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
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.
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