Modular DJ deck controller lets you decide how you want to mix your music

Although it might seem like it, controllers for different devices and gadgets are actually designed to help make users’ lives easier. The overwhelming number of buttons on a traditional TV or set-top box remote, for example, are there to give nearly instant access to functions without having to dig your way through menus. Needs and trends change over time, however, and devices need to adapt with them, just like how those TV remotes have become significantly minimal, some with no more than five buttons. There are controllers, however, that can’t really be distilled down to half a dozen switches and buttons. Complicating matters is how different people might have different ideas on how to best use those controls. Straddling the fine line between those two camps, this design concept puts users in complete control of one of the busiest controllers in the market.

Designer: Marko Filipic

When there are so many things happening quickly that need your attention, the last thing you need is to fiddle with menus to remain in control. Sometimes, you don’t even get a few seconds to think about your next move and just function on autopilot. This is often the case with complicated controllers like the decks that DJs use to mix, scratch, and direct the flow of music at any given moment. A deck controller would have dozens of buttons, sliders, switches, and dials, but not everyone uses those same controls in the same way all the time.

This modular controller concept brings one of the rising trends in product design to the world of DJing, allowing the user to decide exactly how to arrange those controls or which ones to actually have present in the first place. The idea is to have a platform where one can easily add, remove, or relocate those gizmos where they’re most convenient. There are parts that are permanently attached to the deck, like the two large dials on each side, but the rest is fair game for the DJ.

This design is made possible by a grid of Pogo connectors in the middle of the deck, similar to those gold dots you’d find in older smartwatches as well as tablet keyboard covers. Here you can make any arrangement of buttons, sliders, and dials, some of which take up more than one “block” on that grid. In a way, it becomes a fun puzzle activity for DJs to build their own personalized deck.

The base design for this modular DJ controller leans more towards minimalist trends with its white coating and lack of decorations. Admittedly, this might look a little out of place among a DJ’s other tools, so there’s also a variant that brings those familiar accent lighting on a predominantly black deck, a better representation of a DJ’s vibrant and unpredictable style.

The post Modular DJ deck controller lets you decide how you want to mix your music first appeared on Yanko Design.

Fender Unveils A Hybrid Bluetooth Speaker + Portable Amp That Lets You Jam To Your Favorite Tunes

Why just listen to music when you can do much more? The Fender RIFF looks like your average Bluetooth speaker, letting you play your favorite tunes wirelessly… but flip it around and plug your electric guitar in, and the RIFF lets you quite literally riff on your favorite songs, playing supplemental chords, adding your own bassline, or improvising a killer lead. The speaker has a 60W output that packs an absolute punch, and a whopping 30 hours of battery power, letting you jam all night till the sun rises.

Designer: Ponti Design Studio for Fender

The Fender RIFF has all the hallmarks of a great Bluetooth speaker, but given its parent brand, it also packs an absolute bunch of features for guitarists and musicians. Stylistically, it deviates from the classic guitar amp aesthetic and opts for something a little more subtly contemporary, but the all-black squarish design with the Fender logo front and center still feels reminiscent of a guitar amp. On top, however, instead of those famed metal-tipped knobs, lies a ridged touch-sensitive wooden panel. With three grooves to slide your finger in, the touch panel lets you increase or decrease the RIFF’s volume, as well as play around with its treble and bass levels.

While the RIFF is, at its core, a Bluetooth speaker, it also supports guitar amplification, allowing you to hook your electric guitar to it for a quick jam session. You can either play solo or alongside music playing wirelessly through your phone for a much more interesting jamming experience. Touch-sensitive controls on the front of the wood panel let you do basic things like play/pause music, connect/disconnect Bluetooth devices, while the wooden panel gives you broad EQ settings, letting you fine-tune the bass and treble for just the right sound you need. Moreover, Fender also offers an Auto-EQ Room Tuning feature via the free downloadable Fender® RIFF app.

A built-in fabric handle lets you carry your RIFF around with you wherever you go.

