Friday, 18 June 2010

Silent Serge

UPDATE: The above picture is a nice hi-res one taken on the Leica Digilux 3

I finished making the new case for my Serge Modular. Well almost finished, I might live with it for a while and check it's how I want it, then use the wooden panels I made as templates for thicker solid wood ones that I will have cut by a pro. Below is a mini-blog of what I did

I bought the modules home in a box and set it up so I could test it out and think about the configuration

After checking out the modules I took off all the face plates which also contain the electronics. Some will need a bit of work later on such as non working lamps etc

After much thought and precarious balancing I arrived at a design and then cut the wooden side-cheeks. I used American Walnut left over from when I had my kitchen built

When I bought the modules about 8 years ago some were of a more modern and dubious vintage, the clue here being that the face plate was written in Biro. It's actually a very useful and clever module, as it interfaces with the Roland MP101 midi-cv interface which came with the Serge module opening up a whole world of possibilities. I decided to redo the graphics, so I took off what was there

It was interesting to see which modules the previous owner had replaced. Looking underneath revealed that it had been a dual reverb [which I have in another panel] and a Serge dual pre-amp. Oh well

Here is the layout I made in photoshop. I think I found the exact font which was a stroke of luck [Twentieth Century Bold]

Here it is in-situ. I even 'aged' the paper [with tea] prior to laminating it to roughly match the rest of the panels

And here it is! I am going to have an extra [custom delay?] panel made up to fill the space at the top left, or if i find the right vintage Serge [TKB?] then maybe....

Why is this post called 'Silent Serge'? Because upon testing out the finished thing, I managed to short out the power supply with a banana cord, and now it won't power up. It should be a quick fix for Big Al though, but it means I can't play with it till next week. DOH!

UPDATE: Here are some more pics of the finished Serge, circa August 2011

Tuesday, 15 June 2010


I've been digging around on the Serge Modular Owners Group and found some more case designs and these look really simple to make and also really 70s. I also found this cool ad Serge used early on

Monday, 14 June 2010

Discoid Funk

NOTE: I am struggling with Audio Players on this blog. I have tried muzicons and soundcloud but neither work on all systems, so now I have butchered some code from someone else's blog to try and embed a nice simple player for my audio. Hopefully this one will work, on macs, pcs, ipads, even iphones and other mobiles.... but it probably won't dammit

There is a great library record by Brian Bennett from 1978 called VOYAGE: A JOURNEY INTO DISCOID FUNK. I got it from the rather EGG-cellent Egg City Radio blog, which is well worth checking out for interesting and otherwise lost music that you can't find on itunes. I bought a Yamaha DX5 once on ebay and when I turned up at the sellers house to pick it up I was greeted by Brian Bennett, but I didn't know who he was at the time except for the drummer from the Shadows, but to me his composing for film and tv and general input into the world of library music overshadows even the Shadows. This album is really good and features the keyboard playing of Francis Monkman, who I posted about here because he made the soundtrack to The Long Good Friday, which is also EGG-stremely good

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Cher Epp Nin

As an update to this post, I saw this picture of Serge Tcherepnin [see above for pronunciation] and noticed the cabinet he is leaning on. I have decided that as he looks so pleased with it I will base my design on his, and I will keep you posted on my progress. Actually, I am going through my system and making notes of any things that need sorting before it gets put into a new box, such as fixing the sequencer LEDs, mending two of the filters and one of the Negative Slews

Terhill Sessions

Me and Dave drove down to Sid's new house in Terhill, Somerset this weekend for a bit of an Oblong writing session. We managed to get a few things done in between walking and drinking and Scrabble [SLANTY is a word, particularly when it's on a triple word score...] Sid's place is really lovely, a beautiful old cottage filled with arts and crafts stuff and his well-chosen music gear. Here's my Roland SH101 and RS09 and the door to the garden

By the way, I've gone over to soundcloud for music clips....

  Terhill 3 by zagoba

Triple Roland

A great looking Roland 100M just sold on the bay [in Devon]. It reached £6000 with 26 bids. Here's the module list:

112 dual oscilator
112 dual oscilator
112 dual oscilator
121 dual VCF
121 dual VCF
130 dual VCA130 dual VCA
140 dual envelope
140 dual envelope
150 ring modulator
131 mixer
132 dual mixer voltage processor
172 phase shifter / delay / gated delay
182 8 step sequencer
150 clock / LFO