This site is dedicated to everyone interested in Serge Modular Music Synthesizers
 
THE FIST OF GOD
Click here for a picture of the "2003" version...
Here's what  DarkStr717@aol.com says about his system and his music:
I'm not at all sensitive about passing out information about me or the gear. I'm usually pretty good at getting a feel for folks so I don't collect a bunch of crazies....with the exception of Rex of course!!  LOL... I have a hard enough time dealing with myself  : ) and I do love talking with other musicians as long as they understand that I'm not a technician. That's why Rex and I get along so well. I was right upfront with him about my limited technical ability and he seemed to be OK with that. Plus we're both guitar players with a love for jazz and 50's rock instrumentals. Especially stuff from the Northwest. He has come up to visit a couple times and he was even good enough to help me calibrate my system and teach me about "gain staging" back in the days when the Fist was of manageable size LOL.

Now of course the Fist is totally out of control.!! HAHA..just the way I like it. At one time I did have a "vintage panel" that used to belong to Dave. He had Rex put a new face plate on it and after awhile it just kinda made it's way over here. Can't remember what kind of trade we worked out. I had it for about a year then sold it to Juergen in Switzerland.

I'm not sure why I have so many panels except to say that I'm a little obsessed. Music is my life and passion although I'm never "totally" focused on it for long stretches. There ARE other things aren't there??   LMAO!!  For me, the Serge is the complete electronic Orchestra. I like to have as few overdubs as possible so getting many things going at once is the way for me.....hence many panels for many different elements at once. Also, I didn't realize how badly I would get hooked on this method. I never thought I would have more than 5 or 6 panels but it just kept on snowballing. As a result the first 7 or 8 panels are kind of a mishmash of stuff with no clear layout philosophy. Indeed panel #4 is a train wreck. LOL I also realized that you can never have too many Osc's. As a result of poor planning and ignorance I have more generators than I need and not enough Osc's  (28) However the system is very flexible and I can get 6 complex discreet elements going at once. It can handle 3 composers in a pinch but functions best with two people playing at once.

I first saw a two panel system when I took my Oberheim OB-Mx down to Oakland to get it serviced about 5 years ago. I had some time to kill and I had been seeing this little ad for Serge in one of the music rags. I stopped in and of course Rex and Rox just blew me away. I told him I was a novice and he said "here, play this for awhile" After about 20 minutes, although I had no idea what I was doing. I KNEW I could make music with this thing. So 6 months later I took the plunge and I've been drowning ever since!!! LOL

No, I didn't win the lottery. Just forces beyond my control have seen fit to make it so that I can pursue my musical vision. I guess at some level you could say I'm lucky or whatever but that's just on the surface. For a couple of years I worked with this thing for about 4 hours a day. Then I decided that if I didn't get a job (part time only) I would probably get totally disconnected from everything so I got this funky little part time gig at a local pro audio shop which keeps me supplied with cool toys for cheap. Works for me  : )  but I think in a few more years I'm just going to retire from the whole thing and drift off into Oscillatorville.

  Dave says some of my stuff is brilliant....I say he's full of shit. LMAO!!!  but who cares??  I like it and that's all that matters. I work with the
system just about everyday except weekends. I don't get to put long stretches in but I find that if I just keep at it a little everyday I get enough done to keep me happy.

Why Serge??.......Why not?? hahaha Yes I do lust after the Moog filters but I'm not going to spend that kind of money on a system that old cause I'm not a engineer and I can't spend that time or cash keeping the thing running. I want to work....not trouble shoot. I had a 4 frame A100. To small...not flexible enough. But I did keep the Trigger Sequencers. I did this 'cause no matter how hard I beat Rex over the head he wouldn't resurrect the old Serge design. The Wiard system looks really COOL!! and if I had the physical room for one I'd go for it. But I'm maxed out at the moment. I do have four of the Synthesis Technology (MOTM) filters which I love . Dave turned me on to them. I will probably add to this frame from time to time. I also have a barley functional MiniMoog that I'm going to have SE strip one of this days and rack mount so I can finally have those luscious filters in the system. Or maybe I'll just get a Mutator.....who knows.

I've been talking to Rex for a couple years now about redesigning the filters but it's going to be a long time...he knows he has to do something in that area. I also gave him a nudge a couple years ago to improve the sequencers with LED's and stage select ins. So now I'm one of his Beta testers for some crazy ideas.

