Now Taking Orders for Macumbista Benjolin V5

Posted in Announcement on December 15th, 2019 by admin

The Benjolin is a standalone synthesizer designed by Rob Hordijk from the Netherlands. It contains two oscillators (one LFO and one VCO), a voltage controlled filter and a circuit called a “Rungler”, which allows chaotic cross-modulation possibilities between the different parts of the circuit. Hordijk refers to the Benjolin as a circuit which has been “bent by design.”

These hand-made Macumbista Benjolins are officially licensed by Hordijk, and have been further customized with a patchbay, which can be used to interface with other modular synthesizers or to setup further control voltage feedback systems within the Benjolin itself, attenuators on the three control voltage input and LEDs displaying the internal state of the Rungler.

The latest Macumbista Benjolin V5 instrument has been redesigned during the spring of 2019 in collaboration with Pete Hartman of Frog Leg Synthesis. The filter input has been improved, and the main output of the instrument buffered for lower noise and ease of use with a wider range of mixers and DI boxes.

The wooden enclosures used to create these handmade analog synthesizers all date from the 1960’s and 1970’s. There are individual variations in the exact color, the size, and the marks which history have left upon them. A number of different colors are available, including a natural finish as well as three different types of “hammered metal” paint finishes in grey, green, blue, and (infrequently) red or purple. Please see the photos at the bottom of this page for examples.

PRICE

The price of the Benjolin V5 is EUR 565 (incl. 19% EU VAT) / EUR 475 (for customers outside the EU), plus shipping costs. All my instruments are made-to-order, and require a 50% deposit to begin work. The current batch should be completed in March 2020. Every Benjolin ships with two banana patch cables and a universal 110/220V AC to 12V DC power supply.

Please contact me using the CONTACT page here, or through MACUMBISTA at-the-domain GMAIL dot COM.

MODIFICATIONS

The Benjolin V5 contains the following modifications from Hordijk’s original Benjolin circuit:

LOOP SWITCH: The LOOP switch locks the otherwise chaotic pattern of the Rungler into a loop. The LEFT position is a loop of 4 steps going forward, the MIDDLE position is the normal chaos of the Rungler, and the RIGHT position is a loop of 4 steps forwards and 4 steps backwards.

EXTERNAL INPUT SWITCH: The external input 6.3mm jack on the back of this Benjolin allows a signal from another source to be sent through the Low Pass Filter of the instrument. Selecting EXT on the FIL INPUT switch sends this signal to the FIL input, where the cutoff and resonance controls of the filter can be used to affect it. When the FIL INPUT switch is in the INT position, the PWM signal, mixed with a small amount of RUN voltage, is sent to the FIL (this is the normal Benjolin signal path).

EXTERNAL RUNGLER CLOCK:: A banana jack on the back panel of the instrument provides a switchable clock source for the Rungler of the instrument. The EXT switch position clocks the Rungler from OSCILLATOR 2 of the instrument, the INT switch position clocks it from the external clock input.

VIDEOS

Duelling Benjolins from macumbista on Vimeo.

Two Benjolins cross-patched to modulate each other function identically to the Dual “Butterfly” Benjolin.

PHOTOS

Please note that you can click the images on this page for hi-res details of the panel and design.

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Vector Synthesis Book Update

Posted in Announcement on August 11th, 2019 by admin

Book designer Claire Matthews and I got a Vector Synthesis print proof back last week, and since then we have been working like mad to get this publication ready for the printer. We have made so many improvements to the layout and flow of both the text and images, and I have also done several more rounds of corrections based on feedback from various reviewers. So now we really believe this is the best possible state this book can be in for sending for the final print.

