Motivation

I have build my first synthesizer end off the 70’s out of a kit which was based on the schematics from Elektor, a German DIY electronics magazine. This synthesizer was called “Elektor Formant”. This was way before the Internet gave us access to so many resources. Nearly everything has to be ordered via mail order. Or bought in shops if you was lucky enough to life nearby. The only resources then were some magazines or rare books. While life went on the building stopped. The synthesizer was stored away in a closet.

Some five years ago I started to restore my original Elektor Formant and got it working. Over the last years I build a lot of more modules from other sources first on strip-board and now on PCB. Mostly my own designs inspired by many fellow SDIY builders. I have done some bigger projects like Shakuhachi to Synthesizer which enables the Shakuhachi player to steer the synthesizer from the flute, or a 24 Band Vocoder.

Now it is time for another bigger project. Over the years I heavily modified my original Elektor Formant to enhance the performance, usability and add new features. This was done partly on the original Elektor Formant PCB or with additional circuitry on strip board. The additional functions leads to more knobs and plugs on the front panels. That means new face plates. And so on.

Finally I decided to build a complete new analog synthesizer to put all features and enhancements in it. All analog with PCB’s and today (end 2016) available parts, staying as close as possible to the original Elektor Formant. Here are the corner points:

In the course of this project I will describe all changes that I made to the original Elektor Formant as well. Those will show up in the Elektor Formant Mods section on my website.

Sitelist

Current state

NGF Current state

NGF - Modules (First book)

NGF VCO Core 1

NGF VCO Core one

NGF VCO Core 1

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Current state: Published

NGF VCO Core one is for those lucky people which have some spare uA726 left or want to sacrifiece on original Elektor Formant VCO. This VCO contains all changes and extensions i added over the years to the original Elektor Formant VCO in one PCB. I left out the waveshaper section here for a more flexible design. The waveshapers will be part of another PCB. Anybody who wants to build this implemention should be aware that i use some obsolete parts here (uA726 and 74LS13). They are still accesible but it will take some research, afford and money to get hold of them. I removed the need for the +5V current supply, added an octave switch, FM lin, stabilized all internal control voltages, sync in and the improvements suggested in the second Format book. The signal level is raised to 10Vpp to get a better SNR throughout the system.

NGF VCO Core 2

NGF VCO Core two

NGF VCO Core 2

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Current state: Version 1.0.1 (Stand alone Version) tested and working.

Current state: Version 1.1.0 (NGF Version) published

NGF VCO Core 2 is my second implemention of the original Elektor Formant VCO with today (2017 March) available parts. I kept the heated exponential converter and the Schmitt Trigger to stay as close as possible to the original. The uA726 is replaced with LM3046 and the 7413 with 4093. All internal control voltages are stabilized. I removed the need for the +5V current supply, added an octave switch, FM lin and sync in. A new feature is the LFO switch.The signal level is raised to 10Vpp to get a better SNR throughout the system.

NGF E Waveshaper

NGF E Waveshaper

NGF E Waveshaper

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Current state: Version 0.9.5 (Stand alone Version) published.

Current state: Version 1.1.0 (NGF E Version) published

The waveshaper provides the same waveforms as the original Elektor Formant. But the circuitry is changed to make use of better performing implemention and todays OpAmps. The signal level is increased to 10Vpp for better SNR. Wiring options are added as well.

VCO E

VCO E

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Current state: Done - Next: To be published

This is a combination of VCO Core two and the waveshaper behind one faceplate. Build for my mobile Next Generation Formant (NGF).

VCF 12dB Multimode

VCF 12dB Multimode

VCF 12dB Multimode

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Current state: Version 0.9.0. PCB stuffed and tested working - Next: To be published

Current state: Version 1.0.1. (NGF Version) published - Next: ---

This is my implemtation of the original Elektor Formant 12dB Multimode Filter. It usese today (April 2017) available parts. LM13700 ar used instead of the 3080. The FET buffers are replaced with OpAmps. I added some usefull features i added over the years to the original. Voltage controlled feedback (Q), linear timbre modulation, external inputs, level control inicator, wiring options for internal or external CV and advanced ENV handling for HP/LP use. All internal wiring options are kept.

12dB Multimode AddOn

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Current state: Version 1.0.1 tested working - Next: To be published

This AddOn PCB contains all the feature for the 12dB Multimode Filter.

VCF 24dB HP/LP

VCF 24dB HP/LP

24dB LP / HP

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Current state: Version 0.9.0 PCB Published

This is my implemtation of the original Elektor Formant 24dB HP/LP Filter. It usese today (Nov. 2016) available parts. LM13700 ar used instead of the 3080. I added some usefull features i added over the years to the original. Voltage controlled feedback (Q), linear timbre modulation, external inputs, level control inicator, wiring options for internal or external CV and advanced ENV handling for HP/LP use. All internal wiring options are kept. The HP/LP switch is replaced with DG914 switches to avoid the problems with to long cables for switching.

