Serge thread

I think the Carnivore is as good an introduction to Serge as any you’ll find, short a used Creature (or an R*S equivalent). Don’t sell it! If the Lorre-Mill instrument is anything like the Doubleknot, it should be a great pair. Just ensure they have a common ground.

The Carnivore is a great module to start a Serge system, or to use as you are planning. It is crammed with functionality.

The challenge you’re running into is that most modular systems require a case a power, which are usually for whole systems not single modules (with a couple recent exceptions in Eurorack where production volume can now allow for this sort of thing).

And Serge 4U is not at the level of popularity of Eurorack, with only a couple manufacturers and a 40 year history of DIY.

If you get a case and power supply you can grow into it. And they are relatively easy to get these days, with things like Random Source and Clee boats and Loudest Warning, RS, and Elby power supplies.

Serge is a DIY format at its heart, it literally started that way. So you might have to learn some basic DIY… IMO, that’s always a good thing to learn. It gives you more power and agency in deciding how you want to make music.

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With Serge (vs Eurorack) this should be easy. Serge is a highly standardized format. The white jacks (or blue on older systems) are unipolar voltages. The black jacks are bipolar, meaning they could go negative. If you patch only white jacks to the Mosstone you shouldn’t have any negative voltages unless you are using an inverter or something similar.

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My iPhone autocompleted “isn’t” where I meant “is.” Most voltages in Serge designs are positive-only, with the exceptions typically being well-documented - the SSG’s coupler output is bipolar. I wonder if the negative voltages thing remains a concern for the Dk; that seems like a trivial and worthwhile design change.

Iirc, there’s a fair bit Dk percussion in this one:

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I’ve never done it myself and don’t know that much about eurorack power supply designs, so I’m not sure how the wiring would line up between the eurorack connector and the 4 pin Serge connector. You’d have to identify which pins on the 16-pin connector are the right ones for each of the 4 pins on the Serge MTA connector. If you’re confident in that then it should work.

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You’ll want to research how to test with a multimeter before doing this, but you might be able to connect the ground probe to the ground of the power supply and the red/hot probe to the end you are testing. I had to do this with my diy Serge to measure the voltage and calibrate it.

Please be careful!

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Anyone know if the 73-75 panels (http://www.73-75.com) are shipping? Or is it only the two-panel DIY system for now? Everything else says “TBA 2018” which is not a good sign. The sequencer/programmer/bidirectional router panel (they call it the “preset”) interests me.

There’s a group on FB with some more info – here’s what was said by his friend Daniel (not sure that any prototypes are still available).

I have some good news for this community from Jon/Zthee!

He wants me to let you know that he is once again freelance/self employed and working on several projects, one of them being the series production of the rest of the 73-75 modules! (Sorry, no timeframe yet but it is in the works!)
To fund the initial manufacturing run he is selling some of his prototypes and you get the first shot!

The following is available:
2 x Voice
2 x Control
3 x Seq
2 x Home built (both panels)
All are mounted in thin boats with power.
The price is 1000 Euro per panel so 2000 for the Home builts.

Email him at info@thehumancomparator.net with what you want to buy and where you are located.

Also, no word on whether or not DIY kits will be available for those other panels, but the language on the site doesn’t seem to indicate that there will be.

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This has been touched on, but I’m still somewhat confused. What would be the most economical DIY route to powering a single Serge boat, if I wanted to start dabbling in 4U?

On the RS site, they sell powered Shallow Boats that use a Meanwell laptop-style adapter (not included and has barrel-style adapter, not XLR) for € 500, which too expensive for tentative dabbling. Then there’s the hulking R*S PS6, 5-output power supply, that far exceeds my needs. They also sell a passive Boat Power Distribution board, that just needs to be soldered to an XLR jack, for € 22, but can I use it with the Meanwell brick? I’m sure the answers are fairly simple, but I’m just at that point with a new format, where things still feel a bit mysterious.

I’m already very invested in Euro, so I’m not going to plunge into 4U, just yet. But I might like to start slowly exploring it. I’ve also built several Euro power supplies, and I’m comfortable with the idea of building for another format as long as I know what the requirements are.

Maybe a related question: at present, when all is said and done, is it fair to say that 4U Serge is significantly more expensive an undertaking than Euro Serge? It would seem that way when comparing panel/pcb prices for modules, but it becomes harder compare the two when looking at whole Serge 4U panels (e.g. Edelweiss) and considering the whole package. I ask because my next builds might be a Euro DUSG and VCM, unless I’m otherwise swayed.

