June 1, 2023

Teenage Engineering’s new handheld recorder is really cool

Teenage Engineering’s new handheld recorder is really cool

Teenage Engineering, the Swedish design firm that has created various weird and wonderful gadgets such as Panic’s Play date gaming handheld and the the OP-1 music synthesizer, has a new device to watch. The TP-7 is a field recorder, intended for capturing audio during interviews, sampling sounds in nature, recording musical performances, or capturing voice notes.

It looks like a retro-futuristic Mini disc player or, as the designers probably intended, an old-school tape player. Retro aesthetics aside, Teenage Engineering’s gizmos are known for being absolutely packed with modern features. The TP-7 is no different. For starters, it has an accompanying transcription mode when synced with an iOS app, so your voice recordings can be converted to text.

The TP-7 on the left, with the companion app’s voice-to-text transcription interface on the right.

Photo: Teenage Engineering

The device is meant to sit in the palm of your hand, so there’s a bump along the side where your index and ring fingers would naturally rest. By pressing that toggle switch one way or another, you can fast forward or rewind the audio playback. Yes, that disc in the middle spins smoothly like a tape reel while the TP-7 is playing or recording. The movement is mostly for display (it’s all digital; there’s no actual tape in it), but the wheel can be used to scrub through the audio by spinning it quickly or to pause the recording by grabbing it and to stop movement. Unnecessary? Yes. Cool? Well yes. It has seven hours of battery life and 128 gigabytes of internal storage for all your audio memorabilia.

Cool as it looks and probably feels, it may not be the best choice for your audio recording needs. The TP-7 does not have an XLR input, the type of connector that is standard in many professional microphones and other audio equipment. There’s an internal microphone built into the TP-7, of course, along with three 3.5mm inputs that will take a typical auxiliary cord. There is also a 6.35mm output that you can connect the recorder to fancy headphones or speakers. It’s also much, much more expensive than one of the standard audio recorders sold by industry leaders like Tascam or Zoom. The TP-7 is going for a record-breaking $1,500. The company says it will be released sometime this summer.

Read on for more gadget news.

iPad Music and Video

In other audio production news, Apple is holding onto its previously desktop-only software Logic Pro and Final Cut Pro on the iPad. The iPad has carved out a nice little niche for itself in the customization business with a rich library of music creation apps, so getting the Logic digital audio workstation there makes a lot of sense.

Apple is also making its Final Cut Pro video editing software available for the device. Both software suites have new controls and features that take advantage of the iPad’s touch screen. You can use multitouch to stretch and move tracks around, or change pitch and other audio settings in Logic. Both programs allow exporting to their respective desktop counterparts.

Each program is available as a subscription service for $5 per month or $50 per year.

Amazon everywhere at once

If you’ve ever felt like impulse buying on Amazon just wasn’t easy enough, good news: The retailer has a new service that lets you buy stuff while you play games. Called Amazon anywhereit is a service that can be embedded in partner programs and virtual services to better enable you to quickly buy things in real life.

The first game that works with Amazon Anywhere is Peridotby Pokémon Go creator Niantic. The game tasks you with caring for and bonding with augmented reality animals that are projected into the real world. (Think Pokémon Go meet Tamagotchi.) The way the payments work is that you sync your Amazon account in-game, which will then allow you to spend real money to buy physical merchandise with your imaginary animals printed on it.

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