As far as output goes, the RIFF doesn’t pull its punches. The $469.99 speaker packs a whopping 60 watts of sonic bliss, with 6 custom-tuned audio drivers, including 2 woofers, 2 bass radiators, and 2 tweeters to cover the full spectrum range. You’ve got Bluetooth 5.2 built-in for a reliable connection, and a battery that lasts a whopping 30 hours before it needs charging via the USB-C port at the back. Finally, the RIFF is also built for the outdoors, with an IP54 dust and splash-proof rating, and if you REALLY want to rock it up, the RIFF’s Party Mode lets you connect as many as 100 RIFF speakers together wirelessly… because if you aren’t bothering your neighbors, are you really a rock lover?!

The post Fender Unveils A Hybrid Bluetooth Speaker + Portable Amp That Lets You Jam To Your Favorite Tunes first appeared on Yanko Design.

Sony reveals PlayStation earbuds with lossless, low-latency audio for PC and PS5

At the PlayStation Showcase event, Sony announced a lot of new gaming titles, a streaming-only handheld, and towards the end of the event, a pair of TWS earbuds. These first-ever gaming wireless earbuds from the Japanese electronics giant are all set to increase the in-game immersion three-folds, be it on PC or PS5. Strangely, they somehow look inspired by the EVOLUTION 3D conceptual TWS Gaming Earbuds by Adam Shen that were mustered up a couple of years ago.

Already Sony dominates the premium wireless earbuds market with the WF-1000XM4, and the value-for-money LinkBuds S. Now with the PS5 earbuds Sony wants to create a niche offering for passionate gamers who desire immersive audio to hear every little detail for in-game tactical advantage.

Designer: Sony

The PlayStation earbuds will come with innovative wireless technology developed by SIE for superior lossless audio and low latency. The earbuds codenamed Project Nomad has been in development for some time now with industry leaks and renders giving the tech community a sneak peek of the design and hardware details. Although Sony has officially revealed the earbuds, they’ll only be up for grabs sometime during the holiday season.

They are understandably themed on the PS5 gaming console with the contoured white outer shell and bulb-like design to suit the ergonomics of the human ear better. Charging case for these audio accessories are also distinctly crafted with a cylindrical shape. Something like the Nothing Ear Stick, sans the twisting mechanism, as they open like a pouch.

From what is apparent, the buds have physical volume rocker buttons and a subdued light bar on the charging case indicating the remaining charge levels. Sony has also confirmed that they’ll “simultaneously connect to smartphones via Bluetooth” for audible strategic advantage in action games. Other than these visual details, everything is still under wraps — things like the details of ANC mode, audio drivers, or multipoint connectivity option.

If Sony can make them compatible with the PlayStation VR 2 headset, both will make for another compelling reason to own one. While they might not be positioned as premium as the upcoming WF-1000XM5’s, we expect them to be stashed between the Linkbuds S and the recently launched WF-C700N for budget buyers.

The post Sony reveals PlayStation earbuds with lossless, low-latency audio for PC and PS5 first appeared on Yanko Design.

2.1 Million Views in 6 Days… What Made This MIDI Synth’s Launch Video SO Viral?

Visually, the Nopia looks like quite a basic synth. No display unit, no labeling, basic construction, and just 12 keys… yet the synth’s launch video has over 2 million views since its debut last week, and the Nopia Instagram page has more than 17 thousand followers. If you’re wondering why, just give the video above a watch and you’ll realize what makes the Nopia so special.

Unlike any other MIDI synth I’ve seen before (and I’ve seen quite a few), the Nopia v1 isn’t as much a synth as it is a chord generator. This means that when you hit a key, instead of hearing an individual note, you’ll hear a pre-ordained chord that’s programmed to that note. Press another key and you get another chord within the same tonal scale. Buttons on the right side let you change your scale, but whenever you do, the synth keys never play notes… they only play chords, and they play chords within the same “tonal harmonic scale”. The result is fantastic to the ears, and opens up a myriad of possibilities for amateurs and professionals alike.

