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
Thanks for the clarification on Bugbrand. I’m not sure why I associated Bugbrand with Serge so closely; maybe because I seem to recall the two often being mentioned together.
@mzero, thanks very much for the thoughtful insight.
If I explore this corner of things, I suppose I’d prefer the 4U/banana format, but it’s a little hard to argue at the moment with the cost, availability, and space savings of the R*S Euro packages. I understand they’re limited, but at the same time, looking at @AlessandroBonino’s diminutive setup, that’s pretty appealing. Small and portable appeals to me.
We’ll see. I’m not committing to anything, nor am I in a rush. I’m in deep with NLC anyway, and it scratches an awful lot of these itches.
Oh yes they can!! Check out mu EuroSerge range at www.elby-designs.com. ALL my modules are in 3U format and available with EITHER 3.5mm OR 4mm jacks
(Yes I am replying to myself, sorry for that)
Todd Barton has just posted a video with an R*S Euro setup that has the same modules as my portable case + the Wave Multipliers + some other euro:
I actually built an RS Euro ÷NCOM, as much to begin exploring the RS/Serge angle of things as because I wanted a dedicated comparator. It was an instant hit. I find myself reaching for it very often.
I also picked up an @WidgetOz Negative and Positive Slew respectively, and those too were instant hits. Love them.
All three integrate beautifully with my ever-expanding NLC menagerie.
I’ve resolved not to build any more RS and/or other Serge in Euro format modules (although the Elby Peak-Trough is awfully tempting), as I’m going to go 4U. The idea–very loosely–is to keep my Euro system centered more around NLC, and 4U around RS/Serge, some CGS, etc. R*S just got in their new Bestia II panels and all the PCBs, including revised updates, so that’s where I’m headed with Serge.
Maybe that first 73-75 instrument too, for the early vibe.
Hi! I´ve just found this topic and saw your serge case. Could you please tell me where did you get those wood ears? Thanks!
Designed them myself and had them made by a local woodworker.
Did you find that the Random Source Serge line has enough to create a ‘complete’ system yet? Looks like the VCA is there with the Stereo Mixer, but they’re still building up the line.
There’s certainly a lot, although the big missing item would be a good sequencer.
does anyone have any good sound/words to share processed by the res eq? its hard to find demos, particularly in how it responds to dense/melodic content.
The Random Source TKB should be coming soon.
Bumping this thread since I noticed that the 73-75 kits are sold out. Does anyone happen to know what the restock situation is?
I was interested too. Nobody seems to know - even used the contact form.
If you’re not totally fixed on 4U format, there’s the Euro-Serge modules from Elby which includes lots of 73 era designs and banana jacks. They’re available as kits or built modules and have the advantage of being a bit more modular than the Serge panel approach.
The Random*Source 4x4 kits are also great. Modular, not too expensive, easy to build, and 4u/banana. Readily available.