Wow this blog is super late! The last 3 months have been a non stop rush. First preparation for Superbooth, then the rollercoaster that is Superbooth, then I was sick with COVID (again) and then a relentless stream of orders and work on the SAMPLYR module. So my apologies for the late updates.
Superbooth was amazing as always. It is really a great experience not only to meet our trusted and new potential customers, but also the other exhibitors. Over the years we have become a sort of extended family, and Superbooth our grand gathering in the middle of the year.
Here are a few impressions:
We also had a visit from Luke from Sonicstate again. Have a look:
AEuroPi by Fauxcyrillic
This is another programmable module which is similar to the Ornament & Crime (which is unfortunately no longer available due to chip apocalypse). It is a CV control module which can be programmed in Micropython. It has the following features:
You can get up to date information about this and other projects by Fauxcyrillic on the forum:
555 Oscillator by Keurslager Kurt
This is a fully analog oscillator with superb tracking and sound. It has the following features:
You can purchase it from Tindie:
John has been hard at work to create a new series of modules which will revolutionise the way we use MIDI in our AE Modular systems. So far this series consists of the following modules:
mb/1 - This is the base module in full size 1U. It has a 3.5mm MIDI input jack and 20 patch outputs: one for each of 16 MIDI channels, plus reset, clock, start and a MIDI through. The revolutionary thing about this is that each of the 16 channels transmit the fill MIDI serial protocol via the patch cable! This introduces a third signal path to our modular systems: Audio, Control Voltage and now MIDI!
mco/1 - This is a micro sized fully featured oscillator which has a MIDI patch input and audio, trigger and gate outputs. Although it has a convenient hardware tuning knob, all other parameters are accessible only via MIDI control messages (CC).
mcc/4 - This translates various MIDI CC messages into control voltage for use within the AE rack. Out of the box the following messages are supported, however other CC commands can be configured:
- a: Pitch bend
- b: Modulation (CC 1)
- c: Breath control (CC 2)
- d: CC 3
m/tr8 - This is a micro module which translates MIDI key presses into trigger signals which can be used to trigger drums or envelopes in your AE rack. Out of the box it registers middle C as the first trigger and the following seven notes/keys for subsequent triggers.
All of these modules are currently in development. Check out the forum for any updates! However here is a sneak peak from Superbooth:
New shop front for EU customers - Due to the UK's Brexit it has become a bit difficult to ship anything to the EU, which has prompted Wonkystuff to open a second storefront for EU customers only. This manages postage and any customs charges a bit more conveniently:
Music from the Community
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Album Marmor by Jerngevir (aka @gaetan)
This a very nice atmospheric work made 100% in the AE rack. The two songs use the same patch in different ways.
Album Sequences by Black Warrior Lures aka @funbun
One track on this album answers the question we have all been asking ourselves when lying awake in the dead of night, “can the AE play Shakespear?” Go and listen to Twelfth Night’s Storm and you will agree, that yes, AE is definitely up for Bill’s finest! The other tracks are also very good and make much use of the new Rains and Cirrus modules.
Album TAKES, TOKES & TOKENS by Deofol aka @pt3r
From the master of drones comes a superbly rhythmic and melodic album which explores new modules straight out the rack.
Making the most out of a tiny system
Matt Wand aka @rockysmalls showed it first in this jam at Superbooth where he created huge soundscapes with only the AE Rains and AE Cirrus modules with some micro helpers in a tiny VCASE7 rack.
This prompted The 5th Volt aka @admin to make a more “classic” MicroStAEtion which features a dual oscillator, very grungy filter and 8 step sequencer also in the VCASE7. It’s great for jamming as you can see in this video:
AE Modular Live Set in Brooklyn, NY by @rami - Playing live with a modular can be a daunting task, as we discussed many times in our Zoom meetups. Rami shows how it’s done in this 50 minutes long performance. And the audience is loving it!
Live in Australia by @maydonpoliris - This is another daring modular live gig at a wintry outdoor modular meetup near Sydney. Get into it and let the groove put you in a trance!
So much more!
As always, this blog can only list a small sample of the music that’s uploaded to the Forum and Discord. The last 3 months have been full of new music created by our fantastic community. Please check it out either on Discord or on the Forum:
Events and Meetup
Next meetup is on the 26th of August (27th for the Australians). Please check the forum for more information.
What has happened?
In March 2022 I released a new filter module which was based on the circuitry of the Soviet-Era Polivoks synthesizer and I asked the community what I should call this module. I wrote a few blog posts about this and we also had a poll on the forum to let the community determine the name. With overwhelming majority the name “Kuzmin Filter” was chosen and I released the module under this name. I also advised that I would send 70% of revenue from the sales of this module to UNICEF to help children who were affected by war.
What I didn’t do, was to contact Mr. Vladimir Kuzmin to ask his permission to use his name! This was a gross oversight on my part and absolutely not OK. Mr. Kuzmin wrote to me recently and made me aware that he didn’t give his permission to use his name. Luckily he was very nice about it and was happy when I instantly took the module off the shop. He also pointed out that my posts made it seem as if he was endorsing the donations to UNICEF, which could be problematic for him, as he lives in Russia. Therefore I am issuing the following statement:
The module, formerly sold on this website with the name “Kuzmin Filter”, was not endorsed in any way by Mr. Vladimir Kuzmin nor were the donations made to UNICEF from the sales of this module endorsed by Mr. Kuzmin.
I have apologised profusely to him, which he has graciously accepted. He has also made it clear that while the name is protected, the circuitry is not, and that I can release the module under a different name. Therefore, the module isn't available in the shop at the moment.