I've decided to play out and go around to other studios so I ordered a portable system which should be showing up here any day. It will have a "blue and red" panel and 3 custom panels plus a TKB I ordered back in Sept. and it's been along time coming 'cause Rex had to let Roxanne go and he's been training a couple other guys to do her work..... I'm not sure that's possible....Rox was one of a kind as you know.

   What does it have..........???  well,
28 Osc..... 6 are NTO's 4 PDIV
2 TWS 4 VCM
4 N COM 5 COM
8 MIX 2 14 XFAD
2 AMX w/phase switch 8 VCFX
4 VCFS
2 VCF2
3  EQ 2 UAP
2 DCSM
3 QVM
1 MAX 11 QUO
5 DSG 1 WAD
9 DTG ( 4 bi-polar/4 sig. in/1w/sig in +trig button
3 SSG   1 with S/H switch + W&P noise internal gen tied to DTG
3 BLOG 1 Freq Shift
1 RING 8 ACPR
4 BUFF 1 Freq Shift 2PHA
3 SPRC 1 PRC
2 CVI 2 CMX
1 2ASR 3 ASR w/input atten.
1 RVG 2 2RVG
4 VC CLOCK 2 ADSR
3 SEQ  8, 7, 4 2 TKB
1 Quantizer 2 CM
1 Preamp Detector 1 ENV2
1 STR    
The ASM1 panels have 2 Osc 2 ADSR's  VCF /a Glide /Scale/LFO and 2 VCA's
each.

I think this answers all your questions. Ask Dave for a scan of the current setup although it has changed a small bit since that picture was taken. I had difficulty taking the pictures 'cause the flash reflects off the panels and I don't have a fisheye lens to get everything in the shot.

Anyway, all for now. Let me hear from you.
Kind regards
John


Oh yea, one more thing.. as to what I play.  Suppose just about everyone could hear a little bit of someone else in my stuff but after listening to electronic music for more than 30 years I'd have to say that I sound pretty much like myself. I know that's lame but I don't know what else to say.

Sometime it has rhythm ? ( never could spell that word)...sometimes not but I tend more toward the ambient/soundscape genre ( hate that terminology) As a reference point I'd give a nod to TD (Phaedra) Walter/Wendy (Sonic Seasonings) and of course Stockhausen. I'm also a devoted(but not fanatical) fan of the Dead. I also love the Ventures and Surf music. ( go figure). What all this means is, is that I'm not much for the "stare and drool" (as Dave calls it) stuff that seems to be dominant in the Ambient field. A good piece has to have at least one of the two basic elements of a good piece. It has to have either a melody or repeating theme or it must paint an aural picture or emotion. And it should be mysterious, exotic,scary or whimsical. So that's what I strive for. I have hours of tapes with nothing but wanking on them LOL. But that's where it stays.....on tape. A lot of folks seem to get off on releasing this stuff....oh well  : ) Damn !! I went off on a rant!! LOL.

Enough of this post script.

LOL= Laughing out loud
LMAO=  Laughing my ass off.
Yes, you can quote me on all this stuff

The Dual VC clock is based on the DTG AND the DSG..it's a combination of the two. Instead of the rise and fall knobs there is a pair of Frequency pots with rise/both/fall switches with VC in jacks at the bottom with + and - rotaries. At the top there is a cycle switch and a gate switch. Cycle serves the left half and gate serves the right half on the module. The usual output jacks appear at the top.

The Random Voltage Generator has the noise source built into it. It has the usual pink and white noise output plus trigger in. I'm not sure how the dual Random generator is set up but they don't have the noise outputs or the trigger in. Just the two stepped and smooth outs and pulse out. One of the Randoms and one of the BLOGs have Blue LED's on them.

 There are 3 Smooth and Stepped function generators in the system. One of which is pretty unique. This isn't listed in the catalog and I think he's only making these on a custom basis. He laid this thing on me just to see how I liked it and if he should make up some more. What it does is hard to say... I haven't gotten into it that much yet. What it is....... a Smooth and Stepped alongside a DTG but it's one module.

Crammed in-between the two is a white noise and pink noise output jack with a Sample and Hold switch. It's like an inset between the two and overlaps a little into the graphics of each. The DTG has a signal in jack and a "gate" pushbutton. Pretty crazy huh? You can make your Oscillators go wild or get some pretty strange envelopes when patched to the ADSR. I don't claim to even begin to understand the thing but it's fun. I think Rex is offering this in a panel that goes with the Fun Station as he calls it. The rest of that panel contains a NTO, PVCO, VCM ,single space audio mixer with "phase" switch on the output. A VCFX and a UAP.