etherwave pro

Posted: 11/26/2008 7:37:24 AM

From: Kansas City, Mo.

Joined: 8/23/2005

[i]"A better Theremin WILL appear - I hope to be the person to provide this, but if it is not me, someone else will... And this will happen in 2009 (and most likely in the first half)"[/i]

The Epro is my primary theremin for two reasons:

1) it is linear for a five octave range

2) it has a range switch to shift the pitch by octave (the Epro has three positions resulting in a range of over seven octaves).

The Etherwave Standard is fine for melodic playing -- it does not have the linearity and the playable range that the Epro has.

For live-looping, I want more than a few octaves to play with.

Also, I desire a pitch-preview -- or at least a provision for one. I use both audio and visual pitch previews for live-looping applications.

I compose music that, at times, exploits the pitch preview (i.e., a work such as "Three-Legged Race" would be unplayable without an audio pitch preview).

Another quality of the Epro that I like is the timbre switch (allows quick changes to preset timbres during a performance) plus a user-settable timbre position. The brightness control is effective in the Epro compared to the Standard.

The Standard's tone includes a high-frequency component that is NOT attenuated by the tone control. Thus, the tone of the Standard is always kind of "brassy". My solution is to run the Standard thru a parametric EQ and to roll off above 7khz. (There really isn't much above 7khz on a theremin anyway.)

The specific "sound" of the theremin is less important to me than the ability to control the tone. I want the ability to produce a clear, sine-like tone in addition to bright timbres.

The only issue with the Epro is that it is hard to travel with. If the case was just an inch shallower it would fit into standard luggage.

On the plus side, the Epro's front panel never fails to get enthusiastic "ooo's and ahhh's" from people.

Fred, look forward to finding out more about your theremin. I am very interested in any theremin entry into the "pro" market.

[i]-- Kevin[/i]
Posted: 11/26/2008 8:51:08 AM

From: UK

Joined: 4/15/2008

I think I've already mentioned (on some other thread) my frustration that the E-Pro has been semi-impossible for people in the UK to get hold of. I guess timing was an issue; doubtless there WERE some available here - but I discovered the theremin a bit too late.

I've always found Moog very helpful whenever I've emailed them; when the final batch of ltd ed E-Pros went out, they told me which suppliers they were going to. Some suppliers ignored my enquiries; others responded negatively (most having a waiting list); one actually DID have an E-Pro available ... but once they learned I was in the UK they made it clear they couldn't be bothered shipping it when it would sell easily enough in the US, and simply stopped answering my emails!

Another time, I spotted one offered for sale here at the TW site, and instantly emailed the seller in the US. I was the first to respond, (moments after the post appeared and a good few hours before the lucky Theremin World member who finally bought it), but, once again, the seller was not willing to ship it to the UK. If no one else responded, he'd consider it ... but I knew THAT wouldn't happen!

On a brighter note, I suspect there are a good few of the original (black-backed) E-Pros lurking around somewhere. I seem to remember reading that over a thousand were made ... and I wouldn't mind betting that (despite the price) at least a percentage were bought on a whim by people who then didn't "take" to playing the theremin. Anyway, after giving up almost all hope of ever finding an E-Pro, one unexpectedly turned up for sale just 33 miles from where I live, with UK cables etc, (so must have been one of the few that were sold via Turnkey). It had been bought to use for "sound effects" in a theatre production, then left pretty much unused. I suspect there are many more like this throughout the world.

I have to say that after a gazillion hours of practicing on the E-Standard, I've been having a real struggle to adapt to playing the E-Pro, especially as I haven't been able to practice as much lately. Also, finally being able to try a Pro made me realise just how good the Standard really is, and now I'm not playing it, there are things I miss about it!

The things I like about the E-Pro are: 1) It looks soooo much nicer to look at than a black brick! 2) The standby switch is more efficient than looping the cable over the volume antenna. 3) The range-shift facility. 4) I like the sound of some of the presets.
Things I like less: 1) I don't like the sound of some of the presets, (some seem harshly, almost painfully bright). 2) It's really designed to be played standing, and I prefer to be seated (better stability). (I've now got an adjustable stool).

In summary, to anyone with an E-Standard who's still searching for an E-Pro, I say: "Don't give up hope ... and meanwhile, don't under-value your Standard!"

Gordon>> You did it again - sending me on another mental scavenger hunt. The Scottish Play this time, I think. Yes, I could Google ... but if I KNOW it's stored somewhere in the internal filing system I like to find it ... even if it's torture!
Posted: 11/26/2008 9:22:30 AM

From: Kansas City, Mo.

Joined: 8/23/2005

[i]presets... some seem harshly, almost painfully bright.[/i]

The preset, particularly in the rightmost position, seems bright. However, in looped, multi-tracked, or otherwise dense textures, the bright timbre cuts through the ensemble nicely.

Since the bright timbres have more overtones, they are useful when used with filters and other effects.

