DATATON SYSTEM 3000 VIDEOS

Posted in Documentation on November 28th, 2020 by admin

YouTube Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAz5IzRCksDJf9ENkU_qYhac3TlgE09Df

The Dataton System 3000 was designed in the 1970’s by Björn Sandlund in Sweden. It was mainly intended for educational use, and an official report published in 1977 recommended that every music school in the country be provided with one. Unfortunately, a subsequent right wing government eliminated these plans, and Sandlund’s Dataton company instead moved into audiovisual presentation technology.

The System 3000 contains modules for sound synthesis, sound processing, mixing, and panning. In these video tutorials, I will briefly explain the modules at my disposal:

Power Supply 3320
Sub Mixer 3202
Master Mixer 3201
Quad Sound Generator 3002
Quad Input Amplifier 3001
Quad Envelope Shaper 3104
Ringmodulator 3105
Noise Generator 3004
Quad Universal Filter 3101

The modules in this collection belong to either the Royal College of Music (KMH) in Stockholm or the private collection of Daniel Araya. Historically, they have been used in the studios of KMH, by the composer Leo Nilsson, and/or at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. This video series was produced by Derek Holzer for a workshop entitled “Sounds of Futures Passed”, which is a part of his PhD studies at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm. His project is a cooperation between KTH, KMH, Statens Musikverket, and Elektronmusikstudion (EMS), with support from the Swedish Research Council/Vetenskapsrådet.

The System 3000 is described in much greater detail in Björn Sandlund’s book The Early Synth Days, published in 2019.

With thanks to Björn Sandlund, Daniel Araya, and Henrik Frisk for their support in making these videos.

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Sounds of Futures Passed workshop

Posted in Announcement on November 11th, 2020 by admin

Henrik Frisk and myself are proud to announce a unique opportunity for students of KMH, KTH, and Konstfack to get involved with ongoing research into the history of electronic music in Sweden. The Sounds of Futures Passed workshop invites composers, engineers, and designers of sonic possibilities to investigate rare and unusual sound synthesis instruments formerly used at the Kungl. Musikhögskolan and Elektronmusikstudion EMS Stockholm.

We will speculate on what kind of aspirations for the musical future might have gone into the design and construction of these devices in the past, and on what sort of ideas about the use of sound instruments we can take from them into our own musical futures.

The workshop takes place over three ZOOM sessions (01 DEC, 08 DEC, 15 DEC), with team work taking place at KMH during the days between the meetings to compose with and analyze the functions of one specific instrument, the DATATON SYSTEM 3000 designed by Björn Sandlund in the 1970’s.

Students can send questions or register their interest in participating by email to idholzer AT THE DOMAIN kth.se and henrik.frisk AT THE DOMAIN kmh.se with the subject line: SYNTH WORKSHOP

This is the first in a series of investigations, each focused on a different historical device from the collected archives of EMS, Statens Musikverket, and the Scenkonstmuseet, with the goal of producing new, historically-informed sound synthesis instruments and interfaces. The project is supported by the Swedish Research Council/Vetenskapsrådet.

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Macumbista Benjolin V5 available

Posted in Announcement on March 28th, 2020 by admin

I #staythefuckhome making analog synthesizers so you can #staythefuckhome playing analog synthesizers.


Six Macumbista Benjolin V5 instruments available in green, blue, and grey. Email macumbista@gmail.com for details.

All BV5 backorders shipping soon. Butterfly Benjolins next in the queue. Thank you all for your support in these strange days!

PRICE

The price of the Benjolin V5 is EUR 565 (incl. 19% EU VAT) / EUR 475 (for customers outside the EU), plus express shipping costs. Every Benjolin ships with two banana patch cables and a universal 110/220V AC to 12V DC power supply.

DETAILS

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.

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

VIDEOS and PHOTOS

More images and video can be seen on this page: http://macumbista.net/?page_id=4770

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.

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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 Workshop Berlin

Posted in Announcement on June 8th, 2017 by admin

VECTOR SYNTHESIS WITH DEREK HOLZER

http://spektrumberlin.de/events/detail/vector-synthesis-with-derek-holzer.html

WORKSHOP (7hours/1day)
Level: introductory/beginners
Costs: 70 euro
Max number of participants: 12 people
Min number of participants: 4 people
Contact: macumbista@gmail.com
Sign up through this form:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfo-Wn4JIdidSTJuTWmu6mzMFK34VH1d0qDVwMJ9InObAJcig/viewform

OWN COMPUTER AND HEADPHONES ARE NEEDED

DESCRIPTION

The VECTOR SYNTHESIS project is an audiovisual, computational art project using sound synthesis and vector graphics display techniques to investigate the direct relationship between sound+image. It draws on the historical work of artists such as Mary Ellen Bute, John Whitney, Nam June Paik, Ben Laposky, and Steina & Woody Vasulka among many others, as well as on ideas of media archaeology and the creative re-use of obsolete technologies.

SOFTWARE

During this workshop, you will learn how to use a custom library in the Pure Data programming environment to directly control the vertical and horizontal movements, as well as the brightness, of a beam of light. You will then explore Lissajous figures, waveform representations, and other multiplexed, audio-driven visual shapes and forms which can be displayed and manipulated in real time on an XY oscilloscope, Vectrex game console, ILDA laser display, and other analog vector displays using a DC coupled soundcard.

