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Make a Benjolin Modular Synth

  • 12000

Note that the cost of this workshop includes a $60 materials fee and $60 workshop fee. All materials (and 2 batteries) included. You'll leave this two part workshop with a working Benjoling modular synth. The Benjolin is an instrument designed by Rob Hordijk from the Netherlands in 2009 and has been workshopped all over Europe. Here's how STEIM described the workings of the instrument:
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. A special slightly chaotic filter is both excited and modulated by the signals from the rungler circuitry processes, producing sounds between fat drones to grungy noise havoc.

Above you can watch a Youtube video The Benjolin Explained or listen to Paul getting some nice arpeggios out of one of the test models we built.


This is a somewhat challenging build, which is why we schedule it over two sessions (it's possible to finish in one with some perserverance). It is all through-hole parts and once you've soldered all hundred-odd parts you'll be practically a pro. Everyone is guaranteed to leave with a working synth.

This module fits in the Eurorack grid, or you can power it with 2 9V batteries. It is comparable to some commercial versions such as the Epoch Modular Benjolin There's also a software version in Pure Data for your enjoyment.

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