Clueless. Help?

Posted: 12/28/2007 11:37:52 AM
gertietheduck

From: United Kingdom

Joined: 12/28/2007

Hi everyone!

This is my very first post on the forum, so I hope I am not re-posting on a topic that has been dealt with many times before(although I don't think that would be possible, as I doubt there are many people as clueless as me!)...

I have recently purchased an Etherwave theremin, but it's the 110V/USA model, and I am based in the UK. I bought it because it was second hand and affordable(even to penniless me!), but I now have to convert the voltage. Can you recommend a good way of doing this without interfering with the instrument's sound(or even damaging it)? What kind of transformer should I go for? Any tips? Or is this just a really stupid idea?

Help!

Many thanks,

G.

Posted: 12/28/2007 12:17:56 PM
GordonC

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Welcome to ThereminWorld, GertieTheDuck.

The specs on my etherwave's transformer (supplied by Turnkey (http://www.turnkey.co.uk) with the theremin) are "input: 230V AC ~ 50 Hz 0.05 A. output: 14V ~ 200mA."

The plug to connect it to the etherwave is a three pin [i]audio[/i] DIN.

You might try contacting Turnkey and see how much a transformer is from them.
Posted: 12/28/2007 2:37:19 PM
gertietheduck

From: United Kingdom

Joined: 12/28/2007

Thank you for the reply and for the welcome, GordonC!!

(By the way... your profile picture is fantastic!!)

Urgh. This is how utterly clueless I am (shame on me! But I must start learning somewhere...): would the above work with a USA theremin?
Meaning... would the voltage need to be converted from 220V to
110V and then to 14V by the theremin or are the UK/Europe versions of the standard Etherwave fundamentally the same beast, but with a different, external "adapter cum transformer" and thus all I need is to get the "adapter"(as sold on, say, the Moog website) and plug it in(please, laugh at me. My embarassment is growing. I am still technologically inept and ignorant)? Or would I need to plug the adapter I have into a transformer?

Sorry --am I making your brain ache?

G.
Posted: 12/28/2007 3:10:50 PM
GordonC

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

No problem. US etherwaves are no different to their UK counterparts. (*)

Take your US adaptor and put it in a safe place ready for the Earth Creature World Tour. Until then, get a UK adaptor from Turnkey or Moog and use that instead.

Brain ache? Not yet. Keep trying. :-)

(*) Except they don't say MOOG.
Posted: 12/28/2007 4:34:35 PM
gertietheduck

From: United Kingdom

Joined: 12/28/2007

Hahahahahaha!!! I don't think an Earth Creature world tour is going to happen anytime soon(or ever)!;o)

Thanks for you patience, and sorry to ask so many inane questions, but the last thing I want is to blow up my beloved new acquisition before I am able to get some joy from it! I have waited... so long...

G.

PS
Does your theremin say Moog?
Posted: 12/28/2007 5:31:35 PM
GordonC

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

No. My theremins say "woo". (I gots an etherwave, an enkelaar and a gakken.)

Not sure about the world tour - the world may not be ready for you - but I just spent an enjoyable fifty minutes watching EC on youTube, thank you. Got any gigs coming up?

Anyway. I see you already know how to work an echo box - you're just going to love what you can do driving it with a theremin. Well worth the wait. And it'll give your throat a break - singing like that gotta hurt just a bit.


Posted: 12/28/2007 6:21:15 PM
gertietheduck

From: United Kingdom

Joined: 12/28/2007

I know!! Delay + theremin = Wooohooo!!!(Hoooo...hooo...hoo...ho)

The world not ready for me? Well, that's too bad, because I'm in it already, hah!

