Remembering Synth Designer Rob Hordijk

Dutch Modular Fest and others are reporting that Dutch synth designer Rob Hordijk has died at the age of 64.

Hordijk (1958-2022) is best known to synthesists as the developer of the Blippoo Box, Benjolin & the Hordijk Modular System.

Here’s a profile of Hordijk from 2014, by synthesist Franz Schuier:

The late Darwin Grosse – host of the Art, Music & Technology podcast – talked with Hordijk in 2017 about his synths, his approach to synthesizer design and his views on modular synthesis.

The deep discussion offers insight into Hordijk’s approach to modular synth design. Or as Hordijk puts it, “Modulations are more important than modules”.

You can listen to the interview via the embed below, or via the A+M+T site:


Hordijk described the Blippoo Box as an audio sound generator that operates according to the principles of chaos theory:

“In the hands of performing musicians, the Blippoo Box becomes an electronic music instrument that invites performers to improvise with the chaotic nature of the box. Despite this chaotic behavior, the produced sounds have particular characteristics that are roughly predictable and enable a performer to build a performance around a composed scheme.”

Here’s a video, via synthesist Todd Barton, that explores the sonic range of the Blippoo Box:

Here’s a look at the Hordijk’s Benjolin synthesizer, in the form of the Klangbau Köln Benjolin Eurorack module, via TTNM:

The Hordijk Modular System is sort of a hybrid of the classic Moog format and Paul Schreiber’s MOTM format. It conforms mechanically to Moog format, but with MOTM-style flat panels. The System’s also uses MOTM-style electrical connectors.

Here’s an in-depth look at the Hordijk Modular System from Hordijk himself, from the European Electro Music Event 2012 that took place at Mallorca – Spain:

The video below, via Chris David, captures Hordijk performing with his Modular System at Noodlebar in 2016:

You can find information on Hordijk’s designs on Modulargrid and The Hordijk Modular Blog.

Hordijk Modular System video via Pedro Trotz.

6 thoughts on “Remembering Synth Designer Rob Hordijk

  1. This is sad news. Rob was a personal friend and welcomed me as a guest into his home, as well being an incredible teacher on everything from sound design to the fundamentals of electronic circuits. A great loss to the synth community.

  2. was lucky enough to spend two days building a benjolin with Rob… also lucky to own a prototype of one of his modular panels…. very sad news indeed. I was one og the good ones.

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