Designers: Martin Grieco & Rocío Gal

Playing chords are tricky. You need to learn which notes make up which chords, then you need to figure out where they’re located on a keyboard, and then struggle as your fingers work up their muscle memory as you switch between different chords. With the Nopia v1, it’s as easy as just pressing a button. Moreover, the Nopia v1 also lets you accompany your chords with bass notes, drums, and arpeggios by just pressing a button or flipping a switch.

The different buttons, knobs, switches, and sliders on the Nopia v1 help layer your chords with more complex elements. A bass option gives a punchy root bass note, while the arp option turns your chord into a dreamy chordscape of dancing notes. The Nopia v1 even has a built-in vocoder that lets you almost instantly turn your song into something very Daft Punk-like, helping modulate your voice along with the synthesizer to create something robotic yet melodic.

The synth works on the concept of “Tonal Harmony”, which maker Martin Grieco mentions that no other synthesizer on the market does. Tonal Harmony looks at chords related to a particular scale, and lets you play them instead of playing ‘any random chord’. It’s a lot like choosing your toppings for you, based on an ice cream flavor you pick. Choose a sorbet and your toppings get limited to fruits and syrups. Choose a chocolate or vanilla and you get options like oreo, mint, and choco chips. This ability to offer a select number of chords makes playing/ideating/jamming a whole lot easier and fool-proof.

The Nopia v1, built as a prototype by Martin Grieco and Rocío Gal, has an incredibly basic aesthetic. There’s no labeling, no branding, and really no display to tell you what you’re doing, what features are on, or what preset you’ve selected. The synth looks basic, almost to a fault, but it’s all by design. The reason it looks so bare is because it’s an audio playground for anyone to tinker with. I’m assuming Grieco and Gal will probably make a few tweaks to the overall design as time passes by, but for now, the Nopia is simple… and that’s just the way it should be.

So what’s the hype around Nopia v1?? Why does this simple-looking synth have millions of views online and upwards of 17 thousand followers on Instagram? To understand what makes the Nopia so special, it’s worth comparing it to ChatGPT. The reason ChatGPT became so popular is because it was intelligent, unique, and had the ability to turn practically anyone into a specialist by providing them with a vast amount of tailored information on any topic. Google Search could never do that. Nopia works sort of the same way. Instead of having you learn chords, harmonic scales, modes, synthesis techniques, etc., Nopia just invites you to press keys and play with controls. There’s no judgement, and there’s absolutely no way you’ll be able to play anything “wrong”. Everything you do sounds melodic, sort of like playing a harmonica, but with a whole lot of sonic complexity built in.

Makers Grieco and Gal just dropped this video announcing the Nopia a week back, and the response has been absolutely overwhelming. We’re still awaiting details on availability, interoperability, price, etc… so stay tuned for more!

The post 2.1 Million Views in 6 Days… What Made This MIDI Synth’s Launch Video SO Viral? first appeared on Yanko Design.

Hitting the Books: How music chords hack your brain to elicit emotion

Johnny Cash's Hurt hits way different in A Major, as much so as Ring of Fire in G Minor. The dissonance in tone between the chords is, ahem, a minor one: simply the third note lowered to a flat. But that change can fundamentally alter how a song sounds, and what feelings that song conveys. In their new book Every Brain Needs Music: The Neuroscience of Making and Listening to Music, Dr. Larry S Sherman, professor of neuroscience at the Oregon Health and Science University, and Dr. Dennis Plies, a music professor at Warner Pacific University, explore the fascinating interplay between our brains, our instruments, our audiences, and the music they make together. 

White backbround with a red illustrated, stylized head filled with musical items with black and red title lettering above and below.
Columbia University Press

Excerpted from Every Brain Needs Music: The Neuroscience of Making and Listening to Music by Larry S. Sherman and Dennis Plies published by Columbia University Press. Copyright (c) 2023 Columbia University Press. Used by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

The Minor Fall and The Major Lift: Sorting Out Minor and Major Chords

Another function within areas of the secondary auditory cortex involves how we perceive different chords. For example, part of the auditory cortex (the superior temporal sulcus) appears to help distinguish major from minor chords.

