Rap star Kanye West is no stranger to experimenting with technology (he discussed a Teenage Engineering collaboration in 2019), but now you can buy one for yourself.
Kanye West and electronics design firm Kano has released a Donda Stem Player, which allows you to remix music from Kanye’s upcoming album Donda (as well as your own tunes) using song stems.
According to reports, the puck-like device allows you to isolate song parts and control elements such as bass, drums, samples, and vocals. According to reports, you can split “any” song into stems.
We have actually asked Kano how this works, but it’s unlikely that it will perfectly separate song elements, a difficult feat for a full-fledged PC, let alone something as portable as this.
Effects, four-channel audio mixing, live sampling, and real-time loop and speed controls are also included in the Stem Player.
Much of the interface is navigated via four touch-sensitive “light sliders” with haptic feedback and customizable colors, and you can save and share your creations with others.
A variety of lossy and lossless audio formats can be piped through the built-in speaker, Bluetooth, or a 3.5mm headphone jack (including AAC, AIFF, MP3, and WAV). You’ll only have 8GB of storage to work with if you don’t include the bundled Donda stems.
The Stem Player is currently available for purchase for $200. If you want to tinker with songs, that is not a small investment, but it’s relatively inexpensive in comparison to other electronic music-making devices.
Just keep in mind that it’s only one component of a larger creative toolkit, it is not yet your ticket to stardom.