I love this synth,
but its both weird and hard to learn. Modular is a difficult space to explore unless you're willing to learn and understand the details of both additive and subtractive synthesis. No where is this more true than in the constrained environment of the pico system 3.
A patch in this synth must be planned ahead else you quickly find yourself running out of patchable resources. Rapid experimentation and iteration on an idea on the patch bay is very rewarding. However the unit shows its best side when paired with an external sequencer (I use an OP-Z, but anything with 5V Gate & V/Oct will work.)
The mechanical build quality is outstanding, solid metal all the way around, and generally feels like a weapon in your hands. However electrically... its built like a eurorack module (I am an electronic engineer trust me, thats a bad thing) Shoving this much analog synth into this smaller package at this price point poses a lot of challenges, Erica have struggled with noise isolation in the Pico System 3. A side effect of all modules sharing a single circuit board is that signal bleed can be heard between the modules, when an input is connected to something that is silent. It doesn't significantly detract from the experience of the synth, but does a lofi quirk at a very not lofi price.
This machine is the gateway drug into modular, giving you all the basic components of a fully modular setup to build ontop of, either through eurorack, interfacing with other patchable synths, of which there are hundereds of compatible models, or my favourite diving into the world of DIY synths.
I haven't even mentioned yet that stand alone its a sfx and sample design powerhouse.
The elefant in the room however is the patch cards. They are a nice gimmick, and a cute way of showing off what the synth can do to a beginner, but they are not that useful, because they cannot store knob settings, so they sit in the box collecting dust.
All in all this synth is an amazing machine, with some firm limitations.