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Kanye West Releases Groundbreaking Audio Player That Isolates Tracks

Aside from working on a new album, hosting three different sold-out listening parties, and going through a high-profile divorce, Kanye West has also been working with electronics company Kano on a new music gadget called the Donda Stem Player, that claims to allow you to “customise any song.”

According to the device’s website, the Stem Player can take any recording and isolate it into ‘stems’, or the individual tracks that make up a song — e.g. the isolated vocal, or a guitar line by itself — allowing you to control the mix, and make new creations from the stems.

It’s available for preorder now for US$200, although at the moment it is only available in the US and UK.

The device is made of a “soft silicone blended skin”, with a headphone jack, a USB-C port, volume buttons, speakers, a haptic engine, and 8GB storage. The cross-shaped lights are “touch sensitive light sliders,” which let you control the stems.

The Donda Stem Player supports AIFF, .AIF, .FLAC, .M4A, .MP3, .WAV, .WAVE, .AAC, .ALAC, and .MP4.

The website says you can: control vocals, drums, bass, and samples; isolate parts, add effects, split any song into stems; and do 4-channel lossless audio mixes; control the speed control and loops; do one hits (sound effects); add live samples; save, playback, and share mixes; and customise the colours.

It also allows content and software updates from your browser.

This seems like a remarkable little device if it can handle all of that.

It remains to be seen how well it can isolate individual tracks from a pre-mixed song, especially those recorded years ago on tape, or those with room spillage (where one instrument is heard on a mic recording another instrument, which often is avoidable with live recordings).

The below videos show the Donda Stem Player in action. It retails at USD$200.