Review: Repro-5 Luftrum 19 by Luftrum


Luftrum and Sonic Underworld combine forces again, this time to put Repro-5 through its paces. The result is very 80’s retro, very cinematic and very good indeed.

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Jump to the Demos of Repro-5 Luftrum 19 by Luftrum


Review: Repro-5 Luftrum 19 by Luftrum

Repro-5 by u-he is a superb emulation of the Sequential Circuits Prophet-5, which is a true classic amongst the great polyphonic synths of the late 70s/early 80s. It had a huge influence on the creativity of synths pioneers at the time, such as Vince Clark and Tangerine Team and this is what Luftrum 19 really taps into. However, the collection also pays homage to modern film scores such as Gravity and Interstellar and as a result we get that big cinematic sound with a distinct nod to the synth sounds of the 80s.

Although sold on Luftrum’s website this soundset is very much an equal partnership. For most sound categories both Sonic Underworld and Luftrum contribute, but there are a few such as Stefan’s LFOs which are unique. For the purposes of this review I will not discriminate between who the original creator was and instead simply look at each sound type as a whole.

Repro-5 Luftrum 19 sells for $39 from Luftrum


The basses are really weighty and aggressive. Their often dry nature with short releases makes them excellent for fast basslines. Rather than being sounds that simply hold down the bottom end, they are far more like feature basses that can drive an entire track with their distinctive timbres.

The synth section is well populated and gives us a flavour of the Prophet-5, yet with a modern twist by using the excellent onboard effects. It is not heavy-handed, often just adding a touch of delay, reverb and EQ to increase the cinematic feel and shape the sound. There is all sorts here from The Orb inspired resonant filters, to dirty and detuned, to short and plucky. A number of patches allude directly to the inspiration, with not just a reference to a film but to a particular sound from a particular synth, like Bladerunner CS-80 shown below.


Bladerunner CS-80 Preset

Along with the synths the pads are the most numerous here. There is generally quite a bit of movement in them, either within the basic programming or when activating modulation sources. Some of them bubble and pulse, whilst others sweep and there are plenty that do a softer, more atmospheric sound also. Differences apart, they all share a cinematic sci-fi aesthetic and would fit brilliantly both in synth heavy compositions and also layered in more hybrid contexts.

Bridging the gap between a pad and a lead are the keyboard sounds. Depending on the exact preset they can work well for arpeggios, chords or melodies. Mostly they are quite muted and dreamy with Rain Dogs being a personal favourite of mine.

Rain Dogs Preset

It has a sublime melancholy, dominated by pulse waves and a rolled off LPF. This dark sound is balanced with a crisp but non-aggressive attack that adds just the right amount of definition to the notes. The effects are used very nicely to add some tape saturation, tame low frequency build up and add a touch of reverb. Pushing up the mod wheel lowers the cutoff and adds more reverb, which has the combined effect of moving the sound further back in the mix. It epitomises the deft touches of the sound designers involved in Luftrum 19, who understand it is the combination of a number of small tweaks on a relatively simple interface that results in thoroughly inspiring patches.

Alongside the main categories already mentioned are a number of equal useful sound types. We have some good atmospheres/soundscapes and FX that go from disturbingly caustic to haunting drones and all the way to a rising metallic scream. For moments when some propulsion is required there are some bold pulses on offer. In the absence of a dedicated sequencer in Repro-5 these are achieved through programming the LFO, making it very easy to customise the sound by selecting a different LFO shape and time base should you need to. Finally, there are a couple of classic string pads that are super lush and even a magical flute snuck in there!

Soft Deckard Strings Preset

The range of sounds on offer in Luftrum 19 make it an ideal pack for a range of tasks. It would appeal to producers of EDM, synthwave and ambient electronica, aswell as composers making more cinematic music for film, TV and computer games.

One thing I especially liked from the Luftrum side was that many patches came with two versions. The differences are generally subtle, but enough to offer a genuinely useful alternative. The description sections give a concise explanation of what is tweaked from the original patch which is very helpful. Infact, all the preset info throughout the entire collection is very comprehensive, with suggestions for use and details on the particular modulation destination for any sources enabled. They are comprehensively meta-tagged too, so will come up accordingly in any user search.

I love how it treads a line between the classic analogue sounds of the 80s and the latest synth sounds in cinema with such aplomb and it is incredibly hard to find any fault with this collection. A key factor in how successful it is lies in using the effects with restraint – more as a French polish than a full repaint. The result being the sounds retain that retro styling that the sound designers were focussed on. It is another big hit for the excellent pairing of Luftrum and Sonic Underworld and we are looking forward to many more such collaborations here at SLR.


Luftrum 19 consists of 144 patches for u-he Repro-5, divided into two folders for each contributor. NKS patches are also included to connect seamlessly to Native Instrument products. You will need a licensed copy of Repro-5 to use this soundset.

Repro-5 Luftrum 19 sells for $39 from Luftrum


Demos of Repro-5 Luftrum 19 by Luftrum

Videos of Repro-5 Luftrum 19 by Luftrum


Contributor Sam Burt reviews Repro-5 Luftrum 19 by Luftrum
“Luftrum and Sonic Underworld combine forces again, this time to put Repro-5 through its paces. The result is very 80s retro, very cinematic and very good indeed.”