Remarkably, from there, major and minor chords are processed by different areas of the brain outside the auditory cortex, where they are assigned emotional meaning. For example, in Western music, minor keys are perceived as “serious” or “sad” and major keys are perceived as “bright” or “happy.” This is a remarkable response when you think about it: two or three notes played together for a brief period of time, without any other music, can make us think “that is a sad sound” or “that is a happy sound.” People around the world have this response, although the tones that illicit these emotions differ from one culture to another. In a study of how the brain reacts to consonant chords (notes that sound “good” together, like middle C and the E and G above middle C, as in the opening chord of Billy Joel’s “Piano Man”), subjects were played consonant or dissonant chords (notes that sound “bad”together) in the minor and major keys, and their brains were analyzed using a method called positron emission tomography (PET). This method of measuring brain activity is different from the fMRI studies we discussed earlier. PET scanning, like fMRI, can be used to monitor blood flow in the brain as a measure of brain activity, but it uses tracer molecules that are injected into the subjects’ bloodstreams. Although the approach is different, many of the caveats we mentioned for fMRI studies also apply to PET studies. Nonetheless, these authors reported that minor chords activated an area of the brain involved in reward and emotion processing (the right striatum), while major chords induced significant activity in an area important for integrating and making sense of sensory information from various parts of the brain (the left middle temporal gyrus). These findings suggest the locations of pathways in the brain that contribute to a sense of happiness or sadness in response to certain stimuli, like music.

Don't Worry, Be Happy (or Sad): How Composers Manipulate our Emotions

Although major and minor chords by themselves can elicit “happy” or “sad” emotions, our emotional response to music that combines major and minor chords with certain tempos, lyrics, and melodies is more complex. For example, the emotional link to simple chords can have a significant and dynamic impact on the sentiments in lyrics. In some of his talks on the neuroscience of music, Larry, working with singer, pianist, and songwriter Naomi LaViolette, demonstrates this point using Leonard Cohen’s widely known and beloved song “Hallelujah.” Larry introduces the song as an example of how music can influence the meaning of lyrics, and then he plays an upbeat ragtime, with mostly major chords, while Naomi sings Cohen’s lyrics. The audience laughs, but it also finds that the lyrics have far less emotional impact than when sung to the original slow-paced music with several minor chords.

Songwriters take advantage of this effect all the time to highlight their lyrics’ emotional meaning. A study of guitar tablatures (a form of writing down music for guitar) examined the relationship between major and minor chords paired with lyrics and what is called emotional valence: In psychology, emotions considered to have a negative valence include anger and fear, while emotions with positive valence include joy. The study found that major chords are associated with higher-valence lyrics, which is consistent with previous studies showing that major chords evoke more positive emotional responses than minor chords. Thus, in Western music, pairing sad words or phrases with minor chords, and happy words or phrases with major chords, is an effective way to manipulate an audience’s feelings. Doing the opposite can, at the very least, muddle the meaning of the words but can also bring complexity and beauty to the message in the music.

Manipulative composers appear to have been around for a long time. Music was an important part of ancient Greek culture. Although today we read works such as Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, these texts were meant to be sung with instrumental accompaniment. Surviving texts from many works include detailed information about the notes, scales, effects, and instruments to be used, and the meter of each piece can be deduced from the poetry (for example, the dactylic hexameter of Homer and other epic poetry). Armand D’Angour, a professor of classics at Oxford University, has recently recreated the sounds of ancient Greek music using original texts, music notation, and replicated instruments such as the aulos, which consists of two double-reed pipes played simultaneously by a single performer. Professor D’Angour has organized concerts based on some of these texts, reviving music that has not been heard for over 2,500 years. His work reveals that the music then, like now, uses major and minor tones and changes in meter to highlight the lyrics’ emotional intent. Simple changes in tones elicited emotional responses in the brains of ancient Greeks just as they do today, indicating that our recognition of the emotional value of these tones has been part of how our brains respond to music deep into antiquity.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Translucent Beats Studio Buds + are here to rival Nothing Ear (2) but not AirPods Pro

Beats Studio Buds debuted back in 2021 with a comfortable fit, good sound and everything else that left a lot to be desired. After staying in the rumor mill for quite some time now, Beats is officially out with a solid successor. Although they look quite like their big brother, Beats says that 95 percent of the internal components are new.

