Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Benjolin Explained by The Tuesday Night Machines

Felix (The Tuesday Night Machines) uploaded a cool demo in which he explains Rob Hordijk's Benjolin module.

But first some info about the Benjolin, gathered from various sources;

" A darling of the DIY synth community for years now, Rob Hordijk's benjolin circuit is really like no other synth/noisemaker out there.
The Benjolin is the smaller sibling of Rob's now legendary Blippoo Box, the subject of his 2009 article in Leonardo Music Journal (Vol. 9). 
Both the Blippoo Box and the Benjolin emerged from Rob's attempts to design a circuit that was, as he puts it, "bent by design". 
 As such both modules function according to the basic principles of Chaos theory, where short to long sputtering patterns spontaneously alter themselves over time, at times gradually and at times quite suddenly, morphing into new pattern doublings and bifurcations. 
 The result is two incredibly unique instruments that function in a sense autonomously or can "play themselves" if you like.

Klangbau Koln Benjolin by Rob Hordijk
Both the Blippoo Box and the Benjolin are based around similar "chaotic cores," which in the the case of the benjolin, is comprised of two vcos and a unique circuit designed by Rob, which he calls a Rungler. 
 The Rungler is basically an 8 step shift register that takes its serial input from the squarewave of one oscillator and its clock input from the other. 
 The digital outputs of the shift register are than put through a primitive digital to analogue converter to create stepped voltage patterns, which are then wired back into the oscillators.
The effect of this arrangement is to create a complex interference pattern that gives the Benjolin its unique, aleatoric character."*

Rob Hordijk's Benjolin as a Eurorack module,(This version is made by made by Klangbau Köln) consists of two VCOs, a VCF, the famous "Rungler" and an audio mixer, which can mix the classic PWM sound with the dry VCO waveforms for added fatness. 
The VCOs can cross-modulate each other, VCO2's triangle wave can control the filter cutoff (if no external cutoff CV signal is plugged in) and the Rungler CV can of course modulate everything too. It's a complex instrument, which doesn't necessarily need any other modules to be enjoyed.

- Rungler CV
- OSC1 Triangle
- OSC1 Pulse
- OSC2 Triangle
- OSC2 Pulse
- Audio Mixer (VCO1 + VCO2 + PWM)
- OSC1 Frequency CV
- OSC2 Frequency CV
- Filter Cutoff CV
A switch lets the Rungler run free, or locks its current pattern.

Video: The BENJOLIN Explained (w/ sound demo) #TTNM

" Wanna know more about this BENJOLIN instrument thing? Then watch this video demo! ... and subscribe:
Chaos, noise, drones and sweet music, all from one device!

The Benjolin is an instrument designed by Rob Hordijk and built and modified by a lot of DIYers, as well as some synth manufacturers. I explain the Benjolin's basics with a Klangbau Köln Benjolin Eurorack module. Don't worry though, you will easily understand all other versions as well, after watching this video.
The cool thing about the Benjolin is, that it has some amazing feedback loops built in, which can be used to modulate the sound to the Moon and back ... well, some people say "to Hell and back" ... you decide. There is also the famous Rungler circuit of Rob Hordijk, which generates random, looping or evolving CV sequences via a shift register design (similar to the Turing Machine Eurorack module).
It's tons of fun!

Some links: (Rob Hordijk on Facebook)
http://www.klangbaukö (Klangbau website) (Noise Rack video diary series with the Benjolin and others)

Got questions or comments? Go ahead and post them below! I try to reply to all of them :)
Thanks for watching! Check out my channel for more Synthesizer Music and Tutorials:
Filmed with a Canon EOS 550D (Rebel t2i).
If you've read this far, post a comment with the words "rungle all night long" in it :D

Twitter: (@Flixxx)
My other YouTube Channel: "

Rob's Benjolin design is also available as a Eurorack modular module by Epoch Modular

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