Teenage Engineering Are Reinventing the Musical Wheel

Published in Culture, Life & Style on Feb 04, 2019 by Tim Marner™

Teenage Engineering & The OP-1

Teenage Egineering have gone from strength to strength since it was founded in 2005. Created by 4 gents from Sweden Teenage Engineering was founded by Jesper Kouthoofd, Jens Rudberg, David Eriksson and later joined by David Möllerstedt, who previously headed the audio department at EA DICE. It products include electronics and synthesizers, with its core product being the OP-1. Their products have been well received for their aesthetic value, creativity and functionality.

The OP-1 is well known for its unconventional design, OLED display, and the depth of its synthesis engines.The synthesizer's designers attempted to use the limitation of physical hardware to encourage the unit to stimulate creativity, which might become unfocused in a limitless environment, such as a digital audio workstation.


Testament to it’s design, In 2012, Teenage Engineering introduced several "accessories" for the OP-1. These can be used to manipulate the unit's macro effect knobs. One of the accessories makes the OP-1 compatible with Lego gears and motors, which can be used to mechanically modulate low-frequency oscillators and other effects.The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art includes an OP-1, donated by Teenage Engineering, in its permanent collection.

The Pocket Operator Series

Then you have their pocket operator which allow for ultimate creativity on the go. Getting rid of an outer case to keep the cost down with the best possible components. pocket operators are small, ultra portable music devices, with studio quality sound and the flexibility to make music on the go. Affordable for everyone and compatible with all other music gear. Even with the ability to chain the different devices and synthesisers.


There latest in the series is a full sized synethiser and sequencer where you actually build the cases and machine yourself. Take a look below.

AI Time

Not just content with creating great machines though Teenage Engineering have teamed up with Raven and are now venturing into AI. The result is a pair of smart speakers that break the mold – H looks like a stack of brightly-colored saltines with a removable touch-enabled LED grid up top, while R takes that LED matrix top and puts it on a robot arm. More than 6 months in the making, the collaborative project marries Raven's digital assistant technology with Baidu's online search prowess and Teenage Engineering's eye for electronics design. The first device to make it off the drawing board is named H. In common with other smart speakers, H is able to respond to voice commands, search the internet for answers to queries and line up music to help lift the mood. But H has a touch-enabled LED grid up top that can back up its audio output with visual "dot matrix" expressions and can be detached to use as a remote for the speaker. 


R is still in development and rocks the same speaker design as H but the LED matrix square is attached to a robot arm that's able to move over 6 axes. This means the smart speaker can get its groove on and dance to the music, which is sure to be a conversation starter. H and R have both been developed for the Chinese market, but Teenage Engineering says that it's looking into bringing the devices to the west.

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