Gordon's Progress

Posted: 6/19/2007 3:53:56 PM
GordonC

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Hi Arthur,

I'm glad you enjoyed the thread so far.

The good Alexander Thomas has apparently extracted goodly amounts of synthy goodness from his Korg MS-20, so might be worth looking at.

The Nord is pretty near the top of my "things I'd like to buy when the house extension is completed and I can start saving up for stuff" list.

Still playing with GGitS from time to time. Recording is on my list of "things to do after Hands Off."

I'm not familiar with the Zoom G-2.

I haven't pursued mechanical modulation of the fields beyond the Dremel. The idea of a feedback loop is appealing. I am minded of the original Dr Who title sequence, pointing a camera at the screen. If you get it balanced just right it goes all mathematically chaotic. Spacedog already has a mechanical feedback system in Clara 2.0 - I'll try to remember to mention this to her at HO.

I gave up on CV'ing the etherwave. I have yet to find anyone who has actually done it, as opposed to looking at the circuit diagram, shuddering, and putting it away again.

I have no opinion on the Little Phatty.

There's a theme for Sonic Weekender 2? Did I miss something in the White Label Music forum (http://whitelabel-music.co.uk/forum/index.php)? Or did they leave me off a mail-shot?

I hadn't mentioned this yet - guys, I've put down a deposit for another Sonic Weekender in early November. It was an easy decision! And there are still spaces to the best of my knowledge - if getting to Bath UK for 6-8 Nov (yes, I know it's not a weekend) is feasible it would be fun to have even more theremins there!

:-)

In other news, my next gig is on Thursday evening, as previously mentioned. Last time I had a theme of reviewing my musical heritage - this time I shall invite the audience to spend the night with me.

We'll watch a pop-science documentary [i]Hadal Zone[/i] and I'll sing them a cybernetic love song [i]In The Potting Shed[/i] before we go to bed [i]Rusty Bedspring Blues[/i], dream [i]My House Resounds[/i], wake up (something else I've been working on - [i]Morning Bonkers[/i] - mostly silly knees bent rushing around delay-arpeggio behaviour, with added Lasso d'Amore for the morning mist, and because the whirlies have to be there somewhere) and then inexplicably get blown to smithereens by Daleks [i]Void Ship[/i].

I shall have to make a passing nod to Douglas Adams for certain plot elements.
Posted: 6/19/2007 8:31:42 PM
ElectroMungo

From: Germany

Joined: 12/12/2006

Gordon,
many thanks for your patient and detailed answers.

I bet, we┬┤ll have some good opportunity to talk about Theremin ideas on the sonic 2.

Yes, i know the theme for the sonic 2 :-)))
-->
Just follow my thread i posted some minutes ago in the whitelabel forum and it will be obvious.

And ... excuse my bad english grammar ...

cheers
arthur

P.S.: I saw somebody in UKL sells at the moment a KORG MS03 Module which seems to be exactly the Pitch to CV converter:

have a look here ("http://cgi.ebay.de/Korg-MS-03-MS03-Analog-Synthesiser-Signal-Processor-NR_W0QQitemZ190122432223QQihZ009QQcategoryZ38071QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem")
Posted: 6/29/2007 8:51:31 PM
GordonC

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Well, that thread has prompted some interesting thoughts, Arthur, but first the gig.

It was nice. Small. About 30 people. Small is good - it's kind of intimate. Like playing for friends. And I was co-opted at no notice to join in with a piece with some of the other performers. I could only stay for half the show, but a number of the bands listed were different combinations of the host, Ingrid (http://www.myspace.com/heartssong) and her friends. The sound engineer and guitarist, Leon, ( http://www.myspace.com/leonxt) knew what a theremin was ("Invented by my namesake") and remembered seeing Hypnotique play. The mandolin player, Luci (http://www.myspace.com/lucibocchino) was excited to see a theremin. I have an open invitation to maybe record something with them after Hands Off. I might just take it up.

Also I saw The Brother's Grim, ( http://www.myspace.com/thebrothersgrim1) and he certainly was! A sort of shaven headed John Cooper Clark, only even more disillusioned, angrier and more likely to thump you. I bet he's a sweetheart really.

(Gotta link to my fave JCC poem here. He is just about the only poet I find remotely enjoyable! Psycle Sluts Parts 1 and 2 - audio (http://www.johncooperclarke.com/Audio/Ou_est_la_maison_de_fromage/Psycle_sluts_2.wma).)

One disappointment at the gig. Void Ship again. I know why. The sound system was a bit rubbish. Really no power behind it. And Void Ship [i]needs[/i] a BIG sound. It needs to be [i]magnificent[/i], and half-hearted magnificence really doesn't work.

I've been thinking about that. And about caves (this is where the White Label thread mentioned above led...) and about why it needs specifically a BIG sound - not a LOUD sound, although that amounts to the same thing in terms of turning the volume knob on the loudspeaker. And why a BIG sound FILLS a room. Or, as I wrote after my first performance in The Valley, how it can fill an entire valley. And why theremins need reverb.

And it amounts to this. The difference between a theremin and many mechanical instruments (i.e. a pre-electronic or "acoustic" instrument) is that it lacks a resonant chamber, a sound box. Sound boxes don't just make instruments louder, they add to the sound - they are shaped so that some frequencies resonate.

So we can patch in a reverb box. Well, that's one way to go, but there's nothing like the real thing.

What a theremin does have is a loud sound, even without a sound box. Loud enough to drive a really big sound box. My little practice amp is big enough to drive my kitchen. And it makes a reasonable resonant chamber - lots of glass and hard tiled surfaces and thin carpet tiles over a concrete floor. Kind of like playing a contrabass from the inside!

