Tangible Waves has announced a new series of their AE Modular system designed for schools and STEM education. Synth Explorer will come with extensive documentation for teachers.
Teaching synthesis just got a lot easier, affordable and more hands-on with the AE Modular Synth Explorer. Realistically how many schools can afford banks of Eurorack modular to help students unlock the potential of synthesis in the classroom? The AE Modular system makes it a real possibility with prices starting at around €400 or less if bought in quantities. It uses its own format that’s both smaller and cheaper than Eurorack which can be seen as a disadvantage but there’s no compromise in sound or functionality and the affordability of the system makes it perfect for education.
The features of a single modular system are never going to fulfil the needs of every classroom or the ambition of the teachers and so Tangible Waves have a menu of options that get increasingly complex. But what’s remarkable to me is how fully featured even the Synth Explorer BASIC system is. I was expecting a single synth voice but this has 2 full synth voices with an 8-step sequencer, built-in oscilloscope, delay effects and headphone amp for 2 headphones. It’s as if they really thought about how it would work in an educational context!
Other systems bring in a breadboard for experimentation, quantizers for musical composition, more filters, drum machines, MIDI interfaces and more. All but the ULTIMATE system has room for expansion so you can add more modules as you go.
Curating a working system like this is so necessary when encouraging education to give something unique and complex a chance in a school environment. Tangible Waves has done an impressive lot of work here and I hope the comprehensive manual lives up to the potential of what this could offer.
Tangible Waves presented this idea at an event back in May but at Superbooth this year you’ll get a chance to check the systems out in booth W450.