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serge for guitar processing?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Buchla, EMS & Serge  
Author serge for guitar processing?
Hi all! This is a bit of a cross post related to my topic regarding using a cocoquantus in a guitar rig:

Cocoquantus in a guitar rig?

Basically I got bored of static pedals, and then went to an axe fx and loved the modular aspect of it but felt restricted. Now I want to try and incorporate modular stuff into the rig with the centerpiece being the cocoquantus.

End result is that I have one coming and am confident it will work, but now I'm getting greedier and would love to incorporate a small serge system to do additional audio and cv processing. The main thing being that I would have to be able to strategically patch it so that I could do pretty much everything with my feet.

Between my mp-201 and midi to cv, I have 12 different cv sources that I can recall voltage settings with via presets on my midi footcontroller. So the idea is that between these 12 that have to be split between the serge and coco, that I could have a bunch of variety without having to repatch or tweak by hand. I was thinking that I could get a lot of cv fun between the coco and the serge and send it to all sorts of places like filters, wave folders, etc. I tend to live on the noisier side of guitar, and more chaotic/crazy vs ambient/droney.

So my question is 3 fold.

1. Is this a stupid idea purely based on sound? I have no idea if serge audio processing even lends itself well to guitar sounds.

2. Is this a stupid idea based on my control needs? With my 12 recallable voltage presets that I can sweep/punch in with expression pedals and footswitches, would I be able to have wide variety of "scenes" without repatching? Or is the change up of signal chain too important to the overall sound that without repatching, I'm severely limiting myself?

3. Is there R*S or other DIY modules that you would recommend for my needs? Or maybe a full panel that will do exactly what I want?

I'd love thoughts and demos of serge systems being used to process external sounds, especially other instruments. Most serge demo's seem to utilize the serge for audio.

I'm hoping that the answer will be "yes, what an awesome idea! It'll totally work, go for it!" as opposed to "you're an idiot" or, "go to euro" haha.

Thanks! Rockin' Banana! <-- how convenient that there's a banana guitar
This is my first post after a couple of years lurking
I'm guessing you will need an Audio Interface M-Class to get the sound into the serge, maybe another M-Class with a WAD for additional sound warping?
I'm not a guitarist but the audio interface has a DUSG which I'm guessing you can trigger with your cvs
mike sheridan
The audio interface is basically a hi-z input that will accept your guitar or pedal signal, however you can also use a di (which I would run the guitar into before the serge anyway) to convert from hi z to low z and boost the signal to line level with a preamp. - This might provide a more cost effective way to work with the guitar and the serge compared to the expensive audio interface.

The only thing you'd need is a banana to jack converter - Low-Gain does excellent ones.

When experimenting like this, there is really no way to tell what you'll get out of it, meaning even more reason to just jump in and try it out!

yeah I was going to use external preamp solutions to get the audio in there, and I have a format converter to use with my cocoquantus. I guess the hope was that between the res eq, wave multipliers, filters, and cv processing, that I could get something completely unique from guitar pedals. Which might be the case, but part of me feels like it's really not suited for that. I think I've been attracted to Serge for the interplay between cv and audio but I'm essentially taking half of that equation out of it when I don't use any audio produced by the serge modules.

I'm still open to ideas of interesting sound processors that will interact with guitar and the cocoquantus, but maybe it was a bit ambitious to think a serge system was the answer.
I too am a guitar player that got into modular!

I don't find myself processing guitar too much recently however I would say Serge might not be the best option for external processing...


In serge you've basically got the wave mult, res eq, phaser and various filters.

Honestly running a guitar through those would be cool but I don't personally think it will lead to endless fun.

Wave mults with guitar really just sound like distortion/fuzz. yes there are ways to send cv to them or use a vca to control modulation going to them but I don't really think they are endless.

the res eq is probably right in your wheel house for chaotic noise and feedback but again you have to process before and after to get more interesting results because it lacks direct cv control.

I personally never got along with filters and guitar, Its cool to hear a lowpass on a filter for a bit but eventually I got a little board.

Phasers are cool but having a few VC phasers that sound good, I find that using a handful of modules to patch up different modulations just for a phaser effect seems overkill...

I hate to say euro but coconauts into a small euro system with some of the digital processing modules I think would have much deeper and flexible sound than a serge processing panel.

Also the R*S kits in euro have the same circuits as the 4U stuff and are super quick to build. So if you really itch to know what the serge stuff sounds like you can always build your res eq, phaser, filters, wavemults etc. to be used alongside some cool mutable instruments stuff etc. to process guitar.

your mileage may vary and take this all with a grain of salt. Just offering some of my experience and hope it helps!
Very helpful!!!!

I definitely needed a bit of a reality check regarding the sounds I can get out of a serge. I'm pretty certain that I'd feel a bit underwhelmed after I got it all set up. I have some dirt pedals that I absolutely love and I think I'd be hard pressed to top them, even with some crazy cv stuff going on.

And you're right about phasers. That bread and butter stuff is something I'm totally happy using my multi effects processor for, especially since I almost never use those effects.

You're spot on with the euro recommendation. I think the only reason to incorporate modular in my rig at this point is to go for the digital stuff that has cv control. I think the cocoquantus is a great start, and I'll see what I'm missing. I'm prob not missing anything but I like the idea of all that wild modulation from the quantussy and I'd like to have it be utilized in other ways.

I think I had a prejudice against euro because I sold off my system, picked up the guitar and have been making a bunch of music and having a ton of fun. I felt like it was a rabbit hole that I didn't want to go down. But maybe I'll just get a small case, get a rainmaker, and call it a day smile

Thanks for the advice!!!

sure thing! yeah the synthi is my favorite synth ever and serge is my second favorite. I have wanted serge forever but its just a tough format because if you want one more lfo or vca you have to either build it in or start a new panel seriously, i just don't get it

that at least was my experience. and I totally get that I sold of my system for serge DIY and never got anything done just to build up another system. Limiting yourself to a small system is great or heck even get a power supply and build a cardboard case for a few modules and see what you gel with.
Hi, have you considered a putting together moogerfooger rig? The control processor (cp-251) is a nice unit with an lfo, noise source, sample and hold, cv mixer and mult. The filter (mg-101) has an envelope detector and an output for the CV so right there you have a pretty good variety of control sources. The LFOs on the other modules also have CV outs. And most of the main parameters on the fx are voltage controllable. It really is a modular synth for processing. Combine them with a mixer that has multiple aux sends/returns you can really swoosh things around and feed them back on each other. Plus, you can often use the CVs to control other guitar pedals with expression inputs... so it can integrate quite well.

I love my serge.. but for fx processing.. I'd really suggest looking at the foogers.
yup! I totally have considered it, and I might still go that route. I have an mp201 and a broken freqbox that i'll hopefully get fixed soon. Your point is very well taken. It really is a modular in pedal format. Thanks for the reminder!

I think that after the healthy reality check, I'm just looking to integrate a crazy effects unit that can take multiple cv inputs from the coco and my midi/cv converter and has presets, instead of a "system" that can give me deep patchability and flexibility. The closest thing right now is the rainmaker but I haven't heard enough stuff for me to know that's what I want. Stuff like the H9 or strymon stuff doesn't really do it for me. I guess they're too nice sounding? I want something that I can run a distorted guitar through and scare my kids hihi
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