Shift Register (ASR)
(and Dual Analog Shift Register, 2ASR)
The ANALOG SHIFT REGISTER is a sequential sample and hold module
for producing arabesque-like forms in musical space. Whenever
pulsed, the previously held voltage is sent down the line to three
consecutive outputs to produce the electrical equivalent of a
canonic musical structure. A pulse output permits linking
two or more Analog Shift Registers together to form longer patterns.
The DUAL ANALOG SHIFT REGISTER is available for high-density systems.
by 'N' Comparator (NCOM)
is a gem of a module! It does several functions: comparator,
voltage-controlled pulse divider, and voltage-controlled staircase
generator. It has two knobs: one to vary the comparator's
internal DC offset to change the trigger point, and a 'divisor'
knob that changes the division number from 1 to 32.
This is one of few modules which don't have any CV attenuation.
The divider control knob is added to the CV input.
With feedback, this can be patch-programmed to oscillate.
And you can vary the frequency by turning the divider control
knob. Using this module to divide clock pulses is an obvious application;
it is also useful for dividing high-frequency audio.
I only have PCOs in my system I often use the bottom section of
the NCOM to get a pulse wave and/or PWM. Plug a sine into
one input and feed a bit of LFO into the other, then fiddle with
the knob and the scaling of the LFO signal to control the PWM.
From the catalog:
"The DUAL SCHMITT TRIGGER is similar to the Dual Comparator,
except that it has been optimized for squaring up audio signals.
The Schmitt Trigger is a single-input comparator with hysteresis.
Hysteresis means that the switching thresholds are different for
an input signal depending upon whether it is going up or down.
This feature can be used with an envelope and VCA functioning
as a noise gate to reject low-level background noise in audio
Triggers can be used for level detection, plus they have a function
unique to the module: both sections of the module can be used
as a "set-reset flip-flop". Essentially, this is a memory
element. A pulse or level into the SET input sets the R/S
output high. This output will stay high independently of
the activity at the SET input. It is reset to zero when
the RESET input receives a pulse or sufficient level."
Universal Slope Generator (DSG)
versatile module; there's very little it can't do. Two independent
slew generators (positive and negative) are combined to make a
Universal Slope Generator. This Dual module give you two
of them. Trigger it with a pulse and you get a single AR
type envelope waveform. When the cycle starts a gate trigger
output goes low. When the cycle is finished, it goes high.
So to make it cycle repetitively, connect the GATE to TRIGGER.
Rise and Fall times are settable by knob and two voltage control
inputs, one attenuated, the other calibrated at 1v/oct.
Here's a short
list of things you can do with this module: AR transient generator,
VC slew limiter, VC LFO (variable slope triangle and rectangular
waveforms), VC audio oscillator, VC trigger delay, VC clock,
VCLPF, VC pulse divider, Envelope Follower. Talk about wide
range - cycle times go from hours to microseconds, without range
switching. You can almost make an entire synthesizer with
nothing but this module, used in its various ways.
The 1v/oct is most useful when you're patching it as an audio
oscillator, but this is at the top of the Slope Generator's range.
Tracking starts to go, then the oscillations die out completely
at the top end. This module, versatile as it is, is not
a substitute for a Precision Oscillator or New Timbral Oscillator.
The Slope Generator's output is linear, but by patching the output
back into the attenuated VC input you can create exponential waveforms
(with the attenuator knob set after 12 o'clock) or log waveforms
(with the knob set before 12 noon).
How can this
module act as a filter? It slew-limits the high frequency
components of the incoming signal, at a rate set by rise and fall
knobs, and VC. If the rise and fall knobs are set fully
clockwise (fastest rate), filtering will be audibly minimal, seeing
as the Slope Generator is responding rapidly to input. Turning
rise and fall knobs counterclockwise increases the response time,
and high frequency content at the output will decrease.
Turn them fully counterclockwise and audio output will be minimal.
