Altura MkII Theremin MIDI Controller / Arpeggiator

From: $89.00

BACKORDERED — NEW & IMPROVED MKii+ SHIPPING END OF MAY 2022! Pre-order now at current pricing.

The MkII+ model features: all-new steel case with upgraded graphics; more robust LED display; Ready-to-Play option.

The Altura MkII DIY Kit is a MIDI controller / sequencer / arpeggiator that emulates a theremin. As you move your hands  in the air, the Altura MkII transmits MIDI data to your synthesizer to control pitch, volume, velocity, bend, modulation, portamento, and more! Save presets. Program an 8-step sequence, play it up and down the scale, enter a tap tempo, change to double time or half time.

Control any MIDI synthesizer, such as the Macchiato Mini Synth. Comes with a sleek black acrylic cabinet kit.

Requires 9V DC power. Use a battery (not included) or pick up a plug-in power supply, below. Requires a MIDI cable, available below.

SKU: AT2 Category: Tag:

Altura MkII DIY Kit

Kit is temporarily out of stock. Order now at current pricing and be first in your home to receive the new and much improved Altura MkII+, coming Spring 2022!

Available on backorder

9V DC Power Supply

Power your Altura with this 9V DC center-negative power supply, or use a 9V battery.

MIDI Cable 5 Pin DIN 5 ft (1.5m)

Connect your Altura to the outside world with this typical MIDI cable.

USBTiny Programmer

Use this device to update or restore the software in your Zeppelin products. Use the free ZDL Updater App for PC to install drivers and obtain all the latest software.

Available on backorder

Description

The Altura MkII Theremin MIDI Controller DIY Kit emulates the behavior of the early electronic instrument invented by Russian physicist Léon Theremin in 1920.  With Theremin’s gadget, as the player moves his right hand closer to one antenna, the device emits an eerie tone that rises in pitch. As the player moves his left hand farther away from the other antenna, the tone becomes louder. The device is very sensitive, and makes wonderful, spooky music – but it is very tricky to play. The performer can only play by ear: there are no frets in mid-air!

Our MIDI Controller version uses a pair of range finders in place of antennae, and rather than producing sound directly, the Altura MkII emits MIDI messages that are interpreted by your separate synthesizer. The Altura MkII was designed as a companion to the Macchiato Mini Synth by Zeppelin Design Labs: there are a few special features that will only work well when paired with the Macchiato. Otherwise, the Altura MkII conforms with General MIDI specifications and should easily control any device bearing this mark. Many MIDI devices do not conform to the General MIDI specification. In these cases, you may need to fiddle with your synthesizer some before it will respond properly to the Altura MkII.

You can run your Altura MkII straight into your PC or Mac workstation with a MIDI-to-USB converter (not included).

Please download the Quick Start Guide and Reference Manual for all the details!

  • This is a DIY kit – soldering is required! Examine the assembly manual before buying.
  • Includes shiny black acrylic cabinet DIY Kit.
  • Optional 9V DC Power Supply — or use a 9V battery (not included).

ALTURA MkII FEATURE SET

  • Right Sensor – MIDI Pitch (Note On/Off)
    • Octave Select – set 1 to 8 octaves, ascending or descending
    • Key Select
    • Scale Select – choose from 12 different modes
  • Left Sensor – Send Control Change
    • Pitch Bend
    • Modulation
    • Velocity
    • Channel Volume
    • Portamento Time
    • Adjustable to any range of values from 0-127, ascending or descending
  • X-Y Mode: Both left and right sensors send Control Change data, any value, any two controllers
  • Transmit Channel selection
  • Arpeggiator / Step sequencer
    • Program any 8-step sequence over a 2-octave range
    • Use right hand to set initial note
    • Sequence always plays in selected key and scale
    • Tap Tempo
    • Use left hand to multiply tempo
  • Save / Read up to 21 presets
  • Articulation (responsiveness) adjust
  • 9V DC Power Input — wall wart or battery
  • MIDI Out
  • Power On indicator
  • 3-digit display
  • ISP Header

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What You Will Need

Here’s everything you will need to build the Altura MkII Theremin MIDI Controller  kit. *These tools are available from Zeppelin Design Labs; follow the links! To make your own cabinet using the provided template, you will need the following:
  • Stiff craft cardstock (available separately), or a cereal box
  • Steel Ruler or Straight edge
  • X-Acto knife or other sharp hobby knife
  • Two push pins or thumbtacks
  • Scissors
  • Butter knife
  • A few small binder clips
  • Rubber cement
To build the acrylic cabinet kit, you will need the following:
  • Steel straight edge
  • X-Acto knife or other sharp hobby knife and/or scissors
  • Plastic cement and/or Super Glue
  • Toothpick
  • Piece of tape

Documentation

  • Detailed instructions for assembling the controller kit, making a cardstock cabinet, or building the acrylic cabinet kit
  • Quick Start will get you playing fast!
  • Reference Manual contains detailed information explaining every feature
  • Watch the companion video on YouTube
  • SOFTWARE
    It's fairly easy to keep your Atlura MkII's software up to date, or to refresh corrupted software. You will need:
  • the free ZDL Updater App for PC.
  • a USB-Tiny programmer -- a little piece of hardware that connects your PC to your Altura.
  • the latest software, which you will find on the ZDL Updater App page, on the What You Will Need tab.
The Altura MkII MIDI Theremin open-source software is covered by the Creative Commons Share Alike / Attribution  / Non-Commercial License. The Altura MkII code was written in the Arduino  1.8 environment.