Articles / Tech and DIY

Controlling Csound With A Photo Theremin

Photoresistor Theremin Controlling Csound

Photo theremins are well known in our circles for being closer to the novelty side of the spectrum of theremin-like instruments. They typically include just one control for pitch, have short ranges, and poor and/or fixed timbre.

Jacob Joaquin has broken the mold with a post on the Csound Blog featuring an optical theremin controlling Csound, the open source synthsizer construction kit of electronic music fame. Jacob reads the photo sensors with an Arduino board and feeds the output into Csound, which generates the audio. The video demonstrates two different Csound instruments: the first one being a pretty good traditional theremin mimic, and the second really showing off the power of this platform.

Kudos to Jacob for making me re-think my opinion of what a photo theremin can do!

Read: Photoresistor Theremin (Csound Blog)