In preparation for this blog post I've reviewed my December posts from the last few years and it seems to me that for all the daily and weekly ups and downs, life at tangible waves hasn't changed all that much. It all goes back to this day, the 16th of December 2016, when I started the Kickstarter campaign which was so successful and has led me to this path which I've now been travelling on for 7 years. Every year has been with its own challenges: always more orders than we can fulfil in a reasonable time, always personal challenges with health and other vagaries of running a small business in Germany. But at the same time I have been infused with incredible happiness and the feeling of how lucky I am to be able to do what I love and for the overwhelming support and positive feedback I receive from you, the amazing AE Modular community.
Everytime I see a video or listen to a track posted on the forum is a confirmation that I'm doing the right thing and that any problems I have to overcome are worth it. You know that I love designing modules and tinkering with new prototypes, but that alone wouldn't carry me through as much as seeing the way the community is embracing it and supporting not just me, but each other in such a beautiful way.
Over the years, the number and variety of modules has grown incredibly and while the 3rd party modules have not just increased in number, but also have impressed me with their incredible quality, I felt that I also had to step up my game. I've hinted about a renewed push towards better quality, more durable components and much needed revisions of existing modules before, but today I've made the greatest step so far: From today, all modules will be offered by default with the black faceplates at no extra cost to you. (The grey faceplates will remain as an option however, for those who want to keep their system's “classic” look ).
As you will see below, we will now also start selling the new Quick Swap Case, which was developed over almost 2 years by Toms aka Kyaa. This case, while necessarily much more expensive than our standard cases, is showing a glimpse of the future for AE Modular. The incredible quality, durability and versatility is unmatched, not just for AE Modular, but for any modular format! It will forever change how people will plan and use their systems, at home in their studio or on the road in live situations. I am incredibly thankful to Toms for sharing this invention with me and our collaboration to bring this to the wider community.
Another incredibly exciting development which comes from a collaboration with John aka Wonkystuff is the development of a new MIDI format. First developed by John and currently on sale in his store are the new breed of modules which transmit and read MIDI data via a normal patch cable. This seemingly simple paradigm is so powerful that it, too, will change the use of AE Modular in the future immensely. John, me and Mathias are collaborating to make this new “MIDI via patch cable” a much more integrated part of the AE Modular system and the types of modules which this enables will be truly mind boggling! Watch this space!
The interaction between tangible waves and the 3rd party creators is just as open, respectful and marked foremost by the love to share knowledge and to support each other as it is in all AE Modular community channels. And next year this will culminate in a truly Inception-like twist when we will present together at the Superbooth with our own (Sup)AE Booth which will include tangible waves, Kyaa, Wonkystuff, Keurslager Kurt and hopefully others!
It seems impossible that each year will bring a new superlative, but I think that in the AE Modular community with its friendly and open spirit of discovery and invention, nothing is impossible!
Wishing you all a Happy Christmas and a wonderful start in the new year 2024!
Happy Christmas Discount
We are offering a 10% discount on all orders from today until the end of the year with the following code:
(This code is valid from today until 31st of December 2023)
Quick Swap Case
This case was designed by Toms aka Kyaa and is now being licensed and produced by us here in our workshop at tangible waves. This makes it much easier to sell and distribute globally. The case is made of very strong aluminium with a black, matte finish. If you haven't seen the video in which Toms has introduced the case at Superbooth in May, please watch it here:
The Quick Swap cases come in all variants of 3 widths (12, 16, 20) and 4 heights (1-row … 4-row); additionally, cases can be combined via an ingenious connector board that does not only the mechanical connection but also connects the power supply.
Please note that not all modules fit into this case, especially a few older ones and some 3rd party modules. Most importantly the old Master module will not fit and needs to be replaced with the newest version (see below). We will adapt all modules to be QS case compatible; promised!
Please go to the individual product pages in our online shop for:
And here is just one more teaser of a prototype for a handle for even more versatility of the QS case.
New MASTER R5 Module
Mainly because the previous revisions didn't fit into the Quick Swap Case, we're releasing a new version of the Master Module which will not only fit into the new case but also adds a new set of DIP switches for decoupling MIDI signals from the bus.
If you have bought a Master module within the last 12 months, you can order the new module version at a discount of 25%. Please get in touch with us to get your discount.
