This blog post has been long overdue and I hope you won't be put off by the great number of videos. Superbooth took a great chunk out of my time with preparations and then afterwards the sheer volume of new orders! Next blog will be on time again!
This was the second year at Superbooth for tangible waves with the AE Modular system and it was phenomenal! We had so many people come to our booth to learn more about the system or to just chat and hang out. The booth was a bit of a hang out for members of the forum and we had the chance to see some of them for the first time in person which was a real treat. I also had a lot of help and support from so many people, especially Carsten, Felix and Mark … thank you all for your passion and continuing support! Although I’m of course really passionate about the AE system itself, my real joy comes from seeing the forum and the community thrive, with so many passionate people using the AE Modular for their enjoyment and creations. This is what makes me get out of bed every morning!
The Superbooth also had the effect that I received so many new orders that I’m now up to my ears in work and for the first time I had to hire someone to help me out with the assembly and fulfilment of the massive amount of orders. So if you are still waiting for your system, please be patient … we are working as fast as we can!
Felix of The Tuesday Night Machines organised this video where I could sit with and talk about AE Modular with three of my top supporters.
One of the main objectives was to get the word out to a wider audience about the AE Modular system and in this regard Superbooth was a huge success! We were visited by a few very influential YouTubers and their interviews attracted more views on the web than we ever had.
First was Gaz Williams from SonicState who is always very excited about everything, but I feel that he was really impressed by the system.
Then I was interviewed by Ben from DivKid and he created this wonderful video which was instantly viewed by over 5000 people in the first 2 hours!
Although not a review per se, but Bo Nurmi from BoBeats came by to say hello and he gave the AE System an honourable mention in this video:
Tom from the SynthAnatomy channel also conducted a lengthy interview and this was released just recently on his channel:
There was even a team from a Russion synth magazine who also were there last year. They were really impressed with the improvements that were made and about the amount of new modules that were released over the last 12 months.
And last but not least I was able to meet Sam Battle from Look Mum No Computer just before his very impressive show in Munich and he had a first look at the AE Modular ... and maybe he will use it in one of his upcoming videos?
There were 7 new modules that I showed at the Superbooth and of these the one that got the most praise was the Solina String synthesizer module. Not surprising really, since just on the first day of Superbooth, Behringer announced that they are “thinking of maybe designing a prototype of the Solina String Synthesizer”. Well at the tangible waves booth we had a prototype for people to play and listen. Felix from the TuesdayNightmachines even made this short video about it:
Next up was the new drum section consisting of 3 new modules: TOPOGRAF (a clone of the Grids Eurorack module by Mutable Instruments), KICK (a pure analog kick drum synthesizer) and DRUM 010 (a lofi digital drum kit with a few banks of different drum sounds). Again Felix made an amazing video about all three modules:
There were also the new Multi Mode Divider and a new Slew Limiter module. But what most people were asking for was a playable version of the ALGODRONE, a bytebeat noise generator that I demoed last year and never got around to finish until this month! And once more, Felix did a superb job of capturing its essence:
If you don't know what Bytebeat is you can read more about it in this forum thread.
Most of these new modules will be available in the shop either by the end of June or in July, so stay tuned for more info on this.
NEW Patch Cables
The patch cables were really the most annoying part of the whole AE Modular experience and so many people have told me again and again how they would fall out of the sockets, or cause crackling or just did not make a good connection. I totally agree! The standard patch leads that are normally used for electronics prototyping on breadboards are not really made for patching musical instruments and my friends over at Bastl share the same issues with this “state of the art” as it also affects their products, the Bastl Kastle and Bitranger.
But there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel and that came with an idea of one of my customers who suggested I try those slightly thicker pins that are being used in the RC model aircraft / helicopter DIY community. I ordered a few and made a few prototype cables with them and brought them to Superbooth to give away to a few people for testing.
So far these cables are holding up very well. They are much softer and they connect much better to the patch points, even to the older style ones and they won’t fall out! Now I just had to find a way to have those cables made large scale to get the price down to something that is affordable and after a lot of research and being in contact with various suppliers in China I finally found a reliable supplier and a very decent price point.
I’m very happy to announce that the age of bad patch connections and cables that are falling out is finally OVER!
Once I have enough of those cables in stock they will be available for purchase and they will also be added to the standard beginner rack systems instead of the old cables.
AE Modular retailing in the UK and USA
I have made arrangements with two distributors in the UK and USA who will offer the AE Modular system for retailing directly in their respective country. For now they will sell the Starter Racks as it is a complete system and easy for anyone to get into modular synthesis and Juno will also sell a palette of modules and accessories.
Please find more information at https://www.juno.co.uk.
Info about USA retailers will follow soon!
The forum is growing and more and more people are releasing their music online and discuss their techniques and support each other with (mostly) positive feedback. Just have a look through all the new content, if you haven’t in a while … it’s quite amazing:
Especially the patch challenges have become a focal point for new and creative ways to use the AE system. You can find a list, current and past threads here:
Otherwise it’s just so good to see so many new members connecting to the AE community. This is what my idea was all about, to create a system that is affordable so that many people can use it to learn and to make music with it for their own enjoyment or to share. And the forum is a great place to share and to ask more questions
My focus is to fulfil all those wonderful new orders that came flowing in after the Superbooth activities and also to finish the new modules so that you can order and start playing with them.
I also made some really nice connections with other module makers at the Superbooth and I am looking forward to some really interesting collaborations over the next few months with Casper Electronics, Ginkosynthese and Non Linear Circuits.