This new synth from AE Modular could be the cheapest modular system yet

AE Modular (abused electronics) is a new modular system that has just been launched on Kickstarter by Tangible Waves.

The system isn't your conventional Eurorack modular, as it uses a format with a smaller imprint (about 10 x 2.5 cm).

The project started out as a Lunetta-style synth, based on the work of the late Stanley Lunetta, whose synths were based on (mis)using digital logic chips for creating sound.

The system also dispenses with minijack patching, using patch-wires and pin-sockets instead, so costs can be dramatically reduced and space saved.

The system is available on Kickstarter now, with prices starting at €385 (plus shipping) for a system that features 14 modules.

AE Modular modules in detail

  • MASTER, I/O: The master module with power supply, Input/output jacks (1/8" mono minijack) for audio and control voltages and MIDI-Input (via a breakout cable). MIDI works either omni or on channel 1. MIDI Clock/Start/Stop are provided via the bus to the modules; same with CV/Gate for Notes and one Controller.
  • 2OSC: 2 Oscillators with Squarewave, Triangle and Sync outputs, Sync and CV input
  • NOISE: A noise generator (white noise, digitally based with variable frequency)
  • FILTER: A filter with lowpass/bandpass/highpass output, adjustable frequency and resonance (Wasp type)
  • ENV: An AD type envelope (Attack/Decay) with switchable Sustain and two time ranges
  • 2VCA: A dual voltage-controlled amplifier for controlling signal levels or modulating control voltages
  • LFO: modulation oscillator with squarewave (adjustable pulsewidth), triangle or falling sawtooth output, two time ranges
  • 2S&H: A dual Sample&Hold module, for creating random or stepped control voltages
  • 2ATT/CV: For attenuating control voltages or as voltage source
  • MIXER4-4: A mixer for signals or control voltages with four adjustable inputs and additional four "full-level" inputs.
  • DELAY: A delay with a lo-fi, analog character
  • LOGIC: Combines two inputs by different logic rules (AND, NAND, XOR); for rhythmic patterns and also interesting for audio signals (gives ringmodulator-like sounds)
  • STEP10: A trigger sequencer with up to 10 steps, for creating gate patterns
Simon Arblaster
Video Producer & Reviews Editor

I take care of the reviews on MusicRadar and Future Music magazine, though can sometimes be spotted in front of a camera talking little sense in the presence of real musicians. For the past 30 years, I have been unable to decide on which instrument to master, so haven't bothered. Currently, a lover of all things high-gain in the guitar stakes and never one to resist churning out sub-standard funky breaks, the likes of which you'll never hear.