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Kanye West launches a $200 Donda Stem Player with Kano


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When will Kanye West’s new album ‘Donda’ come out? Good question: it remains imminent. However, today we learned that when it DOES come out, it will ship alongside some hardware.

Go to West’s official website and you’ll see the ‘Donda Stem Player’, a $200 / £200 device that will be released alongside the album – initially in the US and UK.

What does it do? “Customise any song,” is the pitch. The circular device will be able to split any song into stems, isolate the parts, add effects, and control the vocals, drums, bass and samples.

Judging by the FAQ on the website, owners will load music onto their device using the Stemplayer.com website. It’s not entirely clear whether it will ship with stems for ‘Donda’ itself, although that seems to be the implication.

The image of the Donda Stem Player includes the line ‘Yeezy Tech x Kano’. Kano is the British company that made its name with buildable computer kits for children.

There is already a link here. Kano’s CEO, Alex Klein, wrote some lyrics for the track ‘Water’ on West’s ‘Jesus Is King’ album. Klein tweeted a link to West’s site today as the player was launched:

Count us fascinated. We’ll be keen to see what people make of (and, indeed, with) the Donda Stem Player, as it gets into their hands in the coming… well, days or weeks, depending on the album’s release date.

There is also some backstory to this too. West was reportedly working with another tech firm, Teenage Engineering, on a ‘Yeezy Stem Player’ earlier this year.

Here are the features of the device, as listed on West’s website:

Features

Control vocals, drums, bass, and samples
Isolate parts
Add effects
Split any song into stems

Tools

4 channel lossless audio mixing
Real time loop and speed control
Tactile effects
One hits
Live samples
Save, playback, and share mixes
Customize colors
Content and software updates from your browser

Specs

Soft silicone blended skin
Haptic engine
4 touch sensitive light sliders
97db speaker
3.5mm audio jack
USB-C power and data
Bluetooth
Anti-static, oleophobic coating
8Gb storage
Simultaneous Bluetooth and audio jack playback
Supports: .AIFF .AIF .FLAC .M4A .MP3 .WAV .WAVE .AAC .ALAC .MP4

In the box

1 x Stem Player
1 x Carry Case
1 x USB-C Cable

Stuart Dredge

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