After Later AudioBenjolin V2 Chaotic Synthesizer Voice


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After Later Audio Benjolin V2

The much-loved Benjolin designed by synthesizer pioneer Rob Hordijk is back with another iteration, this time from After Later Audio. It runs based on chaos theory principles, with many unstable and stable states that can seamlessly and unexpectedly blend into one another. The Benjolin starts with a pair of wide-ranging oscillators that modulate each other in a feedback loop. Both oscillators feature a triangle and pulse waveform, and a frequency range from sub-audio into high audio rate. The multi-mode filter takes a PWM waveform derived from the difference between the two oscillator's triangle waveforms to create the distinctive sound of the Benjolin. You can also filter external signals using the EXT input, and crossfade between the internal oscillators and external audio source. The multi-mode filter features individual outputs for high pass, band pass, and low pass filtering.

The heart of the Benjolin is the rungler circuit, based around a shift register. One oscillator provides the clock for the shift register, while the other provides data for the shift register. The last three bits of the eight-bit shift register pass into a simple digital to analog converter that turns the binary states into bipolar stepped analog voltages. Rob Hordijk describes the output of the rungler as a "stepped havoc wave." Based on the relationship between the two oscillators, different pseudo-random patterns start to arise. The output of the rungler can modulate both oscillators and the filter, each with their own CV attenuators. Subtly adjusting the pitch, modulation depth, and rungler modulation of the oscillators may cause minute or sweeping changes to the Benjolin's sound and behavior. It tries to settle into a balanced state, but its imperfections lead to unbalanced and chaotic behavior.

The steps switch selects the number of stages the rungler takes before the pattern repeats, either 8/16 or 127 steps. This loops the data currently in the rungler and takes the Benjolin out of the chaotic domain into a repeatable pattern. The rate switch provides a doubling of the clock input from oscillator A. The rungler also features the ability to be clocked from an external clock signal, overriding oscillator A and syncing the chaos to external modules. This classic, chaotic design has captured the imagination of many users with its organic and unpredictable behavior. Now revised with a host of new features, it is better than ever.

Benjolin V2 Features

  • Chaotic voice
  • Shift register-based rungler circuit provides chaotic modulation
  • Two wide-ranging oscillators configured in a cross-modulating feedback loop with triangle and pulse waveforms
  • Multi-mode filter with low pass, band pass, and high pass outputs
  • Step switch loops 8, 16, or 127 steps of the rungler
  • External clock input for the rungler
  • External audio into the filter
  • XOR logic output
  • Supports Turing Machine expanders
  • Double or single clock rate
  • Eurorack module
  • Width: 20hp
  • Depth: TBD
  • Current draw: 65mA @ +12V, 60mA @ -12V
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After Later Audio Benjolin V2 Chaotic Synthesizer Voice Reviews