So feed this thing a low harmonic content waveform like a sine
or triangle, and you've got a rough equivalent VCA!
of filtering action is more subtle than the regular VCFs, though
a bit more obvious than a 'tone control.' Good for mellowing
out raspy and buzzy tones.
two Slope Generators together generates interesting 'chaotic'
waveforms. Connect the output of one to the attenuated VC
input of the other, then take the output of the second and patch
it to the input of the first. Play with the attenuator settings.
The DSG has
a 'Rise-Both-Fall' switch. This determines whether the control
voltage coming in at the 'VC IN' jack controls the rise time,
the fall time, or both. Since you can use feedback to create
output exponential or logarithmic output curves, you can use this
switch to create combination curves where the rise is linear (set
the switch to FALL) and the fall is exponential or logarithmic,
or the rise is curved and the fall linear, etc. The 1V/OCT
jack is not affected by the switch.
on this module and a few others act as a level indicator, dark=off,
bright=full on, or in-between.
panel layout of this module has been changed around, and now it
includes a bipolar jack. This AC-couples the output so you
can do nice vibrato (which needs bipolar FM).
Transient Generator (DTG)
This module is 95% of the usefulness of the DSG packaged
in a smaller and less expensive format. It gives up a switch
and a couple of banana jacks, but that's about all. It doesn't
have the 1v/oct calibrated VC input. Its compact size and
versatility make this another gem - one of my absolute favorites.
Same complaints as DSG.
Pretty much the same as applies to DSG. You can order this
module with one of a few stock modifications:
to connect Gate and Trigger together to use as a clock.
This is done a lot with the DTG or DSG, so it's handy and
saves you a patchcord.
In jack. This lets you use this module as a slew limiter,
filter, envelope follower or AR envelope with sustain.
The DSG has this jack, the 'normal' DTG does not.
output jack. This is another feature that the DSG has
that's normally omitted from the DTG to save room. It
AC couples the output so you can use the LFO setup for nice
vibrato. My choice of the bunch was to have the 'signal-in'
jacks put in.
panel layout and labeling has been changed around a little bit
so it makes more sense.
and Stepped Generator (SSG)
Weird. What the hell is this thing??? It is two complementary
modules, one is an elaborate slew limiter, the other an elaborate
sample-and-hold. That however is like trying to describe
a camel as 'kind of like a horse'. It's easy to see these
functions from the comfortable perspective of the known, but they
go into strange territory. The Stepped generator has extremely
low drift, less than 1% per minute from what I've seen.
Slew limiting rate is set by both knob and attenuated VC, as is
a 'rate' for the Stepped generator. Very versatile, whatever
it is. The Coupler output compares the Smooth output
with the stepped output. It is HIGH (+10v) when Stepped
is greater, and LOW(-10v) when Smooth is greater. Be careful
of this voltage swing when using this with other modules!
A trigger input won't care, but audio and control voltage inputs
will see an extreme amplitude.
When used as an audio oscillator, the Smooth generator drifts
a fair bit.
Where do you begin?? Both modules can be internally patch
programmed. The Smooth generator can serve as a VC wide-range
triangle or square wave generator, which means it can also serve
as a VC clock.
Actually, the Smooth module can serve as a sample and hold also.
Put your control source into the usual input, and clock the Hold
input with a 99% duty cycle pulse (that is, mostly on).
The Smooth takes a sample whenever the pulse goes momentarily
LOW, then HOLDs it while HIGH. Presto, now you've got a dual s/h.
The panel layout of this module has been updated from a 3-unit
space to 2 units, with the same capability.
Controlled Clock (CLK)
This is a relatively new module, similar to the DTG. Here
the cycle switches are standard and in place of separate rise/fall
knobs there is a single frequency knob. The VC input is routed
through a rise/both/fall switch like the one on the DSG.
Noise. Usually it's that thing you want to get rid of, but
here we're inviting it to the party. This module offers
white and pink noise audio, plus smooth and stepped random control
voltages and trigger pulses, the rate being voltage controlled.
