Teenage Engineering Choir, MIDI-playable,singing wooden dolls

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Teenage Engineering Choir is a collection of eight MIDI-playable singing wooden dolls, each with its own cultural identity and vocal range.

From beer, loudspeakers, fashion, and furniture in collaboration with IKEA to musical instruments, including synthesizers. The Swedish design company Teenage Engineering is active in many areas. Even in areas far outside the music tech world.

They regularly cause wild controversy with their unique product releases. One thing is certain: the developers dare to do something and release products that attract and cause discussion. A marketing manager would say: goal achieved. Their latest project, Choir, is just as fascinating, weird, and unique.

teenage engineering choir

Teenage Engineering Choir

No new controller, no new Synthesizer, and no new pocket operator (PO). Teenage Engineering has developed very special wooden dolls. 8 in total. Yes, the developers are always good for a surprise. A lot of technology is hidden in these inconspicuous wooden dolls from Sweden.

According to TE, they are designed to serenade you with a repertoire of choral classics as well as perform your own original compositions through MIDI over Bluetooth. Each doll is handcrafted from solid beech and individually polished with hard wax oil, says teenage.

They are based on cultures and characters from across the world. Each doll has a built-in removable and rechargeable speaker module that acts as the CPU and the Bluetooth transmitter. This also contains a vocal engine matched to the “origin” of each doll. So they have their own voice type and their own sonic character.

teenage engineering choir

Playback Or MIDI Playable Vocal Synth

There are two use cases: first, you can playback a pre-programmed repertoire of classic songs, including Robert Schumann, Friedrich Rückert – Gute Nacht, Ludwig van Beethoven An die Freude, and more. Teenage Engineering used an algorithm based on counterpoint melody, a compositional technique, to create and capture these songs.

Secondly, you can transform each doll into a vocal Synthesizer using the sound engine via Bluetooth MIDI. And each doll can be played as a solo performance or all together in an immersive Acappella concert. A vocal synth is hidden in a stylish wooden doll. Yeah, only the Swedish developers come up with a weird idea like this.

Both options are possible solo as well as in a group. TE has developed an intelligent pairing system for this, with which the dolls communicate with each other.

Controlling, A Playful Experience

TE has also come up with something special for the control. Each doll has a sensor inside the speaker that reacts to vibration and movement. Thus, you can trigger the engine or change the volume by touching the doll or the surface.

This is another perfect example that shows that the Teenage Engineering developers are always open to new, unusual ideas. Well, you can question why you need these dolls or if they are just toys or room decorations.

For me, they are certainly fascinating and special. I find the craftsmanship that TE has put into this collection pretty impressive. Also, the idea of combing different cultures with music in such a way is refreshingly new.

Teenage Engineering Choir dolls are available now for 249€ each.

More information here: Teenage Engineering 

Audio & MIDI News


    • I agree everything they make is overrated the po33 for example worst sampler ive ever used i wanted to throw its tiny ass out the window haha

  1. 249 Euro each !!

    WTF…… if u think a company couldn’t sink any deeper, and yes I mean the absurd price tag from the op 1 field……..

  2. Well done Teenage Engineering!

    Don’t let the sideline mouthpieces discourage your attempts to bring creative and innovative ideas into the world. It’s sooo easy and tempting for people to just criticise other peoples attempts to be creative/original/innovative. I think they’re so cool and I can totally see how they would a hugely fun and interactive way to be creative with sound/music.

    They’re beautiful!

  3. These are beautiful…very innovative and experientially creative. It’s easy to criticise new creative/innovative ideas. I love em.

  4. I thought they were resonators at first – they’re just speakers with a phoneme synth inside. cute, but really? I even listened to the video this time.

  5. I’m divided on these. I could see making something great with them, but the cost for a full „choir“ is prohibitive. So who is the target audience for these? Libraries maybe?

    On the down side I think their naming scheme is tone deaf. A Russian and a Palestinian are a political statement in this day and age, or can be read as such. And I don’t like that statement.

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