Baby's first Serge: STS Animal vs. R*S La Bestia II

Discussing some incredible modules that don't quite fit into the other forum categories.

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Pahat_Kengat
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Baby's first Serge: STS Animal vs. R*S La Bestia II

Post by Pahat_Kengat » Sun Dec 30, 2018 12:31 pm

I couldn't find a topic similar to this, and I don't think this would've fit the sticky Serge topics, so I decided to make a new one. I apologise in advance if I simply missed a topic I could've read instead. But anyway:

As the title suggests, I'm dead set on acquiring my first Serge as soon as I have the funds together, and I have decided to get the Animal or a derivative of the panel. The thing is that I'm not sure whose panel to buy.

Mainly I'm torn between the classic STS Animal and La Bestia II by Random* Source, but the two are slightly different from one another, and while you can find videos of people playing the Animal in varying styles on YouTube etc., samples of La Bestia II are scarce. Still, La Bestia II is currently the more serious contender because of various reasons, including location (EU vs. USA) and, well, the price (2600€ vs. 4800$, yikes), but I would like to hear other people's opinions either way before I make my final decision.

The main difference between the two panels is that La Bestia II replaces the Precision VCO with the Variable Slope VCF, but there seem to be some other minor differences between the individual modules as well that I find difficult to compare with one another with the aid of descriptions and visible cues alone. :despair:

The music I make consists largely of multiple static and soft drones and the different harmonics and overtones they create together, so in terms of usability which panel would be the best one for my needs? Additional filtering does seem like a nice thing to have, but would I miss the additional VCO? And if there are people here with more insight on how the modules differ from one another on a more detail orientated level, this information would be most appreciated as well!

Thanks so much already in advance, and it's great to be a part of this community! 8-)

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Post by jamb » Sun Dec 30, 2018 12:40 pm

i cannot speak for La Bestia II, but I have an STS Animal and it's one of the best single panels / complete synths I've owned. I personally feel that having two vco's is essential. I often cross modulate, or use the second VCO to modulate the wave multi in an audio range, and then with the 'range' switch you can instantaneously get some nice variation. I've had the same patch sitting on my animal for 2 months and I haven't gotten sick of it. The depth of what you can get out of static patches with subtle tweaking is astounding. lbii may also be capable of this to some degree, but i use the second vco in everything i do with the panel. rex thought this one through and through and it's a perfect panel.

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aethyr
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Post by aethyr » Sun Dec 30, 2018 12:43 pm

There is an excellent panel that is neither STS nor RS for sale by oldenjon. Take a look

:party:

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wavecircle
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Post by wavecircle » Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:17 pm

Loudest warning also, totally custom, lots of mods

Image
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thezyg/ (lots of Serge)

[s]http://bit.ly/2Mekran[/s]

Ciat Lonbarde stuff from many moons ago: http://soundcloud.com/polska-kliknij-muzyka

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Post by Reese P. Dubin » Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:23 pm

Bestia + additional RS = more for less than $T$

Pahat_Kengat
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Post by Pahat_Kengat » Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:44 pm

jamb wrote:i cannot speak for La Bestia II, but I have an STS Animal and it's one of the best single panels / complete synths I've owned. I personally feel that having two vco's is essential. I often cross modulate, or use the second VCO to modulate the wave multi in an audio range, and then with the 'range' switch you can instantaneously get some nice variation. I've had the same patch sitting on my animal for 2 months and I haven't gotten sick of it. The depth of what you can get out of static patches with subtle tweaking is astounding. lbii may also be capable of this to some degree, but i use the second vco in everything i do with the panel. rex thought this one through and through and it's a perfect panel.
I thought this might be the case, especially since the Variable Slope VCF frankly doesn't seem to be that necessary alongside the Variable Q VCF. :waah:

Pahat_Kengat
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Post by Pahat_Kengat » Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:45 pm

aethyr wrote:There is an excellent panel that is neither STS nor RS for sale by oldenjon. Take a look

:party:
I am intrigued, I definitely should take a look at other makers' selections as well. Do they have a website etc. where their panels could be browsed? 8-)

EDIT:

...or are they a user on this forum? :roll:
Last edited by Pahat_Kengat on Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Pahat_Kengat » Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:47 pm

wavecircle wrote:Loudest warning also, totally custom, lots of mods

Image
This one also seems very interesting. I'll take a closer look at this as well.