Working on the weak points of the Studio Buds, these refreshing earbuds come in a smoky transparent design. I can already see the obvious inspiration from the radical Nothing earbuds. As a complement, I absolutely love the translucent design of the Buds + as compared to the completely transparent Ear (2). There are Back and Ivory color options too of earbuds at the same price tag of $170.

Designer: Beats By Dre

There are small little increments in every aspect that make these earbuds worth the upgrade, apart from the luring transparent design that exposes the intricately crafted audio elements on both the buds and the case. The audio quality has improved with better drivers and the Dolby Atmos spatial audio works seamlessly for an immersive soundstage. For obvious reasons, the buds get a different microchip rather than the Apple silicon, compared to flagship Beats Fit Pro.

Active noise cancellation on Buds + is far better courtesy of the three times larger microphones that improve sensitivity, transparency mode and noise cancellation in noisy ambient environments. Battery life has also got a bump-up as the charging case gets 50 percent more juice at 18 hours of listening time in ANC mode and 27 hours in normal mode. The buds themselves have a 16 percent better battery rated for six hours of playback with ANC on and nine hours with it turned off. Fast charging is also a novelty here as five minutes of charging provides an hour of playback time.

Reworked venting system comprising three acoustic vents means a superior air release mechanism so that the wearer doesn’t feel uncomfortable during long hours of listening. This also helps in far better transducer movement for quality audio output as compared to the Studio Buds. IPX4 water resistance makes them well-suited for exercise or a brisk run in inclement weather conditions.

Beats Studio + buds come with four sets of soft eartips (XS, S, M & L) and a black USB-C cable. The latter in no way matches the translucent aesthetics of the whole package – Beats By Dre should have gone the extra step here to complete the look. That said, the Buds + are not a dupe for the flagship AiPods Pro, but for just $20 more than the Studio Buds they are a far better package one-on-one.

The post Translucent Beats Studio Buds + are here to rival Nothing Ear (2) but not AirPods Pro first appeared on Yanko Design.

Apple now helps you discover concerts in Maps and Music

Apple wants to go beyond streaming live music to helping you find it in real life. The company has added concert discovery features to both Apple Maps and Apple Music. In Maps, you'll find over 40 curated "Guides" that spotlight hot concert venues in 14 major cities around the world, such as a techno club in Brooklyn and symphony halls in Vienna. This could help you decide where to go when you're new in town, or highlight an unfamiliar scene. You can also browse upcoming shows at those venues through a Shazam discovery module that taps info from Bandsintown.

Apple Music, meanwhile, also includes the Shazam module to let you browse a musician's upcoming shows. If a favorite artist is playing soon, this could help you land tickets. There's also a Set Lists section where you can listen to tracks played at certain tours (such as Sam Smith's and Kane Brown's) while learning about the productions.

Both experiences are available today. The additions aren't completely surprising. Apple has long emphasized human curation in Music, such as many of its custom playlists and DJ mixes. The integrations expand on that strategy to cover in-person gigs. Maps has also had curated Guides for food, shopping and travel. A coordinated push for Maps and Music is relatively unique, though — the company is clearly betting that it can raise interest in both services by using concerts as a hook.

This is a trick that Apple Music's main rival Spotify has been doing for years. Back in 2015, the company started recommending concerts based on your listening habits using the Songkick concert discovery services. Since then, Spotify has integrated live event details further into the app — now, artist pages generally all have details on concerts, and they focus on ones that are in your area. We haven't yet seen how Apple's integration compares to Spotify, but the Maps integration sounds like a good use of the Guides feature that rolled out a few years ago.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Sustainably built Fairphone Fairbuds XL headphones are repair friendly + easily swapped with new components

Fairphone smartphones are known for their ability to last, easily repaired and being sustainable. Now the Dutch social enterprise is extending this very design philosophy for a pair of headphones that are easily repairable and save you from buying a new pair when you feel like the audio drivers have gone obsolete.