This situation could have been much much worse if lawyers got involved and it could have easily killed tangible waves! So I feel very lucky and very grateful for the way in which Mr. Kuzmin has conducted this affair. I also would like to make it very clear that, although the name was chosen by members of the forum, the responsibility for not checking in with Mr. Kuzmin lies with me alone. No one else is at fault.
But now we can move on and this filter module will soon be released with a new name. I’m thinking of “Grunge Filter” or “Gnarly Filter” which, to me, best describes the sounds you can get out of this module.
More bad news due to the “chip-ocalypse” - which affects the O&C module as it is based on the Teensy 3.2 development board. This is most likely to be discontinued, or, at least, it’s going to be a very long time before it will become available again. Better don't put much hope into it. See this screenshot below:
Unfortunately the O&C firmware is made specifically for the 3.2 version and will not work on the new 4.0 board. Time will tell if and when the original firmwares will be ported. Until then, the O&C module will stay unavailable.
“Le Module 01” from M4vrick
Fresh out of France is this amazing new module called “Le Module 01” made in collaboration by Gregory (@m4vrick) and Zeno (@keurslagerkurt). It is a complex wavetable oscillator which plays chords and sounds really good! Here you can and hear it in action:
More information and how to order on the forum:
Music from the Community
Lone Dark Sequence by @mathias - This beautiful track comes with a full patch description in the forum post below!
Split Groove by @pt3r - This is an interesting MIDI experiment. Check out the groovy track and patch notes:
jAEst rAEn by @waporwave - This track is so polished and smooth, it should be on a Bandcamp album!! Showing that the AE can interface well with the Reaper DAW:
The coolest Room by Beaucarnea Collab - @maydonpoliris and @pols on vocals! The Youtube video with images made with Midjourney AI..
Etherbunny by @pt3r - A different kind of Easter fun. Imagine going on an Easter-Egg-Hunt in a dark cave, hundreds of meters below ground ...
The Ominoculus Abendment by @krakenkraft - We are not quite sure what we are listening to here, but it sounds strangely hypnotic! Definitely a very interesting composition:
Lost in the Bush & Rattlesnake Tarantula by @maydonpoliris - experiments with the uTone module
XY Plotter and AE Modular by @hand - this was an art installation where the AE was driving a real plotter … check out the very meditative video
Droplets, or it’s raining today by @ampersand - It’s raining RAINS modules and here is the first one which was shared on the forum to great interest
Events and Meetups
AE Modular Online Meetup
A few new faces showed up for the April meetup and a few who couldn’t make it the last few months. @m4vrick was there to promote his new module “Le Module 01” (see above) and @kyaa showed us a prototype of a new case he’s been working on for a while. Shoutout to Keith, who was in the conference room with Kyaa and who is a recent convert to the AE Modular system. He also invented a kind of mouth controller which sends MIDI events according to your mouth movement (not breath!) More about this in a later thread on the forum.
The meetups are fun and while there seems to be a core group emerging, we are always happy to see new faces (or new voices if you don’t want to show your face). You can find out more about the meetups on the forum (you have to be logged in to see this page):
The next meetup will be on the 27th of May where we can discuss any news fresh from Superbooth! For details check the forum link.
This is it … the long wait will soon be over and a bit over 2 weeks we will be heading to Berlin for Superbooth! If you can make it to Berlin, then we would love to see you at our stall W475 on the ground floor in the big hall to the left of the foyer.
You can purchase tickets and find out more at: https://www.superbooth.com/en/
Without further ado …
This module is the super charged version of the sample player module I started developing in 2018. This super compact 1U module can play one sample at a time which can be loaded from a bank of samples from a micro SD card. The samples are organised in 10 folders with 10 samples each for a total of 100 samples. Once a sample has been selected it can be played via the trigger/gate input and the pitch controlled via 1v/oct input. Samples can be of any length as they are streamed directly from the SD card and are stored as 8 bit resolution WAV files.
The OLED display will show you the waveform of the sample and makes it easy to select the start, end and loop points. There are a few CV inputs which will be variably assignable to different parameters, like sample select, sample start/end and loop start/length.
It is planned to be shipped not only as the bare module, but with a nice factory sample library which will also include samples of a well known sound designer, created exclusively for the SAMPLYR module.
This module will be demoed at Superbooth and hopefully be available for sale shortly after.
Finally, the CIRRUS CLASSIC and RAINS are being shipped!
Although we had released these Mutable Instruments clones of Clouds and Rings already in December last year, it took until now that we are finally able to ship them, ahem… A major delay was caused by the fact that the production at our Chinese PCB factory was planned before the Chinese new year festival (where most companies are closed for several weeks), but due to certain communication misunderstandings, the production could start only after the holiday season. Additionally we had to implement a few refinements which we only noticed after receiving the boards and which we had to solve via manual soldering. But all this is history now, and we are shipping all the open orders containing these gems now! These modules are sooo awesome - you will not regret the waiting time!
Music from the Community
@funbun - A Few Steps More - Who would have thought that the AE modular could be used to intonate this piece of one of the greatest masters of Jazz of all time. This patch is inspired by John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps” and it shows what can be done with the limited tools available in this rack … a truly great achievement!
@mathias - Different Angles - This ambient patch uses different LFOs which are mixed together for providing movement. Check out the patch diagram below for inspiration.
@dmoney2000 - Maximum Pretense - A zesty ambient acid patch with some beautiful visuals in the background.
@pt3r - Voiceless Drop - metallic clangs and clongs in a very groovy pattern. Check it out:
@martynaudio - Megalithic Transport Network Part 2 - This is the much anticipated second part of this very atmospheric work. Check it out for the drones and rhythms.
@thomblane - Biodata Sonification Live Performance - Thom performed live at the exhibition “Natural Connection” in Munich. This is a great set which you can listen to while contemplating how to incorporate plants and other living organisms (other than the human player) into a modular synth performance.