Thanks everyone for your input so far! It's greatly appreciated. :love:

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Post by emenel » Sun Dec 30, 2018 4:11 pm

Pahat_Kengat if you're handy with a soldering iron the Random*Source stuff is fantastic. IMO, they recently brought Serge himself onto the team so in terms of their designs they are in good company. For pre built stuff Patch Point in Berlin might be your best option for R*S.

I don't own any STS, but have used some. It's very well made, but IMO the price difference is not worth it (including things like power supplies etc, way more expensive and I haven't seen a reasonable difference).

I also have some Loudest Warning stuff and can highly recommend that options as well. He is a member here, the bad producer. Very high quality and a great process to design exactly what you want.

(Edited to correct the bad producer’s handle)
Last edited by emenel on Sun Dec 30, 2018 8:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Pahat_Kengat
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Post by Pahat_Kengat » Sun Dec 30, 2018 5:28 pm

Having taken a look at Loudest Warning's panels, a change of plans might be in order. Their portable custom Serge panels such as this one here seem incredibly interesting. :hail:

I might just have to make a price inquiry one of these days...

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Post by cygmu » Sun Dec 30, 2018 5:59 pm

Charlie Loudest Warning is the bad producer here (note the spaces, not as written by emenel) and comes highly recommended. He can put together individual panels or full 17" panels as seen in the post by wavecircle above.

I recommend wavecircle's instagram account as a source of demos of the Animal-like panel that Charlie built for him. The little recordings on there sound great but also, as far as I can tell, document the discoveries of someone learning his way around the panel (I hope that does not seem offensive... it's not intended as such...) I find them inspiring for that reason. https://www.instagram.com/thezyg/

Have a look at this thread for more Loudest Warning goodness:
viewtopic.php?t=209560
That one is a bunch of demos of a panel that includes two Buchla oscillators in an otherwise Serge setup, with very interesting results.

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Post by wavecircle » Sun Dec 30, 2018 6:47 pm

cygmu wrote:
I recommend wavecircle's instagram account as a source of demos of the Animal-like panel that Charlie built for him. The little recordings on there sound great but also, as far as I can tell, document the discoveries of someone learning his way around the panel (I hope that does not seem offensive... it's not intended as such...) I find them inspiring for that reason. https://www.instagram.com/thezyg/
Thanks man! Are you a follower? I'm not sure what your handle is on there.

The videos are not so much learning the panels, I do know them really well in terms of what each input and output does (I promise :razz: ) but exploring the depths of the modules and how they can interact. This is the great power of Serge designs, anything can go anywhere and each module has several functions. It's tricky to run out of options and I am constantly finding new things (The filter as a drum machine has been a popular patch for a couple of months).

It is, in my humble opinion, the best educational system you can buy. It also sounds fantastic, like raw electricity, I always compare it being able to plug your ears directly to the mains. I never learned this much about synthesis on any other system.

The reason I recommend Charlie is that he can squeeze every inch of functionality out of the PCBs. Whatever you see on a standard Serge module, there is usually something on the PCB that can be routed into it and modified in some way. You can also add utility stuff if you get a full panel. You can see on my Sequencer panel there are 2 quantizers each side of the clock. The programmer was modified to do vertical sequencing.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thezyg/ (lots of Serge)

[s]http://bit.ly/2Mekran[/s]

Ciat Lonbarde stuff from many moons ago: http://soundcloud.com/polska-kliknij-muzyka

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Post by Pahat_Kengat » Sun Dec 30, 2018 6:53 pm

cygmu wrote:Charlie Loudest Warning is the bad producer here (note the spaces, not as written by emenel) and comes highly recommended. He can put together individual panels or full 17" panels as seen in the post by wavecircle above.

I recommend wavecircle's instagram account as a source of demos of the Animal-like panel that Charlie built for him. The little recordings on there sound great but also, as far as I can tell, document the discoveries of someone learning his way around the panel (I hope that does not seem offensive... it's not intended as such...) I find them inspiring for that reason. https://www.instagram.com/thezyg/

Have a look at this thread for more Loudest Warning goodness:
viewtopic.php?t=209560
That one is a bunch of demos of a panel that includes two Buchla oscillators in an otherwise Serge setup, with very interesting results.
Thanks so much for the recommendations! I will definitely be taking a look at all of this. 8-)

I noticed the Buchla oscillators on one of LW's systems while browsing their page. Very fascinating!

