New Serge Modulars

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
User avatar
cebec
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 4:26 pm
Location: Alexandria, VA

Post by cebec » Wed Feb 20, 2008 9:22 pm

Hi,
Scroll all the way to the bottom. The ones listed on this page are what will be available first. Pretty much everything in the 'old' STS catalog will be available, eventually.

http://www.serge-fans.com/m-class.html

Regarding format, I'm not sure how to answer that. How about: Yes and no :lol:

Note on the oscillators: The core has been completely redesigned and upgraded with custom 'audiophile' ICs and a new frequency compensation network. I've been told, but have yet to hear for myself, that there's an additional 'three dimensionality' to their sound, and that they maintain 'focus and clarity all the way through the entire bandwidth'. We should have some samples in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, you can check out my modest virb page for STS Serge-only noodles, etc.:
http://www.virb.com/cebec

User avatar
carbon111
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 722
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 10:15 am
Band: Carbon111
Location: Pacific Northwest
Contact:

Post by carbon111 » Wed Feb 20, 2008 9:29 pm

Edit: Cebec, you beat me to it! :D

It is a new format with its own chassis (the M-boats) with dedicated power distribution and a new power supply. However, it is completely compatible electrically with the old serge panels.

Regular oscillators will be available in the new format:

Triple Osc:
Image
Best Regards, James
--
My New album "Persephone":

Carbon111 Website: http://www.carbon111.com

Carbon111 Blog: http://carbon111.blogspot.com

chamomileshark
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 357
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2006 6:00 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Post by chamomileshark » Wed Feb 20, 2008 11:30 pm

It looks fantastic, and actually not so expensive after all. If I wasn't in the middle of building another (two) system I'd go for these. I may well get one in future.

James, is this a limited run or it's intended to continue this line for a year or two?

User avatar
carbon111
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 722
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 10:15 am
Band: Carbon111
Location: Pacific Northwest
Contact:

Post by carbon111 » Wed Feb 20, 2008 11:34 pm

Not limited.
To my knowledge, the M-class panels and Shop panels will be the "Serge Catalog" from now on.

This is some of the best news for the Serge platform in two decades! :D 8)
Best Regards, James
--
My New album "Persephone":

Carbon111 Website: http://www.carbon111.com

Carbon111 Blog: http://carbon111.blogspot.com

User avatar
Bitexion
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 4230
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 7:43 pm
Gear: Alesis Andromeda A6
Roland D-50
Creamware Minimax
Yamaha DX7s
Analogue Systems modular
Ensoniq SQ-80
Waldorf Blofeld
Location: Drammen, Norway

Post by Bitexion » Thu Feb 21, 2008 12:55 am

Damn, someone will have to do a demo of a serge for me someday..those panels look so alien I can't even figure out how you'd make a simple 2 VCO filtered saw sound on one if I tried.

chamomileshark
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 357
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2006 6:00 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Post by chamomileshark » Thu Feb 21, 2008 1:05 am

well there's a 1983 tape of Serge demos knocking around and a number of recordings are mostly Serge if you want to hear them in a musical context.

User avatar
carbon111
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 722
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 10:15 am
Band: Carbon111
Location: Pacific Northwest
Contact:

Post by carbon111 » Thu Feb 21, 2008 1:08 am

I'll be doing some "example patches" with visual diagrams and MP3s to give a better idea of how to "get from A to B" for those unfamilliar with Serge-style synthesis.
Best Regards, James
--
My New album "Persephone":

Carbon111 Website: http://www.carbon111.com

Carbon111 Blog: http://carbon111.blogspot.com

User avatar
carbon111
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 722
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 10:15 am
Band: Carbon111
Location: Pacific Northwest
Contact:

Post by carbon111 » Thu Feb 21, 2008 8:22 pm

:D

Allright, it looks like I'll have some hands-on detailed info on the Creature mid-week next week! I will post at that time and should at least have the preliminary website up.

In the meantime, some power info:

The PS2a power supply is another one of the new redesigns.

