About

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. My current project is a rebuild of the Elektor Formant Synthesizer with today available parts and enhanced performance and features.

6 thoughts on “About

  1. Hey Harald ,

    I bought two formant systems over the years and watching your projects
    with great intrest especially the mods for adsr and want to build more tools to interact with a sequenser but leave it as an instrument like it was made for …and interact with it that way . The formants i completly restaured one had no interconnection and i build by hand the interface receiver and some extra cv outs and gate out from book2 . Any advice would be welcome and i wonder if i can buy some pcb boards from you ? Thanx in advance greetz Reinhard

    • Hello Reinhard,

      thank you for your interest. I have answered you on facebook and via eMail to no avail. Check your inbox.

      Have a good time

      Harald

  2. Hallo Harald!
    how is it going the vocoder project? I’m very curious about everything vocoder 🙂 I also miss Jürgen and I think his vocoder could have been the pinnacle of his designs because the complexity but yours is not too far as we can see, congrats. Will you publish more data as you do with the rest of synth stuff?
    Kindest regards

    • Hallo Isidoro,

      thank you for your interest. Yes I will publish the complete data for my vocoder project. Uhhhh… just looked up what I have puplished so far. It dates back to end 2014 with a lot off t.b.d statements. I finished the vocoder display module over a year ago. I need to update the site. The vocoder synthesize part is tested and a first prototype with six channels is tested and running. I have the PCB’s for all 24 channels and the backplane laying around here. Needs to be stuffed and faceplate. The vocoder input part is on stripboard and tested. Needs PCB and faceplate. The vocoder voiced unvoiced detection needs decision which way to go. Extra filters or using the available outputs from the vocoder analyzer and weighing the voltages. I think the later is the easier way to go in the moment. Jürgens vocoder PCB is available again. The guy who made it possible visited me some weeks ago and we had some talk about vocoder and other stuff. I wanted a more flexible account then Jürgen with his one big PCB. With my design you can start with eight channels and then go up to 16 and 24. And very important for me you can change filters. So you can use different characteristic for the filters and different frequency settings.
      Have a good time and happy building

      Harald

  3. Hello Harald,

    My name is Josh and i am starting the process of building an Elektor Formant off the original documentation provided in the 70’s. I have discovered that you have made up some boards based off these pcb’s. How did you do that? Start from scratch? And would you be willing to share some of this information with us? We were going to just trace the original pcb’s and print them ourselves. But obviously having them as Eagles or other would be easier.
    Sweet blog by the way, the documentation is very detailed which is great.
    Cheers,
    Josh.

    • Hallo Josh,

      this is not an easy task. But very rewarding. If you follow the original you are in need of a lot of obsolete parts. Do you have them already? I have most off the modules rebuild with easier to source parts now. Not everything is on my website though. Building is a lot more fun then writing about. But all modules will appear on my site over time with PCB. I have modified my original a lot and it was time to go for a better design, new PCB and better performance. I started from scratch using the original schematics, my mods and enhanced the the performance and added some more patchable possibilities. You can contact me via the email address on my website.
      Have a good time

      Harald

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