Discover the Magic of Tenebrae: Synthetic textures from SNAKES OF RUSSIA

Tenebrae slogan
231123 Tenebrae Screenrecording Perform 1

Hi, dear sound explorers! Ximena Delat here. We are excited to present the captivating story behind the creation of Tenebrae, a groundbreaking virtual instrument born out of the collaboration between LA-based artist Joseph Holiday, aka SNAKES OF RUSSIA, and MNTRA.

In these texturally rich, playable soundscapes, complex modular synth patches, heavy analog subs, and gritty drum samples converge, all intricately processed through chains of unobtanium outboard and tape, unleashing a unique world of grime and darkness.

Tenebrae MNDALA 2
Tenebrae – MANDALA 2

Joseph shares his experiences and opinions on the recording, use, and inspiration for the creation of Tenebrae:

How did you come up with the idea of recording the sounds of your synthesizers and drum machines to create the Tenebrae instrument?

MNTRA had these inspiring libraries featuring some unique instruments that I was already using and effecting and making my own, and with the MNDALA 2 player I could take it to new sonic levels… so I wondered how sounds of my own would translate in this environment

What was the creative process you went through in selecting the sounds and analog effects that would be included in Tenebrae?

Having used the MNDALA 2 engine a bit beforehand, I was very aware of what could be done in terms of blending and combining things, so I set out to make both individual sample instruments that could stand on their own, but that when combined would make really good patches as a whole and compliment each other well.

tenebrae bts 2.1.8
tenebrae bts 2.1.13
SNAKE OF RUSSIA – Synthesizer recording

What specific aspects of your analog equipment and setups have contributed to the unique quality of Tenebrae’s sounds?

Almost everything I am surrounded by here is full of character… definitely NOT perfect. I think that as a whole is the overall sound of this instrument, the imperfections that give it a sonic patina that is certainly represented in my music.

How do you think musicians and producers can best take advantage of Tenebrae’s unique features in their compositions?

Experiment and make it your own. These are just jumping-off points to inspire you.

How do you think Tenebrae’s fusing of analog sounds and virtual technology will influence future electronic music?

I only hope it inspires others to create…to make it their own and use it uniquely.

tenebrae bts 2.1.2
Effects processors – Magnetic tape recording
tenebrae bts 2.1.6
Effects processors – Space Echo

Do you have any memorable moments or anecdotes from the process of creating Tenebrae that you would like to share with us?

Recording a tree branch scraping against the inside of a huge abandoned silo would probably be the most interesting for sure.

How do you think working with MNTRA on Tenebrae has influenced your approach to music production and sonic exploration?

It has certainly informed me of how adventurous my sound design for my next set of recordings can be. I have always believed in having a unique palette for each project, and the sampling stage of this project was a reminder of how interesting and enjoyable this part of the process can be.

Tenebrae Info inside 1a
Inside Tenebrae

Key Features:

  • MNDALA 2 Engine: Transformative power to create your own unique sound.
  • 79 Bespoke Artist Presets: Crafted by SNAKES OF RUSSIA for instant inspiration.
  • Exclusive Effect Processors: BESTIAE and DIRTY BUCKETS, modeling Joseph’s signature signal chains.
  • 170+ Presets: A diverse range of sounds curated for your sonic journey.

Instrument Descriptions:

  • Lead: Explore the depths with Black Blood, CTPAX, and more.
  • Bass: Dive into the darkness with Bat Teeth, Bent Night, and Fuzz Control.
  • Pad: Unveil mysterious textures with Gods Cab, Last Magic, and Skull Biz.
  • Keys: Experience haunting melodies with Dust Poly, FM Springs, and more.
  • Hybrid: Summon ancient magic with Witch, Bowed Cuatro, and Bowed Metal.
  • Percussion: Add depth with various foley, FM synthesis, modular synthesis, and granular bits.
Tenebrae info inside 2b
Effects processors


  • High-Quality Recording: 24-bit, up to 96 kHz.
  • Platform Compatibility: 64-bit VST3/AU plugin for Windows & Mac OS (10.11+), including M1 Chip support.
  • Seamless Experience: No-fuss copy protection, easy installation with a registered MNTRA account.
  • Size: 12 GB installed, 24 GB recommended for setup.
  • System Requirements: Minimum 8GB of RAM, i5 or better CPU, SSD drive recommended.
  • DAW Compatibility: Supported by all popular VST/AU compatible DAWs.
Tenebrae Joseph quote4
Joseph Holiday – SNAKES OF RUSSIA

Tenebrae emerges as a testament to the power of collaboration, innovation, and the boundless possibilities that arise when artists like Joseph Holiday join forces with creators at MNTRA. As you explore the depths of Tenebrae, be prepared to embark on a sonic journey like no other—a journey into darkness, mystery, and unparalleled musical inspiration.

Thumbnail Tenebrae Walkthrough
Take a closer look into Tenebrae
Thumbnail Tenebrae demo track
Listen to some tracks made with Tenebrae

Get Tenebrae and dive into the shadows and embrace the sonic apocalypse!

Announcing Living Sky: a cutting-edge spatial reverb that forges a new partnership between GPU Audio, Outer Echo, and MNTRA Instruments
MNTRA, GPU Audio, and Outer Echo proudly announce their brand new partnership with 'Living Sky' - a stunning spatial reverb...
Expansive Effects With MNDALA 2.4.0
Hello, fellow music enthusiasts! Ximena Delat from MNTRA here. In this article, we'll dive deep into the world of MNDALA...
Dynamic Modulation with AniMod!
Discover how to set your sound in motion Hi Everyone, Ximena Delat from MNTRA here. In this article, we will...