I, too, didn't like the the brightest timbres at first however I figured that Bob Moog had a reason for including them so I just kept digging.
Posted: 11/26/2008 10:11:14 AM

From: UK

Joined: 4/15/2008

Thanks for that input; I'm sure you're right. I think it will take me time to get used to the brighter presets, just as it's taking a while to adjust to the linearity. I guess my tastes run to the softer more etheral sound; even with the E-Standard I used settings on my amp to soften the brightness.

I'd also just like to mention that I've just enjoyed a very pleasant half hour or so listening to your wonderful thereming playing at your website. Last time I tried to do this I couldn't and gave up; (my previous over-zealous anti-virus thingummies wouldn't let me open ANY sound files on-line, but now I can). Thank you; now that I'm able, I'll be returning to listen further when I have more time.
Posted: 11/29/2008 12:01:01 AM
Jeff S

From: N.E. Ohio

Joined: 2/14/2005

I prefer the brighter tones of the E-Pro as they are easier for me to hear (pitchwise) than the more pure tones.

As an aside...

It seems Moog Music may have altered their business policy slightly.
It has just been announced that they intend to produce a NEW Taurus Bass Pedal, provided they get enough of a response from potential customers.

They have made it clear up front that this will be a limited run of 1000 units. This should benefit both Moog and their potential customers. They (Moog) would know sooner how much interest there would be, and customers would know not to sit "on the pot" too long.
Posted: 11/29/2008 9:25:55 AM
Brian R

From: Somerville, MA

Joined: 10/7/2005

[i]presets... some seem harshly, almost painfully bright.[/i]

In general, the brighter the timbre, the better it's suited to playing in the [i]bass[/i] register, rather than the treble.

That is, a timbre that sounds warm and mellow in the treble becomes untenably dark in the bass. Conversely, a timbre that sounds irksomely buzzy in the treble becomes rich and 'cello-like in the bass.

Posted: 12/5/2008 7:49:42 AM

From: UK

Joined: 4/15/2008

Brian R>> "A timbre that sounds warm and mellow in the treble becomes untenably dark in the bass. Conversely, a timbre that sounds irksomely buzzy in the treble becomes rich and 'cello-like in the bass."

Thanks for the input. You can't imagine how very helpful that simple comment was, (or perhaps you can!) I've always preferred playing in the mid to higher register. I generally prefer the mellower whistly-tones, but as I didn't like the sound of them at the lowest setting, I'd scarcely bothered playing anything combining the lowest setting with the stringier, buzzier presets. Now that I have, I've found a very pleasant cello-like sound I really like!
I'm still finding my way around this great instrument; thanks again for the advice!
Posted: 12/5/2008 12:16:44 PM

From: Bristol, United Kingdom

Joined: 12/30/2006

Eh? I live in the UK and I got my E'Pro last year.

Impatient buggers, all of you!
Posted: 12/6/2008 12:31:35 AM
Jeff S

From: N.E. Ohio

Joined: 2/14/2005

Speaking of the Etherwave Pro...

I spoke with one of the major dealers of Moog products today, and the gentleman told me the FINAL Etherwave Pro was shipped (to him) today. He also claims to be the owner of serial number 0001.

He also mentioned that, even though their supply of E-Pro's were already spoken for, he had received several offers of many thousands of dollars for one when people realized they could no longer be had.

Thereminstrel said above that he had heard there were over 1000 E-Pro's made. One might think that a possibility considering serial numbers are possible up to 9999.
The gent I spoke to felt there were only between 100 to 200 made.
However, back in September someone here said he owned one of the 80 "limited edition" E-Pro's with a serial number of 472. So, like the RCA, I would think a total of about 500 would be more likely.

I will email this gent next week and see if I can get him to tell me the serial number of his "final" E-Pro.

He also told me that he believed that the final run of E-Pro's and most, if not all, of the new standard Etherwaves are now a natural wood finish because they (Moog) were having issues with the black paint process. Unfortunately, being "on the clock", I didn't have the time to get more specifics from him.
And, here I thought they were just finally giving us customers what we wanted. ;-)
Posted: 12/6/2008 7:56:57 AM

From: UK

Joined: 4/15/2008

Jeff S>>
Very interesting. I'll be curious to hear more when you've spoken to your Moog contact again sometime.
To clarify, the approx 1000 info came from somone's website, (can't recall which one), and I think the exact wording was "fewer than 1200 made between 2004 - 2007". I remember it because I repeated the info on a webpage of my own, (I'll probably delete the number info now until something more definite is confirmed).
I guess that the serial number needn't necessarily relate to the actual number made, (manufacturors are sometime intentionally convoluted about serial numbers). However, there is a logic to your "under 500" theory, if your contact has #0001 and you can find out the final Pro's serial number from him. Out of curiosity, it might be interesting if a few E-Pro owners chimed in with their serial numbers and approximate date of purchase maybe, to check whether the earliest are the lowest etc. It might even give an rough approximation of how many were made each year. Although perhaps not, if some were in stock at some retailers for a long time.

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