Strangely called the Fairbuds XL (remember these are headphones, not earbuds) these over-the-ear Bluetooth headphones boast modular aesthetics for replacing components like battery, earcups or audio drivers with utmost ease. If Fairphone must be believed, the headphones can be fixed using just a Philips head screwdriver which is a damn good prospect!

Designer: Fairphone

The modular design consists of 13 separate parts that include a pair of speakers, headphone battery, joystick control, flat cable, headband base, and all the cushions and covers that make up this audio accessory. So, the next time the manufacturer releases a new pair of improved speaker drivers, simply swap the old ones to extend your audiophile journey without breaking the bank. The same goes for the 500-charge cycle battery which can be replaced once it reaches the end of life.

On top of this, the foldable Fairbuds XL is made from 100 percent recycled aluminum, pure recycled tin solder, 80 percent recycled plastics and fair trade gold. Thus, making it the preferred option for music lovers who are considerate of their planet-conscious choices. The IP54-rated headphones weigh just 330 grams and are easy to store given their compact form factor.

The cans are loaded with 40mm dynamic drivers that deliver 20–20,000 Hz frequency response and have 32-ohm impedance. Active noise cancellation is also present courtesy of 2 microphones on the left and 4 on the right earcups. Fairbuds XL support Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity and when the juice runs out they can be connected via the USB-C or USB-C to 3.5 mm audio adapter.

Supported codecs include aptX HD (plus AAC and SBC) and multipoint connectivity is another feature that should keep buyers interested. 800mAh battery on the headphones should last around 26 hours with the ANC mode turned on and 30 hours if turned off. Fairphones has given fast charging a miss here, so they’ll be fully charged after a painstaking wait of 3 hours.

Given all the specifications, the Fairphone Fairbuds XL should deliver respectable sound and ANC performance. Can they compete with the likes of Sony WH-1000XM5, Bose QuietComfort 45 or Apple AirPods Max is still a consideration. Currently, they are up for purchase at a price tag of €249 in Europe and shortly in other parts of the globe too. Fairphone also plans to introduce replacement parts soon, so these headphones should be the next favorite for content creators and music lovers of course.

The post Sustainably built Fairphone Fairbuds XL headphones are repair friendly + easily swapped with new components first appeared on Yanko Design.

Anniversary-edition Bowers & Wilkins Nautilus is a Pearl white finished masterpiece

Renowned British speaker manufacturer, Bowers & Wilkins, has been at the forefront of innovation and design in the audio industry. One of their most iconic creations is the Nautilus loudspeaker, which has captivated enthusiasts worldwide for good three decades now.

This year, as the Nautilus celebrates its 30th anniversary, B&W has introduced a version of the award-winning speaker with a stunning Abalone Pearl finish. Let’s dive into the world of the incredibly fashioned loudspeaker to discover the beauty and craftsmanship behind the remarkable Nautilus arriving in a mesmerizing new hue.

Designer: Bowers & Wilkins

Bowers & Wilkins founder John Bowers had a vision to create a loudspeaker that wouldn’t sound anything like an existing loudspeaker. Nautilus was an embodiment of that vision, which in its existence now is regarded as one of the most visually striking speakers on the market, and sound quality is uncompromising as well.

It’s easy to align with the fact that Nautilus’ unique design breaks away from the traditional speaker form factor yet provides an auditory experience unparalleled. To achieve exceptional sound quality, the loudspeaker was designed with a reverse-horn shape enclosure. This design style helps decrease unwanted sonic contributions and ensures accurate sound reproduction.

The 30th-anniversary edition of the Nautilus in a breathtaking Abalone Pearl makeover is not only symbolic of the traditional audio quality but the shimmering effect of the pearl finish, which adds a touch of elegance, makes this edition apart from the rest, within the company ranks or outside.

