New Virtual Instrument Specializes In Retro Sci Fi ‘Krell’ Sounds

Developer Giorgio Sancristoforo has introduced Creature From the ID, a new virtual instrument for MacOS, inspired by the work of Louis and Bebe Barron and their score for the classic science fiction film, Forbidden Planet.

Creature From the ID is designed to emulate the Barron’s self-generating cybernetic electronic circuits, using the techniques available in the 1950s.

Here’s what Sancristoforo has to say about it:

“Creature from the ID is an act of love that honors the Barron’s legacy, a new tool for teachers and students of electronic music who want to explore one of the most fascinating chapters in the history of electronic music. The circuits of this instrument seem to have a life of their own. The sound is warm and analog and the modulations create unpredictable and fascinating alien sounds.

I leave it to you to judge whether I have succeeded in capturing the spirit of those sounds, those years, and that vision of an unlimited and magnificent future that the Barrons so eloquently conveyed through their music. And just to be clear on this, no AI or samples were used in the making of this software.”

Forbidden Planet, released in 1956, was the first major motion picture soundtrack to feature an all-electronic soundtrack. Here’s a NPR documentary on the Barron’s score:

Pricing and Availability:

Creature From the ID is available now for 19.50.

9 thoughts on “New Virtual Instrument Specializes In Retro Sci Fi ‘Krell’ Sounds

  1. IMHO Giorgio is a genius and his instruments let me explore those places beyond the map makers. Always have endless sonic fun with his stuff. Also will always be thankful for the time he took to solve some issues on one of my Macs in the past. When I want weird wild audio adventures I load his stuff. Thank you to a true pioneer. And want I to buy ASAP that dna sound generator thing you were demoing, wow!

  2. The Barrons were immensely creative, even wiring a jack-enhanced Oberheim SEM into their otherwise tube-enhanced setup. Its hard to imagine their mindsets now, in a world of DAWs and plugs dedicate to them personally. It certainly has the right flavors. It’ll appear in some ambient and EDM works, for sure. I’m biased in its favor; I have an accurate foot-tall Robby as a lamp base.

  3. I bought it and think it is fabulous! I was presenting at an electronic music conference years ago and couldn’t sleep… so I took at walk around Dartmouth at 2 am and encountered Bebe Baron equally sleepless wandering in the opposition direction. She was amazing! This app is a work of art and seems represent Bebe and Louis’ work quite well.

  4. TimS: Darned if I can name the year, but it was in a picture accompanying an article about the Barrons. Somewhat like Delia Derbyshire, they weren’t heavy into commercial synths at all, but it makes sense that they’d warm up to the SEM. It was clearly modded with patch points along the top. Seems likely that it was acting as a filter part of the time. It was in a workspace sprinkled with tubes & wires!

    1. there’s a Keyboard Magazine interview with them from the 80s, don’t remember the exact date, i’ll have to dig it out and check. i think it was in there?

  5. Looks like a Windows version is going to be released at some stage in the near future. Excellent. I’ll keep an eye out for it.

  6. The soundtrack is great.

    That part were the cook gets Robby to make 60 gallons of whiskey was goofy.

    How did the Krell destroy themselves in one day?

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