Michael A. Firman’s
Here is my Serge configuration and a brief writeup on how it came to be. All columns map: “top module is the left most module”
[#1] [#2] [#3] [#4] [#5] [#6] [#7] [#8] [#9] PCO PCO RS QUO DSG TKB SQP4 PCO DSG NTO PCO PCO SSG QSEQ SQP5 PCO DTG DSG VCM NTO NOI SQP8 SQP4 EQ PDIV TWS ADSR DSG DTG ADP XFAD DSG VCF2 ADSR RING STR ADP EQ DTG QVM 2ASR VCFQ PDIV ADP XFAD PDIV 2VCA VCFS NCOM MAX BOOL MIX NCOM CMX APCR ACPR COMP SPRC
I designed (ordered new from STS) panels 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, and 9. I acquired panels 1, 3, and 7 used (I had Rex at STS completely redo panels 1 and 3. He put on new front panels and boxes and all new plugs and pots since these panels were pretty beat up when I bought them).
Note that panel 1 has a TWS on it. If I didn't get this used and already configured, I would not have gotten this module. It struck me as not very useful since the NTOs do a similar job right in the module. Since the time I got this panel, however, I've begun using this module a little more, for PWM sort of effects, and I'm finding it more interesting (Thanks to Doug Masala for the hint about this module being pretty hip). Note also that on panels 1 and 3 there are one of each filter type. I think if I were designing a panel I would not have done one of each, although I have used all of them. The VCFS has a mixer (two input) in it so if one is tight on space it's a good item. I like variable Q filters (I have a couple of them on another modular that I own - the Digisound-80) so I lean toward that filter type. The QVM is a very nice module and, if one has the space, it is great. It has panning and VCAs on each of the four channels, plus it has unattinuated left and right inputs so that you can chain in other mixers.
Now I'll explain how these panels came to be. Before I had any Serge equipment I built a Digisound-80 modular synthesizer (24 modules in two racks). The Digisound-80 didn't have a sequencer associated with it and I wanted one to drive it. I designed panel 5 to function as the "stand-alone" sequencer panel for the Digisound-80 (Hence the three ADPs that implement banana plug to mini-plug connectivity, the Digisound-80 uses mini-jacks). I became more interested in sequencing and ordered a TKB. I would have gotten the TKB initially but I wanted an on-board clock source for the sequencer and the TKB doesn't have an internal clock (I used the DSG to generate clock pulses on panel 5). I also thought that the quantizer would be a handy item with which to play. I ran across the two panels 1 and 3 used (on the net) as I have mentioned above. At this point I decided that I'd make the Serge into a "stand-alone" synth and, to that end, got panel 2 to round out a four panel system. A bit later I got curious about certain modules and put together panel 4. Panel 7 came from Doug Masala, who was selling it on the net (he was actually selling two of them - identical, but he backed out of the second one at the last minute). Finally panels 8 and 9 sort of complete my quest (more modules about which I was curious). 8 has the EQs and the MAX which I had wanted to play with for a while. Panel 9 is basically a timing utility panel (with the two sets of DSG-DTG-PDIV triples) and has a BOOL on it (again, something I thought would be good to experiment with - by training I'm a logician so I couldn't pass it up), and the Active processor to do some CV fading type things and a comparator to make automatic decisions.
I've mounted all this stuff in three SKB mixer cases (so that they tilt up out of the cases - way cool) in the following arrangement:
CASE #1 CASE #2 CASE #3 PANEL #2 PANEL #1 PANEL #8 PANEL #3 PANEL #7 PANEL #9 PANEL #4 PANEL #6 PANEL #5
But I change this arrangement around a lot. I also found four bright orange 6' Pamona cables which help span the distance sometimes.