Void ship is about exploring the resonances within my echohead delay set to 100% feedback, (or rather very, very close to that amount) finding the precise pitches that will saturate it, or cancel themselves out, or resound for a very long time.

So give me a big enough amp and let me explore the resonances of a great big cave!

Interesting - I could find nothing on the web about the resonant properties of natural caverns. Nothing. That's unusual. I did learn that it is hard to figure out the size of a chamber, what with the irregular shape and all. And I would have thought there was a relationship between the size and the resonances of a chamber. Hmm.

So if I wanted to play in a show cave (i.e. one that does not require caving skills) I'd have to choose on some other criterion.

Sticking to caves in England - for ease of access - for natural beauty and size, Cheddar Caves (http://www3.flickr.com/photos/tags/cheddarcaves/show/), for associations and proximity, West Wycombe caves, home of the Hellfire Club (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hellfire_Club), and for the best cave name ever, Peak Cavern.

OK, so Peak Cavern isn't such an amazing name. But that isn't what the loc
Posted: 7/1/2007 7:46:20 PM
J_D

From: Perth, UK

Joined: 5/17/2005

You might want to have a look at SiloPhone (http://www.silophone.net/) and/or Tank-FX (http://www.tank-fx.de/), which let you feed your sound, whatever it may be, into a naturally reverberant space. Not quite as cool as a cave, but still fun, and certainly one of the more off-the-wall uses of the www.
It probably won't be much use for 'playing the space' as you've described, but something to consider for a different approach at some point?
Posted: 7/4/2007 6:29:29 AM
ElectroMungo

From: Germany

Joined: 12/12/2006

Hi Gordon,
did you try a search on Google for
"reverbation charcteristics of caves"

maybe you could find here some intreresting stuff:

http://www.acoustics.org/index.html

let me know if you find something interesting regarding the caves.
I'm very interested in joining your cave theremin project.

arthur
Posted: 7/4/2007 8:34:13 AM
GordonC

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

J_D - Excellent links. Thank you. It seems we are not the first thereminists to visit the silophone. I found a few examples of thereminery there. There's another one now - I uploaded a copy of My House Resounds, which just fit nicely inside their file-size limit.

Arthur - not a project, just idle musings - but something may come of it one day - who knows. Again, some interesting pointers. Here's something neat from acoustics.org (http://www.acoustics.org/press/144th/Waller3.htm) ... Did our cave dwelling ancestors have an interest in the acoustic properties of caves? Perhaps so - there appears to be a relationship between cave art and the acoustics of that cave - here is a picture of a herd of bison, clap here and it will sound like a herd of bison.

This is a part of "Archaeoacoustics" - (for which wikipedia has a stub) and, with a little more link-following I found a scholarly work of the same name - a copy of which is now in the post to me. :-)

Also a part of archaeoacoustics is the study of the acoustic properties of pots and other artefacts. Which leads to thinking about sympathetic strings. Instead of "playing a cave" could I play another instrument - say a piano - by putting the theremin's speaker inside it and causing the strings to resonate? Unfortunately at the last count the number of pianos in my house was zero, but it is an intriguing thought. What would it sound like? Would it help my intonation?
Posted: 7/4/2007 10:51:40 AM
J_D

From: Perth, UK

Joined: 5/17/2005

I've been doing some (successful) tinkering recently with piezo transducers (about 70p each from Maplins HERE (http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=3202)) - for reasons which I can demonstrate at HO2007.

[img]http://www.maplin.co.uk/images/300/qy13p_yu85g.jpg[/img]
They work as either pressure-based microphones (i.e. respond to a vibrating surface) OR as sound sources (i.e. stick a signal through it and it will cause a surface to vibrate accordingly). They are small and flat and it would be easy for you to wire one up to a length of cable and a jack plug and try sticking it to various everyday objects. As long as they are attached firmly (I just used insulating tape and/or wood glue) they should work well.

I've not tried them for output yet, only input, but will give it a quick shot tonight and let you know how I get on.
Posted: 7/4/2007 11:52:00 AM
ElectroMungo

From: Germany

Joined: 12/12/2006

@J_D:

Hi, that is exactly what i meant with feedback by electromechanical transducers.
split the Theremin signal,
feedback to the antenna with a big mebrane or bar driven by the transducer...a phaseshifter and maybe a litlle bit of fine pitch shifting...

Does this work for your Theremin ?
I mean already implemented ?
If so, could you post a sound sample, would be great.
cheers
arthur
Posted: 7/4/2007 12:26:21 PM
J_D

From: Perth, UK

Joined: 5/17/2005

Ah - I see what you mean - using the transducer to actually move something (a membrane or whatever) within the theremin's playing arc. I'm not sure the models I have (various sizes from the range linked to above) will provide enough displacement to make this work, though I think some of the other models Maplin does would be more effective for this particular idea (as distinct from Gordon's idea of using a piano, police box* or 747 as a resonator). I will give this a try as well tonight and record my findings for your listening pleasure.


[i]*I mean, imagine a performance event with theremin connected via heavy-duty transducer to one of[/i] these (http://www.kiosk-korner.co.uk/kiosk06.html) [i]boys, and playing Void Ship or the Dr Who theme music. Guaranteed to turn heads![/i]
Posted: 7/4/2007 12:48:08 PM
GordonC

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

I shall try to avoid speculating if you have something up your sleeve for Hands Off, but I just need to check one thing...

This doesn't involve Hyper-Cerebral Electrosis (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Hyper-Cerebral_Electrosis&redirect=no) does it?

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