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THE SERGE MODULES - Applications and Comments   

Here's a few more things from the SSG trick bag:

1. Pointy wave generator
Patch CYCLE to IN on the Smooth generator, then also patch SMOOTH OUT to VC RATE. Mult another banana into SMOOTH OUT and use it for CV or audio.  Instead of generating triangle waves with linear sides you're making exponential pointy waves.  Vary RATE and VC RATE for different

2. Straightforward Sample-and-Hold, periodic
Send the output of any oscillator or LFO to the Stepped section's IN jack.  Patch up a clock using a DSG and send its trigger pulse to the SAMPLE jack.  Turn the Stepped RATE knob fully clockwise.  Patch STEPPED OUT into the CV input of an audio oscillator.  Watch how the the STEPPED OUT LED flashes brighter and dimmer in time with the clock pulse.  Note how the combination of clock pulse rate and LFO frequency affects the stream of voltages coming out of Stepped.

3. Straightforward Sample-and-Hold, random
Use the setup in #2 but instead of using an oscillator or LFO to feed the IN jack, use a noise source or S/H SOURCE.  Now no matter how fast or slow you run your DSG clock, you will have random pitches coming out of your audio VCO.

4. Squashed Sample-and-Hold
Use the setup for #2 or #3, vary the Stepped section's RATE knob. Note that as you turn the knob counterclockwise the amount of each step becomes less and less.  The RATE knob slew-limits how fast the sample-and-hold can change.  Given enough time the maximum high and low points will still be hit but each step will be more modest.  At full counterclockwise rotation step size is inaudible - I can't hear it, can you?  At settings over 50% you can get interesting subtle ultra-microtonal variations.

5. Loony Tunes & Merry Melodies (®TM AOL-TIME-WARNER ; )
Patches #2 & #3 are perfect input for a quantizer if you have one.  Note that in setup #2 you have interesting repeating patterns but the patterns inevitably have some kind of drift, unless you know the clock and the LFO are sync'd together somehow.  A quantizer won't eliminate the drift but will turn it into something melodic.  Patch #3 is fun using a quantizer also, but instead of producing pretty repeating patterns you'll get crazy notes all over the place.

6. Autoerotic Sample-and-Hold
Well, since you can patch the Smooth section as a square wave pulse generator, you can use that pulse to trigger the SAMPLE input of the Stepped side.  Strangely though, for every cycle of the square wave you get TWO evenly spaced triggers .. so the clock rate for the Smooth pulse generator is doubled if it's used as an S/H trigger.

7. Zero-crossing detector
Noting that the COUPLER output goes high if STEPPED OUT is greater than SMOOTH OUT, you can use this as a simple spare comparator. 
Patch any AC coupled signal into Smooth IN and take the COUPLER out to trigger or do something ... every time Smooth IN goes NEGATIVE, if nothing's going into Stepped IN and Stepped's essentially unused, that satisfies the condition of Stepped being GREATER, and the COUPLER goes HIGH.  ..again
PLEASE NOTE that due to the wide voltage swing of the COUPLER output, take great care using it for audio and CV applications! Note also, you don't need to send SMOOTH OUT or STEPPED OUT anywhere in this application.

8. Up/Down staircase generator.
Patch Stepped's CYCLE to IN.  Note that, unlike doing this with a DSG or the Smooth section, you're not getting a repeating cycle.
Now send a clock pulse to SAMPLE.  Turn the RATE knob fully clockwise. 
You can patch STEPPED OUT to your audio VCO again.  It will be a somewhat jerky rising and falling staircase, a staircase that rises stepwise to a maximum then falls stepwise to a minimum. Now rotate RATE counterclockwise ... you will hear the number of steps per cycle increase, and the size of each step decrease proportionately. So you'll be hearing lots of itty bitty steps rising to a peak, then falling off to a minimum.  Very cute.  At full counterclockwise rotation of RATE the steps will be inaudibly tiny ... it will simply sound like a smooth rising and falling like a nice smooth sided triangle LFO. 
Now vary the clock rate going into SAMPLE and see how that changes the output.  The size of the steps of the staircase depends on RATE, and the speed of the
steps depends on the clock going into SAMPLE.

Well, taking the 6 applications in the first installment with the 8 in this one brings us to 14 applications of the SSG - that is, ONE TWO-PART SERGE MODULE.  Just think about that for a minute.  Now please consider that these are fairly BASIC SSG applications.  For the next installment, I will get into some more advanced stuff....

Till then, peace to all

John P.

[ continue to part three ]   
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