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


  1. Having gotten to the end of the Serge section at Ken Stone's site, it was great to see the 2 videos of your ancient monster! :D
    Drooling over Serge since 1992, I bought 4 x Universal Slope Generators early this year. I'll soon have '73 VCFs and a few others that Ken is selling. Would love the original but ... $$$. :)

    Great restoration work! :D

    1. thanks rich. heres a more recent vid:

  2. That was wonderful to listen to! :D Playing the 4 step Programmers and 4017 sequencers live. :D Great modified rhythmic movements through it.

    What did you manage to pick the old system up for?

    And mounting your Roland MPU101 behind a panel is a really good idea as well. I think I'm going to do the same with mine as it's the main interface between my Alesis MMT-8 Sequencer and my monster. It would be much neater / less length dangling 1/8" to banana cables hanging all over the place.
    I don't know if you ripped yours open or not, but I'll just put the 101 inside the modular with cables coming from it to the front panel. 12 Serge modules (3 more to build at the mo') and counting. Hopefully soon, a lot more of them. :D