Serge thread


Definitely the right terminology here. Thanks for sharing.


Something think about: The Serge “paperface” line is somewhat a different instrument than the later Serge (ca. 80s) and its iterations (first STS, then R*S, etc…)

Notably, there is a complete lack of fixed 1V/Oct inputs, and there are “one sided” slews. Not that these are negatives: When I was studying electronic music I had access to both a six panel paperface, and a multiple panels of the 80s vintage (it was, after all, the 80s!) They were like two different members of the same instrument family. Same ideas, different, though very overlapping, ranges. The influence on how you used them was surprising.


I’ve been thinking about it a lot and I’m definitely going to get these. That there’s no 1v/o doesn’t bother me at all.

Had a chance last year to play a vintage paperface from 74-75 and it was a beautiful instrument. I even learned some tricks to get harmonic-ish content out of it without a sequencer.


There an STS Blue CV for sale on muffwigger which i would buy in a heartbeat if i didn’t already have one


Would love to hear about this if you have some time.


I have a little usb-powered suitcase with random*source’s SSG, DUSG and VCFQ and you can get beautiful self-playing patches out of that little system with no regular oscillators and no external modules. I will do a video If I get the chance. I really love it. (next on the list are the wave multipliers and the ncom)


thanks @mzero

been searching for paperface demos to determine if i’d really want the basic system and finding clips like this is a good sign

seems easier to understand than the later popular modules (WAD, NTO, VCM, ResEQ) + using bananas allows for complex patching even w/o them


You just reminded that I had uploaded a small instagram video of the R*S SSG and DUSG crosspatched doing a strange sort of melody (no other modules involved) //// pictures ////


If I remember correctly…

Send one oscillator into the positive slew and send that output to the sample and hold to control the other oscillator. In theory, if you tune the slew correctly you should be able to sample something like the harmonic series (or maybe that’s subharmonic series - * scratches head *). In practice, you end up sampling interesting sidebands most of the time, but it still sounds cool.


That’s really cool.

Is that the same suitcase voice you mentioned two posts earlier?


Basically yes, but after that video I added a VCFQ (that I love). The thought that I can play a synthesizer without using proper oscillators and sequencers is liberating.


Here it is.


This strikes me as a nearly ideal mobile companion. I’m a big fan of small, battery-powerable systems. This would be a lot of fun.


I should add, if you’re going to try this, that the slew needs to be patched to self-cycle.


A pretty near perfect minimal Serge!


So after perusing the various offerings, can anyone attempt a brief summary of the differences between say STS and R*S, and whatever else there is that’s currently available, new? Bugbrand seems out of the picture at the moment.

The 73-75 stuff seems to have its own niche; ‘early version’ Serge. That’s cool.

If bananas and purity of form are not primary considerations, it seems that the R*S in Euro format is the winning package, at least based on price (and that you have to build it yourself), and that it’s easily available.

I like the idea of the 4U system though…but R*S availability for kits/panels is spotty, and STS is…just…really expensive.

Thoughts on the somewhat gnomic world of currently available Serge stuff?

This is all without even getting in to the minefield of what is or isn’t authorized/licensed/blessed/annointed by Serge himself…although if you’ve got an opinion on that too, I’d love to hear it.


Tom makes voice panels if you want new Bugbrand. Sign up to his announcement list if you want to be informed when they are available as he only does them in small batches. If you are wanting something based on Serge designs though then the only real similarity between Serge and Bugbrand is the fact that they use banana jacks and are mainly fairly low level functional block type modules. They have fairly different sounds.


Once on Facebook someone was arguing that the reason he priced his used Serge so high was it was “original STS Serge”, and that even the geometry of the traces, and vintage resistors was crucial the authentic Serge sound… something never to be matched by R*S and others… until Serge himself chimed in that he loved all the new Serge modules being created!

The essence of Serge is in the style of module: multi-use, highly versatile, patch programmable, and deep blurring of control vs. audio, and I think most importantly really not presumptive of any particular musical intent. My one concern with Eurorack format would be that Serge patches have a tendency to do a lot of signal sharing: You’re sending some slew output to three things… etc… Banana jacks really help with that, though I understand there are stacking 1/8" jacks.

My own experience is all paperface and '79 Serge, but the R*S units look spot on to me. I see some things missing from the offerings that I think are really useful in my Serge:

  • Dual Analog Shift Register - without which I could not live!
  • Dual Transient Generators - compact little env/lfo units, I have two.
  • Dual Processor - for mixing and shaping control voltages (or audio, it’s Serge!)
  • Wilson Analog Delay Line - which I was dumb enough to not purchase when I built my system in the 80s… and now is almost impossible to get.


On an interview from Superbooth Ralf said that an ASR is in the works. Yay!


My all time fav Serge module is the Res EQ, ASR would be second.

EDIT: the '73 filter is also :icecream: :doughnut: