Beware, The Kracken Awakes!

The recent announcement of the STS Serge Kracken has me completely discombobulated! The Kracken, though seemingly innocuous, is a monstrosity! The Kracken has one of the highest densities of functionality I've ever seen in a Serge panel. Though it looks a bit like some sort of sequencer panel at first blush, it's as far beyond that as the TKB is from a "keyboard". The functionality of this beastie is fathoms deep. I've already started saving my pennies to (hopefully) be one of the first lucky souls to get my hands on this thing's tentacles. Tentacles? Yes indeed - this octapoid behemoth is unlike anything I've seen in a long time. Let's bite into the meat of this monster, shall we? The Kracken is roughly divided into two parts, the "head" which is hardwired to eight "tentacles".

THE HEAD - watch out, that beak is razor sharp! We start with a complex, eight-stage voltage-controlled sequential gate generator which can be run from sllllloooooowww LFO-type speeds up to hypersonic speeds. There are some surprises here, so pay attention. There's a multiplicity of ways to power the "head" - we can increment it with a 0-5V CV, any handy bi-polar signal, low-frequency audio(!) signals as well as garden variety gate and clock signals! We can also manually increment it with a spring-loaded step switch on the panel toggle Switch. This gives us a myriad of inputs to get the Kracken swimming. By the way, don't forget there's an 8-step summed-out votage sequencer here as well, controlled by the row of eight knobs on the left. Remember what I said about density?
As this octal gate generator is incremented, the gate outputs become active - but the connected "tentacles" in the "body"are each activated in turn as well, with each one hard-wired to its own "head" channel's gate length control. Once in motion we can manipulate the Kracken's coarser movements with a global VC gate-length modulation input as well as VC directional control and an input to freeze the whole shebang in its tracks when the signal goes high. You may want to have a good, long gander at the KRACKEN LANDSCAPE so as not to "lose sight of the forest for the trees". Remember, any of the CV OUTS can be plugged into any of the CV INS on the Kracken - think about that for a minute. Seriously.

THE TENTACLES - beware their reach! Though driven by the monster's head, each one of these has a life of its own and can influence themselves, their neighbors, or other Serge components. These "tentacles" are eight pulse/signal generators, each hanging from an individual gate in the "head", with dedicated per-channel VC slew generators for shaping and warping duties. Though driven by the "head" gates, these "tentacles" aren't just square, baby, so what comes out at the tip of each tentacle is a flexible, mutable CV that can be routed anywhere in your Serge. In turn, each "tentacle" can individually have its slew rate modulated from any CV source - including other Kracken "tentacles"! Pretty soon you'll have these things waving and undulating in ways that would make Cthulhu blush or, at a bare minimum, cause her to rise from the briny depths! Are you beginning to see what a monster among monsters this thing really is?

Hard to describe because it squirms from my grasp when I try to nail it to the deck, I feel I've barely scratched the surface - suffice to say the Kracken is easily one of the most appealing and drool-worthy pieces of electronics I have ever contemplated...and I've contemplated plenty! This is a monster that allows you to take a unique kind of control/mayhem of timbre/time/loudness of almost anything in your Serge system! To get a different take on what the Kracken is capable of, I'll leave you with the words of its creator: KRACKEN ANATOMY.

Serge Modular systems and panels (including the "Kracken") are currently manufactured by Sound Transform Systems in Hartland, Wisconsin. You can reach them at (262) 367-3030.

For more info on the Serge Modular, please visit all my dedicated Serge Modular Pages.

What you give is what you get.

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