software or hardware devices. Whatever way anyone chooses to use it, armed as it is with an impressive arsenal of sonic weaponry — including automatic filling, randomizer, probability, selection rendering, effects per step, live recording, batch parameter editing, micro-tuning, micro-timing, rolls, and much more besides — it has what it takes to be a surefire hit, harboring endless creativity. Compatibility with MOD files — a computer file format primarily used to represent music, made up of a set of instruments (in the form of samples), a number of patterns (indicating how and when the samples are to be played), and a list of what patterns to play in what order — allows users to import and finish tracks from way back when or export and finish their Tracker creations in modern-day software trackers.
The world’s first hardware tracker is slick, light, and portable. It is also energy efficient, so it will work with any USB (Universal Serial Bus) power source. Sturdy and compact, the retro form factor of software past with forward-looking functionality makes for a great music creation companion — in the studio, on the run, or on stage.
Located in the Land of a Thousand Lakes in northeastern Poland, Polyend was founded in 2015 by current CEO Piotr Raczyński. As a team of dedicated professionals comprising coders, designers, musicians, and technicians, the company is collectively committed to bringing new technologies to creative musicians by building innovative and unique musical instruments. Polyend pushed boundaries from the outset with its first product, Perc, a set of mechanical beaters that can be controlled via MIDI, allowing anyone to play real drums, percussion instruments (or any other inanimate object) from a DAW, drum machine, or MIDI controller. An acclaimed product pairing followed suit soon after — namely, Seq, a highly-intuitive MIDI hardware step sequencer with 32 steps, eight-track polyphony, and 256 patterns, pleasingly housed within a high-quality aluminum and wooden casing, and Poly, a polyphonic MIDI-to-CV Eurorack module boasting a multitude of connectivity options to play nicely with all manner of sequencers, DAWs, keyboards, apps, and more. More recently, a close collaboration with Greek boutique analog synthesizers and effects developer Dreadbox resulted in the Medussa Hybrid Synthesizer, a symbiosis of classic synthesis characteristics and a unique digital controller, while a subsequent trio of extraordinary Eurorack modules — Anywhere, Poly 2, and Preset — foretell of a future Polyend modular system. Fast-forwarding to today, Tracker effectively extracts the best bits of yesteryear’s tricky tracker software classics and reboots them with forward-looking functionality as the world’s first hardware tracker. Polyend’s proven track record of bringing so many distinctive design ideas to market in such a short space of time surely speaks for itself as the creative company continues to innovate with so much more to come.
Tracker comes complete with a USB-A power adapter, 2m USB-C cable, 3.5mm to 2x 6.3mm adapter, Minijack to MIDI DIN adapter, 16GB MicroSD card, and MicroSD to USB-A adapter, and is available to purchase through Polyend’s growing global network of authorized dealers at an MSRP of €499 EUR/$599 USD. Or order online directly from Polyend itself via the dedicated Tracker webpage, which also includes more in-depth information.