09 July 2008

Formant (Part 1)

I have been planning to build a Formant modular for a long time as well. I found all the documentation on the Internet and was already reading myself into this material. But I also saw that building these projects take a lot of time take keeps me from producing music. So I looked several times to buy a used set. But most of the times they just didn't fit my needs. Until very recently. I found a very nice set on a Dutch website. They guy that sells it even lived very close to me. At first I started bidding, but later I just mailed him what he asked for it and decided to go for it. I will pick it up on Monday if all goes well.

As you can see it is a very nice set. I has four VCO's, two normal VCF's and also two 24 dB VCF's, two dual VCA's, one noise module, a RFM module (some kind of equalizing module), two LFO's, a COM module (output) and seven ADSR envelope generators! So a lot of modules. I heard the sound of the Formant before and it is really nice. It is also very old by the way. The original design was printed as a DIY project in the Elektor magazine of May 1977! I'm not sure though when this one was actually build. The current owner didn't build it himself either.

I also like the fact that the keyboard is also included in this set. You can see the keyboard in the picture on the left on top of the modules. I was especially not looking forward to building this one my self. Another thing is that I like the fact that the orginal front panels and knobs are used on this one. But why did I buy this when I like DIY so much? Well it is not in perfect order. A lot of the wiring is broken I understood. I'll see monday though in what state it is. So this will be some kind of a restauration project.

You can see some of the broken wiring in the picture on the left. I will probably completely redo this. And after that see what else is in need of fixing. Well I have all the schematics and most modules are present more than once for comparison. So I think it will be doable. I got this pictures by the way from the current owner. I hope he doens't mind that I used them here. I can't want until Monday to hear this synthesizer in action. I'm also thinking of maybe building some more modules in the future, but I can off course also hook it up to the other projects I'm working on. That is the fun of modulars :D


vinnui said...

Nice gear, cool module set! What are the CV signal values needed to control the Formant modules?

Synth.nl said...

It is quite standard 1V/octave