Introducing the SynthExplorer
We love synthesis, the electronic music you can create with it and of course modular synthesizers, which are so flexible and can adapt so easily to any creative mood and form. So naturally we thought of how to encourage and excite young people and kids to kick start their creative journey into music with this amazing instrument. After talking to a few music teachers and some brainstorming we came up with a small collection of modules that would be ideal to teach children (and any beginners) the basics of synthesis and even other concepts from a modern STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) curriculum. This led to the concept of a basic SynthExplorer system with a series of possible upgrades to target those different concepts. This system will be sold at a generous discount to schools or similar organisations who teach music to kids or young adults. But the hardware is only one part of the concept, the other is the Handbook, the curriculum, which will help teachers understand the possibilities of this product and how to integrate it into their lesson plans. For this we got in contact with Jordan from SynthsForKids, who runs workshops for kids in the beautiful forests of Oregon. We are also in contact with a few other similar organisations from various parts of the world and we hope that in partnership with such a dedicated and diverse group we will create a music curriculum which is unique and approachable for teachers and students anywhere.
And after months of brainstorming and waiting the very first model of the SynthExplorer was sent to Carsten (aka The5thVolt) to be presented in Australia at a local synth meetup near Sydney. Here you can watch the presentation in full:
We hope to officially offer these systems and a first version of the basic curriculum by August ‘21 and are always happy for any messages of interest, questions or ideas. Please send those to firstname.lastname@example.org.
IMPORTANT - Price increases from 12th of July
For almost 4 years the prices in our shop have stayed stable and true to our motto: “Modular synth affordable for everyone!”
However, the shortages and increasing cost of microchips and other electronic components are taking a toll on the bottom line and we have to adjust the prices of our products for this new market situation.
Therefore we will increase all prices by 5%-8% from the 12th of July. That includes the Starter Systems, individual modules and all accessories. Some modules which use now rare microchips will see an even higher increase, eg. the Wavetables and other microprocessor-based modules.
So if you like our old prices, you still have 4 weeks to put your order in at that cheaper rate.
No new products in the shop, but definitely some new products next month. We are looking forward to bringing the following new modules in July:
A very simple, but useful module for performing. There are 6 inputs, outputs and switch buttons that will mute the outputs (click-free!) when pressed. The buttons are very soft, high-quality and illuminated to show the status.
This is a precision CV adder which you can use to easily transpose pitch sequences which tracks 1 Volt per octave. This is a single adder which adds easy octave transposition by one or two octaves or a free interval..
These are two precision adders that work like the single one above, but don’t feature the octave transposition.
This is a very cool VU meter with real tubes! It looks great and definitely will make everyone come over and talk to you if you bring this to a synth meet!
@slowscape got it right and put the puzzle together, congratulations! This is probably the most anticipated module which will come out in a while. A clone of Clouds from Mutable Instruments, however with the Microcell alternative firmware installed which adds many more features to the original granular and reverb effects. Unfortunately this will also become the most expensive module in the entire AE Modular range which is due to the current price inflation and global supply shortage of microchips. You may have heard that due to COVID and other factors some chips are now very hard to get and the STM chip that is used in Cirrus is one of those. Fortunately we have secured a good batch of them before they went completely out of stock at our supplier’s.
More MI Clones?
Which MI clone would you like to see next? Leave a comment in the forum: https://forum.aemodular.com/thread/1491/new-blog-2021-synths-kids
Pink Patch Wires
Soon all lengths of patch wires will also be available in pink! Just to make a statement!
Third Party Products
BioT from Wonkystuff and Hotair Productions
John and Matt have got together and produced a true work of art with this module that sold out on both their stores within 12 hours of release! Let’s hope they brew a new batch soon.
This module adds touch plate connections and funky aliens to your rack, but you have to build it yourself, which, with only 24 solder connections, is really super simple!
You can find more info at the Wonkystuff store: https://wonkystuff.net/product/biot-kit/
And on the Hot Air Bandcamp page: https://smallrocks.bandcamp.com/album/biot-touch-plate-demonstration-record
Cable Hangers from Flavorwave
Jason sent us a batch from the US so that they can be more easily shipped to our European customers and they will soon be available in the tangible waves shop.
Music made by the Community
As always, the community didn’t rest and gave their collective AE Modules a solid workout. Good to see a steady stream of good tracks from the regulars and also first pieces from new members. And this should really be an encouragement to all those that are coming new to AE Modular or synthesis or even completely new to music making: You’re learning new things, don’t be afraid, your “mistakes” are your style. Just keep patching and post your stuff!
Dark Ambient First Album
@jubin is relatively new to the forum and has posted this gritty, dark ambient to bandcamp. The AE modular plays a big role in it and so does a Korg Volca. https://forum.aemodular.com/thread/1474/peur-du-noir
AEM + Bastl Kastle Drum - Acid Jam
@101 shows us how it’s done. Apparently “It is like trying to herd cats when your jamming with it. You can get something good going - only to trash it with the slightest tweak.” Listen for yourself https://forum.aemodular.com/thread/1446/aem-bastl-kastle-drum-acid
New Album on Bandcamp - Murmurs
By @pt3r who consistently amazes us with ambient soundscapes and beautiful albeit dark imagery. Check it out: https://deofol.bandcamp.com/album/murmurs
Slow Moving Water
@slowscape used found sound and found visuals to create this relaxing ambient track: https://forum.aemodular.com/thread/1480/ambient-session-slow-moving-water
Found Sound Techno from Foxermod
M.J. Hood has released a new EP on Soundcloud which uses a lot of found sound and the AE to glue it all together. Check it out: https://forum.aemodular.com/thread/1465/ae-sounds-new-track
Ambient with new 5 step module
@keurslagerkurt has done it again and not only created a new module prototype, but then made a compelling piece with it: https://forum.aemodular.com/thread/1460/ambient-patch-new-steps-module
Night of the Yowie and Driving along the M1
@maydonpoliris posted these two awesome tracks that feature the AE Modular and a few Korg Volcas. It’s cool, funky and bit scary and you should check it out: https://forum.aemodular.com/thread/1455/todays-jam-track
Show off your Rack
Here are pictures from AE Modular systems that have their own very special make up!
@gaetan has beautifully hand drawn designs all over the blank panels in his rack.
@lutzjak has put his AE Modular into a nuclear glowing spy briefcase
This is an inverting amplifier made with only the BRAEDBOARD and the components that come with it. A great first project, check it out: https://forum.aemodular.com/thread/1477/braedboard-project-triangle-buddy-inverting
World Drone Day - 29th May 2021
This is to celebrate not those pesky flying monsters, but those loooong ambient sounds that take you in and make you dream. Hundreds of musicians around the world are streaming or playing live on this day. You can find more at the official homepage: https://droneday.org/
There may be a few AE Modular members showing off their droning skills, check it out on the thread here: https://forum.aemodular.com/thread/1444/world-drone-day-29th-2021
Robert Langer, founder of tangible waves. Here, I will share some thoughts, background infos and news about AE modular and tangible waves.