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Post by Pahat_Kengat » Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:23 pm

wavecircle wrote:
cygmu wrote:
I recommend wavecircle's instagram account as a source of demos of the Animal-like panel that Charlie built for him. The little recordings on there sound great but also, as far as I can tell, document the discoveries of someone learning his way around the panel (I hope that does not seem offensive... it's not intended as such...) I find them inspiring for that reason. https://www.instagram.com/thezyg/
Thanks man! Are you a follower? I'm not sure what your handle is on there.

The videos are not so much learning the panels, I do know them really well in terms of what each input and output does (I promise :razz: ) but exploring the depths of the modules and how they can interact. This is the great power of Serge designs, anything can go anywhere and each module has several functions. It's tricky to run out of options and I am constantly finding new things (The filter as a drum machine has been a popular patch for a couple of months).

It is, in my humble opinion, the best educational system you can buy. It also sounds fantastic, like raw electricity, I always compare it being able to plug your ears directly to the mains. I never learned this much about synthesis on any other system.

The reason I recommend Charlie is that he can squeeze every inch of functionality out of the PCBs. Whatever you see on a standard Serge module, there is usually something on the PCB that can be routed into it and modified in some way. You can also add utility stuff if you get a full panel. You can see on my Sequencer panel there are 2 quantizers each side of the clock. The programmer was modified to do vertical sequencing.
...and I'll be taking a good look at your IG as well. :razz:

While I haven't actually been able to play a Serge as of yet, I still agree that they seem to be very intuitive instruments based on Rich Gold's guide book and the 1982 catalogue alone. Straight forward and easy to grasp.

On a different note, I just have to say that the Loudest Warning panels are simply gorgeous things. Absolutely stunning instruments. :cry:

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Post by cygmu » Mon Dec 31, 2018 2:45 am

wavecircle wrote: The videos are not so much learning the panels, I do know them really well in terms of what each input and output does (I promise :razz: ) but exploring the depths of the modules and how they can interact.
Yes, that's a better way of putting it, and that is what I meant -- I certainly didn't mean that you were going "Ooh, I wonder what this Stepped Out does..." :) Seeing you finding new ways of patching and discovering the sounds that the panel can make is what makes your IG interesting, at least to me. Thanks for posting all those clips!

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Post by mestlick » Mon Dec 31, 2018 8:06 pm

I recommend LW too. I got an Animal-like panel 2nd hand and it is amazing.
That system wavecircle showed is absolutely perfect for a 2 panel serge.

My LW panel has 2 PCO and no ring, which gets me a variable slope filter.
The variable Q is really sharp and howls, the variable slope is more rubbery and less resonant. The variable slope is my favorite filter of all time, it always sounds good to me.

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Post by cygmu » Tue Jan 01, 2019 2:03 am

mestlick wrote: I got an Animal-like panel 2nd hand and it is amazing.
Ooh, some nice videos of that on your channel too. I liked this one:


I agree with you on the Variable Slope filter. If what I want is filtering, that is the one I go for.

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Post by Pahat_Kengat » Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:22 am

mestlick wrote:I recommend LW too. I got an Animal-like panel 2nd hand and it is amazing.
That system wavecircle showed is absolutely perfect for a 2 panel serge.

My LW panel has 2 PCO and no ring, which gets me a variable slope filter.
The variable Q is really sharp and howls, the variable slope is more rubbery and less resonant. The variable slope is my favorite filter of all time, it always sounds good to me.
Ok, I must've misunderstood or not properly gotten the function of the Variable Slope VCF. Less resonant eg. softer(?) does sound very good. This also gives me something to think about.

