Random Source has been working under license with Serge Tcherepnin to create Eurorack versions of Serge modules. The Serge/Buchla format uses a 4U height and banana plug patch cables, Eurorack uses a 3U height and 3.5mm jack patch cables. The one item missing has been the TKB, the Touch Activated Keyboard Sequencer, the classic Serge input device. Images of a prototype PCB from ARC have been knocking around since last year, but they’ve just posted an image of the finished front panel on the Muffwiggler forum and that’s got a lot of people very excited.
The Touch Activated Keyboard Sequencer is a combined touch sensitive keyboard and 4 stage sequencer. Serge discarded the traditional keyboard concept and went with something unrestrained and more versatile. The 16 capacitive touch-sensitive plates provide the physical input triggers. A four-stage vertical sequencer steps through each of the four layers, allowing sequences up to 64 steps in length.
Assuming the ARC TKB follows the traditional layout then this description from the Unofficial Serge Synthesizer website is probably the best I’ve found:
The Reset input brings the sequence back to stage 1. A switch and trigger input allow the sequence to go forward or reverse, a hold input stops the sequence. A random select input randomly selects from the sixteen stages. Sequences can range from 2 to 16 steps, or multiples of 4 through 64 (8,12,16,20..) steps. The capacitive keys have a pressure output that produce a voltage proportional to the key area your finger covers. A separate KV output provides an equal-tempered voltage (16 equal steps) which is independent of the stage setting pots. A KEYBOARD switch lets you select each 4-layer stage with the keys or disconnect the key selection of the stages.
Although there’s still no release date it does look like it’s nearing completion. Head over to the Muffwiggler forum thread for the latest news.