Saturday, 22 March 2014

Berlin Nights

Had a cracking time with new and old synthesizer friends at Schneiders' Messe Aftershow in Kreuzberg on Thursday night. Look forward to a video including Mark Verbos and Koma Chrisi's funky set.

Highlight: Schneider & Splitradix improv on funk bass and megaphone. Low point: the whisky selection at Zum Goldenen Hahn post aftershow.

If you're in Neukölln next weekend, I'll be playing live at Clockwork#1, a modular synthesizer night hosted by Koma Elektronik.

Hope to see you there!

29 March, 20:30
at Drumherum
Lichtenraderstr. 49
12049 Berlin

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

CGS77 Serge 1973 Filter Demo

Sounds of the CGS77, Ken Stone's adaptation of the original Serge filter, are scarce. I hope these recordings help anyone considering this DIY build.

I'm really not a filter man, but the Serge VQVCF is something special. This circuit is its 1973 ancestor. The state variable found in today's systems has been refined with gain compensation and a trigger input. But Ken Stone tells me that the CGS77 is essentially the same core and my ears aren't about to argue.

If you want to hear more, please buy the EP for the unedited recordings and pictures of my build.

Building CGS modules for Eurorack presents the DIY-er with the problem of how to accommodate the PCB. Others have opted for 'best-of' panels, combining several PCBs behind one large interface. My solution was initially based on a false assumption - that I could cut below the CGS77's 'dotted line' to remove the unneeded buffers and mount it vertically.

I should have done this before populating the board, so I settled on another tactic. Using stand-offs and making sure the module in the row below is less than 4 cm deep, my '73 filter is a dashing 10HP. Here are the guts and here its installed.

On the mechanics, I used Charlie The Bad Producer's method of attaching the power via a perfboard add-on. I considered normalling the band-pass to the input for self-oscillation, but found in testing that the '73 doesn't make a particularly stable oscillator. The HP & BP are nice, but not as good as the Plan B Model 12, so I might leave them out on a future build. Other casualties might be the DC mode and LED. This filter responds well to modulation, so an additional CV input would be more useful: this can be added in at the points marked S & R on the schematic.

Thank you Serge & Ken for this wonderful filter, negativspace for BOM help and my brother for the boards!