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Rob Hordijk EPOCH Modular Benjolin in euro format
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Eurorack Modules Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7  Next [all]
Author Rob Hordijk EPOCH Modular Benjolin in euro format
amnesia
mrcharles
I've seen that this is out... and watched the videos that Epoch has on YouTube (as well as this one... thanks).

I still don't have a sense of what this thing is capable of... certainly, it appears to be a mighty noise-maker.

I would appreciate any words/experience you may have on what else this thing can do... can it be more "melodic"/"fluid" sounding?

I've long wondered at getting a Benjolin or Blippoo Box... but I'm looking for something that offers a broad range of sonic capabilities - not just "noise" (not that there's anything wrong with that...). If noise is all it offers, I think I'd opt for something less expensive like micro-blackdeath noise synth, cracklebox or cacophanator...

Thanks for any observations you can share...
amnesia
Its really just a random noise synth. Think of it like a Noise ring meets Cyclebox. Its more of a liquiid/ gratting sound but you can get sweeps etc.
amnesia
Its the cousin of the Blippoo Box that I use to own. The Blippoo is faster to work on, great to improv on.
strettara
I'd been thinking for a while of repanelling the blippoo for eurorack - a 42hp panel would be ideal. You could power it off the uZeus with a custom din power connector. This benjolin looks pretty cool, especially the CV control over both oscillators, which is the major lack of the blippoo imo (you only have CV control over osc B).
thorncore
very interested in this...
hopefully someone in the EU will get some stock.
richard
the blippoo is intended as a standalone noisebox not really for interfacing with other gear so I have to resist the idea that it lacks anything. Instead I think the CVs ins and out it does have, and the fact that it is amazing interacting with other gear are more like free gifts from Rob because he likes us. thumbs up
strettara
Fair enough, it's a very individual instrument and it obviously depends on how you want to use it. I just think the CV in to osc A would have been the cherry on the cake.

This euro benjolin looks like a very nice way to integrate Rob's thinking with the modular, which is a good thing.
burnn_out!
I just got my hands on this. Dood, luvn it! The filter outputs are kinda quiet to me but man I'm digging all the other outputs. For a noise machine/module its ridiculously different and vesitile. I've owned the trog m666, m676, pmod generator and countless other non euro boxes and so far loving the sounds.
CrankSatori
I'm not usually one to buy modules as soon as they come out, but I've been hoping for the benjolin to show up in euro for awhile.. now just waiting on UPS!
spunkytoofers
16 or 20 HP? There is some mixed info about this on the webz.
burnn_out!
16hp
Refund
oops, I put the modulargrid entry in as '20hp'

just fixed it to 16hp
amnesia
Yeah the only negative I can give this is that the filters are too quiet. I am sure there will be an easy update ( resistor change maybe?)
el clon
awesome! i didn't know this had been released yet.
thanks for the video. thumbs up
CrankSatori
Nope. Just got mine, looks like AH & ModularGrid were both wrong.
It's 18 HP. Here's a pic of it next to my 16 HP Noise Swash:
CJ Miller
mrcharles wrote:
I still don't have a sense of what this thing is capable of... certainly, it appears to be a mighty noise-maker.

I would appreciate any words/experience you may have on what else this thing can do... can it be more "melodic"/"fluid" sounding?


The Benjolin has two VCOs which are processed through a filter. Also there is a shift register which IIRC uses one VCO as clock, and another as data. The shift register and one of the VCOs are XORed, and fed to a 3-bit DAC for the Rungler control voltage. There are controls for using the Rungler to modulate the VCOs or VCF.

I think that it makes a great stand alone instrument, as this is how it was designed. The filter is smooth, and is, as has been observed, a bit quiet compared to the other outputs. Without using the Rungler, or using it subtly, the sound can be smooth. The Rungler tends to result in more complex sounds. Despite what I have read from some people - the Benjolin does not do "random noise". It has no noise source, all of the sound comes from only two periodic VCOs.

My experience with the Benjolin has not been melodic, but I don't do melodic anyway. My play with it has mostly been fun with the contrast between the smoothness of the VCOs and nearly resonant filter, against the more square nature of the Rungler CVs. It is certainly capable of some fluidity.
coyotedad23
I dont understand why there is not much excitement on the forum for this awesome module. This recording showcases the incredible Epoch Modular Benjolin. Other modules abused were: Piston Honda, Jupiter Storm, Cyclebox, and Talking Synth.
Hope you enjoy this little jig.

http://snd.sc/13JDwZ7
el clon
from what i've seen, i love this thing. i've watched every video i could find and i'm sure i'd be raving about it if i could afford one, but i'm flat broke at the moment. very frustrating
i agree, though, this is the first module i've been excited about in quite a while (along with a couple of those new Mutable modules).

thanks, coyotedad23, for posting the recording!
Refund
I fixed the modulargrid entry as soon as mine arrived and I realised it was 18hp.

a few notes

the first half of the modules chaotic abilities are that the 2 oscillators are fm cross modulated with each other at the cv inputs, unless you plug something in to break the normalising.

the cross modulation is coming from the square output on one oscillator, and the triangle output on the other, so the settings for each oscillator make a difference to the sound that comes out.