Crafting a Nautilus loudspeaker is an intricate process that requires time and precision with a great deal of detail. Each speaker shell takes an entire week to make, with an additional three days dedicated to the final polish. Reportedly, Bowers & Wilkins still adheres to the same hand-built manufacturing process used in the creation of the Nautilus 30 years ago. It is followed by the new colored Nautilus loudspeaker as well.

But if you’re interested, just hold your horses! The meticulous manufacturing process and limited production capacity make acquiring a pair of Nautilus speakers pretty challenging. The air of exclusivity and anticipation to the ownership is only possible if you’re willing to wait a year for delivery after shelling out close to $125,000 for the Abalone Pearl version of the Nautilus.

The post Anniversary-edition Bowers & Wilkins Nautilus is a Pearl white finished masterpiece first appeared on Yanko Design.

Teenage Engineering’s latest audio gadget looks like an alternate-universe iPod

In hindsight, it does seem natural that Teenage Engineering would launch a handheld Field Recorder just a week after debuting their CM-15 condenser microphone. Designed to be a part of their broad range of audio recording, production, and mixing tools, the TP-7 is an incredibly minimalist field recorder that looks like a spiritual successor to Apple and Braun’s design language. Built on the modern dictaphone, a handheld recorder used by journalists to record interviews, the TP-7 comes with three incredibly large buttons that are reminiscent of the Walkman days. Above the buttons is a spinning disc that turns during recording and playback, imitating the way tape recorders and CD players used to turn while in use. A perfect bit of future nostalgia, this one…

Designer: Teenage Engineering

Styled like a hi-fi audio player, the TP-7 is, in fact, a tiny recorder that can record and playback audio, making it great for podcasts, sample recording, music production, vlogging, and journalism. Its design is a combination of nostalgic, with clicky buttons, vintage details, and a palpable lack of touchscreens, and simultaneously cutting-edge, given its ability to record as a standalone device as well as support three separate inputs using aux-ins on the top. Moreover, the TP-7 comes with an iOS app that can automatically transcribe all your recordings, saving you the hassle if you’re a journalist or a vlogger/video-podcaster looking to provide subtitles along with your media.

The TP-7 is designed to fit snugly in your hand, allowing your fingers to effortlessly navigate the controls. Aside from your main buttons on the front, the device also has a rocker switch on the side that lets you fast-forward or rewind recordings. Your thumb is responsible for recording memos, and the pinky selects the mode. At the center of the TP-7 lies the motorized tape reel, which rotates meditatively as you’re recording or during playback. This reel is a finely crafted piece of engineering, featuring a brushed motor with ball bearings and a highly responsive hall sensor that allows for a lifelike recording experience. Additionally, the reel can be used for scrubbing, pausing, menu navigation, and acts as a subtle visual indicator during playback and recording.

The TP-7 features a built-in microphone and speaker, connected to a 24-bit/96 kHz USB audio interface. The top of the gadget sports three audio inputs, letting you hook three microphones, music instruments, or other devices that let you output sound. 128 gigabytes of internal memory keep audio recordings on your TP-7, or you can use the main audio output on the bottom (a 1/4″ jack with a 3.5mm adapter) to output your sound to a mixer or to headphones. An iOS app lets you access the TP-7’s recordings too, and transcribe them in real-time, although there’s no clarity if it supports multi-lingual transcription. Finally, a 7-hour battery keeps the TP-7 going even through the longest of recording sessions, and a USB-C port lets you charge your device or even transfer data.

The TP-7 joins all of Teenage Engineering’s other audio recording gear, which also includes the OP-1 field synth, the TX-6 stereo mixer, and the CM-15 condenser microphone. At $1499, though, the TP-7 field recorder doesn’t really come cheap… but that’s the price you pay for great design and even greater tech.

The post Teenage Engineering’s latest audio gadget looks like an alternate-universe iPod first appeared on Yanko Design.