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Pitch problems

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Posted: 5/16/2009 12:25:58 PM
BryanP22
From: Twin Falls, Idaho
Joined: 1/29/2009

threads posts

Hi all,
It's been a while since I posted here. I have a question about pitch. I don't know if it's due to the extremely limited amount of space I hae to work with or if the brand new Etherwave I got just this February needs an internal tuning, but I've notied that I often can't get down to the lower pitch registers. This is with the pitch knob turned to the lowest setting. And when I can manage to access them the pitch antenna basically goes whacko on me. This is why I suspect my model needs an internal tuning or I need a bigger place to work with. I'm actually considering taking my Etherwave to a local music store in town and trying it there, just to try it in a different setting to see if just the space I have to work with is causing the problem. It's really frustrating me since I like to think I'm making some progress, however small. Actually I think the first real melody I want to learn is Greensleeves, a piece ironically well-suited to playing on a therimin.
Posted: 5/16/2009 11:14:23 PM
Brian R
From: Somerville, MA
Joined: 10/7/2005

threads posts

Hi, Bryan--

When you say "the lowest setting," do you mean, "turned fully counterclockwise"?

If so, then what you've actually done is to make the pitch field as large as possible, meaning that you would have to move [i]your entire body[/i] away from the instrument to hear the lowest tones (and if you're in an enclosed space, then yes, other objects might prevent you from achieving low pitches).

So, if you haven't already: try turning the pitch know fully clockwise, making the pitch control field as small as possible. With any luck, you'll now hear... nothing, until you move your hand very close to the pitch rod. And then, voila! The lowest pitches.

Of course, a field that small probably isn't much use to you, so you can then experiment with widening the field to a size that suits you.

Posted: 5/16/2009 11:58:08 PM
BryanP22
From: Twin Falls, Idaho
Joined: 1/29/2009

threads posts

That's actually what I meant. It is fully clockwise. I always consider that the lowest setting because when I turn the knob that way the pitch decreases. Sounds like if that is the problem I need to take te thing into a music store where I'll hopefully have more room to work. Makes me realize I might just have chosen the worst possible musical instrument to attempt to learn in my current situation. Of course I bought it now when I know I caan afford to do so without much of a fuss. If I'd waited who knows. At least it wasn't one of the filing cabinet sized models I've heard about. Then there'd be no way in hell.
Posted: 5/17/2009 9:13:34 AM
Brian R
From: Somerville, MA
Joined: 10/7/2005

threads posts

Do you have the manual and the lug-adjusting tool (looks like an oversize swizzle stick)?

If so, then you can open the cabinet and make adjustments. (I had to do this with mine when I had the opposite problem, with the pitch field shrinking to a maximum size of 10 cm.)

As the instructions suggest, it's a lo-o-o-o-on-n-ng process of tweaking this and tweaking that... but with any luck, you'll be able to adjust the instrument to its current environment.

Posted: 5/17/2009 10:23:03 AM
BryanP22
From: Twin Falls, Idaho
Joined: 1/29/2009

threads posts

I wondered what that was. I only hope I still have it. Of course even if I did i wouldn't dare trying to take the thing apart. For one thing I'm totally blind. Also I have no electronics knowledge as far as their internal workings and such. Knowing me I'd probably screw it up. Besides, I have this horrible suspicion that I may have accidentally thrown the tool away without realizing what it was. I held onto the documentation though, of that at least I am certain.
Posted: 5/30/2009 5:09:46 AM
micktravis
From: California
Joined: 5/30/2009

threads posts

The pitch adjustment tool can be easily replaced. If I remember correctly (a friend has an EW) it's basically a flathead screwdriver made of plastic so as not to conduct electricity. I have a Theremax and had to find something to tune it with.

Radio Shack sells 2 "computer adjustment tools" which are ceramic. The package goes for less than 10 dollars. They resemble dental instruments, each with a pointy end and a (different) flathead end and are kind of charcoal grey. They have them in the electronics section on the wall near the soldering irons and pcb boards.

I think it's unlikely you'll be able to do any adjustments yourself, although a (patient) friend without any electronics experience won't find it difficult.
Posted: 5/30/2009 2:19:22 PM
BryanP22
From: Twin Falls, Idaho
Joined: 1/29/2009

threads posts

Ah. So are we talking about a little plastic deal with a screwdriver type head at eac end and a kind of handle in the middle? One end is a flathead and the other is what I believe is called a Philips head, one of those hexagonal ones. If that's what we're talking about then yes, I did actually hold onto it. Think what I ought to do is stick it in one of the pockets of the gig bag I carry the Etherwave in, maybe the pouch where the antennas go. That way I'll be less likely to lose it.
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