@maydonpoliris - Heartbreak at 140 - A monthly newsletter wouldn’t be complete without at least one track by the master of experimental banger grooves! This shows off the power of the MM Divider when combined with the new Heartbeat module.
Patch and Recipe Book - What started as a single thread has now been promoted to a sub board where anyone can post patch ideas and recipes. There are already a few great ideas but we are always looking for more!
Smart Encoders - At the last Zoom Meetup @mikmo talked about these nifty I2C encoders which come with a little board and make it super easy to hook into any Arduino based project.
Controller Box - @mikmo has been working on this project for a while with the goal to have a case just for hosting a few manual controllers for his AE system. Currently it contains a ribbon cable and two joysticks. Check out the forum post for more info and arduino code:
Events and Meetups
AE Modular Online Meetup
We had another very enjoyable meetup in March where we discussed what everyone is currently working on with their AE system and any cool patch ideas.
While there seems to be a core group of people joining the meetup every month, we are always happy to welcome new people, even if they just want to hang out and listen! The only condition is that you have to be a member of the AE Modular Forum to access the Zoom details which change every month and are advertised closer to the date.
We are busy preparing for the upcoming Superbooth and hope to see many of you there in person. We will be joined at the booth by Carsten who is the Forum @admin aka The 5th Volt and John aka @namke who is the most prolific creator of 3rd party modules under his bran Wonkystuff.
Tickets are sold here: www.superbooth.com/en/tickets.html
Music from the Community
Beaucarnea - Four reasons to stay - This collaboration album between @maydonpoliris and @pol has gained another track since it started last year. This one is atmospheric, rhythmic and slightly mystical. Check it out:
New Album - Phrygia’s Dance - This is a special album from @funbun aka Black Warrior Lures. After 3 years of composition this is a milestone in his exploration of minimalistic fusion music which is inspired by the works of La Monte Young, Terry Riley and Steve Reich and it’s all performed with the AE Modular! Check it out:
DelugAe - a beautiful song made with the AE Modular and the Deluge by @mathias. It’s a bit of a challenge to combine the AE with other instruments, but it’s very well done in this track.
Mirage - This is another track where the AE Modular is embedded into a whole with other instruments. It’s dreamy, atmospheric and beautiful … like a walk in an ancient forest. Check it out:
Apparatus Cherry - As we’ve heard last month, our master of the Drone has got some serious beats and he shows them off in this new track! Listen with the volume up, but take care of your speakers:
CHALLENGE - Do your own Tangerine Dream - The gauntlet was thrown by @maydonpoliris who valiantly issued the first track inspired by the founders of Berlin School electronic music. A few others followed with impressive tracks, all worth checking out! Even though there is a cutoff date … don’t be deterred … if you feel like doing Berlin School, you can post your tracks any time!
Events and Meetups
This started out very cosy with only 3 people at first, but then more and more regulars dropped in and we had some great discussions. Topics included:
- What inspires you to make music? Most people mentioned other music, nature, repeating patterns and generally sounds from the world around us.
- How to do Berlin School music? In reference to the challenge (see above) there were some pointers on how to get started. They should find their way to that thread some day…
- This led to the suggestion that we should start a thread on the forum to collect patching tips and tricks. A bit like the patching challenges, but more helpful and more easily reproducible. Watch this space!
The meetups are a great way to connect with the people of the AE community and although there is now a small group of regulars, anyone is welcome to join at any time.
We would love to see you at the next one!
For information about upcoming Zoom meetups, log in to the forum and go here:
It’s confirmed, John from Wonkystuff will be at the ‘booth for 3 days. You will most likely find him somewhere near our tangible waves table. We would love to meet you there!
Buy tickets here: https://www.superbooth.com/en/tickets.html
We are now in the 7th year of operation since the successful Kickstarter in late 2016 and we have great plans for this year. But first the good news: Antonia is back from her extended hospital stay, which will be a huge relief for all of us and also will hopefully mean that we will get through our backlog much quicker than we have while she was away.
I’m still excited about the possibilities of the micro modules and have a few ideas for extending the range further this year. I have concluded that the ½ height format is too cumbersome, especially when thinking about specialised cases, so this format is now discontinued and we will only release ⅓ modules from now on. There will be a new mixer module (replacement for the only ½ sized module) and a few different sequencer modules among others. I hope you’ll like where this is going.
There are also a few older modules which are in need of improvement with better sound quality and additional features, so stay tuned for those.
Of course we will also be present at this year’s Superbooth and I hope to meet some of you there in person, if you can make it!
But apart from what we’ll be doing here at the tangible waves workshop, I’m especially looking forward to what YOU will be doing with the AE Modular and I hope to hear and see many more amazing creations on the forum and social media!
The SELECTOR is in a line with the 3VCSWITCH and SWITCHMATRIX4x4 modules; it’s also known as “Sequential switch” in former modular synths. It has 8 inputs for any kind of signals, no matter if audio CV or gate, and one of them can be routed to an output in different ways: Either by a knob, or by a CV, or by clock pulses to advance by 1. And it can also operate as a dual unit with 4 inputs each.
You can purchase this module in our online shop.
This nifty little tool can help you understand if you have enough power in your case for all your modules. You can plug it either into a free socket on the bus cable, or via the included adapter, to the extension header at the front/rear side of the case. Then, 5 LEDs show the supply voltage, either green for "ok" (supply voltage is in the range of 4.9 - 5.1 volts), or other colours for too high or too low voltage in steps of 0.1 volts.
You can purchase this module in our online shop.
