Hey all! I just sunk my bonus into an AEM system, and I couldn't be more excited. I'm relatively new to the modular scene, but I fell head over heels in love with it all about a year ago. I've been playing with programs like VCV Rack to get a grasp of how modular works, and I discovered AEM a few days ago, and after lurking on the community a bit and listening to some of the stuff you guys have created, I was hooked. I picked up the Starter Rack 2, as well as a couple more modules and another case.
I was looking for some advice. I know that orders have been delayed recently (glad to hear Robert is doing better now), so I wanted to use the time between now and whenever my order comes in (I am all for waiting for a quality product!) to familiarize myself with the physical aspect of the system. The main drawback of using mostly computer programs when it comes to playing with modular is I have no concept of how to swap modules, how to add new cases, etc. I bought what I assume are all the necessary parts, but I don't know how to actually put everything together yet, and I'm not sure how intuitive it will be when I actually get the system in the mail here in a few months.
Anyway, that's pretty much it. Thanks for your help!
Actually, you're already doing the right things. Since VCV is designed to emulate(ish) the Eurorack environment, playing with the simpler modules on VCV as a prelude to working with the AE makes a lot of sense. Try coming up with a VCV template that is set up similarly to the incoming AE gear, and that should be a decent head-start.
As for adding to an AE system, that's stoopid-easy thanks to Robert's bus-link setup on the current cases. Just get a case, connect the link ribbon, add the link bracket hardware, and there you are! The rule of thumb for the MASTER module's current output is that you should be able to power two 2x20 cabs from a single MASTER. Swapping modules is just a matter of connecting the flying bus and bolting the new module in...and since all AE modules use that same bus (there's no errant 10-pin connections here, unlike Eurorack), it's pretty difficult to screw up.
Just remember: everything is 0V - +5V here. No negative voltages, nothing over 5V, if you want to link the AE to anything outside w/o the use of the MASTER, 4I/O, or a device such as the Nanobridge.
That's all great to hear!! I'll probably do what you suggested in building a VCV Rack based on what I have coming, for whatever reason, I didn't even think of doing that to get an idea of what I could do. As far as hooking up modules, it's relieving to hear it's so easy. I know Robert made all this really simple to pick up, kudos to him on that. I'm glad to hear it's even easier than I first thought it would be. I ended up getting the Starter Rack 2 and a single case and the link hardware, as well as the RACKLINK modules just in case, but if I understand you correctly, I shouldn't need the RACKLINKs just yet, which is also good to hear.
Good eye, it's a tin of 2012 McClelland's Christmas Cheer, if I remember correctly. The icon is from Thanksgiving a year-ish ago, I may actually still have more for this holiday season lol.