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I would say it is difficult to make a comparison. With Euro Serge you have a standardized environment of components you are working with (boats, PSUs, cases, rails etc.) with 4U there is much more variability in the approach. You could, for example, get a handful of Elby CGS pcbs, build a custom PSU and construct a serge 4U boat much cheaper than Euro Serge. Or spring for a R*S full panel and case, which would be closer in price, maybe a bit more but less work.

That is only a distribution board, not a power supply. It can’t be used on its own.

The Elby power supplies are probably the least expensive option that is aimed specifically at 4U Serge systems.

http://www.elby-designs.com/contents/en-us/p1196_PSU10_3-boat___-12V_Power_Supply.html

The only complication is that there is no standard for connecting external power supplies to boats in the 4U Serge world, so Elby uses a different connector than Random*Source.

The other option is to use a Eurorack power supply and wire up a Random*Source distribution board to it, that might be the cheapest and most flexible way.

In my experience Random*Source 4U is slightly more expensive than their Euro module, but it’s not really an apples-to-apples comparison. The 4U 4x4 modules are all multiple modules in one unit, where the Euro Serge modules are single modules. For example, the Euro Serge NTO is just the NTO, the 4x4 version is NTO and XFader together.

Doing a whole 17" panel saves a little more from the 4x4, but has less flexibility.


But, unless you want to build a 4U system it probably doesn’t make sense to get just a couple 4x4 modules.

IMO, the benefits of 4U are really nice but you have to be interested and willing to build a system out of it to really get the most out of it.

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Mobile R*S PSU—anyone else have any information on this? would be nice if it weren’t v expensive and difficult to obtain like every other (assembled) psu solution for Serge equipment.

That looks new as of Superbooth, so no info yet. Haven’t seen any news about what Random Source is showing this year either.

Since the R*S modules are powered using a standard MTA-156 header (pinout +12V / GND / GND /
-12V with the red stripe mark on the -12V side) I don’t think it would be such a hassle to adapt a common euro PSU.

yes, but without the expertise to do so, I’m afraid to try! I also am not sure how this exactly would be accomplished. do you have any experience with adapting a 4-pin ribbon to 16-pin? @Jonny mentioned testing with a multi-meter first, another thing I don’t have. (perhaps related, but the problem remains re: a powered enclosure for R*S 4x4/4U units—given the format it seems like one wouldn’t be able to take advantage of the many powered enclosures offered for eurorack (e.g. Erica Pico, Doepfer, et al). which is disappointing if one wants to expedite the process of learning the instrument rather than drilling holes into an aluminum box, among other things—which I realize are perhaps contiguous processes in this case, but nonetheless…)

Obviously you can’t use a 3u case for 4u but power shouldn’t be a problem.

image

I see. So, the most cost-effective solution is to get some sort of eurorack psu and install it in some sort of 4u enclosure/boat? Or is there a better way…?

That’s the easy way… I’ve got my Serge powered from a Clicks and Clocks PSU (after the old Doepfer DIY PSU2 design), housed in a ‘project’ box.

You could also get in touch with Loudest Warning. He has a rather neat little solution which he has been developing for a while.

Can’t remember how many boats you’re looking to power, but if only 1, then the Frog power or FCUK power supplies would let you get going for minimal investment, and may even fit into the boat.

If you’re not comfortable doing the power yourself - which is perfectly fair enough! - there are plenty of folks around who’d be able to help.

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As has come up in this thread before, there’s no better way at the moment. Serge has always been focused on DIY, right from the beginning.

You have a few options for different combinations.

For Random Source 4x4 modules your best with one of their boats, since they are drilled for that module spacing. In that case you can use the Random Source power supply, wait for the new portable one, get the powered boat, or get one of Loudest Warning’s power supplies (I have two and love them). There is also the Konstant Lab power supply with the Random Source style XLR connections.

Loudest Warning also has their own module format for 4U, and there are Clee boats drilled for that format available at the DIY websites like Modular Addict. Charlie, Loudest Warning, also sells boats and power directly for many different types of connections. He’s great and will definitely help you figure it out.

Elby also sells boats, power, and more that work with different Serge 4U setups.

None are going to be as cheap as a cheap Eurorack power supply, partly due to economies of scale and partly because they are all of high quality compared to the really cheap stuff. The Elby power supply is probably the least expensive, but requires some DIY. If you want it in a case ready to hook up Loudest Warning makes a really wonderful version.

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I think you’d be better off going the eurorack route at that point for the modules unless you really really want the banana jack/authentic experience. Random Source would be the best all around from what I can tell – not the cheapest and not the most expensive.

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