TBD Android App
If you have any questions or would like to report any issues, please head over to the forum where you can find more information: https://forum.aemodular.com/thread/2435/tbd-android-app
Music from the Community
First two fishing trips - @funbun has taken up his fishing rod and jumped into his trusted boat to present us with his first two fishing adventures of the year. Always worth a watch and the soundtrack is, of course, all made with the AE Modular:
First Jam - We always love to hear and see the first creations that newcomers to the AE Modular community present. This one is long and beautiful and shows that the AE can hold its own next to much more expensive gear. https://forum.aemodular.com/thread/2471/first-recorded-ae-modular-jam
First track in 2 years - @pol has done a few collaborations last year, but apparently not finished a single track all by himself. This is the first one in two years and it’s very cool and surprising. Check it out: https://forum.aemodular.com/thread/2464/first-completed-track-ae-years
Huir Lab Exploration - this track features the AE modular in combination with a Behringer 2600 and it sounds really good. Check it out: https://forum.aemodular.com/thread/2449/new-patch-experimentation
41.619, 1.78538 - these could be coordinates to a cool synth studio or to a secret space station. We’ll never know, but it sounds great!
Space - and another spacey contribution by @mathias, check it out:
It Blends! - this little soundbite was made by @duddex with the VCDO blender firmware on the Core.A synth made by Wonkystuff. Check out how tiny this system is!
#jamuary Jam - a beautiful jam by @moruial using the AE modular together with the biggest mixer we’ve ever seen! Check it out:
Ghost flight over the Hebrides - This is another track by the collaboration duo Beaucarnea by @pol and @maydonpoliris and it features the new uBitcrusher and uProbagate modules as well as the Moog filter plugin on the TBD controlled via the cool Android app which we showed above. Check it out: https://forum.aemodular.com/thread/2457/ghost-flight-over-hebrides-beaucarnea
Folding SpAcE - another space inspired track by relatively new user @Mafic_Pulse which features the AE Modular in combination with the new Roland SP-404 MkII. Check it out:
Wide Shores by Deofol
The master of the Drone is getting more and more beat oriented and on this album shows off a very jazzy and almost danceable (if your Wednesday) tracks. Definitely check this out!
HEAL by Black Warrior Lures
This album is full of quirky tracks which we have come to love from user @funbun. There is even a patch challenge on this album! Check it out: https://blackwarriorlures.bandcamp.com/album/heal
A Prayer for Selma by Warrior Lures
This is a tribute to the town of Selma in Alabama, USA, which was ravaged by a tornado on January 12th 2023. This collection of tracks is as jazzy as we expect from @funbun! Check it out: https://forum.aemodular.com/thread/2481/prayer-selma
USB MIDI for the GRAINS - This is the code used in the above project to control multiple GRAINS using MIDI. If you ever wanted to do this, then check it out:
Another beautiful wooden case - presented by @apiel in this thread: https://forum.aemodular.com/thread/2472/another-wood-case
Futuristic AE Modular System - this monster rack is a symphony in black and purple neon and the creation of @betaboon. Now we just need to hear some sounds coming out of this beauty ;-)
AE Modular at Georgia Tech
Events and Meetups
January Zoom Meetup
Our first Zoom meetup of the year was on the 21st January and it was well received as usual. The main topics were about new 3rd party modules, how to manage customer reactions to new and improved module versions and how to get (or stay) motivated to make music.
The next meetup will be Saturday 25th February 2023 at the usual time. For more info, check the forum closer to the date.
Superbooth, Berlin, Germany - 11-13th May 2023
We would love to meet you there, so time to get organised! You can already buy tickets here:
However, I’m still incredibly inspired by the wonderful community of AE Modular users and the mostly positive feedback we receive for our work. I also have a long list of ideas for modules which I want to develop and produce over the next year, so all hardship aside, I’m mostly positive and really looking forward to what the new year will bring. My focus will most likely be on the micromodules which have seen a lot of interest from the community and also a line of Mutable Instrument clones which has now become more important since Émilie has shut down her business this month.
I can’t say this often enough, but I am immensely grateful to each and all of you who have bought a system or module and have put it into your life, your music, your art. Listening to the AEtherwaves album or watching any of the many Youtube videos of your tracks is making me indescribably happy and inspires me to keep going and to create more modules for you.
A huge thanks also to my team here at the tangible waves workshop. Unfortunately, Antonia is on a longer hospital stay at the moment (no worries, it’s a necessary treatment for some chronic health issues she faces for a long time), but Leonie stands in now and has familiarised herself with the non-trivial shipping and order management stuff in record time :-) All of them, Antonia, Tamara and Leonie have gone above and beyond, not just by assembling and shipping out all the orders, but by making the workshop a really fun place to work at.
The tangible waves team wishes all of you a happy Christmas and a healthy and successful new year 2023!
Yes, we have the chips! This is a 100% clone of the original CLOUDS module from Mutable Instruments and I have managed to make it with a chipset which is available at the moment. It doesn’t come with as many features as the first CIRRUS module (which is based on the Microcell clone), but it can do all the things you love about granular processing. It comes with either the original firmware or the Parasite alternative firmware pre-installed and you can purchase it today from our shop.
Finally you can patch the internet’s most iconic ambient patch “Rings into Clouds”, as this module is a 100% clone of Mutable Instruments’ Rings. It is a resonator which accepts an incoming short sound burst or simply a trigger and can apply various physical modelling algorithms to sound like a tube, a metal bar, a drum or plucked strings which can be pitched. It’s a great complement to the CIRRUS CLASSIC module and can be purchased from our shop.
This is a special case for holding a row of ⅓ micro modules. It comes in the 3 standard widths and can be attached to any AE Modular case using the standard connection kits. This is a great addition to a small performance oriented rack. You can purchase it from our shop.
To attach the uCASE to an existing AE case with maximum space saving, we have created a new connector; similar to the hinge kit, but fixed. Works for connecting regular AE cases too! You can purchase it from our shop.