You can buy the new Master module from our shop.
This module is perfect for live performances as it gives you 6 push buttons that send triggers. It's great for starting a sample on SAMPLYR, advancing or resetting a sequence on SEQ8/16 or playing finger drums.
You can buy the 6TRIGBUTTON from our online shop.
New Micro Modules
We are continuing on our journey to make everything smaller! The latest batch of micro modules are:
You can purchase these now in our shop.
The first revision of our tiny mixer was a total hit, especially with musicians who love to make music with the Volca instruments from Korg. Unfortunately some of the Volcas would be quite noisy when powered via the DC outputs from the VMIX-10 which lead to the introduction of the noise blocker cable (which we no longer produce). This new revision of the VMIX-10 features specially designed DC isolating circuits on the 4 power outputs which eliminates the noise issue when used with the Volcas.
You can buy the new R2 version of the VMIX-10 in our online shop.
The SAMPLYR module is by far the most complex digital module which we've designed ourselves here at tangible waves and we admit that there may still be a few quirks which will only become apparent once enough people are playing with it. Therefore we will soon release a small device plus a comfortable updater software which you can use to upload new firmwares from your PC to the SAMPLYR module using a USB cable.
RSKT's Video Library
Rhys aka RSKT is incredibly productive and releases his online video tutorials quicker than we can watch them! They are incredibly thorough and entertaining. Each video comes with sound demos which could be full music tracks in their own right. Hats off to Rhys, he has certainly raised the bar for AE Modular tutorials a mile high and his influence on the community, especially to newcomers is invaluable.
There's now a dedicated sub board on the forum for his announcements:
You can of course also go straight to his videos on his YouTube channel:
Analog by @aditivienna is an incredible debut album, made with a whole room full of cool gear, but a big part was the AE Modular system. This album is "an adventure", full of chiptune wonder and a surprising final track which reveals everything! You should definitely check it out and send some $$$ - it's Christmas after all!
Deep Waters by @runningin is a beautiful droning creation which is quite fitting for the season with its chorus of bells. A great use of the TBD and CIRRUS modules!
Black Warrior Lures on TV!! This is predominantly a documentary about his life and work as a fisherman on the Black Warrior river in Alabama. However it is underlaid with Damon's usual intricately arranged synth lines which he performs live on the river bank. Watch the TV clip here: https://video.aptv.org/video/black-warrior-lures-ibg1ax/
Some Mo' Dorian by Black Warrior Lures is inspired by the above TV shoot and subsequent live performance, but with a bit more polish from a controlled studio environment. It's beautiful album and you should check it out:
Pursuit of Doctrines by @solipsistnation is a drone with RAINS clangs:
AE+TAPE=TAEP? by Keurslager Kurt. This thread features two recordings made with the same recording setup but different synths. This is K playing on his softer, more ambient side, which we love just as much as his jumping Techno tracks!
MINLM by @pt3r!! Can we just all agree that there is no artist on the AE Modular forum who produces more music on a continuous basis than Peter? He gifts us with so many different sounds and genres, it's like it's Christmas every day! This is his most recent album of all one-patch-no-daw tracks.
It's all about cases this month! @georgemuralkh took matters into his own hands and promptly designed these beautiful 3D printed cases. As you can see by the length of this thread, it garnered a lot of attention already. Not sure if the files will be released soon, so watch this space! https://forum.aemodular.com/thread/2968/3d-printed-cases-prototypes
It's also all about the GRAINS! A veritable explosion of new GRAINS firmwares has happened not quite overnight, but in an incredibly short time all thanks to Sean aka @feijal who apparently has nothing better to do than to plumb the depths of what's possible with the GRAINS. So far there are 22 new firmwares available from @feijal's code repository. You can also follow the discussion here: https://forum.aemodular.com/board/24
Events and Meetups
This year's final meetup was held on Saturday 2nd of December 2023 and was a great success once again.
Next year we will experiment with different alternating days so hopefully we will be able to attract people who could not join the weekend meeting. The idea is to have the meeting on a Weekday one month and on the Saturday the next month.
Please visit the forum for more information and future meeting dates.
Robert Langer, founder of tangible waves. Here, I will share some thoughts, background infos and news about AE modular and tangible waves.