WolfTone SoundBox

Posted in Documentation on June 23rd, 2013 by admin

This WolfTone SoundBox contains a children’s toy voice-changer circuit which has been modified to include three switches and six touchpoints which interactively modify the sound, 9V battery/DC jack power, a line-level/headphone output, a backlit transparent speaker and an interior lined with handmade Japanese paper. A detachable condenser microphone provides the input to the circuit, which can be either the performer’s voice or feedback from the speaker.

Please view the video at the bottom of the page for a demo of the first prototype circuit.

The price is EUR 225 (incl. 19% EU VAT) / EUR 190 (shipped outside the EU) plus shipping. Each instrument is made to order with an approximately one month waiting time. A 50% deposit on the price is required to begin work.

Please contact me using the CONTACT page here, or through MACUMBISTA at-the-domain GMAIL dot COM. Thank you for your kind attention.

WolfToneBox Demo from macumbista on Vimeo.

WolfTone Drumming by Jack Herz.

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Eye for an Ear Festival Berlin

Posted in Announcement on June 15th, 2013 by admin

I have been invited to give a lecture on optical sound synthesis as well as perform the TONEWHEELS live set as part of the Eye for an Ear Festival in Berlin later this month. There are quite a few other amazing people involved in this, namely Andrei Smirnov, whose recent book “Sound in Z: Experiments In Sound And Electronic Music In Early 20th Century Russia” is one of the best things I’ve read in the last year.

Full details should be available on the NK website soon, and those of you with FaceBook can access the event page here.


“A Brief History of Optical Synthesis”, a lecture by Derek Holzer, Wed June 26th 21:00 at NK Projekt Berlin

The technology of direct optical synthesis arose with the first sound-on-film motion pictures. In the 1930’s, several designs for optical synthesizers were produced in the USSR, Germany and United States, with a handful even being commercially realized to great amount of techno-utopian hype. The future of sound, we were assured, was made of light.

However, the use of optical synthesis for electronic music creation was largely abandoned after the Second World War in favor of techniques derived from new military technologies which made the V2 rocket and the atomic bomb possible. Thus, contemporary research into optical sound synthesis represents a media-archaeology of “the road not taken”, that of a connection to the culture of film and music versus the science of destruction and death.


TONEWHEELS (Derek Holzer: sounds, electronics), Friday June 28th 20:00 at NK Projekt Berlin

TONEWHEELS is an experiment in converting graphical imagery to sound, inspired by some of the pioneering 20th Century electronic music inventions. Transparent tonewheels with repeating patterns are spun over light-sensitive electronic circuitry to produce sound and light pulsations and textures. This all-analog set is performed entirely live without the use of computers, using only overhead projectors as light source, performance interface and audience display. In this way, TONEWHEELS aims to open up the “black box” of electronic music and video by exposing the working processes of the performance for the audience to see.

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Macumbista Benjolin 2013v2–now taking orders

Posted in Announcement on June 4th, 2013 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 low pass 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 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, a switchable external line input to the Benjolin filter and LEDs displaying the internal state of the Rungler.

For Spring 2013, I will produce five of these Benjolins, housed in antique wooden slide/dia boxes. One Benjolin from this run has been sold, and four more are available for order, with shipping on or before 21 June 2013.

This run is sold out!. These Benjolins are produced under licensed agreement with Rob Hordijk.

This instrument ships with an external 110V or 220V AC/AC converter wall power supply.

Please email MACUMBISTA at the domain GMAIL dot COM with orders and inquiries. Other customizations are available on request. Thank you for your kind attention.


Quick and dirty demo of Benjolin 2013v1, the first of several Benjolins to be built for sale in 2013.

A familiar old loop run through the filter section of the Macumbista Benjolin2013v2 via simple line-in modification. Filter cutoff frequency modulated by hand, by the two oscillators and Rungler sections of the Benjolin and by various control voltages available from the banana-jack patchbay.

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