Looking to buy for a friend... please help!

Posted: 8/13/2008 7:18:48 PM

Joined: 8/13/2008

My friend has recently starting making music and I am going to buy him a present, and I thought a theremin would be a great addition to his equipment.

What do I need to look for in theremins?

What is a good theremin that can be learned fairly easily?

Thanks for all the help!
Posted: 8/14/2008 4:26:40 AM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Welcome to Theremin World, Flaco.

[i]What do I need to look for in theremins?[/i]

Two antennas with about 18 inches separation and a decent playable range. Playability is dependent on [i]linearity[/i] - notes should be evenly spaced from the pitch antenna.

[i]What is a good theremin[/i]

First choice would be a Moog (http://www.moogmusic.com/theremin/) Etherwave. If you're on a tight budget consider the Burns (http://www.soundslikeburns.com/) B3 Deluxe.

[i] that can be learned fairly easily?[/i]

You know how on board game packaging it says "a minute to learn, a lifetime to master." When a thereminist says those words they are usually accompanied by maniacal laughter, thunder and lightning.

Posted: 8/17/2008 5:03:06 AM

From: Fresno, California USA

Joined: 3/26/2006

Thomas Grillo has discovered a technique for dealing with less than perfectly linear theremins; move the hand not just towards the pitch antenna, but upwards as well. He demonstrates it in one or more of his YouTube lesson videos. I second what Gordon said re choice of instruments.
Posted: 8/17/2008 5:41:14 AM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

There are a couple of techniques for dealing with non-linearity. The other one is to move the whole body closer to the pitch rod for high notes, which stretches out the pitch field, and away from the rod for low notes, contracting the field.

I should also have added field stability as a desirable feature. Having the field change slowly while you are playing is not good.

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