Equipment Overview:
Bento Box Software Synthesizer

Bento software synthesizer screenshot

I love the Bento synthesizer app. This is the kind of thing I never would have thought was worth my time, until I started to actually play with it and got sucked right in.

Having actually been around and doing electronic music at the very tail end of the era of analog synthesizers, I know from experience how spoiled modern electronic musicians are with digital synthesis: for instance, you can set up a sound, then go to bed, and in the morning it will still work the same as you left it. In the analog world, where everything from humidity to cosmic rays can affect your sound source, it wasn’t always so.

Bento brings that unreliability and unpredictability to the digital age. It’s a software emulation of an unpredictable, erratic old analog synthesizer. Noisy, with spotty controls and inconsistent results, it’s very difficult to rationally figure out what any of the various knobs do.  Complicating things further, everything is labeled in Japanese only, and there is no user manual. If you chose to pay (an extremely reasonable, I though) $20 for a license, you can save presets. If not, you can still use the app for free, without being able to save custom presets.

Sounds like fun, right? I can pass hours playing with it.

I used Bento to create the basic sonic material for The Golden Yatra.

Bento is by Giorgio Sancristoforo.

Bento software synthesizer screenshot