Cycle touring groove box


Planning a cycle touring trip through Madagascar then on to asia and europe.

Looking for something super portable, robust, battery powered to make sample based tunes with.

Ideally I could use it when spending the night in a guesthouse with no power or running water, while also having enough potential to keep me engaged in longer stops in one place where I can focus on chilling, reading and making tunes

Current set up at home is an octatrack with mono lancet and re20 and this is enough.

Looking for with similar capabilities that i could build complete (simple) songs on.

Choices seem to be a circuit, electribe 2 sampler, volca sample, op 1?

Or maybe just a 2nd hand small ultrabook and only use it when near ac power.

If a laptop is the most flexible, is it realistic to think that a ultrabook could actually run a daw while not being destroyed on the road?

Anyone got any practical experience with this kind of producing while mainly focused on intensive rough and ready travel?


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OP-1 sounds perfect for you.


Or if you want an ultrabook maybe consider an iPad with apps?

If it was me I’d opt for the op-1


Op1 is built like a tank.

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Consider the practical side of things -

OP1 expensive/risky for rough and ready and you’ll need mains access to recharge it ,or a power bank / solar charger. Onboard Mic and radio in for samples input on the move.

Circuit is rugged and runs on AAs and is cheaper but you’ll need a computer to get samples in. You could just preload before you leave and work with that limitation.

Electribe 2 runs on AAs but you’ll need a computer or Audio input setup of some kind if you wanna sample into it on the go.

Volca sample is probably the most practical as it’s cheap, runs on AAs and you can get/record samples into it using a smartphone. Most limited of the bunch though in terms of building complete songs but you can get there within confines of limited pattern memory. Sounds amazeballs too.

I’d go Volca or Circuit as I couldn’t really relax with the more expensive options in my luggage. Volca if I wanted to get location based samples recorded on my phone would be cool. Circuit id just preload and have more “song writing” scope - that would be the trade off for me.

iphone / ipad , audio bus , gadget , patterning , sunriser , kraft ?.

tiny , lasts a while on one charge , can also make phone calls …

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op-1 with a nice hard case. /thread

MPC Live (depend when you need it should be released in June)
or a LAPTOP to me…

Thanks for the suggestions, OP-1 seems to be a favourite for this kind of scenario.

Having the mic in/ radio sampling would be pretty cool as I was tossing up a zoom or tascam recorder for a bit of casual field recording.

I will look for a few demos of constructing the tape loops into a full composition, as I haven’t seen many videos that go past creating cool loops.

Probably the factor that goes against it is second hand availability - not many online in Australia and I’d probably not want buy one new only to take it straight outdoors.

I have an Iphone se with sunrizer, impaktor, majellan etc apps but haven’t really worked out sample management or audio routing internally between apps. Can you realistically run gadgets, on Iphone?

Could go an Ipad but wouldn’t a small laptop,or tablet/ultrabook (lenovo yoga etc) with ableton be better if moving away from a tactile box?

You need AudioShare and Audiobus and maybe DropBox and WinZip.

That will cover you for routing and file management.

Good advice… guess I should watch some more demos.

For context I like to make 140 dub(step) , jungle and sample based techno, so being able to manipulate breaks, re-pitch drums etc would be cool. Circuit can’t do that kind of messing with samples in my very limited understanding…

I think the Roland sp404sx would be a good option. The sequencer isn’t that fully featured but passable for sketching. It really shines while sampling and resampling with the included FX. Battery operated as well as powered for when a power source is available. Very resonably priced these days.

I’d go with an iPad + your favorite software. There’s a whole suite of apps out there.

You’d have a nice big screen, multitouch, ability to save songs/patterns/record audio, etc. Nothing really compares

Of course you could get yourself a battery pack and solar trickle charger to stretch it out during long bouts on the road. Not really sure how many hours you get with an iPad as the screen is the main battery draw.

Try a lifepower A2.They power all of my elektrons and even my moog voyager with no problems.


Your adventure sounds pretty cool!! Why not trying to contact teenage engineering directly to explain your plain and see if they cool “sponsor” you with a nice discount on the op-1. Maybe you could repay by making cool videos for them? Dunno. Thinking out of the box :sweat_smile:

I vote e2 or es2 having done something similar with one myself (synth version)

How long do you get when using that?

I had 5 hours with rytm and still power left in the battery.I’ve never run anything to the point where the A2 has run out.I use three of them in rotation.

One of those Nintendo handhelds running Korg DS could be worth looking at.

Those things are built to be carried around and stand up to abuse by children