VMIX-10 Success Story
So it was that one of our new customers came by spontaneously to show me how the VMIX-10 has become the central hub of his Volca studio .. in a van! (BTW: We love meeting our customers in person - a very rare event.)
Having the same dimensions as the very popular Volca range of instruments it fits perfectly into this ecosystem. The VCASE-7 takes this idea even further in that it is a tiny rack which comes with power, audio out and headphone amplifier and has room for 7 units of AE modules. If you ever wanted to combine AE Modular with your Volcas … this is the perfect rack for that. You can purchase it from our shop.
Music made by the Community
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Flying a Chopper into an Arctic storm by @maydonpoliris is a high energy track:
Minimal Monday by @pt3r seems to have been inspired by The Peripheral, a book by William Gibson which has recently been turned into a TV series on one of the major streaming services.
Old boat with a new motor is another cool documentation style video by @funbun which combines a great story with impressions from the fishing life style underlined by catchy AE Modular tunes
Distorted Growth is a new album by @glitchyfrog which you can listen to on Soundcloud, Spotify and Apple Music:
Voices is the track @moruial made for the last AEtherwaves Album and this video adds really nice visualisations to it:
The Retreat is a new album by @funbun which can only be described as a Maesterpiece! Check it out:
How small can you make your system and still amuse a crowd with a live performance? @namke shows us how it’s done with this super minimal live set:
And finally here is a live performance with what could be the biggest AE Modular system in existence … beautifully performed by @malibuinterface
Meetups and Events
The last Zoom meetup of the year 2022 was on December 3rd with special guest Frae LaSci who runs the Future Sounds workshops for teenage girls at the Willie Mae Rock Camp in New York. The main thing that makes this school special and conducive for teaching electronic music is that Frae took much care to create a space that has a vibe that makes the girls comfortable and relaxed so they find it easier to be creative. The delivery of the workshops follows a model that is 25% speaking and 75% listening to the students (the opposite from normal school). Most projects focus on small deliverables which consist of experiments: stated hypothesis is tried in experiment and discussed in reflection. Making mistakes is OK and strongly encouraged after the Jazz saying: if you make a mistake, make it again and it sounds deliberate.
Here you can see a performance by the girls with quite a few different electronic instruments and see if you can spot the AE Modular Synth Explorer!
Next Zoom meetup will be 21st January 2023. More details will be posted on the forum.
This will feature various installations where plants interface with electronics to make art. User @tomblane from our forum will present the Organa a Biodata Sonification module for Eurorack and AE Modular. You can find more information about the module here:
And you can sign up for the event here:
Superbooth, Berlin, 11th - 13th May 2023
Just putting the date in your calendars if you are planning to come to the world’s biggest synth event! Tangible waves will be there and we would love to meet you!
This was a quite unspectacular month and although there are always many orders outstanding and new modules to design, test and release, I took a few days off for a trip to Venice - an urgently needed break. The Biennale was in full swing and between espressos and cappuccinos I enjoyed all the wonderful things presented in the multitude of exhibitions with works from all over the world. The exhibition places alone are so amazing there! If you ever can make it, I recommend it! What would life be without art or music? For me at least it would make no sense at all! So in this case this trip gave me so much energy again that I can now positively look forward to the next few months of building synths for this amazing community.
The FILTERBANK914 module which was introduced in last month’s blog post is now available for purchase at the shop.
New Module Tease by Kyaa
Kyaa has been teasing his new module on Discord and at the last Zoom meetup. It is a multi purpose module which can be loaded with the Radio Music firmware (by Tom Whitwell) or the Prok drum synthesiser code from Prok Modular. This module has not yet been released for sale so check the forum for any news!
Music by the Community
AEtherwaves Vol. 4 - will be released on Friday, 3rd of November to coincide with Bandcamp Friday. The album will feature 33 completely new tracks made by members of our AE Modular Community. Again, all proceeds from album sales will be donated directly to the non profit organisation Musicians without Borders which is working with youth in war torn regions to overcome the trauma of violence with the help of making music. Once the album has been released, you can check it out at
Horror Films 2022 - This is a collaborative album of Horror tracks made in the spirit of Halloween! A few of our forum members have made tracks for this album. All proceeds go towards a non profit organisation Feeding America. Check it out here:
Megalithic Transport Network by @martynaudio - This album was also made completely with the AE Modular and explores classic Berlin School and Kosmische Musik. Check it out here:
Daisy by @thomblane - This beautiful EP was made completely with the AE Modular and is Thom’s debut on the forum. It is really quite the achievement. Check it out:
Raptor Mating Dance by @maydonpoliris - This is a new album release on Bandcamp with 12 tracks of his very unique and interesting style. Check it out: https://maydonpoliris.bandcamp.com/album/raptor-mating-dance
No Kooning by @krakenkraft - this little track sounds like it could belong on the Horror album above as it sounds a bit like a John Carpenter movie soundtrack.
Cccccccorona by @glitchyfrog - it’s rare, but always welcome to hear the sound of AE mixed with vocals even (or especially?) when it’s in German. https://forum.aemodular.com/thread/2285/ccccorona
Ghoulish Drummer by @pt3r - this is another horror inspired track from our drone master. This comes with a very stylish and mysterious video.
Vectrex and AE Modular jam by @frix - This is a cool short video with very cool drums and stunning visual effects. https://forum.aemodular.com/thread/2206/hello
All the modules by @mathias - This is a very melodic generative patch using most, if not all, modules in this 2x16 case. https://forum.aemodular.com/thread/2305/all-modules
Usug’s Rage by @reductionist_earth_catalog - A bit of banger with a catchy beat and inspired by a D&D game session which saw an Orc Barbarian take on two mighty Wyrms in a single round of combat: https://forum.aemodular.com/thread/2325/usugs-rage
#23 No Predictions - Try to build a patch that generates triggers and or gates as random as possible without resorting to the usual suspects, so no Noise module.
