Altura MkII Theremin MIDI Controller

The incredible Altura MkII Theremin MIDI Controller emulates a theremin, is an XY controller, and even includes an 8-step sequencer / arpeggiator!

The theremin kit includes a pattern for a card stock cabinet.
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The Altura MkII Theremin MIDI Controller emulates the behavior of the early electronic instrument invented by Russian physicist Léon Theremin in 1920. Our MIDI Controller version uses sonar range finders in place of antennae, and rather than producing sound directly, the Altura MkII emits MIDI messages that are interpreted by a 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. Please download the Quick Start Guide and Reference Manual for all the details!


  • Kit does NOT include a cabinet! It DOES includes a template from which you can make your own card stock cabinet
  • Iridescent card stock available seperately
  • Black acrylic cabinet kit available as an option
  • Requires 9V DC power. Use a battery or get a plug-in power supply as an option.


  • Save / Read up to 21 presets
  • 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
  • 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 Select
  • Articulation (responsiveness) adjust
  • 9V DC Power Input -- wall wart or battery
  • MIDI Out
  • Power On indicator
  • 3-digit display
  • ISP Header


We occasionally publish updates to the Altura MkII control software, which you can easily install with the free Updater App for PC. (You will also need a USB Tiny Programmer.)

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 and is available open-source on our Github page. Arduino enthusiasts can modify the code and flash it to the Altura MkII using a programmer. Find detailed instructions in the file on Github.

Altura MkII Assembly Instructions (Altura-MkII-Assembly-Manual.pdf, 9,862 Kb) [Download]

Altura MkII Quick Start and Reference Manual (Altura_MkII_Quick_Start_and_Reference_Manual.pdf, 3,818 Kb) [Download]