24dB HP/LP AddOn

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Current state: Planning

This AddOn PCB contains all the feature for the 24dB HP/LP Filter.

VCA

VCA

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Current state: Done. To be published

My Implementation of the Elektor Formant VCA. The internal structure of the original VCA is kept. It usese today (Nov. 2016) available parts. LM13700 ar used instead of the 3080. Better OpAmps and higher signal leveel gives better SNR and overall performance. A level indicator is added. Internal wiring options are kept.

NGF ADSR

NGF ADSR

NGF ADSR

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Current state: Version 1.1.0 published - Next: Version 2.0.1 To be published

My Implementation of the Elektor Formant ADSR. The original has had problems when used with sequenzers. This is corrected. The output level was a bit an the low side. It never reached 5V. This is corrected as well. I added a switch to change the duration of the envelope between fast, middle and slow for better performance. Other additons are single shot switch, intern/extern Gate wiring option and a optional correction of the output level.

NGF ADSR with Controller

NGF ADSR with Controller

NGF ADSR with Controller

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Current state: Version 1.0.0 published - Next: ---

My Implementation of the Elektor Formant ADSR with the ADSR controller of the second book on one PCB.

COM

COM

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Current state:Version 0.9.0 running. Version 1.0.1 tested working - Next: To be published

This module is the replacement for the Elektor Formant COM Module. All functions are kept, but the circuitry is different. Some additonal inputs are added for mixing which proved usefull over the years. A level indicator is added as well.

LFO

LFO

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Current state: Version 1.1.0 tested running - Next: To be published

This implemention follows closely the original with some minor changes

Noise

Noise

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Current state: Version 1.0.1 Published

This is the noise module for my Next Generation Formant project. It is a combination of two original Elektor Formant modules. The Noise module from Elektor Formant book one and the Coloured Noise (CNC) module from book two. It provides a white noise output, a fixed coloured noise output, a variable coloured noise output "red" "blue" and a random voltage output.

PSU

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Current state: To be done Using Basic PSU with LM350

PSU text

Scanner Keyboard

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Current state: Working protototype

I have build a working prototype of a scanner keyboard using the original Elektor Formant keyboard with Kimber Allen contacts. Needs more work.

Keyboard electronic

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Current state: Working protototype

I have build a working prototype of a scanner keyboard using the original Elektor Formant keyboard with Kimber Allen contacts. Needs more work

Keyboard Interface

Keyboard Interface

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Current state: To be published

I added a intern/extern option to the original Elektor Formant implementation for use with a sequencer.

Housing

NGF Housing

NGF Housing

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Current state: published

First step of the Next Generation Formant Project was the housing and the PSU. I want my Elektor Formant based clone to be portable. Therefore I ordered a custom made 19’’ flightcase, build to my specifications. The enclosure holds four rows of modules in Eurorack format. As PSU two of my basic PSU with LM350 are used.

NGF - Modules (second book)

Digital Noise

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Current state: ---

Digital Noise text

Coloured Noise

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Current state: Version 1.0.1 published (Noise Module)

No extra implementaton planned. See NGF Noise.

RFM

RFM

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Current state: PCB stuffed, tesed working - Next: Faceplate

My implementation of the RFM Module follows closely the original Elektor Formant RFM with minor changes.

Ringmodulator

Ringmodulator

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Current state: ---

This Module uses the obsolete LM1496. You can still source it, but i think there is no interest for a PCB.

Phase shifter

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Current state: ---

I owned one and it did not convince me. The Elektor Formant Phaser used the now obolete BF245C. No future plans in the moment.

ADSR Controller

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Current state: Published (NGF ADSR with controller).

No extra implementaton planned. See NGF ADSR with controller.

VC-LFO

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Current state: ---

No extra implementaton planned. The NGF VCO Core 2 is capable of going down to the LFO range.

LF-VCO

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Current state: ---

No extra implementaton planned. The NGF VCO Core 2 is capable of going down to the LFO range.

ENV Follower

ENV Follower

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Current state: done - Next: To be published

My implementation of a envelope follower was done for my Shakuhachi to Synth project. It did not follow the Elektor Formant implemention.

Sample and hold

Sample and hold

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Current state: ---

I have some running on strip board. I am not shure if it is worth the afford making a PCB. Ther are better implementations out there. No future plans in the moment.

Waveform Processor

LFO

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Current state: Current state: done - Next: To be published

My implementation of the Waveform Processor Module follws closely the original Elektor Formant Waveform Processor with minor changes.

Mixer

Mixer

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Current state: done - Next: To be published

I wanted to have a DC coupled mixer capable of mixing control voltages. It did not follow the Elektor Formant implemention.

440 CPS

440CPS

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Current state: done - Next: To be published

The original Elektor Formant implementation needed regulary recalibrating. This is a very different implementation using a microprocessor.

Elektor Formant Mods

VCO

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VCF 12dB

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VCF 24dB

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VCA

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COM

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ADSR

ADSR_Thumbnail

Elektor-ADSR

ADSR Controller

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Sitelist

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