Benjolin patch (new version 4) for VCV - Show me what you can do with it!

Hi Dave, I am a fan of generative sounds, so i could not resist to try my version of the Benjolin. It’s not a correct build of the original Benjolin as you did, but it sounds quite chaotic without being too harsh. Ctrl-R is your friend :slight_smile: Wish you a lot of fun with it :slight_smile:

Sound example:

Patch: Benjolin.5.3.vcv (4.6 KB)

Some nice sounds in that recording. I had a go with the patch. The chaos is good from a pitch and timing standpoint, but I had trouble discovering a wide variety of textures, and I could not get the filter to ping at all.

I hope you had a chance to try my Benjolin out. It really is a blast to play with.

After seeing your video, I decided to have a go at adding some delay to my Benjolin to go with the reverb. Before now I had been going for a fairly stripped down sound to showcase the power of the Benjolin on its own. But the delay sure does bring another dimension.

Here is the patch - The Benjolin is almost identical to my most recent on Patch Storage - I just swapped 2 Bogaudio switch modules for 4 VCV FADE modules to conserve a bit of space.

Benjolin with delay-reverb.vcv (12.0 KB)

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Thank you for answering :slight_smile:

Creating a bunch of textures with my patch seems indeed not easy and i played for hours with it… Now i get your patch and i try to learn something more.

Cool. The link for the After Later Audio Eurorack Benjolin manual in the opening post is really instructive and translates well to my patch. Not only did it help me immensely when building the patch, it also helped give me ideas on how to use it. Then once I got a comfort level, it was time to freely explore. The YouTube reviews in that post are good as well.

Of course stoermelder plugins are irreplacable! Hoping to see them in the library soon.

In the meantime I’ve seen some people (including Omri) replace GLUE with some of these modules. Its not the same as having the label directly on the module, but it does the main job which is remembering which knob / module does what =)

Rip Rob Hordijk.


Thanks for sharing that tragic news. I only just discovered who he was this year, and was thinking I might contact him - opportunity lost. I was intrigued by what I read about him and his designs.

Darn that is too young to die.

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I finally have released my much improved Benjolin patch version 3 that features the great Mind Meld Patch Master to create a clean user interface. It also adds a new Resonance CV input to the patch bay. The demo video shows how the resonance CV can produce some really satisfying swells.

Most of my Benjolin videos show static patching and settings, but it is great fun to play this patch live. It pairs well with a midi controller. I’ve used this patch quite a few times at a monthly experimental music gathering in Baltimore called the Volunteer’s Collective - The patch is definitely a hit.

There are extensive notes about the patch on Patch Storage.


Hi Dave. This looks cool. I started to download the patch(es) from YouTube a few minutes ago but am confused about how to install. The download is a zip file that contains multiple things. Into what directory should I extract the zip? You may have explained this at some point, but I seem to have missed that.


It doesn’t matter where you put the zip file. It just contains two VCV patches, as well as one selection. Just expand the zip file contents to wherever you store your patches and/or selections. The only reason I used a zip file is because PatchStorage does not allow you to upload multiple files, so I needed to package them into one container.

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oh what a fun patch, playing with the Resonant one, and wow, so many different sounds to be found, and the patchmaster interface is excellent. Still not quite have head around how this works, but working on it (and yes, I did RTFM for a change :wink: )

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Yes! The Benjolin is a BEAUTIFUL BEAST!

Wonderful patch. Thank you very much :slight_smile:

As I am also investigating and experimenting with shift register based instruments and I am noticing one big difference with your patch and my personal benjolin patch:

For the “127 steps” mode I switch to a “linear feedback” mode. So instead of xor-ing bit 8 at the input (the 8|16 mode) the input is xor-ed with an extra xor of bit 7 and 6. This will result in a maximum sequence of 127 steps. For those interested, you can read an introduction on LFSR at Wikipedia: Linear-feedback shift register - Wikipedia

It is an elegant modification -just one xor gate extra, so you don’t have to use all those modules for a 127 step loop.

Anyway, thanks again and I love the Unstabile filter: it really shines in your patch.

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Oh wow! I had now idea. That is a huge simplification, and much more elegant - thanks!

I always thought the 127 gate shift register was a rather brutish solution - I was surprised at the design. Now it makes perfect sense.

Yes, that Vult Unstabile filter creates magic!

Someday in the not too distant future I want to create a Benjolin (Venjolin!) module for VCV. I am confident I can handle the oscillators and rungler, but I am concerned about my ability to create a worthy filter.

I look forward to when I have the module created - I haven’t talked about this, but the VCV LFOs I use in my patch of course suffer from wicked aliasing in the audio range. I will simply implement over sampling, which should work great with the max frequency of only 8000 Hz. That should make the end result even closer to actual hardware.


Looking forward to it!

And yes, the filter is an interesting one:

I have read some info on it on the original forum where the DIY schematics of the Benjolin was shared by Rob Hordijk

He also mentiones his article in Leonardo Music, which is a really nice read! It is mainly about the infamous Blippoo Box -which I am currently patching up, but in the end he writes on the filter and its all-harmonic distortion. Hordijk Rob (2009) The Blippoo Box - A Chaotic Electronic Music Instrument, Bent by Design.pdf (2.5 MB)

For the oscillators I am using 2/4 Pony VCO’s from Befaco. They have great oversampling and I hardly notice aliassing, only in very extreme settings you can hear some. I tried a lot of settings and found a way to give it a huge continuous range (60sec - 10kHz) without giving it extreme CV values.

Oh wait, why write so many words when I can share my patch as well? :slight_smile: Let me clean it up a bit and I will post it in this thread if you like.

Yes please!

I guess you are using 4 Ponies, and I’ll be interested to see if you sync the pairs to maintain a consistent phase relationship between the triangle and pulse.

I use 4 ponies indeed, which are synced when the patch is loaded by BogAudio 4MAN. I checked many times, and they stay in sync, when feeded the same CV.

In the patch I also exprimented with so-called tolerance: in hardware there is an amount of tolerance of components, even high quality components deviate a bit (about ± 0.5% from the stated value) Also there is a slight deviation in circuits, causing drift etc etc. This is also very tiny, but when added up, it gives hardware it’s instabilities, making it work less clean. I tried to emulatie this with not mixing perfectly (so e.g. 99.7% instead of 100% etc etc) and injecting a very very tiny amount of Walk in some paths. I kind of like the result. But you will notice that the math is not perfect. This is on purpose.

I am not yet happy with my resonance settings in the patch. Still investigating :slight_smile:

I hope you like it! And I am curious of your opinion!! I added a text file of all the modules used as well

[files are removed: an updated version can be found below]

EDIT: I run my patch in 96kHz Engine rate normally because of the extreme FM going on in the patch

I’ll see if I have time to look later tonight. Right now I need to sign into my weekly Virtual Open Mic!


many thanks!

I noticed a small error in my patch: as I was experimenting with the PWM signal I accidentally left a DC blocker at the wrong place. Here is an updated version, also with a bit improved resonance behaviour and a corrected fine control. These I use mainly with my midi controller -the range of the oscillators are too large, so you will hear the 128 steps of the 7-bit midi signal.


NOTE: Because of the unfortunate inprecise performance of patchmaster since the update 2.3.0 of VCV, some controls are not working as intended. In order to have 0% mix of a parameter, you have to double click on the control. I have built in a workaround for the “input” and “change” knob as well, as double clicking does not work. I made a sort of deadzone at the end of the knobs, so it reaches its min/max range sooner. Maybe I’ll keep these in, as they have become more performable with my controller.