Etherwave+ as a MIDI Sample Library Controller

Posted: 8/26/2015 1:33:17 AM

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 7/29/2014

EtherWave+ Controlling MIDI Sample Libraries

I've been away from experimenting with how the theremin can be a viable MIDI controller and wanted to get back to that for a bit as I need to use it in a piece I'm working on. Forgetting the Theremini for a second here which may be another feasible option using the new app that allows MIDI note generation, I wanted to see if I could use the CV outs from the Etherwave Plus in conjunction with a Eurorack CV-to-MIDI converter to do something useful.

I took the gate, volume and pitch CVs from the Etherwave and connected them to a Doepfer CV-to-MIDI converter and connected that to an iConnect USB MIDI interface in turn connected to my computer (need to see if that Doepfer can connect directly). I then loaded up a few Kontakt5 plugins in Cubase on three separate tracks. One track uses a wind patch from the very unique Soniccouture Geosonics sample library. Chris Watson went around the world sampling sounds of nature (desert sounds, swamp sounds, water/ice sounds, etc.) and these were integrated with two optional synth oscillator-like controls you can mix in. I put down a simple background using one of the desert wind patches - wanted to see how it sounds with some voices.

Then I loaded up two vocal sample patches (from Soundiron's Voice Of Rapture Tenor and Voice of Rapture Soprano). I selected my theremin CV to MIDI/USB device I created as the MIDI input to the Kontakt5 plug-ins and played/triggered vocal lines using the theremin. I also tried playing/triggering just vocal "ah" sounds using the setup and that worked too. So I can now use my Etherwave Plus like this as a viable MIDI controller to control pretty much any sample library I want.

What you hear here are sampled Latin phrases triggered by the theremin in various ways. This technique is used in movies all the time. We are constantly exposed to disjoint Latin phrases and our minds take it in as some language, not the linguistic garbage that it really is (unless maybe you speak flutent Latin). It's more an effect.

I've been meaning to see if I can trigger MIDI samples using the Etherwave Plus in this manner and it works well  - with one proviso. In this setup, the volume antenna is treated like a CV gate. This means I need to retrigger the volume on/off every time I need to play a "note". This will have limitations. I need to see if a foot pedal applying some CC control might make for more flexible performance - CC control to impose portamento and other more theremin like techniques into the sample playback. This can easily be done by just drawing CC shapes in the DAW where they are needed, but it would be nice to do it in real time as you perform.

Posted: 8/26/2015 2:03:33 AM

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

Ooh, quite nice, thanks for sharing!  The voices are quite spooky, as is the droning background.

You certainly seem to know your way around modern sample technology!  Must keep you in the poor house buying all those sets?

Posted: 8/27/2015 10:30:37 PM

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 7/29/2014

Spooky huh? I heard it differently - more anciently atmospheric - but that's what's great about music. No two people hear things the same way.

Well then, maybe I'll include something like this in this year's Halloween installment.

And sending a kid to college is the thing that has me in the poor house!


Posted: 7/14/2020 11:27:43 AM

Joined: 7/14/2020


I just got my hands on a etherwave, I was unsure with which one to get but as I found this at a good price and I prefer the look I went with the etherwave.

My plan is to use it as a midi controller like the theremini and I want to know a bit more info on how you made this happen.

What do you mean you took the "gate, volume and pitch CVs from the Etherwave and connected them to a Doepfer CV-to-MIDI converter" 

Since you've had success with this do you think it is as good as the theremini? 

Just feeling a bit sad now I realise I think the mini would of been more suitable for me but perhaps you can help me out.



Posted: 7/14/2020 4:28:55 PM

From: 60 Miles North of San Diego, CA

Joined: 10/1/2014

Hello Justine,

The CV & Gate control features can be purchase from Moog, I think, then added onto the theremin you purchased. I doubt this would be an easy add-on for you and think the Theremini would have been the better purchase.

The EWS purchased with the CV & Gate installed is known as the EtherWave Plus, not the Standard.

Do not get frustrated as that is the lesson the Theremin teaches, have patience and develop discipline over time as she is not easy.

If you get a chance post the video or link back here that demonstrates the best use of CV & Gate. I am not a musician and do not understand the fascination for this feature. My thought is instead of playing beautiful tunes, it's more like just triggering sounds?


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