   Over the course of this Kickstarter, the print run jumped from 100 to 700, and with that increase came a bit more concern from me over a few things–namely image permissions. I have sought permission to reprint most of the images in the book which came from other sources (something I would not have bothered with if it had remained a friends-and-family affair). This has lead to some interesting contacts with members of the David Tudor ensemble Composers Inside Electronics, or with Bill Etra’s widow Rozalyn Rouse Etra through the kind assistance of Benton C. Bainbridge. And in other cases I have redrawn or created new artwork from scratch (as with the Vasulka-esque scan processor examples at the start of this update) both to clarify images and to deal with the possibility that some image rights-holders may not answer in time (or ever!). This has caused a bit of delay in the publication process, but honestly I am very happy with the results and think that it is totally worth the wait and work.

  We aim to send this book to the printers in the coming week. Once I have the definitive delivery date, I will arrange for the shipping of the book to all of you, likely in the start of September. Copies of the book can still be ordered through me by sending an email with your postal address to MACUMBISTA at the domain GMAIL dot COM. I thank you all kindly for your patience and support.

   My best wishes from Helsinki,

   Derek Holzer

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Vector Synthesis Book

Posted in Announcement on July 21st, 2019 by admin

A massive thank you to the over 400 backers who supported the Vector Synthesis book Kickstarter. The final print run will be 600 copies. If you are interested in ordering one, please write me at

  • MACUMBISTA at the domain GMAIL dot COM

with the SUBJECT =

  • Vector Synthesis Book

Please include your postal address, and I will reply with further information.

With kind regards! D.

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Vector Synthesis Publication Fundraiser

Posted in Announcement on June 16th, 2019 by admin

PUBLICATION FUNDRAISER:

The VECTOR SYNTHESIS: a MEDIA ARCHAEOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION into SOUND-MODULATED LIGHT book describes my research into the military and techno-scientific legacies at the birth of modern computing, and how early computer, electronic media, and video artists of the 1950’s, 60’s, and 70’s attempted to decouple these tools from their destructive origins.

It also presents my Pure Data software library and live performance project which employs audio synthesis and vector graphics techniques to investigate direct relationships between sound and image using analog CRT displays. The book is 122 pages long, has 21 illustrations, links to several video examples online, and was fabulously designed by Claire Matthews.

I’m launching this Kickstarter to print and distribute at least 100 copies of the book, to get them to people who have assisted in its creation, and just as importantly to send them to organizations and schools who deserve one. Your support of this publishing project will help make that possible.

Details can be found here:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/macumbista/vector-synthesis-book

Thank you for your kind attention!

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Vector Synthesis Oscilloscope+Laser Workshop Helsinki

Posted in Announcement on June 16th, 2019 by admin

VECTOR SYNTHESIS WORKSHOP 12-14 JULY 2019

The Vector Synthesis workshop investigates the direct relationship between sound+image. It draws inspiration from media archaeology and obsolete technologies such as the Cathode Ray Tube monitor, combined with contemporary laser display techniques. This workshop is ideal for musicians, sound artists, and visual artists who want to work with oscilloscope or laser imagery.

Participants will learn how to draw Lissajous figures, render simple two- and three-dimensional shapes, and process photographs and video into vector artwork which can be displayed on oscilloscopes, Vectrex consoles, and ILDA laser displays using audio signals which can also be heard. These vector shapes can also be further modified in real time using external audio sources such as voice, amplified instruments, or electronic synthesizers provided by the participants.

An informal presentation of pieces created in the workshop is planned for the final evening, where participants can show their creations on Vectrex or laser.

You can see examples of what you might do here:
https://vimeo.com/macumbista/

The core of the workshop will be examples written in the Pure Data programming language. Experience with Pure data is not required to participate, beginners are welcome. Detailed instructions on how to install and set up Pure Data, as well as a software oscilloscope emulator so you can see your work without special hardware, will be sent to registered participants.

You can view the Vector Synthesis code here:
https://github.com/macumbista/vectorsynthesis/

The language of this workshop is English. Participants are required to bring their own laptops with software installed according to pre-event instructions sent by email.

DURATION

This is one continuous workshop of three days, 6 hours per day including a break to eat.

Participation on individual days is not possible except by special arrangement.

