JvR modular

who is JvR?

JvR is Jos van Ras. Jos studied at lower and middle technical school from 1966 until 1974, with a major in electronics. After having finished his studies, he got a job at Philips. During the late seventies, Jos got to know about the Elektor Formant modular synthesizer project, as described in the Elektor magazin (Elektuur in Dutch). This project sparked his interest. With analog synthesizers, Jos could combine his interest in both electronics as in music.

Since 1985, his wife and children became number one in the life of Jos, meaning that his projects with electronics and music got a lower priority.
After he retired, Jos started building synthesizers in his own work space. From of that moment, he is building customized Elektor Formants and is working on own music. Although using some of the Yusynth and other ideas, Jos is focusing on the Elektor Formant in a new desgin, but with the same specifications. His mission is to show older and younger generations the wonderous world of analog synthesizers. Jos is very proud to say that he has built custom made colourful 'childrens-synthesizers' for 'Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ' in Amsterdam. This renowned concerthall for contemporary classical music has an experimental educational space where children can make music on instruments, and his synthesizers filters amongst other instruments. Besides that project, Jos is also making modulars for musicians more and more.


The studio / working space from Jos.

For more information, please check the website from Jos:
www.josvanras.com
 

 

more

I got in contact with Jos, when I was looking for a technician who could help me with the faulty Elektor Formant that I got in February 2016 getting it back to life. Jos had an own built modular for sale at an online market place, so I knew about his existance, and moreover, I noticed his name in an addresslist in an old magazin from the Dutch Formantclub. Jos was willing to help but soon it appeared that repairing the Formant would cost him so many hours (and therefor, me quite some money). Jos repaired the noise modul, and I started to work on the instrument myself after I got it back from him. It took me 3 months to get it working. In the meantime, I had bought a small modular from Jos. You can see it on the pictures below. Getting the VCO's from the old analog stable, remained a problem. Whatever I tried, I couldnt get them work properly.  In the end, tired of experimenting and replacing parts on the VCO's without the needed success, I found Jos willing to make 3 new VCO's for the Formant. After that, I still got one of the old VCO's working, and added it in the synth, in the lower part, you can see it on the photo's.

 

click on the photo's to enlarge info
Modular set up, with two JvR modulars and an old Elektor Formant
 
One of my JvR modulars, based on the concept of the Elektor Formant. There are some differents with the original one however.

The envelope's are functioning in a way one would expect from envelope's, rather than the odd design of the original Elektor Formants.

The VCO's on the JvR modulars have sync.

The JvR modulars don't have the out-module called COM, as on the original Formant. Instead, the output from the VCA goes directly to the amplifier.

Since a number of electronic parts have become obsolete during the years, Jos decided to re-design some moduls, like the VCO's.

The overall sound is amazing. Compaired with the VCO's of the old Formant, there is hardly any different in sound. But let's not forget that on the original VCO's every wavevorm (sound) can be changed by trimpots. The 12 dB filter is as warm, deep and fat as the one on the old Formant. The 24 dB filter has more dynamics, compaired with the old one.
The VCO's are very stable in tune, and hardly need any time to warm up.
 

Same modular, opened from the back, to give an overview of how it is built.
 
The small JvR modular I own. This one is not entirely based on the Formant. The left filter is a Minimoog clone, and th right filter is a Steiner Parker. These filters are a amazing combination. The warmth and fatness of the Minimoog one with the sharpness from the Steiner Parker.
The VCO's are the same as the ones on the JvR Formant.
 
The 2 JvR modulars, switched on. Jos uses a mixture of LED colours in his modulars. Since I am quite a fan of blue leds, I replaced all non-blue leds with blue ones.

The old Elektor Formant. After months of repairing and restoring, it is completely functional now. Jos van Ras supplied 3 new VCO's, that work perfectly, and don't need the 5V from the power supply, rather than the old VCO's. On the bottom you find another VCO, which is an original one, and on the right bottom is a Coron DS-8 drumsynth clone built in, heavely customized. Left from the VCO are the CV/GATE's and the outputs that are coming from the Interface and can be used as modulation and CV-change.
 
The Elektor Formant, switched on.

 

 

soundsamples
Soon to be published here.