I found the Pocketstudio5 to be easy to use and was quickly able to begin creating music. The controls are layed out logically and navigating through the menu is a simple affair that makes sense. Overall, operating the unit is very intuitive.
Sounds & More
The midi tone module was pleasantly surprising because I didn’t expect such good quality instrument voicings and tones from such a small unit with so many features. The organ, electric piano and bass are of particularly good quality, reminding me of some of the best sounds I could get out of my SoundBlaster AWE32 soundcard. I also enjoyed the variety of included midi files that can be broken into parts and strung together to create my own compositions, in several genres of music. The Pocketstudio5 comes with a CD ROM and has a USB port to load your own midi sequences as well as transfer songs in and out of it in internet ready MP3 format.
That being said, the heart of the unit is the digital 4-track recorder. I plugged in my solid body Gretch and tuned it up to match the midi tone generator with the built-in tuner! Monitoring through the included headphones with built-in microphone, I then proceeded to scroll through at least a hundred different effects for guitar, bass and vocals ranging from distortion, overdrive, and delay to chorus and compression all rivaling some of the best stomp boxes on the market. Recording and playing back tracks along with the midi backing tracks was very easy, and the unit does a flawless job of capturing and playing back exactly what you put into it.
If you’re looking for a piece of gear that can be used as a composition tool, a song scratchpad, a practice jambox with built in effects and a tuner that can fit in most guitar cases, I highly recommend taking a closer look at the Pocketstudio5.