Music Technology
Benjolin synth project – intuitive, unpredictable, fun at parties

The latest item of interest presented by Casper Electronics could easily take centerstage at the next hardware hacking social. Casper’s Benjolin Light Synth provides an intense show of color as accompaniment for its broad and unpredictable sonic palette –

This piece is built around the 2 Benjolin circuits, which is a complex, analog sound generator designed by engineer/artist/super star Rob Hordijk. I’ve made a bunch of modifications and added a 3 channel light globe.
The globe has three high intensity LED lights in it, RED, GREEN and BLUE.
I’m able to grab different signals from the circuit (not JUST the audio signal) and send them to the lights, so each color is fading and strobing in a different pattern.
The result is complex color mixing madness.

benjolinLightSynth_cc.jpg

If I ever manage to land that gig on Doctor Who – this device is my top pick for the role of TARDIS console. More light synth video, pics, & mod details can be found over at Casper.

The project’s creators, Rob Hordijk and Joker Nies summarize the design –

benjolinOrig_cc.jpg

The Benjolin is a ‘noise box’ that is ‘bent by design’, meaning that it always has a definite amount of unpredictability while it is still intuitive to play. The Benjolin features two eighteen-octave range voltage controlled oscillators that drive a ‘rungler’ circuit, circuitry that in essence uses a special interference technique feeding back into the oscillators to force them into wild chaotic behaviour.

The schematic for building a single Benjolin looks surprisingly simple considering the variety of sound it can churn out. (visual accompaniment will require some additional hardware/creativity.) Kits for the project are available only through a series hands-on workshops led by the board’s designers.

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