Soniccouture has announced the Ondes, its next sample library featuring the sounds of the ondes Martenot, recorded with multi-instrumentalist Thomas Bloch.

The original instrument can be played in a number of ways, including au ruban, a technique where a metal ring worn on the right-hand index finger slides in front of the keyboard. This allows for Theremin-like sweeping glissandi.

James at Soniccouture explains:

ondes Martenot with the keyboard opened

“For the Ondes instrument We’ve come up with various real-time control options that can be setup according to taste, playing ability and available equipment.

But, yes – of course we have to assume that most users will only have a keyboard available. Any sampled recreation of an Ondes Martenot will be a compromise, even if you do happen to have a ring controller or even a doepfer ribbon controller.

We have also tested it using an inexpensive Korg Nanopad which has an X-Y control pad on it – this gives good results. We’d recommend any kind of MIDI ribbon or pad controller for adding expression, but it’s certainly not essential.

Thomas Bloch

In fact, we were surprised to see Thomas Bloch playing a lot of passages on the Ondes Martenot without using the Ring control at all, just using the keyboard in a conventional way. I think many people don’t realise that the ring control is just one part of what is an incredibly versatile instrument ( I certainly didn’t). Another important part is the way vibrato is controlled from the keyboard – the entire keyboard is mounted on rails in such a way that you can ‘wobble’ it left and right to create vibrato with your finger as you play.

Recording the ondes Martenot speaker units

Another big part of the authentic O.M. sound comes from the 3 speaker units that come with the instrument. We have extensively sampled Impulse responses from these, so that the user can use one or all of the speakers separately or at once, from different mic distances etc. Personally i love this function, it makes it possible to add so much character just by mixing the outputs of different speakers.

Because of the character of the speakers and of the individual oscillators, we decided to take the kontakt instrument further, and we have built a separate, complimentary instrument called the ‘Poly-Ondes’. This is great for pad sounds, blending the 7 different osc sounds through the 3 speakers sounds really unique.”

Soniccouture Ondes for Kontakt

Soniccouture Ondes for Kontakt

You can listen a few sound clips from the Soniccouture Ondes below.

According to Soniccouture the Ondes should be available soon, so keep your eyes out for this unique library.

More information: Soniccouture