Show us your creativity.
#24 - Bread and Butter - Only ENVelopes and VCAs are allowed and some output so we can hear your creations. Perhaps a bit of FX to make the medicine go down? That's up to you.
#25 - There is no Spoon - create sound with “no input mixing”, but watch those feedbacks and don’t let them get out of control!
#26 - Ugly Ducklings - Build a patch with your most overlooked module and finally convince us all but mostly yourself of its usefulness.
Meetups and Events
Please put this date into your calendars as it will be the last meetup of this year, so we make it special! More information on the forum (you have to be logged in to access this post)
Wonkystuff at Synthfest UK
Apparently the Wonkystuff stand at this event was well received and surrounded by people interested in AE Modular and the tiny, colourful modules that Wonkystuff produces. Two new modules for the micro series were introduced: a Hihat and a Cowbell!
October AE Modular Zoom Meetup
The Zoom meetup was held on the 22nd October and this time there were 12 people present from all around the globe. A very special guest was Paula Maddox the creator of the wonderful WAVETABLES module which is loved dearly by everyone in the AE Modular community. She shared her experience of developing modules for different formats and how refreshingly easy it is to design a module for the AE format when compared to bigger formats like 5U.
Unfortunately things have not improved after the pandemic got mostly “under control”. Putin’s brutal war in Ukraine has not just caused incredible hardship to the people of Ukraine, but has led the whole world to the brink of a global recession and the repercussions of this are felt in almost every industry. Especially the volatility of currencies is making it very hard to budget and to keep a small business afloat, or even make a small profit.
So it is with a very heavy heart that I have decided to raise prices for all products again, even though it is going against everything that I believe in. After all, I founded this company with the promise of “Modular Synthesis for EVERYONE” especially for those who cannot otherwise afford the entry to making modular music. This means that I have two announcements:
1. The price increase of 15% for all products will come into effect on 1st of November 2022.
2. There will be a way to request a personal discount, if you cannot afford the increased prices.
The personal discount offers a pathway for anyone who feels strongly that they can not afford the increased prices and wishes to still participate in the modular world. There will be a special form on the website where you can request a discount for personal reasons. I hope that everyone who struggles financially, but wants to express themselves through modular electronic music, will contact me through this form, so that we can work out the best way to bring more music into these increasingly challenging times.
To all our customers, those that have been with us for years and those who have just ordered for the very first time, I want to express my sincere gratitude for your support, understanding and ideas. You are making this whole venture possible and meaningful and I couldn’t keep doing this without you.
I hope we will all get through this challenging period together and that you keep on making your incredible music while I’ll create more modules. There is a huge list of modules to build and I hope to share them with you over the next few years!
You may remember the mystery module which we showed in last month’s blog. Here is a picture of the real deal … It's modelled after the legendary Fixed Filter Bank 914 by Moog. There are 12 fixed frequencies (technically these are bandpass filters) which can be attenuated on the incoming signal and in addition the very low and very high ends of the signal can be controlled too. The filter bank works differently compared to a usual equalizer: In an equalizer, the signal bands can be attenuated or amplified by a certain amount (usually -12dB to +12dB) whereas the filter bank settings can attenuate the frequency bands completely to zero. It’s a great tool to focus / emphasise certain frequencies which is typical for acoustic instruments. Klaus Schulze said in an interview, he can create a human voice out of white noise through a filter bank :-)
Another nice feature of the FILTERBANK914 module is that there are separate outputs for the even/odd numbered bands, meaning you can use it to create a kind of pseudo stereo effect.
This module will soon be available in the shop.
Music made by the Community
Record your Music!
If you haven’t yet recorded your jams with the AE Modular and always wondered how to do this, or if you are a total pro and happy to share your workflow, please visit this thread and comment or ask questions about recording your AE Modular (and other gear):
AEtherwaves Vol. 4 Submissions by 20th October!!
The submission deadline for the 4th volume of our community album AEtherwaves is coming closer. Last year we had over 40 submissions, and it would be so amazing to replicate this again this year! More info here:
Halloween Compilation Submissions by 28th October!!
If you have another track in you (after your submitted one to AEtherwaves ;) ) you might want to send it to Aural Films to have it included in their Halloween Compilation. All proceeds from that album will go to a charity that helps US American families in need. Musicians from all genres will be submitting their music, so let’s get a few AE Modulars into the mix! More info here:
Exquisite Corpse still looking for parts!!
The Exquisite Corpse project started by @maydonpoliris is still open for submissions. This is a fun little experiment for when you just want to do a 20 second sound snippet. Get all the information here:
Patch Challenge #23 - No Predictions
After the first AE Modular Zoom meetup user @pt3r thought to rekindle interest in the fabulous patch challenges. If you are not familiar with them, they are little modular puzzles to make you think deeper about the possibilities of your modular and to stimulate your creativity by asking you gently to do things a bit differently than usually. This one is all about randomness without the usual random suspects (looking at you NOISE and RBSS). It's never to late to submit patch notes or a short performance. Check it out here:
As if to prepare for Halloween comes this horror track from our mast of the drone @pt3r .. Check it out at
Inspired by the “recording your music” thread @duddex uploaded his first song which features the DRONX, DRONE38 combo:
Laser Sun Drop
This acid ambience piece by @glitchyfrog is not only a great piece of AEmbient sound craft, but also started a healthy debate about noise gremlins in the AE Modular system and what to do to get rid of them…
Megalithic Transport Network
Go and grab this awesome new album from Martyn Stonehouse. It was recorded live using the AE Modular:
Live Jam from 101 Dolittle
Here is a nice dolittle jam from @101. Check out the cool suitcase which hosts and protects the AE Modular!