Thanks for erm... thanking!;o)
Nothing is planned, at the moment, mercifully. I had a series of gigs, all in one go, with two different outfits, and felt very unprepared(yes, go on, laugh at me!). Hopefully we (Earth Creature) will have some time to fool around a bit and have some fun/experiment, before our next gig, as we don't exactly have a "set of songs" that we can just whip out at a moment's notice(and using the same idea over and over gets rather boring and is pointless --unless repetition is THE idea.)...:o)

I'm still not sure of how I will use the theremin, in that context. I want to play it because I am in love with its sound. I also play the banjo(very, very badly, as I didn't come to it from the guitar and only have been learning it for a year), for the same reason, but have never used it in a gig context. I have recorded some banjo sounds in the past and applied effects to them/primitively looped them, and that is how I might use the banjo, live... but I don't think I'd ever want to play Jesse James or The Campton Races at a gig(though you never know!). I'll start playing the theremin and see where that takes me, but basically I want to learn because the sounds it makes are beautiful and move me.:o)

G.(Woooaaaargh!!)
Posted: 12/29/2007 4:50:05 AM
GordonC

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

There you go again with the "laugh at me."

No. Shan't.

We're all here because we love the sound. But what sort of thereminery? That's the question. What turned you on? Clara Rockmore's mellifluous common practice warbling? Doc Hoffman's classic film soundtracks? Something more recent? Pamelia Kurstin's freeeeee jazzzz? Anthony Ptak's journeys into noize? Something you saw on youTube?
Posted: 12/30/2007 6:44:19 PM
gertietheduck

From: United Kingdom

Joined: 12/28/2007

>>There you go again with the "laugh at me."<<

Hahaha! You are absolutely right and I am absolutely busted! Forgive me, I am being terribly childish. I am a *very* insecure person!

>>We're all here because we love the sound. But what sort of thereminery? That's the question. What turned you on? Clara Rockmore's mellifluous common practice warbling? Doc Hoffman's classic film soundtracks? Something more recent? Pamelia Kurstin's freeeeee jazzzz? Anthony Ptak's journeys into noize? Something you saw on youTube?<<

I had been aware of theremins for a while, but always as mainly "novelty" instruments ("played with", rather than "played"--and by the way, I don't mean "free" versus "classical", by this!), and always liked the sound... but it wasn't until I heard Bernard Hermann's soundtrack to The Day The Earth Stood Still, a few years ago, that I decided I would one day own a theremin. I guess my favourite theremin "sound" is the pure, ghostly, voice-like tone I first heard on that soundtrack and on some of my favourite Les Baxter music, at that time, but I have heard many variations of style and effects since. I own recordings by Clara Rockmore, Lydia Kavina, Pamelia Kurstin, Dr Samuel J Hoffman.. the usual suspects, basically... but it's the sound(s) of the theremin itself that I adore (in the same way I adore the twangy, weeping sound of a banjo string being plucked, regardless of how it's played... and I couldn't explain why I do). I have a feeble for the way early electronic music/instruments sound, too, and I couldn't explain why. I just adore it!;o)
I want to produce sounds that I like. And I KNOW exactly what sounds I like. I don't know yet what I will do or what the outcome will be, but I am in it only to please myself, and I know I will!:o)))

I'll let you know what happens once I have reunited with my brand-new Etherwave and I have all I need to get it working(and once I am back in the UK/where the theremin is!)...

Thank you so much!

By the way, my name is Greta, everyone. Nice to meet you!!

G.
Posted: 12/30/2007 8:16:12 PM
GordonC

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

[i]I had been aware of theremins for a while, but always as mainly "novelty" instruments ("played with", rather than "played"--and by the way, I don't mean "free" versus "classical", by this!)[/i]

Indeed. You have glanced on a hobbyhorse of mine, so excuse me for a moment while I rant. There are several thousand bands in the UK on myspace list a theremin amongst their armoury. I'll bet pounds to parsnips most of them don't get used beyond laser zaps and woos. For goodness sakes! It's the first instrument of electronica. It can bring a heck of a lot more than a few clich├ęd effects.

Ah, that feels better. Sorry about that. Yes, nice to meet you too. My name is Beat Frequency.

[i]I want to produce sounds that I like. And I KNOW exactly what sounds I like. I don't know yet what I will do or what the outcome will be, but I am in it only to please myself, and I know I will!:o)))[/i]

I got my first theremin with pretty much the same attitude, and I gotta say, it's worked out that way so far!

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