Articles / Gestural Instruments

The Zeppelin Design Labs Altura Theremin MIDI Controller

Altura Theremin MIDI Controller

Zeppelin Design Labs has introduced the Altura Theremin MIDI Controller.

The Altura allows you to control your traditional hardware and software MIDI synthesizers with hand gestures in a similar manner to playing the theremin. Instead of using capacitive sensing and heterodyning oscillators, however, Altura uses two sonar sensors to detect hand location.

Altura's right channel transmits MIDI note data to set the pitch, and the left channel transmits MIDI controller messages such as note-on velocity, modulation, channel volume, pitch bend, portamento time. The device can be configured to send data on any MIDI channel as well. For fine tuning, upper and lower ranges can be set for each parameter type.

For hackers, the source code for Altura is freely available, and the device can easily be re-programmed via a standard USB-Tiny ISP.

Altura comes in both pre-built or kit form and is available directly from and on Reverb (affiliate link).