NOLS Live set in Bristol
This recording is from the Exchange in Bristol where @nols performed live and almost killed everyone in the audience with a murder bass sound. You should definitely watch this, but take care to to play this too loud!
AE Modular Debut Jam
This is not bad at all for a first try with the AE … user @frndo from Argentina shows off an interesting way to trigger video effects by hand:
3RGOT Collab Jam
Users @maydonpoliris and @pt3r are now probably the most prolific uploaders of original content on the forum. So it’s great to see them collaborating and mixing their individual styles into this ambient-glitch-techno-horror-scenario. We need more collabs!!
Gate to MIDI converter
User @reductionist-earth-catalog has shared this rather elaborate project in which a DIY module contains an Arduino Nano which sends incoming CV/Gates via USB to a USB host which then converts those to MIDI signals. There is enough hardware hacking and software fiddling to keep you occupied for a few days!
Meetups and Events
First Online AE Modular Meetup was a success!
On Saturday 24th September was the very first AE Modular online meetup via Zoom. There were 9 people from a wide variety of time zones, some had their morning coffee, some afternoon tea while toasted with an evening beer! The meeting went for close to 2 hours and was thoroughly enjoyed by all. You can read more about it in this thread on the forum:
(sorry you have to be a logged in member of the forum to read the post!)
8th October - UK Synthfest with Wonkystuff!!
This year's UK Synthfest will host @namke aka Wonkystuff as an exhibitor! If you're nearby (or even on the same isle) then definitely go and visit him!
22nd October - Second AE Modular Online Meeting
This will happen again via Zoom at 8pm UTC. Please see more info in this thread on the forum (only visible to forum members):
While the situation with the chip shortage is still somewhat problematic, we are not too bad off and, except for the O&C and the Cirrus, we are able to produce all our modules and can fulfil all orders. In that regard we are really lucky especially when looking at a few other synth manufacturers who are struggling much more or even had to close their business.
The current energy crisis which has been caused by the Ukraine invasion by Russia is coming more and more into focus, especially here in Germany. This has given me even more incentive to work on the solar power/battery module which I talked about in the last blog. It’s not quite finished yet, but here are some photos of a working prototype. Please let me know what you think of it.
Next to the Micro:bit module below you can see another module which I'm currently working on. I won't tell you what it is, can you guess?
Shortly after our introduction of the Micro Module format John from Wonkystuff has announced his first two ⅓ sized modules for sale. You can buy these directly from his web shop at https://wonkystuff.net/ae-modular/
The first is the BD55 kick drum module which is modelled after the Roland DR-55 drum computer. The other module is the RS-55 rimshot module which is again modelled after the RD-55 drum machine.
TODAY is Bandcamp Friday, so please make sure you purchase something from the catalogue of our esteemed AE Modular artists. In addition to the releases below you can check out the list of artists on our wiki and visit their bandcamp pages:
New user @luk is a very accomplished Jazz musician and has released this album which features the AE Modular together with a Jazz trio!
@funbun aka Warrior Lures has released another really interesting albums - The Void. Check it out:
Mr. Fritz going by the username @frix has made this catchy jam with his huge double system:
Our resident drone master @pt3r was recently on holidays and took only the Blackbox sampler full of AE samples. This is what came of it:
Here is a wonderful collaboration between @maydonpoliris and @pol now going by the name Beaucarnea. The album is fabulous and definitely worth the purchase on Bandcamp Friday:
And here is a very trippy video for one of the tracks:
User @davidchang aka Nublo Roboten has been working a lot with his AE Modular and has now released another fantastic Bandcamp album and accompanying video:
This video is from one of Nublo Roboten’s live shows:
And last, but not least, this very bubbly video was made by @nols using the AE Modular, Volca FM and the Strega:
“Sometimes I make flutes out of Bamboo”. What reads like a promising introduction to a Hemingway novel has been posted by user @chuck together with this photo of a beautiful bamboo flute … but we should really point out the amazing AE Modular Keyboard case in the upper right corner. Now that is a thing of beauty!
But back to flutes … this whole thread is of course about Karplus Strong algorithms and the amazing insight by @pt3r that this can be achieved by the MultiFX and a noise module - Wow! Read on here:
Meetups and Events
Knobcon in Chicago, US will happen this month from 9th to 11th September and AE Modular will be presented by Toms aka Kyaa with some help by Noisebug. So if you are anywhere near Chicago on those dates, then please go say hello to Toms!
The last two months have been challenging. You’ve heard me write this a few times now over the years, but it’s true, operating a small manufacturing business is quite a challenging thing and sometimes the problems tend to become overwhelming, especially in these crazy times. We’ve had to deal with illness, delays in receiving parts from China and lately the soaring US Dollar (or falling Euro?). We are now paying almost 20% more for parts than before, however we’ve decided to not pass this extra cost on to our customers. The wait list still stretches back to orders from May, but we’ve again re-organised our production workflow and are quickly catching up. As always, we are very grateful for the patience and support of our customers!
Those challenges notwithstanding, we are as happy as ever to create synth modules and to see how they are being used by our incredibly creative community!
Good News and bad News
The HEARTBEAT module was advertised a bit too early and it took me a very long time to finish the firmware, but it is now finally done and all orders will be shipped as soon as possible! This taught us a very valuable lesson to never again promise a module again before it’s not absolutely complete and ready to ship!
Inspired by the current energy crisis which is the result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, I have been thinking about energy consumption and have started development on a solar power / accumulator module! More info on this once it gets past the prototype stage.
The KUZMIN Filter has sold reasonably well and we have been able to donate close to 1500 Euro to UNICEF to help children who are affected by the war in Ukraine.
