Words from Robert
We have all been waiting for the year 2020 to end and have high hopes for positive change in 2021. Here at tangible waves we are certainly looking forward to the months ahead and have big plans to continue making modular synthesis available for everyone. Since the beginning of the system 3 years ago, we have steadily improved existing modules and have designed a plethora of new ones - and each single one is designed and produced with all my/our passion and excitement to see the thing growing and flourishing. This year will be no different and we’re hoping that you will enjoy all the new products that we will be releasing along the way.
This year we will also strive to make modular synthesis available to school students, by designing a rack configuration with matching workbook which can be used in schools and other institutions to teach children not just how to make electronic music, but also use this medium to further the student’s interests in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects.
Last year has seen people physically isolated from each other as each country went into various stages of lockdowns and most meetups, conventions and events were cancelled. But then we saw how people got together online via Zoom, Twitch and YouTube. Suddenly meetings were happening across continents that otherwise weren’t possible. This year we may see more of those online events and we hope to see you there!
Shipping Delays due to COVID-19
While we have always struggled to keep up with the incredible demand for our systems, last year was especially bad, in that shipping was seriously interrupted due to the pandemic.
Especially shipping to the US was, and still is, a total nightmare because there are much less flights, most DHL parcels go mostly by ship and take 6 to 8 weeks to arrive! DHL asks not to place parcel inquiries before 8 weeks after shipping. Even worse, the USPS tracking is almost completely useless, all US customers we hear from get no updates for weeks. The only "good" news is that all of our parcels have always arrived, not a single one fell from the ship and drowned in the ocean.
So please be patient! While the global delivery systems will hopefully slowly increase their capacity again, so we are working hard to make our production workflow more and more efficient and catch up with our backorders list. One of our main goals for 2021 is that no customer has to wait more than 10-14 days from order to shipping until mid of this year.
New colour option for cases
To make your AE system even more personal, we now offer the possibility to customize the AE cases in a very wide range; you can choose individual colors/materials for the side panels and front/back - with different types of acrylics and two types of wood you can build your unique AE case.
DRONE38 is a sound generator with 18 oscillators in total, organized in six groups of three oscillators each. 12 of them can be switched between sawtooth and triangle waves, 6 are fixed sawtooth oscillators.
The groups can be mixed individually with 3 mixer knobs, where each 2 groups can be assigned to the level. Additionally, each group can be activated / “played” with buttons near the group.
The oscillators are not meant to be controlled by CVs, but only set static with a knob.By mixing them, very dense drones and clusters can be created.
Additionally, 6 oscillators can be synced to other ones for extending the sonic palette.
The DRONE38 is now available in our shop.
DRONX is a special mixer designed especially for the DRONE38 module; if has 6 input channels (so you can connect two DRONE38 modules) and offers some sound processing capabilities: A tone control with bass and treble control, a distortion, and finally a dual delay with different algorithms. Two insert points allow to add up to two more audio effects to the internal signal chain. Together with the DRONE38 module(s) you get a quite nice drone synth for dense, dark soundscapes. Of course, it can be used with any other sound sources!
The DRONX is now available in our shop.
TRIP is a trigger processor module; it takes incoming triggers and repeats them - you can think of it as a delay module for triggers. The delay time and the number of repeats can be set with a knob and additionally be CV controlled. Beyond static delay, the delays of one input trigger can be accelerated or decelerated, leading to the rhythm of a bouncing ball. In another mode, the probability of the output triggers can be chosen.
Different output modes change the assignment of the delays to the eight outputs; either, all delayed triggers for one input trigger are on one output, or the delays go through the outputs 1...8. By this, complex events can be triggered. Finally, the acceleration and the gate time can be CV controlled as well.
The TRIP is now available in our shop.
New GRAINS Firmware
From the Netherlands, the origin of the Grains Eurorack module, comes this new firmware which offers a really good sounding waveshaping oscillator. This has been developed by Kassen Oud, who usually develops his live sets using the live audio programming environment ChuCK. This oscillator is based on West Coast Synthesis ideas and features two sine waves with the second being hard synced to the first via a ring modulator. Then there’s also a wave shaper. Everything is manually or CV controlled which makes for some really fat sounds. It also tracks really well at 1v/oct.
You can download the firmware from the Github website here:
You can find out more about Kassen via his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/kassen.oud
And this video by The 5th Volt shows how this new firmware works:
News from the Community
Music made by the Community
The community was again very active with making music.
First off we had an extra thread to get a few videos up for Jamuary 2021. There are some really nice submissions there, check it out:
Apart from that there were many other cool new projects and tracks by our members, for example:
There’s heaps more, please check it out at https://forum.aemodular.com/board/5/ae-music-performances
So many new people join the forum every month and I’m always happy to see them post their “first jam” with the AE Modular! While posting your first jam is incredibly courageous as you’re just finding your way around the new instrument, it’s also very rewarding especially when you get the feedback from our friendly community. Here are a few first james from new members:
The DIY section of the forum was on fire this month with new modules and other cool things being built in the living rooms and garages of our members:
Cardboard DIY Stand
We also see a lot of DIY discussion over on the Discord channel. Please always remember, if you’ve built something cool, please post it on the forum, so more people become aware of it!
Robert Langer, founder of tangible waves. Here, I will share some thoughts, background infos and news about AE modular and tangible waves.