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WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

Interested in Serge, but I've got questions ...
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Buchla, EMS & Serge  
Author Interested in Serge, but I've got questions ...
flx
I'd love to try out Serge at some point in the future. It's hard to get certain information about it though, but I might just not know what to look for. Generally I'd prefer to get a self-contained system, that I can dive into without having to frequently expand, change modules or use other gear to make it work properly. Similar to a BEMI Music Easel for example, which just does everything from sound creation, sequencing and effects in one box with an audio/headphone output.

Serge systems, 4U or Eurorack, are customisable though, so I have a feeling that I need to know what configuration would suit me best before I buy something. Luckily there aren't a ton of different modules available and I'd probably go with Random*Source's stuff, as I'm also in Germany.

On the R*S Patch-Point store website there are two pre-configured Serge Eurorack systems available for example, one of which is "The Voice" with

NTO, SSG, DSG, Stereo Mixer

Coming from typical subtractive synth Eurorack, 5U and other systems, this seems very basic. I understand it like VCO + Random CV + Dual Envelope + 2-input Mixer. Of course those modules are more complex than that, but what about sequencing, filters, VCAs, FX and more mixer inputs? I know there are Serge filters and waveshapers, but regarding sequencing and mixing, do people do that externally most of the time?

Maybe I just need to watch some more performances with a smallish system like that. So could you point me to some YouTube videos which show the general philosophy of Serge synth music? Mostly it seems to be drones or plucky blips and bloops, which I don't necessarily see as a bad thing.

And then the question is Eurorack or 4U? I actually wouldn't mind a 4U banana system, but Eurorack seems less expensive and more available. I think I also wound't find the time to build a whole system myself from (semi-)kits, although one or two modules I could probably do.
wavecircle
The Serge Eurorack modules are really good but can you resist the temptation not to buy stuff from other manufacturers?

I think if I went the EuroSerge route I would just end up with a Euro system with some Serge in it.

You are quite right to want a self contained system, most of the modules having been designed by the same person you are buying into that designer's philosophy of how a synthesizer should function. There are lots of good self contained systems around, R*S, LoudestWarning and STS are the places to go if you want a built system. If you are going DIY there is a lot more you can do with Ken Stone's boards and others.

One thing about Serge modules is that they are functionally incredibly dense, that is why I love them. It is a problem solving exercise a lot of the time, you have to dig deep and errors in patching can often yield wonderful results. You can do the basic VCO - Filter - VCA - LFO - Env thing but a module like the SSG is so many things, that one module can do all 5 of the basic synthesis functions and so much more.
Dcramer
Hey Fix!
Much of what I’ve learned about Serge, and EuroSerge Systems, including the ‘patchprogramming’ mentality has come from Wiggler (and great educator) Doug Lynner:



Enjoy

w00t w00t w00t
pelang
4U or eurorack...i have both.
The 4U feels more like an instrument to me and is less tempting of adding new eurorack moduls. There are not so many serge 4U option and this exactly what i like. keeps me creative.
On the flip side...if you plane to travel and give performances you may go erurorack size wise.
Even having stackable cables for the eurorack, the bananas feel more secure, less contact problems and you can stack up 3-4 without worrying damaging the plug.
And most of the R**S Serge 4U are now SMT (all the parts a preinstalled)...so just add the pots / plugs, not much you can do wrong.

Pe
widgetoz
We also have over 30 Serge designs in EuroRack modules (and WITH banana sockets!) and, currently, 10 'systems' configured by Doug Lynner.
All our modules come ready-assembled and in kit form so you can go either way.
flx
Thanks a lot for the replies! I watched some videos and did more research. Next I have to figure out the financial situation and decide which way(s) to go then. thumbs up
sempervirent
I don't own any Serge, but I'd go the 4U route myself, why not experience the format as it was intended to be used.
flx
sempervirent wrote:
I don't own any Serge, but I'd go the 4U route myself, why not experience the format as it was intended to be used.

That's what I'd love to do. I wouldn't have a problem with keeping my Eurorack Serge-only, but yeah, 4U would be sweet!
NU
My $0.02, since I had Dr. Wiener (Patch Point) build me a La Bestia panel..

I briefly contemplated going the Euro Serge route but since I'd already used a few Serge panels and loved it, and feel pretty ambivalent about Eurorack after 5 years (def. hate the endless potential/desire for seeking newer/smaller/better modules, the patchwork nature of a Euro system, and the fiddly little modules, cables and jacks), there was no real question.

I got an XL case for the panel so I can add two extra modules and that's the only thing I kind of regret. It's too long to travel with, and limiting myself to two extra modules feels a bit cruel. The panel plus four modules would make a perfect, uniform, self-contained instrument, and could be travel-friendly at 8U. But it's always a slippery slope.

In terms of sequencing, VCAs, mixing, Random Source offers all of those. Not necessarily Serge circuits, but they're available. FWIW I find myself using my VCFQ as an oscillator/LFO far more than as a filter, but your needs could be quite different depending on the type of music you want to make.

In general, since you seem to be coming from a subtractive background, try finding someone who will let you test-drive their 4U Serge set-up and see how you like it.
syncretism
NU wrote:
I got an XL case for the panel so I can add two extra modules and that's the only thing I kind of regret. It's too long to travel with, and limiting myself to two extra modules feels a bit cruel. The panel plus four modules would make a perfect, uniform, self-contained instrument, and could be travel-friendly at 8U. But it's always a slippery slope.


I recently commissioned and await a La Bestia II with two modules in an XL boat, as well. To be fair, you can always get a cheap Bud boat and power distribution for simple 8u travel; this is what I have in mind, but an Edelweiss II calls, and I may sell the Creature and Critter to make that happen. I'm thinking the LBII and Animate should be a pretty decent pair and ought to travel nicely in a custom case I bought second-hand a while back.
widgetoz
NU wrote:
My $0.02, since I had Dr. Wiener (Patch Point) build me a La Bestia panel..

I briefly contemplated going the Euro Serge route but since I'd already used a few Serge panels and loved it, and feel pretty ambivalent about Eurorack after 5 years (def. hate the endless potential/desire for seeking newer/smaller/better modules, the patchwork nature of a Euro system, and the fiddly little modules, cables and jacks), there was no real question.

I got an XL case for the panel so I can add two extra modules and that's the only thing I kind of regret. It's too long to travel with, and limiting myself to two extra modules feels a bit cruel. The panel plus four modules would make a perfect, uniform, self-contained instrument, and could be travel-friendly at 8U. But it's always a slippery slope.

In terms of sequencing, VCAs, mixing, Random Source offers all of those. Not necessarily Serge circuits, but they're available. FWIW I find myself using my VCFQ as an oscillator/LFO far more than as a filter, but your needs could be quite different depending on the type of music you want to make.

In general, since you seem to be coming from a subtractive background, try finding someone who will let you test-drive their 4U Serge set-up and see how you like it.

Our EuroSerge modules use 4mm banana plugs so the 'fiddly jack' argument is weaker. Also, our panel layouts try not to compromise the layout for smaller panels.
Both Doug Lynner and Serge now have EuroSerge modules and I don't hear them complaining about the 'slightly' smaller format
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