15 July 2008

Formant (Part 2)

Yesterday evening I picked up the Formant from the seller. I stayed there a lot longer than anticipated but we had a nice musician to musician talk about a lot of things. It is always nice to also meet new people while buying new gear from them. The setup was a bit smaller in size than I expected which was a nice surprise. Here you see the Formant keyboard on top of the setup. I think from the size of the 3 octave keyboard you can estimate the width of the setup. The first thing I did is study a bit how all the cabling was hooked up. There was a lot more pre-patched than I expected. I guess I will change that a bit since I want to hook it up also to my other modulars later.

When I studied it closer I was surprised about the fact that the PCB's of the modules were not fixed to the front panels. A lot different than the Yusynth modules I'm working on. There is a whole metal construction in the wooden case to hold the modules. Also the whole inside of the case is covered with tin foil. This is done for shielding purposes I guess. Another thing I was a bit surprised about is the stuff that was laying around loose in it. From the loose components and the wooden housing I could tell that there used to be a back panel, but that is missing now. It was probably ripped of by force and took a lot of components with it.

In the picture on the left you see the power supply that is fixed to the bottom of the casing. It is the original Formant power supply which is nice. In front of it you see a rather big heat sink with power components attached. I guess this was somehow connected to the back panel once. I will take the power supply out soon for closer inspection and try to get it working again. I didn't try it on yet because I didn't want to blow the fuse in my house ;) I think it is wise to study it a bit more first. I'm quite sure it won't work.

Another thing I found lying around is the receiver module for the keyboard. This gives power to the keyboard and outputes the Voltage Control and Gate signals to the modules. I will incorporate this one again but I will also build in a Midi2CV module for the Formant so I can hook it up to my midi setup. All in all the Formant was in a bit worse shape than I had hoped for. I'm going to study some more on the schematics and documentation and than decide from there on were to go. I'll keep you posted on this project as usual.

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