The Evolution of Audio Design

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The Stem player produced by Kano Computing and designed by Ye – aka Kanye West – does not seem to come from the future, but rather from a parallel present. It looks like a flying saucer, has an unusual warm soft cover, and comes preloaded with the Heartless the rapper’s latest albums: jesus is king, donda and the unpublished 2 – yes, Kanye fans, you can only listen to him on Stem. The content is managed through a USB-C connection and the official site. Other music can also be downloaded, but it does not necessarily work. Stem is not just a portable player, but an invitation to play with music. A series of touch controls allow you to isolate the rhythm section or the voice of a single track, apply effects, speed it up or slow it down. All of this can be done simply by working on the device, with a series of key combinations that, once memorized, sound quite natural. The results can then be saved and downloaded. After all, that’s how hip hop was born, thanks to an alternative approach to vinyl. Kanye West invites everyone to take a leap of faith: the consumer of music is also the one who can produce new music. Rediscovering a tactile dimension in interaction with audio that had been somewhat lost with the many smartphone applications.

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