That is wacky, fragile, and delightful. But I’d be surprised if it was still useful. Amazingly cool though.
Here’s a fresh Best of CGS Serge jam session through my newly-installed Klangbau Köln Spring Reverb, which I got specifically for the 4U modular:
I also recently recorded a VLOG about my experiences with the CGS Serge as a relative newbie:
In the first (pinned) YouTube comment, fonitronik (Matthias?) kindly wrote a few more details and clarifications on the topic
Edit: and another experimental Serge jam
There’s nothing like AM and FM on 4u serge.
a question: how would a small, portable and self-contained serge synth look?
Another Serge interview (!) that I had nothing to do with
My system isn’t really small, but any of the individual panels could be enough to work with as a stand alone instrument.
My favourite is the newest custom panel I designed with Charlie “Loudest Warning”.
It’s a hybrid Serge, Buchla, and Clee panel.
In what ways do you find yourself using the triple waveshaper? Do you have a wave multiplier as well? If so how do you use them differently?
I have a wave multiplier in another panel, so it’s nice to have both.
The triple waveshaper is great for feedback patching, combining/shaping the output from the 258… it just has a different sound and set of controls from the TWM.
Lovely panel, emenel. Charlie does wonderful things.
Here’s my ‘superAnimal’ in paperface, which has plenty standalone, but will ultimately end up in a four panel system
Finished my 73-75 Homebuilt system and figured I’d write a little bit about the experience. This is mostly about the pitfalls of the project for those of you considering it. Anyways, hope somebody finds this interesting.
If you’re used to building from kits like I was, this is a little daunting. Sourcing all the parts was a little bit of a bear since 1) the BOM is missing a few parts and 2) they don’t spell everything out like which power adapter you need or ways to house it.
It took many hours to build this, although I saw some bragging on a certain forum that you can ‘easily do this in a few sittings’. Eh, not so much when you’re sitting with a giant stack of parts, many of which have similar value numbers. I started this in January and went slowly. Originally I was going to go module by module, but that would have taken even longer, so worked my way through the bags that had the highest counts first. The BOM is missing a certain capacitor. Also, mouser messed up the count on diodes and another part, but they sent me the missing parts for free.
If you build it the recommended way, testing has to be done before panel mounting the banana jacks. This means using alligator clips, wires, jumper cables. I took my time with all of it, especially calibration, to make sure things worked the way they were described.
I put the 17" reverb tank into the hammond boat and had to cut into the outer lip a little to make it fit. Some people don’t put it in the case, which makes sense too since it can get super loud and noisy when you’re patching. Bought a lot of #10 screws of different lengths at home depot for the feet and reverb mounting, as well as attaching the 2 cases (2 screws on each side). Added a banana jack to the side to allow for connecting a format jumbler box I plan on diy’ing later (the adapter model has 3 mini-jack to banana converters tho). The panels themselves went on with self tapping 5mm screws, after I drilled a slightly smaller hole for those. Also, I put a rubber grommet around the holes inside that connects both cases to prevent the power cords from getting damaged.
In the future, it may be fun to add more feet on the bottom panel and a handle on top for travel OR add rack ears. I’ve drilled into aluminum before when building diy guitar pedals, so I had the titanium drill bit for that, but a lot of people may not be used to working with enclosures.
The best resources were the MW thread and the 73-75 FB group.
Would I do it again? Maybe? Not sure yet. I will say that this is probably the most affordable Serge system you can build (900-1000 with all the parts) and that eased the pain quite a bit. The process also taught me how to utilize my multimeter better. As a historical piece, I really appreciate going back to some of the roots that inspired Make Noise and Mannequins designs.
Congrats JB - I loved building this one, but those massive black PCBs were definitely a bit daunting. Hope you have fun playing it
Any +/- 12v power supply should work. The only complication will be the connector. In theory a eurorack power supply would be fine, but Serge 4u modules don’t use the eurorack power connector, so you would have to make a custom cable.
Alternately, Loudest Warning make a great power supply. But any supply will be overkill for a single module if you plan to stay that small.
Yeah. I mean the ribbon vs the 4-pin MTA connector.
Loudest Warning is almost all custom order, you have to email him and discuss your needs.
Realistically, any power supply will be overkill in both specs and price for one Random Source module.
I had never noticed that r*s Serge had just a different power connector and could be used with euro
I am so happy. I could start by buying a carnivore and then a VCFQ/mixer and then expand from there!
Do you know of any off the shelf enclosure that would fit a 4-6 module block? Some Hammond or something similar?
Yeah, all R*S modules (and even Elby and CGS) run on 12v power, so as long as the supply has enough current and is good enough quality it should work fine. That being said, I haven’t tried it myself so it would be an experiment.
The biggest challenge would be making a proper power cable that connects to a Euro distribution board.
Any 4U height boat should be able to work, but you will have to drill your own mounting holes. R*S modules use a different hole position than Loudest Warning, Elby, etc… no standard rail configuration in 4U.
Four RS 4x4 modules is 17” (which is a standard configuration and the same size as a full panel, about the equivalent of 84hp). Any 7”x17” boat will work… Hammond or whatever. The RS stuff is really shallow so a 60mm depth is good, but if you plan to add any other manufacturers you would want a boat depth of about 80mm.
LW is good people, his builds are high quality, and his aesthetics are nonpareil. That said, if you live in the US, we can surely recommend techs and builders closer to home for future projects. Good luck sticking with just the Carnivore, btw.
You definitely have people in Chicago. I know them from MW. Craig Lee, who makes really awesome panels and PCBs for 4u, lives there. Look him up! His quantizer is great!