—FRI 12 JULY 12-18:00

—SAT 13 JULY 12-18:00

—SUN 14 JULY 12-18:00

—Max participants: 8

—Lunch (vegetarian/vegan on request) will be served each day.

LOCATION

Kaapelitehdas

Tallberginkatu 1 (Doorway E / 5th floor)

Helsinki, FINLAND

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Vector Synthesis Workshop Berlin 5-7 JUL 2019

Posted in Announcement on May 23rd, 2019 by admin

The Vector Synthesis workshop investigates the direct relationship between sound+image. It draws inspiration from media archaeology and obsolete technologies such as the Cathode Ray Tube monitor, combined with contemporary laser display techniques. Participants will learn how to draw Lissajous figures, render simple two- and three-dimensional shapes, and process photographs and video into vector artwork which can be displayed on oscilloscopes, Vectrex consoles, and ILDA laser displays using audio signals which can also be heard. These vector shapes can also be further modified in real time using external audio sources such as voice, amplified instruments, or electronic synthesizers provided by the participants.


You can see examples of what you might do here:

https://vimeo.com/macumbista/

The core of the workshop will be examples written in the Pure Data programming language. Detailed instructions on how to install and set up Pure Data, as well as a software oscilloscope emulator so you can see your work without special hardware, will be sent to registered participants.

You can view the Vector Synthesis code here:

https://github.com/macumbista/vectorsynthesis/

The language of this workshop is English. Participants are required to bring their own laptops with software installed according to pre-event instructions sent by email.

DURATION
This is one continuous workshop of three days, 5 hours per day. Participation on individual days is not possible.
—FRI 05 JULY 12-17:00
—SAT 06 JULY 12-17:00
—SUN 07 JULY 12-17:00
—Max participants: 14 (50% will be students from Humboldt University, so 7 tickets are available for outside participants)

LOCATION
Signallabor, Humboldt University of Berlin, Georgenstraße 47, Raum 2.26 (2nd floor), Berlin Germany

With kind thanks to Dr. Stefan Höltgen, the Signallabor, and Humboldt University for their generous sponsorship of the event location.

BOOK TICKETS HERE
https://www.eventbrite.de/e/vector-synthesis-pure-data-workshop-berlin-tickets-62307403120

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Macumbista Benjolin V5

Posted in Announcement on May 4th, 2019 by admin

Dear friends: I am about to start a building run of a dozen new Macumbista Benjolin V5 instruments, to be completed in July/August 2019. Features listed below. If you would like to order one of these instruments, please send an email to MACUMBISTA at the domain GMAIL dot COM with the subject line “Benjolin V5” for further info.

The Benjolin is a standalone synthesizer containing two oscillators (one LFO and one VCO), a voltage controlled lowpass filter (VCF), and a circuit called a “Rungler”, which allows chaotic cross-modulation possibilities between the different parts of the circuit. They have been further customized with a patchbay, which can be used to interface with other modular synthesizers or to setup further feedback systems within the Benjolin itself, as well as external audio inputs to the Benjolin filters, two “loop” modes, and an external input to drive the Rungler clock.

The Benjolin V5 features a newly-designed PCB with a few improvements, namely that it can be powered from normal 12V DC wall supplies rather than the more exotic 12V AC supplies I used earlier.

Available box finishes are “hammered metal” green, gray, and blue paint, as well as a “natural” finish. Some examples of colors here:

http://macumbista.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/end-jan-benjos.jpg
http://macumbista.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/start-feb-benjos.jpg

The price of the Benjolin V4 is EUR 565 (incl. 19% EU VAT) / EUR 475 (for customers outside the EU), plus shipping costs. All my instruments are made-to-order, and require a 50% deposit to begin work (EUR 240). I accept IBAN bank transfers and PayPal (with 4% PayPal fee added).

