We have come a long way since the last Superbooth in 2019. Not only are there now over 70 modules available in the online store, but a few indie developers have started creating their own module lines which are compatible with the formfactor which is much smaller than Eurorack and allows cheaper production costs. Our team has grown as well to tackle the steadily growing list of orders which are all still handled in the beautiful small Bavarian town of Murnau.
Notable module creations, which can be inspected in person at Superbooth, are the CIRRUS, a clone of Mutable Instruments’ Clouds, WAVETABLES, a wavetable oscillator which is a collaboration project with Paula Maddox from Dove Audio, METER which provides an oscilloscope among other functions and a complete 18 voice drone oscillator.
The main stars at this year’s Superbooth however are the Synth Explorer education system and the AE TBD, a brand new, programmable multi-function module for sound generation and -processing.
The AE TBD (“to be determined”) is based on the ESP32 chip which is very powerful. The module is made to run the open source firmware CTAG-TBD developed by the Creative Technologies AG of Kiel University in Germany.
Currently the firmware includes 50(!) plugins which include a huge variety of sound generators, filters and effects. The module can connect to a PC running Windows, Linux, or MacOSX via a USB cable and the many parameters for each plugin can then be adjusted in real time via a web interface and stored as favourites back to the module for standalone performance. The module has 2 CV and 2 trigger inputs which can be mapped to any parameter via the web interface. In addition the module has two knobs and two trigger buttons which can also be freely assigned to any parameter or function on a given plugin.
The firmware contains plugins which are based on open source code by Mutable Instruments: TBDings, TBDaids and Claude (Their web interface is inspired by their Eurorack counterparts Braids, Plaits and Clouds)
But there are also completely new and unique fully featured synthesizers all within this tiny package:
The firmware also includes a very sophisticated sample player (Rompler). Up to 60 seconds of audio samples can be uploaded to the module via the USB connection.
A full list of all included plugins can be found here.
A small, but very dedicated and friendly community of open source software developers is constantly expanding the available plugins and since it is based on C++ and a very well thought out framework, it is relatively easy for new developers to come up with new plugins.
Initially the TBD platform was only available for Eurorack, developed and currently sold by another small start-up, Instruments of Things. Through a licensing agreement this amazingly versatile module is now also part of the AE Modular family of modules. There are only two main differences between the AE TBD and its Eurorack counterpart: The AE module is in mono and offeres only USB connectivity, not WIFI.
Please see the dedicated page on the AE Modular community forum for news, demo videos and soundbites about the TBD for AEM: https://forum.aemodular.com/post/13652/thread
Robert Langer, founder of tangible waves. Here, I will share some thoughts, background infos and news about AE modular and tangible waves.