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The Escape Pod

Noisy Auto-Theremin

(13 Votes)
1 (Updated 5 years ago)
April 11, 2016
Reaktor 6
Blocks Ensembles


Stranded in space, Waiting for rescue, there is nothing to do but relax and enjoy the view. Unless of course, you want to risk your life by dismantling your escape pod's own circuitry, re-purposing it to create a giant floating theremin...

The Escape Pod is a noise generator based on the Tiny-Blocks series and other user library uploads. It uses the Turing Machine, comparator, and Rungler device as an improvised sequencer to create notes for the oscillator. These use a variety of pulse waves as modulators, which enables you to create melodies in an interesting way.


Oscillator - The factory library's Quadrature oscillator, which outputs phase-locked Sine and Cosine waves.. Good for a classic spacey "theremin" sound.

Comparator & Sequencers - Process LFO signals to create gates for the Turing Machine and Rungler.

Turing Machine - Used to determine the oscillator's pitch. modulating this slightly with a square wave can create an improvised melody.

Dust Generator - Used for interference, solar winds, and other space-noises.

Scan & Vector Mix - Modified versions that preform filtering, used to break up the sounds a bit. These can serve as the "main volume" of the ensemble, however, what they really do is balance the volume between the oscillator and the dust generator. As you can probably expect, this is the sort of challenge you will typically face when building a theremin out of an escape pod.

Rungler - Gives an improvised "sample and hold" type modulation to the ensemble, usually found as a block's "C" modulator. It takes some getting used to, but after a while, you begin to prefer it...

ZDF Filter - Four mode filter for effect. The ensemble also has an additional lowpass filter, which is the master fader at the bottom right. This frees up the ZDF Filter for more creative uses.

Calc-U-Synth Speaker - Signifies the speaker of your circuit-bent inter-stellar communicator device; which is the heart of your theremin. Without this, all you would hear is the dead-silence of space.. which would drive you mad before long.

Quad LFO & Orrery - The main modulators of the ensemble. Orrery adds a pleasant variety to the LFO's main mixes, while the LFO's numerous alternate outputs provide more predictable signals. Two hidden "Slow" LFOs are also included, which have their controls available at the bottom of the Orrery block. These are used to vary the sound over a long period of time, and are found as the "D" modulator on most blocks.

Axis - A sort of auto-panner. Signifies the tilt of the Escape Pod. Clockwise = normal panning, center = mono, counter-clockwise = inverted panning. Doesn't affect bass frequencies or the gravity field within the pod.

Tape Machine = includes pre-amp, tape-warp, and tapeish delay- inspired by the R5 Tape Machine ensemble, but re-built in Core. This also includes the Exciter by Chet Singer, which was un-changed, aside from the bypass circuit. Leave the Tape-Warp effect's speed and warp amounts on high, to give the sound a theremin-like vibrato effect.

Spectral Compressor - Necessary to prevent occasional unpleasant volume spikes. I generally leave the Dry/Wet knob near full, and the threshold and ratio at moderate amounts. This is okay because the source material is always very similar. Gain out can be used to compensate for the volume loss, and results in a very nice sound. The Knee, Tilt, and Mask parameters can be experimented with freely, and include their own randomizer for setting them quickly.

100+ Snapshots are included to help demonstrate the ensemble.

I really hope you enjoy this ensemble! After a while, I think it begins to feel like "home." Maybe you won't even want to be saved...


Michael Hetrick, Euro Reakt - Turing Machine, Rungler, Comparator, Vector Mix, Spectral Compressor
Adam Hanley - Speaker
Benjamin Poddig - Original Scanner macro & ZDF Filter
Stephen Schmitt - Metaverb
Sally Small - Orrery
Joey Valizan - Original sequencer mod, ABCD modulation template
Chet Singer - Aural Exciter
Efflam La Bivic - GUI Controls
S Millward - Original Tape Machine design


Catman Dude
2 years ago
Wow, fantastic, Brett! Makes my day, all these beautiful tiny blocks. Would give you 10 stars for this beauty.
Brett Lavallee
5 years ago
Thanks Cal.
5 years ago
really great Brett! amazing space atmospheres and the shrunk-ified blocks are awesome!