HARDWARE

We will also discuss hardware essentials such as how to modify a normal CRT monitor for vector inputs, how to hack together a cheap DC coupled soundcard, how to use a microcontroller such as the Teensy, Bela or Axoloti as a base for your vector synthesizer, and how to interface with the International Laser Display Association control protocol.

WHAT TO BRING

Please bring your own laptop. If you have a DC soundcard such as the MOTU Ultralight, please bring that as well. Many cheap USB soundcards can be adapted for DC use as well, you can find them on EBay or I will bring several for sale at the workshop. There will be a limited number of displays, so if you already own an analog XY oscilloscope, Vectrex game console, or other vector monitor, that would be very useful to bring. And finally, please get in touch if you have a CRT monitor you would like to see hacked (no guarantees!) during the hardware phase of the workshop. (Additional materials fee applies, we can discuss this.)

LINKS

http://macumbista.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/VECTOR-SYNTHESIS-PURE-DATA-LIBRARY.pdf

https://www.instagram.com/macumbista/

ABOUT THE WORKSHOP HOLDER

Derek Holzer is an American instrument builder and sound artist whose current interests include DIY analogue electronics, field recording, media archaeology and the meeting points of electroacoustic, noise, improv and extreme music.

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SKETCHES for VECTOR SYNTHESIS

Posted in Documentation on February 7th, 2017 by admin

SKETCHES for VECTOR SYNTHESIS [2017][HD720] from macumbista

The VECTOR SYNTHESIS project is an audiovisual, computational art project using entirely analog synthesis and vector graphics display techniques to investigate the direct relationship between sound+image. Driven by the waveforms of an analog synthesizer, the vertical and horizontal movements of a single beam of light trace shapes, points and curves with infinite resolution, opening a hypnotic window into the process by which the performed sound is created.

This project is available as a live performance, a video installation or soon as a standalone audiovisual object crafted from handmade circuits and analog CRT tubes.

Informed by the discourse of media archaeology, my own personal interest in analog vector graphics isn’t merely retro-for-retro’s-sake. Rather, it is an exploration of a once-current and now discarded technology linked with specific utopias and dystopias from another time.

Essay “The Vectorian Era” here: http://macumbista.net/?p=4715

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Pure Data Benjolin

Posted in Announcement on December 5th, 2016 by admin

pure_data_benjolin

The Benjolin is a standalone synthesizer designed by Rob Hordijk from the Netherlands in 2009 and available as an open hardware project online. This Pure Data implementation of the Benjolin was coded by Derek Holzer in SEP-NOV 2016 in Helsinki, after several years of producing customized hardware Benjolins from his Berlin studio.

Get it here: http://macumbista.net/?page_id=4690

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XR-VCOs Custom Synthesizer

Posted in Documentation on July 12th, 2016 by admin

trk-02

Another vehicle for interdimensional travel completed! This one features seven identical Thomas Henry XR-VCOs with three different timbre modulation options (hard sync, “skew” waveshaping and a J3RK/Stroh Modular crossfader between triangle/sine and square), all with voltage control, plus voltage-controlled frequency modulation, a summing mono output and even a headphone amp.

When I think about the human-hours that went into this instrument, I start going a little bit insane. Completing this would not have been possible without the assistance of Lars Ennsen and Damian Jaroszonek. Thanks düdes!

Videos someday….

trk-01

trk-03

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Miasmachine for Erik Skodvin

Posted in Documentation on April 25th, 2015 by admin

skodvin-01

The “Miasmachine” is a custom re-design of the Benjolin as a guitar-processing synthesizer for Norwegian musician Erik Skodvin (aka Svarte Greiner, half of Deaf Center and owner of the Miasmah record label). In this adaptation, the input signal is first run through a ring modulation circuit (with one selected raw oscillator waveform–TRI, PULSE or PWM–of the Benjolin being the modulator signal), then the ring-modulated signal is inserted in the Benjolin’s Voltage Controlled Low Pass Filter to control the higher harmonics.

This instrument was a custom commission, however if you are interested in a similar instrument, please contact me at macumbista AT THE DOMAIN gmail DOT com, or via the CONTACT page of this website.

I am still in the process of editing video for this machine, so this will be posted at a later date.

skodvin-box-block-diagram

skodvin-02

skodvin-03

skodvin-04

skodvin-05

skodvin-06skodvin-box-complete

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Interview for Makery Magazine

Posted in Text on March 19th, 2015 by admin

My good friend Ewen Chardronnet asked me to answer a few questions about the DELILAH TOO installation, my instrument-building practice and the workshop process. You can read my replies here.

One of my first formal trainings was as a silversmith, so the idea of making real things with my hands has always held far more appeal than the symbolic substitutions and semiotic shell games so beloved by the more conceptual and theoretical wings of the contemporary art world. But I think my instrument-building also reflects an economic reality one faces as a non-academic, non-institutional artist these days. There is so much digital music out there right now, and no one pays you for making any of it. But since we are working in the era of the “pro-sumer”, there are plenty of people who are constantly spending money on the tools to make their own music.

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