As if that were not enough, s/h source and output are offered,
plus a trigger input for the internal s/h and a manual push button
I think this
is one of Rex's creations. Looks simple enough: feed a pulse train
in, get multiple simultaneous divided outputs. Other pulse
dividers I've seen from other manufacturers provide outputs that
are powers of two (2,4,8,16...) but don't provide 5,6, or 7 or
any odd-numbered divisors. Providing the odd divisors aids
greatly in creating polyrythms.
This is the
best way to combine triggers together in various ways. Of
course, can be used for making audio too. One guy says he
uses it as a blinky-lite indicator to show the status of signals
in his system. This is one of Rex's ideas, offering two
inverters, and OR, AND, and XOR gates.
in conjunction with a sequencer, these modules take a continuously
varying voltage and constrain it to equally-tempered steps.
Four scales are available depending on the setting of switches
and the state of scale select trigger inputs. There are
3 quantizers available: the TKB quantizer, a sequencer quantizer,
and a standalone quantizer. The standalone quantizer has
seven available independent channels, in other words, you can
quantize up to seven sources independently. The TKB quantizer
has four independent channels and four channels dedicated to the
A-B-C-D layers of the TKB. Also, the standalone and TKB
quantizers take up 2 inches of panel width, whereas the sequencer
quantizers need only one inch.
From Chris Macdonald:
it certainly isn't very glamorous, I end up using it in just about
every patch in one way or another so it's quite a workhorse. :)
Since my system is a bit short on CV scaling capabilities I often
patch a CV into one input and use the VC knob to scale down the
output. I also often use it as a crude audio mixer with
the VC knob acting to adjust the level of one or the other signal.
The VC input can act to automatically fade between the inputs
as well. The bottom voltage knob gets a lot of use for manually
sweeping multiple filters simultaneously and the inverted input
is useful for, well, inverting inputs! I don't think any
of this qualifies as wizardry, but my AP certainly gets lots of
and I think, the cheapest module in the catalog. It's a
2-way toggle trigger switch, one way provides a continuous gate,
the other way is spring-loaded for momentary triggers. The
two pots let you do audio or CV attenuating.
Deceptively simple. It's two 3-input DC mixers, each
input having an inverting attenuator, and with a master DC offset
knob, -5 to +5 volts.
Would be nice if maximum setting on the attenuators corresponded
to exactly unity gain, but I think it's actually a little greater
than unity. This would be handier to keep oscillators tracking.
Can also be used as a spare audio mixer. Hey, why not?
You can use this module as a voltage multiplier.
Put your incoming voltage at one of the inputs, then multiple
off that input to the next processor input to double it.
Keep in mind that you can use this module with no input voltages.
The offset knob is handy for driving one or more modules together
as a group, or for using negative bias to VC an oscillator into
extra-low territory. Since several of the Serge modules
have no VC processing input, it's handy to have one of these to
trim the output of a DSG, Random Source, or TKB Pressure into
a more subtle range.
familiar module in this sea of seeming Martian weirdness.
Superlative DADSR, with voltage controllable delay, attack, sustain,
release. The VC ALL input controls all VC time parameters simultaneously.
The little switch at the bottom selects between exponential and
linear output curves. Hey, hook it up to a keyboard and
play notes like everyone else on the block!
None of the control voltage inputs has an attenuator.
The SCALING BUFFER is useful for controlling two or more modules
from the same control voltage. A single knob and an offset
voltage allows a change in the settings and response of modules
simultaneously. The pitch and tracking of two or more oscillator
or filters can be changed without readjusting the individual processing
inputs or frequency knobs for each module.
The SCALING PROCESSOR is similar to the Dual Processor except
it has three sections. The top two sections have one fixed
gain input and one input with full processing. The bottom
section has two inputs with full processing control (scaling and
inverting) as well as an offset control. A fixed +5 volts
is available at all times for use as an offset bias for the above
sections or to change the range of a module or set of modules.