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I am attempting so laborious to not gush over Teenage Engineering’s newest gadget

Teenage Engineering’s new $300 groovebox has no enterprise being this cute. That’s the entire level.

The EP–133 Ok.O.II (we’ll simply name it Knock Out II) is a mix drum machine, synthesizer and sampler. It’s a supersized improve to Teenage Engineer’s pint-sized PO-33 Ok.O, which presents most of the identical options for a fraction of the worth.

The vibe of the Knock Out II is decidedly extra Nineteen Eighties drum pc than fashionable Roland groovebox. Its buttons, knobs and sole fader seem nearly outsized on the skinny system. I’m undecided precisely easy methods to work it, however that leaves me no much less tempted to fork over the cash.

Whether or not you contemplate Teenage Engineering’s audio gear overdesigned, overpriced or simply proper, I’m merely glad the VC-backed startup makes issues that elicit an emotional response. It’s refreshing to see a {hardware} firm get bizarre with it; most appear overly preoccupied with chasing Apple down its minimalist rabbit gap.

Getting bizarre with it’s Teenage Engineering’s complete factor. The Swedish agency creates wi-fi audio system, grooveboxes and hypebeasty equipment for listeners and musicians alike. Their devices typically characteristic Lego-like tactile buttons and knobs, with a design language blurs distinct aesthetics — assume: cassette futurism meets brutalism meets KB Toys.

Teenage Engineering constructed a following by way of its tremendous reasonably priced (and in my expertise, frustratingly fragile) Pocket Operator sequencers, however in recent times the corporate’s devoted extra consideration to higher-end gear. That’s left a few of its followers priced out of the enjoyable. The value tag on the Knock Out II temptingly occupies a center floor. It’s not a stocking stuffer, nevertheless it additionally isn’t two grand.  

Mastering a drum machine and sequencer takes time, and Teenage Engineering’s merchandise are sometimes so feature-packed and distinct that they arrive with a studying curve. Nonetheless, the design of Knock Out II makes it appear approachable. It seems to plead — maybe deceptively, should you aren’t prepared to place within the hours — that “you would completely be taught this!” For now, I’ll attempt my greatest to withstand the gearhead siren music.

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