Hello everyone, I recently got my hands on a Teenage Engineering version of the Stem Player, which is a device that was a scrapped project developed in collaboration with Kanye West, and I am seeking the community’s help. For those who are unfamiliar with the device, the Stem Player allows you to isolate individual tracks of a song (vocals, instrumentals, drums, bass) and add effects such as filters, echo, distortion, and gate. The player comes preinstalled with the Jesus is King Album.
I am making this post because I am trying to figure out how to upload songs to the device. I am quite certain that it is possible to upload songs (like 95% sure), as there are videos online of songs other than those on the Jesus is King album being played on the device. I have tried various button combinations to get it into “disk mode,” but so far, nothing has worked (such as holding the power button with other buttons while booting it up). I have also tried using the fieldkit app to try to connect it but it did not work. When I connect the device to a computer, it does not register as a storage device, but under device properties, it shows up as “stem player.”
There is a “menu” mode that is activated when you hold down the power and play buttons, but I am not entirely sure what it does. When the menu is activated, you have the option to choose between 1-4 blinking lights on the stem. The default option is for only the first light to blink, which puts the device in default controls with limited ability to control the effects. When you set the menu to 2 blinking lights, the device enters “pro” mode, which activates the ability to add effects to individual stems and the ability to control looping and speed. However, when the device is set to 3 or 4 blinking lights in the “menu” mode, it appears to be in the same mode as 2 blinking lights, with no changes to its functionality.
I have attached photos and videos for reference, as well as a picture of a manual I found online that explains how the device works. There is a paper behind the manual that appears to have additional instructions on how to use the device, but the picture quality is not sufficient to recover what is behind the paper.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Do you have any links to videos that show other songs than from JIK being played on this device? I’ve never seen that before. I do remember seeing a clear image of the second paper online somewhere so I know that existed at one point in time although I don’t have it myself
Does it mount or get seen as a disk at all? With the OP-1 Field using MTP, might be worth seeing if that protocol can see anything.
It does not mount or show up as a disk at all. I have tried using field kit as well as the android file transfer app with no help. Tried the same on windows but did not get anything to show up. This is how it appears on my mac.
These might be custom stem players that were made just for him, but this video shows the song “Up from the Ashes” which is currently not on the device and there is also this where ye is using it as at a listening party and it played through New Body. If you were able to help me find that paper with the instructions on it, that would be incredible. I tried looking everywhere for it.
Kind of amazing to see the form factor so close to tx-6. Clearly one device “emerged” from the other.
thanks for the links, i had forgotten about those videos… mostly because for sure those tracks were JIK at one point for ye. for sure he just had his team load up the player with whatever he wanted for the listening party at least and clearly up fro the ashes was on an early version of the ablum. when they did the F&F release of the TE stem the ablum was finished so they shipped the final track list.
i’ll keep googling around for the back of the paper, but i remember seeing it on instagram back when the F&F was sent out so its gonna be buried under years of posts and i guess a ton of the accounts from back then are gone since the whole hitler thing. i think your tactic of reaching out to people who might have the player is probably your best bet. but i’ve only ever seen 2 posts about them in the wild. alternatively you could try to get lucky with someone from TE to answer you… i’m guessing this is a crazy long shot due to whatever crazy ass NDA they signed on the project. but if you want some help on tracking some stuff down, DM me here!!
Any chance that Tx-6 update with the stem player option in futur ? I’ll love this !
The idea of recording the 6 inputs to the USB, and then being able to play them back as stems sounds not too crazy. We are practically half way there.
I Hope they’ve build some internal storage (6gb) like the Op1f into it!
and with the Stems OS Update, unlocking the storage
I was just thinking how, as it turned out, TE dodged a bullet when this collab fell through.
hahahah ??? what are you talking about?
kano sold something like $2 million in stem players in a day or whatever when ye put donda 2 on it.
yeah, lucky TE, would have sucked to sell a ton of their stem player
I’d like to think, I’d hope, that they’re happier to have avoided the unfortunate association (as well as quite possibly being left with unsellable stock.) The TX-6 grew out of it anyway which seems like a much cooler product.
Nice find for the OP, though.
Thank you so much for posting this! I love to see more details on this device. I bought StemDJ dot com a while back (nothing there, not an ad) for an idea I’ve been researching and hope to prototype this year that takes the concept of this original stem player prototype and extends it to the TX-6 with some new ideas, using TX-6 as a BTLE device during performance, and a mixer during production (with tools for creating stem loops). I’ll make this as an iOS/macOS AUv3 and standalone app with social, realtime b2b features, etc. So these details you shared are so inspirational, much appreciated.
Quick update - I got confirmation from TE (written to me, anyway) that they’re cool with apps integrating with their gear in the App Store as long as no logo/artwork reuse.
this would be amazing! I just got a TX-6, and have been hoping something like this would become available. How is the project going?
I have a TE Stem Player unit I would love to sell if anyone out there is interested, either simply as a collector or if interested in cracking the software to upload more stems
You should post it here for sale!
How much do you want for it?
ah I see the buy/sell section now, I was looking for it earlier but didn’t notice it, or maybe my account wasn’t old enough to access it. I’m not sure exactly how much I would want yet, I think at least $1000-2000 as I have some idea of how many of these are out there and the number is very low.