the second, and important half of the module is the 'rungler' circuit, which is like a crude shift register mixed with a logic gate type thing that make everything 'splutter' and 'glitch' to varying different degrees

built in filters are really handy, resonance sounds 'sergeish' to me, but the filter outputs are really quiet, the raw oscillator outputs are normal modular signal strength.

the quiet filter output levels don't matter much with my mixing style but it may make the filter outputs a bit useless to some people depending on their gain structure.

soundwise it's pretty amazing, it doesn't take long to figure out what settings will give you certain sounds, but I must mention that it sounds a lot better if you're actually tweaking the knobs manually rather than cv'ing it, thought perhaps I just haven't worked out a good cv strategy for the module yet.
strettara
I'm very curious about this. I have - and love - the blippoo, and am continually finding ways to use it. You can make evolving drones, sputtering and grinding machine noise, melodic filter pings and many other sounds with it - the majority of demos out on youtube and so on don't do justice to its versatility imo. The CV ins are very important to me (sorry Richard!) especially at audio rates. Mine is a V2 (actually used to be amnesia's) and doesn't have the optical sensors, but I have a Koma Kommander which works very well with it. It also works very well with pressure points for changing CV values discontinuously. And - it can be a fantastic and very unique effect in a feedback loop.

I was tempted to sell or trade mine a while back because I felt it wasn't versatile enough. Now, after a few months of using it pretty intensively, I have to say that I could happily get along with just the blippoo, some CV controls and a tape delay. It's particularly great in combination with acoustic instruments, because it makes noises you could never mistake for being acoustic.

So - that doesn't say much about the benjolin, but I'd love to see the benjolin in Europe. I'd be very tempted. I'm also very tempted by Macumbista's benjolins, but they're banana and I don't want to have to deal with a whole other set of cables.
richard
I'm very interested in rob hordijk's concepts generally and the fact that he conceives of these a standalone instruments is interesting. He's a deep thinker and both the blippoo and benjolin can be thought of as studies/propositions in how little you need, they are just patches really, hardly complete synthesizers. His published article is here, but not free sadly:

http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1162/lmj.2009.19.35

However in the context of a modular this changes, they can be modulated filters for other signals and cv/gate engines for driving a much bigger system, especially the benjolin which has all the ins and outs available. Great in one way but in another I'm not so sure how I feel about this - part of the gold in these devices lie in the limitations, playability and small form factor. The idea that everything needs to be fully modular and fully flexible misses the point somewhat.

Like the blippoo, the benjolin is designed as a standalone box so the post filter output is originally line level not modular. This should really have been corrected in a module version? Seems an oversight if not. I like mine a lot, but I don't find it as flexible for improvising as the blippoo, which I've been using for years and still surprises. Both of them have the problem that you might need to get past their very strong identity to get at the possibilities that lie beneath - no different from the Noisering, wogglebug or for that matter the Cyclebox or E350 in that regard.

Something Rob can do (which he shares with Buchla and Serge and a few others) is the ability to conceive of systems, of functions grouped in interesting ways which therefore become instruments. So what I do would like to see one day is not so much more modules as a more extensive performance instrument from Mr Hordijk.
strettara
Actually I don't find the CV outs very useful, but maybe that's just a matter of knowing more about how the instrument works. I do agree that everything doesn't have to be integrated with everything else.

richard wrote:
Something Rob can do (which he shares with Buchla and Serge and a few others) is the ability to conceive of systems, of functions grouped in interesting ways which therefore become instruments. So what I do would like to see one day is not so much more modules as a more extensive performance instrument from Mr Hordijk.


That would certainly be fascinating.
mudlogger
I think the Benjolin has dropped under the radar a little with all the new stuff coming out from mutable, tip top and harvestman.

I just got one direct from Sylvan at Epoch.

FWIW it was free shipping to Thailand when you by direct.

Very, very impressed, both in build and sounds.
Its SMT and skiff friendly.
I've only been playing on it for a few days.
Out of everything i've bought recently, this one has been the most enjoyable and fun to use.
Its a head scratcher, but in a good way.
It allows you to steer the random to the path of choice.

Theres a loop function - similar to the Turing machine that will hold and keep repeating a pattern if you want.

I think its one them modules that will split opinions because of its chaotic nature. I love random modules and this one has the sound that betters all of them. I'm always interested in modules with lots of outs as it gives you a lot of freedom for modulation / clocks for other modules in my system.
Very left field, and a must for experimental types.
I think it would be great for live improvisation - you could build a whole live set around it.

Works great with a PLL, Echophon and Low Pass Gate but still to try with other stuff.

I think $400 may put a lot of people off but when you see what it is.
Its 2 x VCO, 1 multimode filter, A turing machine or noisering and a comparator, a S+H in 1 box.

You could roll your own with say a Pittsburgh Generator + Gen Exp, Maths (as a comparator), Noisering, CV mixer, and multimode filter and a Sports Modulator. I tried it and got halfway interesting results.

Al
mudlogger wrote:


Theres a loop function - similar to the Turing machine that will hold and keep repeating a pattern if you want.



So you could put a trigger/gate signal as a CV input to the "loop," and you could get a tempo-locked audio loop out?
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