Never Again

Posted: 12/22/2007 4:07:00 PM

From: Kansas City, Mo.

Joined: 8/23/2005

[i]Thought I'd start a new thread where we can share our experiences in the school of hard knocks. The name "Never Again" is from a popular column in "Flying" magazine wherein pilots share harrowing tales of 'close call' situations and strategies to avoid them in the future.[/i]

[b]The perils of an overly-short warmup time[/b]

With only a 15 minute setup and warmup time, it was time for me to perform. My opening work was a long-looping composition, 15 minutes in length.

Things started out pretty well however as I moved into the work some things happened that were unexpected.

While I had no trouble articulating and tuning the long notes the closely spaced notes weren't quite there. I found myself correcting to pitch -- relying on my ear and coordination to keep things bearable. I had to adjust my note spacing while keeping my stress level in check.

The worst part was when I went for a sustained bass note at the end of the work I could not reach the note!

What the heck happenned?

When listening to the playback I was able to deduce that the theremin's tuning (note spacing) shifted while I played. The note spacings increased which upset the jumps and intervals and pushed the low notes behind where I could physically get to them.

The culprit, of course, was the short warm-up time. However, some gigs don't offer the luxury of a 30 minute or longer warm up time. What to do?

In the future, when I must deal with a short warmup time, I will open with a short work -- less than five minutes. It will be simple enough that I can deal with any tuning shifts.

Also, I will check tuning between each number -- at least during the first 30 minutes after the theremin was turned on.

[i]-- Kevin[/i]
Posted: 12/22/2007 5:03:17 PM

From: Los Angeles

Joined: 12/22/2007

The first time I used a theremin live I had two problems:

First, given the small amount of space on stage, I put the theremin on top of my Korg organ (I don't know the exact model, but it's wood and has plenty of flat space to put the Big Briar model on it.

Unfortunately, at sound check I discovered that the proximity to the organ circuitry must have done something - the theremin made no sound at so I had to put it back on it's stand (and thus play the organ in a very cramped position to make room).

At showtime when the time came for the big theremin moment - silence! The band kept playing while I scrambled - and luckily, before too long figured out that the cord had been pulled out!

Posted: 12/28/2007 10:38:58 AM
Thomas Grillo

From: Jackson Mississippi

Joined: 8/13/2006

While working on a track for Golgotha which I'd spent several months rehearsing for, It was time for me to record the track. On recording day, I spent several hours warming up, and rehearsing the piece to death, turned on the zoom h-4 recording device, and went through the piece without a hitch, only to look over at the recorder to notice that it's record light was flashing (which means it's ready to record), but not shinning solid to indicate recording in progress. Irritating. I reset, relaxed, and prepped for another take. I pressed the record button, and visually comfirmed that the recording was taking place. This time an evin better performance. I stopped the recorder, and played back the file only to hear, oblivious silence. While deleting the silent file, I noticed my audio cord was still not plugged into the recorder from the last time I'd dragged the recorder over to the computer to transfer a previous track. I plugged in, reset, got to within the last measure of yet another great performance, and the power went out. A speeding car hit a utility pole a block from me. After a half hour, power was restored, and I reset, and did another take. I just knew the phone would be the next thing to intrude on my session, so I unplugged the master line, and did my last take of the day, only to discover that the storage card in the divice was full, and again, nothing got recorded. Frustrated, I ordered a nice big 1 gig card via overnight, and the next day, finally got the piece recorded without a hitch. I uploaded the file to the director via, and a week later discovered the director had been out to a location where she did not have access to a good broadband connection, and by the time the director got home, the file download link had expired. Fortunately, i still had the file, and re-uploaded it. Talk about frustrating. Reminds of the old days when I worked in commercial radio.
Posted: 12/30/2007 5:48:30 PM

From: Blaricum, The Netherlands

Joined: 10/24/2007

The problem of a 'not properly warmed up Theremin'.....

Maybe a stupid idea.
A theremin does not use a lot of energy.
Why not build in (or make a second power plug for) a battery?
You could put the Theremin somewhere , warming up on the battery. And when it it time to go onstage, just put the Theremin on stage an plug it into a normal power outlet that takes over the battery power. (And charges the battery at the same time...) The Theremin is pre-warmed-up and the 'normal' power does the rest to stabelise.

Instant stability onstage.
* Yes!
* No!
* Briljant?
* Dunno?
* Stupid!
* Huh? I don't like icecream.

Friendly greetings

* Strikeout the none applicable
Posted: 12/30/2007 6:57:27 PM
Thomas Grillo

From: Jackson Mississippi

Joined: 8/13/2006

Yep, a circuit prewarmer sounds cool. Might prevent those nasty surprises 20 minutes after powerup. Just don't forget to turn it on. ;)

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