Theremin guitar?

Posted: 11/30/2008 4:43:46 PM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Yvarg - sorry for wandering off topic. To keep it vaguely relevant I'll mention that setting 49 on the AirFX; "Sci-Fi Theatre" is distinctly thereminesque with a sawtoothy wave that is particularly good in the lower registers. Or so says some guy that mentioned it in some forum that I found with Google. If you're cool with a ready-made solution I'd say this is seriously worth considering. Of course it would be better with a capacitive interface than optical, but that ain't available at present.

Brian - I'll be exploring alternative ways of playing the volume loop to free up my volume hand before I decide, but I'm really pleased with the Mold Spore - I used the wah straight on Dance Of The Flower Pot Men and you're quite right, a bit of variety in the timbre goes a long way. I'm also exploring using it as a sort of sweepable bandpass filter at the far end of the chain - it's pretty easy for me to swamp the audio spectrum with my chain set up right and it lets me highlight different parts of the sound while I'm waiting for the delays to clear up a bit so that I can play a bit more.

Setting 10 on the AirFX; "Telephone" sounds like a sweepable bandpass with variable bandwidth and mix from the manual. I'm also keen to hear how "Formented" works out - from the manual "Sounds like the music is coming out of someone’s mouth" - both x and y axes are described as controlling "mouth positions" - so I'm guessing we're in formant filter territory. Could be neat if it works out. Then there's the Killswitch - like Telephone but a notch filter rather than bandpass. Sold yet? (Yvarg - the problem with buying effects for the theremin is that every manufacturer posts clips of guitars with effects applied, and no-one caters for us poor beleaguered thereminists. Oh, the woes of being in a minority.)

Anyway - I'm also hoping that I'll be able to get more out of the ring-mod aspect of the Mold Spore - at the moment it's great fun for just messin' around, but the sound is so rich that it really needs filtering before it goes near the rest of my chain (particularly as the hard gate in it pretty much determines that it be used for aggressive playing) or - well you know that tingly sensation in the back of the neck just after the volume stops sounding loud and turns into pressure on the sides of the head and just before the sound becomes a good approximation to white noise? I do. And I'm thinking about sitting to play and using it to build long ambient drones with my foot as an accompaniment. I constructed the drone on Articulator in post-production - it would be good to have a live equivalent.

Posted: 11/30/2008 10:44:16 PM
Brian R

From: Somerville, MA

Joined: 10/7/2005


Thanks for the update; I'm especially pleased to hear that the Mold Spore is back in fighting trim. (I blush to confess that I've been following your posts only irregularly... so I was still occasionally racked with guilt at the thought that the pedal had conked out on you so soon after arriving in the UK!)

Yes, your descriptions of various AirFX patches indeed entice. I've had tremendous fun with the JoMoX T-Resonator, but it's most enjoyable if both hands are free to tweak knobs actively... and given my conventional theremin technique, that's not an option.

Posted: 12/1/2008 2:57:48 AM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Brian - the timing was pure coincidence, but better that it died before I came to rely on it than in the middle of a gig. Short version - one of the components in the mold spore is under-specced and almost certain to fail sooner or later. Searching forums shows that many have died in action. Said component is now replaced with a newer, better, more robust version that is not likely to fail. Three cheers for clever friends with soldering irons. :-)

Last night's experiments confirmed that I can reach across the loop if it is at the right height and play rudimentary legato with my forearm, then lock off the current setting of the AirFX by tapping the button and revert to my usual "Pamelia style" hand position for better volume control and staccato without the AirFX's dynamics. I can't do both at once, but that is acceptable.

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