Born of the mind of Serge Tcherepnin and originated at The California Institute of The Arts in the early 1970s, the Serge Modular Music System remains one of the most vital and influential instruments in the world of modular electronic music.
Shortly after arriving in Los Angeles in 1975, Kevin began working with Malcolm Cecil on T.O.N.T.O., (The Original New Timbral Orchestra), a hybrid Moog, Arp, and EMS synthesizer built by Malcolm and Bob Margouleff, and became a part of 'TONTO's Expanding Headband'. Serge Tcherepnin designed the ultra-stable NTO oscillator for TONTO which led to Kevin prototyping circuits for Serge and building his own "Mighty Serge" modular synthesizer. He continued to work for Serge until Serge moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1993 he relocated to the Bay Area where he began doing engineering for Rex Probe at Sound Transform Systems who had taken over the company from Serge. He continues as a consultant and part time engineer after Rex moved the company to Hartland, Wisconsin.
Through his restoration efforts many of the original Serge systems are still making music today!
Do you have a Serge in need of repair or restoration? Contact me using the form below so that we can talk about it.
Kevin Braheny Fortune restoring a Serge Synthesizer panel from Doug Lynner's Mystery Serge.
Kevin's first synthesizer was the Electrocomp 101 which he got in 1973. Hundreds of gigs and sessions followed. He built his first Serge in 1976 consisting of 3 panels. Loved it and began designing what was to become "The Mighty Serge." Originally, it was to be 8 panels slightly curved and played on the floor on a nice rug. It became clear that while that position was appropriate for performance, it was not practical for general studio production.
Much of the look that the Serge has become since then, originated from Kevin's module modifications. The 3 inch modules became 2 inches, cycle switches, jacks, and LEDs were added, etc. The idea was to create ergonomic performance options saving time and patchcords. And, ergonomically speaking, as panels were added, it was desired that the curve of the instrument follow the arc of his arm so that everything was easily reached. The capacity of what this instrument is capable of per square inch is amazing. The instrument breaks down into 3 sections for easier transport. Kevin continues to add to and refine his beloved Serge.
If you'd like to have your Serge restored and modified, use the contact form below to discuss your options.
Kevin Braheny Fortune's Mighty Serge