I never thought that being in a hardware business is hard. In fact I never thought about being in a hardware business at all! This whole AE thing started out as a crazy idea which somehow got traction on Kickstarter and it just developed and grew and took over my life. Since mid 2018 I am working full time at tangible waves and since then I’ve been joined by a great team of staff who are working diligently at producing modules, assembling racks and getting orders out of the door. Who would have thought that we would be faced by this century’s most challenging times just as we got really started? We had our ups and downs over the last few years and currently things are a bit more challenging than before and I have to apologise again to everyone who is still waiting for their deliveries … Things have been a bit shaken up over the last few months due to personal issues, but we are still working as hard as we can (even on weekends) to whittle down the immense backlog.
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!
Even though the order backlog is a constant pressure on my conscience, I just can’t help myself - I just have to make new modules! Following the sad demise of the CIRRUS module due to the global chip shortage I’ve been working for months on a replacement. I’ve also thought about new ways to mount the increasingly popular micro modules.
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.
(The boards are currently in production, so the module will be actually ready for shipping at the end of January.)
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.
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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!
Robert Langer, founder of tangible waves. Here, I will share some thoughts, background infos and news about AE modular and tangible waves.