Art doll

Teenage Engineering’s MIDI Wooden Doll Chorus Is the Most Baffling Music Tech Product of the Year

If that wooden nativity scene you pull out every Christmas is starting to look a little sketchy, Teenage Engineering has a typically quirky and expensive alternative: its own wooden choir.

This set of eight wooden headstocks are designed to “serenade you with a repertoire of choral classics” and can also be triggered by your Champ OP-1 or any Bluetooth MIDI keyboard, so you can also “sing » your own compositions. Each doll has her own voice and vocal range and can perform solo or as part of a larger ensemble.

The pre-installed song collection – which includes party classics such as Deck The Halls and Auld Lang Syne – was created using an algorithm based on the melody of counterpoint, a music theory technique it involves using two or more independent melodies that complement each other (a bass line and a synthesizer would be a contemporary example).

Chorus of teenage engineers

(Image credit: Teenage Engineering)

Once a song has been chosen, each doll’s performance can be started by patting its head or giving it a light pat on the table, while tilting a doll left or right will decrease or increase its volume. “If it gets boring, it can take a little slap to turn it off,” says Teenage Engineering.

Each doll has a unique “personality” and is made from solid beech. In true babushka style, the speaker/processor sits inside, while each doll is rechargeable and offers up to four hours of battery life.

Even by Teenage Engineering standards, The Choir is a bold release and looks more like an art project than a product with any real commercial viability. The dolls are hot on sale though, priced at £249 each. And yes, that means, if you want the full set of eight, you’ll be shelling out almost two thousand dollars.

We’re kind of happy to live in a world where things like this exist, though: learning more about the teenage engineering (opens in a new tab) website.

Chorus of teenage engineers

(Image credit: Teenage Engineering)