Features:
*Custom made in USA for STS (not a generic Chinese "wall wart")
*Precision dual regulated linear w/ low-noise audio specs (individually serialized & tested)
*Heavy-duty 4-wire cable 6' interconnect cable (dual ground - instrumentation grade)
*Heavy-duty 6' long detachable AC shielded line cord (w/all world line plug types available from stock)
*Externally recessed 110-120/220-240 Vac / 50-60 Hz line selector slide switch
*Externally recessed 5 x 20 mm fuse drawer
*System "common" black banana jack (for easy interface with external equipment)
*Directly mates to "M-boat with one connector (no external distribution necessary!)
*Effortlessly powers up to 2 "M-boats (4 "M-class modules)
Best Regards, James
--
My New album "Persephone":

Carbon111 Website: http://www.carbon111.com

Carbon111 Blog: http://carbon111.blogspot.com

User avatar
carbon111
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 722
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 10:15 am
Band: Carbon111
Location: Pacific Northwest
Contact:

Post by carbon111 » Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:12 pm

On Friday afternoon, I recieved a prototype Creature and was able to spend all weekend working with it.

First, let me say it is not a "mini-Animal" - its featureset and usability are quite different to the Animal but no less useful or fun. In fact I had a blast with this little guy!

It was easy to get self-generating rhythms and tonal landscapes going as well as total chaos. More "traditional" music is possible but probably not the Creature's forte - The Animal might be a better choice if you want to play equal-tempered music on the Serge. That said, I was still able to get some very nice lead sounds and basses that tracked properly for more than three octaves. The TGO is an extremely flexible function block but it is not a one-to-one replacement for a PCO. It does, however, track quite a bit better than a DSG used as an audio oscillator.

The TGO was a joy to work with. The left side as an audio oscillator provided a warm melange for the filter to chew on and the right side, while more suited to LFO and enveloping, was no slouch in the audio realm either and could be locked to the pitch of the left side while having its timbre modulated from another source, say the top half of the SSG patched to act as a triangle wave LFO. Its easy to see why Rex Probe characterized the left and right function cells of the TGO as female and male voices...very poetic but very appropriate! :D

The thing that floored me was the sheer amount and diversity of sound I got out of this thing. To say the Creature has a huge palette would be selling it short. It has a welcome place here in my studio and will get used quite a lot I think. Look for it as a major component in some new songs in the upcoming weeks.

The updates to the circuitry of the filter were subtle but very noticeable...it was much easier to get tube-type harmonic warmth just by nudging the gain control. The feedback and overdrive characteristics have been tweaked to be more "musical" in my opinion. The filter itself is a wonderful source of percussion via the trig input.

At one point I had a self generating percussion patch that had for major components to the sound, including "bass" and "snare" though it was based on feedback and modulation...I could set a monsterous rhythmic pulse train but it wasn't something that "wanted" to be controlled! ;) This is a good thing BTW!

I'm going to spend more time with the unit itself and re-think the webpage a bit until I "know" the Creature a little better. I'll keep you all in the loop.
Best Regards, James
--
My New album "Persephone":

Carbon111 Website: http://www.carbon111.com

Carbon111 Blog: http://carbon111.blogspot.com

User avatar
Bitexion
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 4230
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 7:43 pm
Gear: Alesis Andromeda A6
Roland D-50
Creamware Minimax
Yamaha DX7s
Analogue Systems modular
Ensoniq SQ-80
Waldorf Blofeld
Location: Drammen, Norway

Post by Bitexion » Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:09 pm

It is lovely when the modules are designed to overload at high levels. All the Analogue Systems modules overload above 4-5 (out of 6). Filters, oscillators, vca's. It distorts the pure waveforms a bit, seem to add some extra harmonics sometimes so you get a different sound from an overdriven filter.

But I still don't have a clue what to do with a Serge panel of any kind. Almost nothing have "normal" names on those things!

Mojoman
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2006 6:07 am

Post by Mojoman » Mon Jun 16, 2008 6:36 pm

Just wanted to see if there are any new updates or reviews on this.

User avatar
carbon111
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 722
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 10:15 am
Band: Carbon111
Location: Pacific Northwest
Contact:

Post by carbon111 » Mon Jun 16, 2008 7:30 pm

There have been some more M-odules released since then, namely the Quad Slope & Triple Oscillator. Also, all my Serge webpages are updated and finished now, though I am working on in-depth module/function-block descriptions as part of a series of articles called "Alphabet Soup".

