Ye’s Stem Player has soft skin and all of the lights

At one point in development, the new music creation device was going to have finger holes. Alex Klein remembers Ye saying, "'God created man; man is God's greatest technology.'" When we make technology, maybe it needs to be seen in our image.

The Stem Player, which was made in partnership with Ye, does not have finger holes. It is not usual. Even though the holes didn't come to be, it does fit easily in one of your hands.

The device has no screen, meaning you have to use a few buttons and touch-sensitive "stems" to listen to music. They can be used to manipulate the vocals or drums in songs from Ye's album Donda, which is pre-installed on the device. It can do the same trick with any album you put on it.

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The buttons on one edge are satisfying.

The photo was taken by Jay Peters.

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The speaker gets loud.

The photo was taken by Jay Peters.

The Stem Player was formed over a few years. The release of Jesus is King came out in 2019. One day, they came up with the idea of an album device in Ye's car. Klein was told to get in the car byYe after he saw him on a walk. They could launch Donda alongside the album because of the way things coalesced around it.

You are greeted with a gentle vibration and four colored lights when you turn the Stem Player on. When I pressed the button in the middle to play music, the drums and vocals of The Weeknd filled my office. If I want to hear only The Weeknd, I just have to slide the lights down three of the stems, like I am pushing a soundboard to fade out the other aspects of the song.

You can manipulate more than one stem at a time.

You can do more than one stem at a time. The Stem Player kept up with everything I did, and I used four fingers to adjust the stems at the same time. I made the song sound worse. You can add effects in real-time.

The device is fun to play with. It is soft to the touch, which makes it stand out from the many other metal and plastic gadgets I interact with. The Stem Player is made of many different polymers, and Klein tells me that it doesn't feel like anything I've ever held. I have found myself playing with it in one hand at my desk.

It is easy to mess with songs when you are listening to them. Adding effects and making loops is not as easy as you might think. messing with the stems is enough to entertain.

Klein said that they wanted it to be a device that you pick up, feel, see, and feel, and that it would give you a sense of well being and control, which is missing from a lot of screen-based devices today.

I haven't felt compelled to listen to an entire album with the Stem Player in hand. I like to put on music while I do chores or on a run, but I don't like messing with the Stem Player when I'm on a run. The Stem Player is an awesome tool for someone who likes to make their own music, because I would never claim to be a music producer.

One thing that Ye always prizes and almost coaches me on, is to get things finished, and that's one thing that Klein said he was given good direction on. Put things out. There are always things you can change. A great work of art is not finished. It is abandoned.

The photo was taken by Jay Peters.