Review: Theremin+ by Soundiron

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The niche and iconic sound of the Theremin delivered in a way that makes realistic playback natural and easy on your tempered keyboard. Soundiron has also included a few sound design instruments expanding this library beyond the expected, with their sonic sculpting talents.

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Review: Theremin+ by Soundiron

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Soundiron’s THEREMIN+ is an ingenious interpretation of the Theremin in a Kontakt instrument.  Theremin+ allows realistic playback of the classic sound of this legendary instrument.  The library was carefully designed to replicate the real Theremin spirit while controlling it from a standard midi keyboard. The instrument comes with additional sound-designed NKIs for pads, leads, ambiences, and atmospheres.

Theremin+ sells for $19 from Soundiron

 

Thoughts

First – put on your learning hat . . . The Theremin was developed by Soviet inventor Leon Theremin in the 1920’s. The instrument creates it’s signature tone by generating electronic WAV forms using 2 proximity sensors. These sensors are assigning values to pitch and velocity. The Theremin became very popular in scores for horror films in the 1950’s.

I had completely forgotten about the instrument until I got hooked on the video game “Destroy All Humans” a few years back and proceeded to listen to hours of Composer Gary Schyman ‘s theremin-tinged score during game play. Fun stuff!

Ok back to the instrument.  . . . As you may know, I am a big fan of Soundiron. I especially appreciate the way the developer samples acoustic and electric instruments and takes them a step or 2 further by using their sound sculpting talents. Theremin+ is no exception.

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Theremin+ with “Atmospheric 1” Sub-Layer turned on

The library comes with 5 Kontakt NKI’s with a healthy selection of additional sub-layer articulations. The instrument gives users controls, over waveform type. vibrato, glide speed, waveform selection and full FX rack.

The five basic waveforms (sine, absolute sine, triangle, saw-tooth and square) included, deliver just about every classic Theremin sound I could think of. You can adjust your legato/portamento speed with the Glide knob.

The addition of the “Sub-layer” adds an addition sample to playback allowing for even more timbres with presets for pads, drones, leads and ambiences. The”Sub-layer” contains independent Volume and Pitch controls.

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Soundiron’s FX Rack is included in the instrument

Soundiron also has included their FX Rack in a 2nd panel of the instrument which includes convolution reverb with dozens of unique spaces (cathedrals, churches, halls, bunkers, garages, tunnels, chambers, rooms) as well as a filter, phaser, flanger, delay, distortion, amp & speaker simulation. The FX rack also includes a few presets. With Theremin+, Soundiron has taken a micro-tonal instrument and adapted it for realistic playback with a tempered control. I am sure this was no small feat in instrument design. Both of the traditional instruments, as well as the sound designed instruments sound great.

Honestly, it is kind of hard to find fault with the Theremin+, especially considering it’s very affordable price.  Some music makers may flip on past the library dismissing it because of it’s niche and iconic sound.

Those who dig into the library will be surprised to find just how useful it maybe for underscore, pads, ambient textures and of course, summoning monsters, ghouls and aliens.

 

Facts

The library downloads as just 975 MB and contains 106 24bit/48kHz samples which are contained both in the Kontakt instrument as well as provided as WAV files.

Theremin+ does require the full version of Native Instrument’s Kontakt 5.5.2+.

Theremin+ sells for $19 from Soundiron

 

Demos of using Theremin+ by Soundiron

Videos of Theremin+ by Soundiron