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Altura kit not functioning.

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    I recently purchased the Altura MIDI Theremin kit from your company. Serial number ZD3304.

    I’ve assembled the kit, and it gets power, but does not appear to be functioning correctly.

    Here is a link to a video of what I’m experiencing…


    Please advise on my next move to troubleshoot and get it working! Thanks!


    #12437 Reply


    Patrick, sorry about the trouble with your Altura, but thank you for the video! That is very helpful. I see two significant things going on: the sensors are facing the table, and the knobs do not appear to be functioning correctly. So one at a time:
    1) The sensors sense over a wide, cone-shaped space. Laying on the table as in the video, they are both sensing the table at all times and transmitting a static, default, minimal value. This will tend to confuse the display. For testing, please flip the sensors over so they face the ceiling, and tape them to the table or something. In most contexts, only the left sensor affects the display. Set the first two knobs (Data far, Data Near) to full opposite positions and move your hand in and out over the left sensor. What do you see? You should see (in most contexts) numbers spinning by. Nudge the third pot (Function). As it moves, you should see numbers 1-7 scroll by. If not, leave the knob at the 9 o’clock position, which corresponds to 2 or 3.

    E 5 is not an error message. It means you are playing in the key of E in mode 5, which is phrygian or something.

    Even if the display remains unresponsive, please plug the Altura into a MIDI device (a synth). Do not run it into a DAW or other computer system at this point; just run it straight into a MIDI IN jack. Set the last two knobs to 12 o’clock, which sets the Altura to play over one ocatve right in the middle of the keyboard. Wave over the right sensor. Hear anything? Is the MIDI light flickering on the synth? This is testing whether the device is transmitting data.

    Finally, check the Articulation mode. Turn off the device, turn all knobs full left, turn on again. What do you see? The display should read 2.1.2 (the latest software version), then change to a number which is a multiple of 15 (the articulation setting).

    2) At 1:25 in the video, I see the more compelling issue: When you twiddle the knobs like that, you should see more action on the display. It may be different when the sensors are face up, but I am guessing this will not completely solve the issue. I think we have seen this once before. I will consult with my partners this morning and follow up.

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