Teenage Engineering is known for its playfully designed audio synthesizers you can digitally make music with, but now it’s made a way you can save your tunes in the most analog way possible: on records. The Swedish company’s new PO-80 Record Factory is a turntable that lets you cut your own lo-fi vinyl records and play them back as well.
The PO-80 only supports 5-inch records for cutting and supports four minutes or three minutes of recording time per side at 33 rpm and 45 rpm, respectively. You can also attach an included 7-inch record adapter to play back larger records, though you can’t cut them.
Teenage Engineering (TE) built the PO-80 to be portable, just like its calculator-inspired Pocket Operator line of synthesizers that let you produce your own sounds. The idea is to plug in a TE PO-14 or similar into the record factory to make vinyl editions of your songs, but you could plug in other audio sources to the input jack. There’s also a line-out jack for listening and another to power it from a USB source.
Before you pump tunes from another source, though, TE recommends you to use its mastering tool on a computer (perhaps one built in the company’s Computer-1 case) that applies an appropriate curve to your audio file — and saving you from maybe wasting the first of six included discs learning the hard way.
The Record Factory follows TE’s retro tech-toy aesthetics with a bright orange and white plastic body, plus it has separate cutting and playback arms. It was made in collaboration with Japanese designer Yuri Suzuki, who makes cool stuff like this circuit board radio shaped like the London Tube system. Suzuki was also responsible for a similar record maker in collaboration with Japanese publisher Gakken. With the PO-80, you’ll even get a copy of Gakken magazine in the box.
You can totally get the retro-tech, Speak and Spell vibe from the PO-80, though it’s not quite in the style of exposed circuitry like the company’s Pocket Operators. The jack cutouts also show its full metal rims as you’d expect in older electronics and toys.
You can get your own Record Factory directly from TE’s site for $149. You can also buy a carrying case for $59, extra cutting heads for $15 (the unit comes with one extra), and a 10-pack of records for $20.