The ORNAMENT & CRIME module is currently on hold. Due to the global chip shortage, we have not been able to source any more Teensy 3.2 boards, which are absolutely essential for this module. This means that for the time being, we can’t produce those anymore!
After the announcement at Superbooth in May, I had to change the layout of the base and micro modules a bit and now finally the boards have arrived ready from production. The following modules are now available for purchase from our online shop - a whopping 14 new modules! (ok, some are shrunk versions of existing AE modules, but anyway…)
You can order these modules now in our shop.
I'm also thinking about a case for one row of these micro modules in the usual case widths that can be attached the same way as cases are already connected, via the hinge kit. Let me know what you think about this idea!
- µBASE- this is the base module needed to host either three ⅓ sized or two ½ sized modules
- µ2MIX - a tiny mixer with 3 attenuated channels and 4 fixed channels (at the moment the only ½-sized module)
- µOR2x4 - same as the existing AE module shrunk to ⅓ size
- µ2SIGAMP - same as the 2SIGNALAMP module, shrunk to ⅓ size
- µ2VCA - a dual VCA
- µ4BUFFER - this is an active buffered multiple, great for distributing clock signals and CV's without loss of voltage
- µ4LOGIC - same functionality as the LOGIC module in ⅓ of the size
- µATTENUVERTER - adjust signal level inverting/non-inverting plus offset; perfect for CV shaping
- µBITCRUSHER - digitising and bit-reducing + variable sample rate
- µDISTORTION - a diode based distortion with different modes
- µLFO - a tiny LFO with wave selection and PWM
- µPROBAGATE - switches between two channels according to a probability gate
- µSH-RNDM-NOISE - a sample & hold plus noise/random CV source
- µSUBOCTAVE - lets you mix 1 and 2 sub octaves to the incoming oscillator signal
- µTONE - control highs and lows with this tiny module
Just a reminder, that both Wonkystuff and Keurslagerkurt are currently developing their own micro modules which will fit into this base system! Stay tuned for their announcements!
AEtherwaves on Internet Radio
This internet radio show dedicated 2 hours of play time to showcase the awesome tracks made by our community for the AEtherwaves Albums. This is a great way to reacquaint yourself with a collection of the songs from all 3 albums:
The Demo Patch - This is Robert himself playing the “Demo Patch” at Superbooth 2022
Superbooth Interviews - Not really music, but The 5th Volt has interviewed various members of the AE Modular community while at Superbooth and you can see all those interviews in this playlist:
Ole Cane Pole - a new album by @funbun which is a collection of tracks which were originally made for the Black Warrior Lures YouTube channel. Imagine yourself on a boat on a river with a fishing rod … https://blackwarriorlures.bandcamp.com/album/ole-cane-pole
Live set by @madonpoliris - this was presented at a meetup in Wollongong, Australia:
Threnody for Titan - This one is a collaboration of our two most prolific artists. @pt3r and @maydonpoliris. True to their form it is both interestingly weird and extremely atmospheric! https://forum.aemodular.com/thread/2180/threnody-titan-collab-maydonpoliris
River of Electrons / Embodied Synthesis #1 - A debut from our newest artist on the forum @interstar: https://forum.aemodular.com/thread/2179/river-electrons-embodied-synthesis-1
Open Mic in York - This is a live performance at the Electronic Open Mic in York by our very own @namke aka Wonkystuff! https://forum.aemodular.com/thread/2175/open-mic-york
Open Mic in Salt Lake City - This a short excerpt from a live performance by @matthewd: https://forum.aemodular.com/thread/2172/second-open-mic
Starter Rack 2 Jam - @maydonpoliris showing what can be done with “just” a starter rack 2! Pretty impressive stuff! https://forum.aemodular.com/thread/2163/starter-rack-2-jam
Wellen unserer Zeit - a music video of spoken word (in German) and sounds made with the AE Modular … very mysterious and very beautiful track made by @glitchyfrog: https://forum.aemodular.com/thread/2134/wellen-unserer-zeit-waves-time
Of sweet Dorian - it’s great to hear from @chmeee5 again, this time with this “banger” recorded with Bandlab: https://forum.aemodular.com/thread/2159/sweet-dorian
Vanishing tower - This is a beautiful duet between a bass guitar and the AE Modular by @101: https://forum.aemodular.com/thread/2142/vanishing-tower
4COMP - This is a new module made by @pt3r who is our master drone expert (see and hear his new soundscapes above). Hopefully he will make this module available for sale at some time!
This project came from a very rich discussion thread about the comparator circuit and how to build it on a breadboard:
You can also hear the 4COMP module in action in this drone called “Rectified” https://forum.aemodular.com/thread/2164/4comp-rectifier
Mixer Comparison - This is not a hardware project, but a great resource for anyone who may be confused by the many different mixer modules of the AE Modular. This is a great comparison matrix made by our Wiki Master @pol:
Filter Comparison - Again the works of @pol this sheet gives you a comparative overview of the different filters of the AE Modular system:
Meetups and Events
Hopefully we will see some kind of AE Modular presence at these upcoming events. If you plan to go to any of these events and would like support with presenting AE at the event then please contact us!
Leeds Synth Fest - Leeds, UK, August 14th
This meetup has free entry and is organised by DivKid. If you’re nearby, you should definitely try to attend! More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/460328272613452/
Knobcon - Chicago, USA, September 9th - 11th https://www.knobcon.com/
This year we will have Toms aka Kyaa manning a booth at Kobcon and showcasing the AE Modular and his own amazing modules! If you’re in the area, please visit him and say hello!
Synthfest UK - Sheffield, UK, October 8th https://www.synthfest.co.uk/
Please make sure to visit John at his desk with Wonkystuff and say hello when you're in the area!
Robert Langer, founder of tangible waves. Here, I will share some thoughts, background infos and news about AE modular and tangible waves.