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Post by wavecircle » Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:23 am

cygmu wrote:
wavecircle wrote: The videos are not so much learning the panels, I do know them really well in terms of what each input and output does (I promise :razz: ) but exploring the depths of the modules and how they can interact.
Yes, that's a better way of putting it, and that is what I meant -- I certainly didn't mean that you were going "Ooh, I wonder what this Stepped Out does..." :) Seeing you finding new ways of patching and discovering the sounds that the panel can make is what makes your IG interesting, at least to me. Thanks for posting all those clips!
I really appreciate it, I never know if it's mainly just bots watching my videos as I get few comments. It's nice to know someone gets some value from them... More panels in the pipeline this year so the system will get slightly bigger and more explorations. I was thinking about setting up a YouTube channel full of Serge tutorials/patching processes. It would be good to have a resource which covers the basic functionality and patches of the essential modules.
Last edited by wavecircle on Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:27 am, edited 2 times in total.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thezyg/ (lots of Serge)

[s]http://bit.ly/2Mekran[/s]

Ciat Lonbarde stuff from many moons ago: http://soundcloud.com/polska-kliknij-muzyka

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Post by wavecircle » Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:25 am

Pahat_Kengat wrote:
On a different note, I just have to say that the Loudest Warning panels are simply gorgeous things. Absolutely stunning instruments. :cry:
One thing to also remember about LW is that he uses the full panel for module space. STS and R*S give 16 vertical units, LW gives you 17. It doesn't sound like much but on my voice panel, this gives me the full R6 Ring Modulator which can be used for AM, RM and as a VCA. On my Sequencer I have the /NCOM, which is an awesome module. I really like having that extra functionality as I am kind of put off by large systems. You really have to be creative with a small system, it's one way of learning fast.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thezyg/ (lots of Serge)

[s]http://bit.ly/2Mekran[/s]

Ciat Lonbarde stuff from many moons ago: http://soundcloud.com/polska-kliknij-muzyka

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Post by Pahat_Kengat » Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:29 am

wavecircle wrote:
cygmu wrote:
wavecircle wrote: The videos are not so much learning the panels, I do know them really well in terms of what each input and output does (I promise :razz: ) but exploring the depths of the modules and how they can interact.
Yes, that's a better way of putting it, and that is what I meant -- I certainly didn't mean that you were going "Ooh, I wonder what this Stepped Out does..." :) Seeing you finding new ways of patching and discovering the sounds that the panel can make is what makes your IG interesting, at least to me. Thanks for posting all those clips!
I really appreciate it, I never know if it's mainly just bots watching my videos as I get few comments. It's nice to know someone gets some value from them... More panels in the pipeline this year so the system will get slightly bigger and more explorations. I was thinking about setting up a YouTube channel full of Serge tutorials/patching processes. It would be good to have a resource which covers the basic functionality and patches of the essential modules.
Full support for a Serge tutorial series over here! :party:

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Post by Pahat_Kengat » Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:37 am

wavecircle wrote:
Pahat_Kengat wrote:
On a different note, I just have to say that the Loudest Warning panels are simply gorgeous things. Absolutely stunning instruments. :cry:
One thing to also remember about LW is that he uses the full panel for module space. STS and R*S give 16 vertical units, LW gives you 17. It doesn't sound like much but on my voice panel, this gives me the full R6 Ring Modulator which can be used for AM, RM and as a VCA. On my Sequencer I have the /NCOM, which is an awesome module. I really like having that extra functionality as I am kind of put off by large systems. You really have to be creative with a small system, it's one way of learning fast.
The very first thing that attracted me towards Serge was, in addition to its approach to synthesis, the way how everything was designed in a very self contained way, if that makes sense. There's something about working in very clear confines and really figuring out how to use a set system to its full potential that is just so very inspiring. 8-)

Having thought things over for these couple of days, I will most likely get an LW panel. I already sent out a price inquiry as well. :roll:

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Post by chiavere » Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:40 pm

Pahat Kengat wrote: Full support for a Serge tutorial series over here! :party:
FYI, longtime Serge guru Doug Lynner has a bunch of tutorials on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/user/mlwebworks

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Post by rampy » Tue Jan 01, 2019 9:26 pm

chiavere wrote:
Pahat Kengat wrote: Full support for a Serge tutorial series over here! :party:
FYI, longtime Serge guru Doug Lynner has a bunch of tutorials on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/user/mlwebworks
Doug Lynner's videos are great

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Post by Pahat_Kengat » Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:49 am

chiavere wrote:
Pahat Kengat wrote: Full support for a Serge tutorial series over here! :party:
FYI, longtime Serge guru Doug Lynner has a bunch of tutorials on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/user/mlwebworks
I've watched several of these videos! Really great and informative videos. 8-)

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