Befaco Pony VCO: What is it?
VCOs are the one category of module that everybody has, which begs the question: do we need more on the market? Well, Befaco seems to think so, with its Pony VCO joining its fairly extensive lineup.
It’s easy to see why too, as this unassuming little module has quite a lot on offer, especially for the diminutive 4hp size.
Pony is a solid module, as is to be expected from such a well-established developer. The patch points, knobs and switches all feel responsive and have a satisfying engagement.
Physically the only letdown is the aesthetic – it’s crisp and clean, which is a good thing, but lacks excitement. That is a matter of taste and the traditional red and black will please Befaco fans.
Befaco Pony VCO: Performance and verdict
Pony is, at first glance, a standard-looking VCO. It features a seven-octave range, with manual frequency control. But spot the little switch beneath it? That allows Pony to run at audio or LFO rates, making this a sweet little modulation source too, not something you may expect at just 4hp. That alone makes this a contender for those shopping for a VCO but add to that the decent selection of waveshapes and things starting hotting up. There are sine, triangle, saw and square (with pulse width modulation) here, making this good for a comprehensive range of tonal escapades.
For the price, that appears to be a good deal in and of itself but Pony has one more trick and that is the wavefolding. This tiny analogue VCO has what it calls a timbre control. In square wave shape mode, this acts as a control for the pulse width but in the other modes, it is a true wavefolder, making this one of the most versatile voices out there, especially for this size and price point.
Complex oscillators can be big devices, with equally hefty price tags but Befaco has managed to coax a lot of versatility out of a little space. The range of interesting and varied timbres that can be generated here really does cover a lot of harmonic territory and much fun can be had with a fingertip on that red slider.
That said, many modularists still prefer to use CV for this type of thing and Befaco has catered to those users too, with plenty of CV patching capability, from timbre control, FM, volts per octave and CV control over the onboard VCA, another feature rarely seen on modules this small. There is even a sync jack so that you can get the Pony to play nicely with its stablemates.
All in all Pony is an impressive module that covers a lot of ground, can be controlled manually in an intuitive way (or via CV) and the fact that it can be run as an LFO, with the same waveshaping possibilities, adds to the flexibility.
MusicRadar verdict: A quite special module, packing flavours of complex oscillators and frequency modulation into even the most limited rack space.
Befaco Pony VCO: Hands-on demos
Molten Music Technology
The Modular Minute
Befaco Pony VCO: Specifications
- KEY FEATURES I/O: Through Zero Frequency Modulation, Wavefolding (Timbre), Pulsewidth Modulation (PWM), SYNC, VCA, LFO.
- CONTACT: Befaco