Further info (on the previous Benjolin V4) can be seen at:

http://macumbista.net/?page_id=4770

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Vector Synthesis USA Tour FEB-MAR 2019

Posted in Announcement on February 15th, 2019 by admin

I am proud to announce the following confirmed dates, including two public Pure Data workshops for creating audiovisual vector graphics for the oscilloscope, Vectrex, and ILDA laser plus several performances, for my tour of the USA in February and March 2019

25 FEB – 07 MAR ::: Vector Hacking Workshop :::
Dept. of Media Arts and Technology, University of California, Santa Barbara CA
https://www.mat.ucsb.edu/

09-10 MAR ::: Video Vector Synthesis Workshop :::
S1, Portland OR
REGISTER: http://s1portland.com/vectorsynthesis030919/

15-16 MAR ::: Vector Synthesis Performance + Lecture :::
Lafayette Electronic Arts Festival, Lafayette CO
Free entry! http://leafcolorado.org/leaf2019/

19-20 MAR ::: Vector Synthesis Workshop :::
Dept. of Digital + Media, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence RI
http://www.digitalmedia.risd.edu/

21 MAR ::: Vector Synthesis Live :::
With Victoria Shen, Andrea Pensado, and Shawn Greenlee / Mark Cetilia
Machines with Magnets, Pawtucket RI
http://www.machineswithmagnets.com

22 MAR ::: Vector Synthesis Live :::
With Jonas Bers, Mike Sidnam, Paloma Kop, VX Bliss, and Dead Lion
Secret Project Robot, Brooklyn NY
Posted soon at https://www.secretprojectrobot.org

23-24 MAR ::: Vector Synthesis Workshop :::
Harvestworks, NYC NY
REGISTER: http://www.harvestworks.org/vector-synthesis-workshop/

With undying gratitude to Marko Peljhan, Matthew Rempes, Kathy Hardin, David Fodel, Shawn Greenlee, Mark Cetilia, Victoria Shen, Jonas Bers, Mike Sidnam, Paloma Kop, Bob Bellerue, Sofy Yuditskaya, and Carol Parkinson.

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VectorHack Festival 2018 1-7 OCT Zagreb & Ljubljana

Posted in Announcement on September 19th, 2018 by admin

We are very excited to publish the VectorHack Festival 2018 lineup today. I really feel like we have invited some of the most brilliant minds in the field of experimental, audiovisual vector graphics to Zagreb and Ljubljana for one week (01-07 OCT 2018) of hacking, presentations, keynote talks, workshops, and live performances.

In Zagreb, I will demonstrate my Vector Synthesis library for Pure Data on 02.10.18 and give the keynote lecture “A Media Archaeology of Vector Graphics” on 03.10.18, while in Ljubljana I will perform the Vector Synthesis set live on 05.10.18.

The Vector Hack participants:

Philip Baljeu / Jonas Bers / Stefanie Bräuer / Hrvoslava Brkušić / Ted Davis / Andrew Duff / Jerobeam Fenderson / Darko Fritz / Robert Henke / Ida Hiršenfelder / Derek Holzer / members of Kikimore (Staša Guček / Sara Mlakar / Nina Orlić / Barbara Poček) / Chris King / Vanda Kreutz / Roland Lioni / Ivan Marušić Klif / Alberto Novell / Douglas Nunn / Hansi Raber / Bernhard Rasinger / Joost Rekveld

The Vector Hack website:

https://vectorhackfestival.com/

I do hope some of you will join us, all talks, keynotes, and performances are free to enter.

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Vector Synthesis Helsinki + Pori

Posted in Announcement on August 22nd, 2018 by admin

I am pleased to announce that I’ve been invited to present Vector Synthesis on 29 August at the Pori Art Museum, Pori FI in the context of the exhibition Steina & Woody Vasulka: Art of Memory, Works from 1969 to 2000. I will be giving a guided tour of the exhibition and performing with my Rutt-Etra/Vasulka inspired scan processing system.

And this week, I will perform at a live cinema event focused on the work of ASTEPBACK (Andrea Saggiomo and Gaëlle Cavalieri) and Marek Pluciennik at the Myymälä2 gallery, Helsinki FI.

I would be so very pleased to see some of you at either event.

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