You'll find most of the currently available info on the aforementioned Serge shrine:
http://www.carbon111.com/serge_index.html
...with a overview of the current M-odules here:
http://www.carbon111.com/m_class.html

Over on the Yahoo Serge group there are a couple of other folks who have gotten their Creatures and seem pretty pleased with them:
http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/SergeModular/

I just added a Touch Keyboard Sequencer to my Serge and don't have new pictures yet but this is what it looked like last month...now I just need a Gator to fill the other half of that M-boat :)

Image
Best Regards, James
--
My New album "Persephone":

Carbon111 Website: http://www.carbon111.com

Carbon111 Blog: http://carbon111.blogspot.com

User avatar
cebec
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 4:26 pm
Location: Alexandria, VA

Post by cebec » Wed Jun 18, 2008 2:54 pm

carbon111 wrote:...I am working on in-depth module/function-block descriptions as part of a series of articles called "Alphabet Soup".
I have been looking forward to your DSG article!

User avatar
carbon111
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 722
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 10:15 am
Band: Carbon111
Location: Pacific Northwest
Contact:

Post by carbon111 » Wed Jun 18, 2008 5:34 pm

Sorry its taking so long.

I'm finding a little time here and there to write it but between my family and dayjob most of my time is spread pretty thin these days. ;)

A lot of the "writing" is rewriting actually...I want to make sure my descriptions and examples are as clear as possible because the patching paradigms on the Serge will be so alien to some folks. I really want to make sure it comes across well to everyone. Time to break out my Strunk and White... :lol:

Here's a little taste of it:
Alphabet Soup #1: The DSG

The STS Serge Modular can be a daunting system at first blush, especially for those who come from an "East Coast" modular synth background. My first synthesizers were Moog analogs and my fist Analog Modular Synth was an Arrick "Dotcom" system - so I started out with East Coast paradigms that I had to "unlearn" in order to use my Serge Modular to the fullest. For those of you coming from a similar background or those just discovering the Serge Modular for the first time, these "Alphabet Soup" pages are dedicated to you!

The Serge Modular is intuitive and fun to use - especially when you realize the main difference between a Serge Modular and most others has to do with the size of the building blocks, where a Moog or similar modular will have monolithic building blocks like ADSRs and Oscillators, the Serge is more "low-level" in that you can build ADSRs and oscillators from Serge modules or, more properly, "function blocks". In this "Alphabet Soup" series, I'll be walking through some of the ways to form more complex modules from these function blocks.

The first function block we're going to look at, the "DSG" otherwise known as the Dual Universal Slope Generator, is probably the most powerful one in the entire Serge catalog because it can become so many different things, depending on how its patched.

Image

Envelopes

Lets start our investigation by creating a simple attack-release envelope. For now, we'll just use the upper half of a DSG.

Patch a gate or trigger signal into the "TRIG IN" jack. A attack-release (AR) voltage envelope is generated at the "OUTPUT" jack with its attack and release times controlled by the "RISE" and "FALL" pots respectively. This is a linear envelope. For an exponential one, stack a banana cable on the "OUTPUT" and patch it to the "VC IN" jack and adjust the "VC" pot positively to taste. The "RISE/BOTH/FALL" switch selects which part(s) of the envelope become exponential.

An attack-sustain-release (ASR) envelope is possible also by using the "INPUT" jack instead of the "TRIG IN". The output will sustain as long as a gate is present. The same trick described above can be used to create an exponential response.

Complex envelope shapes can be created by mixing the outputs of multiple Slope Generators together into a single signal.

One interesting thing to note is that when an envelope finishes its cycle, the "GATE OUT" jack generates a new gate, which leads into the next use of a DSG, complex LFOs.

...
...there's a lot more but its still pretty rough and I still need to prep and upload more graphics. I'll let everyone know when the article is up.
Best Regards, James
--
My New album "Persephone":

Carbon111 Website: http://www.carbon111.com

Carbon111 Blog: http://carbon111.blogspot.com

User avatar
cebec
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 4:26 pm
Location: Alexandria, VA

Post by cebec » Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:28 pm

Thanks! 8)

Post Reply