The Theremin !
One of the very first electronic instrument, invented by the Russian physicist and cellist Leon Theremin in 1919.
Everybody knows this instrument that you can play without physical contact. The Theremin produces a tone that changes in pitch and dynamic level when the player moves his hands near its antenna and loop.
It’s often associated with 50’s sci-fi movies, furious aliens and creepy/spooky creatures and was also used by many artists, just to name a few :
Beach boys – Good Vibrations !
Portishead – Mysterons
Goldfrapp – Yes Sir
+ Radiohead, Led Zep, Massive Attack, Pink Floyd, Julien Dragoul and many more !
If you search the perfect VST for this landing spaceship sound here’s a selection of free VSTi that tries to emulate the good old Theremin :
1. Spook Keys by Simple Media
Download : http://www.simple-media.co.uk/vsti.htm
This is the best Theremin VST emulation, and it’s free !
Drag the light point on the amplitude / frequency axes : instant Theremin action ! Here come the flying saucers. You can also play MIDI notes with your keyboard.
You have 4 waveforms to choose from so there is more than the Theremin sound, check out the presets !
Delay is simple but effective.
Depth and Rate parameters are for the vibrato.
Alien invasion, they are coming
2. BTS Super Theremin
Download it => here
This synth can do a decent Theremin emulation, add some reverb and/or delay after and you’ve got a nice clean gliding sinus Thereminesque sound. The perfect VST for science fiction movies!
BTS Theremin VST + cathedral reverb for more romantic SCI FI sound
3. 666 VST by Eloxoga
Click on the button, and drag the skull : a demonic Theremin from hell will scream.
Perfect for horror ambience or invoking the devil.
4. Mysteron by FXPansion
Drag the little cross or use you MIDI keyboard.
This one is very simple, you may need to add a delay / reverb effect after.
5. Bluenoise Theremin
Download for free here : http://www.bluenoiseplugins.com/plugins/free-plugins/
This one is funny, with the hand you can drag.
The range for the vibrato depth is not well calibrated, only the 3 first positions are really usable for Theremin emulation.
The signal is a sinus when you turn the “age” parameter to the maximum
Note that you have to send MIDI message.
Spooky Creepy Scary Funky Science Fiction SFX
6. Super Spook Keys
Free download : http://www.simple-media.co.uk/vsti.htm
A slightly different version of Spook Keys.
A great VST for classic sci fi sound FX.
7. Enigmatron VST by FXPansion
Direct DL : espace Cubase
This is a customized version of the Mysteron Theremin VST.
8. TerVoxSyn VST by Chris Roberson
Freeware download : http://robersonaudio.tk/tervoxsyn/
This free VST is worth mentionning too. It has a nice “voicy” sound.
Set the timbre to zero for a more “Theremin” sound