How would it be your perfect theremin like?

Posted: 11/27/2005 11:06:42 AM

From: Madrid, Spain

Joined: 2/19/2005

I mean, if anyone of you could choose, how would it be your perfect theremin?
How would it look like?
which things would it include? which ones not?
how would it sound like?

I have my opinion and my own ideas, but I want to know what the rest of theremin players will think about it. The answers can be very interesting for everyone.
Posted: 11/28/2005 8:29:11 AM

From: Jax, FL

Joined: 2/14/2005

I like the looks of the Etherwave Pro but I also like the classic RCA theremin look so it would be hard to choose.

As far as features, I would include CV outputs, MIDI, some kind of pitch preview or a display shwoing what note is being played (like a tuner wired into the output).

Let me knwo when it's ready and I will come pick it up, LOL!

Posted: 11/28/2005 11:25:49 PM

From: Kansas City, Mo.

Joined: 8/23/2005

Well, here are the properties that I would desire in a Theremin in order of preference:

1) Playability

For me, the playability would be must important -- that is, the circuits are stable -- the pitch antenna has good horizontal linearity and is not greatly sensitive to up down motions (that is, motion that is parallel to the antenna).

The volume antenna would allow me to mute the sound without actually having to touch the volume antenna. Also, the volume antenna would have variable sensitivity.

For me, beautiful tone and styling would not be a substitute for playabilty.

2) Clean tone

This translates to excellent shielding of the components from electrical interference and a good signal to noise ratio.

3) Musically interesting tone and tone controls

Interesting tone color along with the ability to play the "native" heterodyne tone without alteration. Wave shapers or other methods to color the tone would be welcome additions, of course. Make the tone controls controllable from foot pedals and/or MIDI CC controller messages.

4) Adjustable height

Should have a standard mic stand or tripod mount and/or an easy way to adjust the height of the unit.

5) Portable

removable antennae, lightweight, easy to travel with.

6) Features

MIDI in and out, CV outs, preview output, Foot pedal controls to control the tone quality of the Theremin. A master volume control is a plus.

The Etherwave Pro has most of the qualities that I would desire in the ideal Theremin. If the Epro had MIDI and foot pedals to control the range and timbre switch, it would likely be the "ideal" instrument for me.
Posted: 11/29/2005 2:51:59 PM

From: Theremin Motherland

Joined: 11/13/2005

>[i] not greatly sensitive to up down motions (that is, motion that is parallel to the antenna).[/i]

How you about 2-axis sensitivity? Let's say the radial motion will change the pitch and the parallel motion will define another parameter, for example the timbre variation or doing the attack/release, or both simultaneously?
Posted: 11/30/2005 10:18:39 PM

From: Kansas City, Mo.

Joined: 8/23/2005

Well, to have a playable two-axis system, it would be all the more important that the pitch be sensitive to distance and insensitive to up/down motion. That is... the performer would be able to hold a steady pitch while moving the hand up and down to control the y-axis.

Posted: 12/1/2005 12:11:53 PM

From: Theremin Motherland

Joined: 11/13/2005

You think it is more a problem of human coordination ability than a problem of hardware implementation, right?

Posted: 12/1/2005 1:21:34 PM

Joined: 11/2/2005

I always wondered about a two pitch-antenna theremin myself; one played in the traditional fashion, while a second would be played with a vertical motion. Then you could do some sweet running enharmonic melody stuff like you see in some medieval chants and music.

Anyway, it would require a lot of coordination from the player, but it would be do-able.

The problem is really in the hardware. I realized how impracticle this was by just trying to maintain a constant pitch while moving my hand vertically. Sometimes it is hard to maintain pitch by holding your hand still. :-) Even slight variations in the antenna (bends, metalic defects) can make this very difficult.

It may be more feasible with a coil antenna like the "Lev Antenna", but I haven't tried it yet, personally.


Posted: 12/1/2005 2:05:03 PM

From: COWafornia

Joined: 3/23/2005

In Order:
Good linear response
For pitch no virtical varication
No interaction with cables
No interaction between the hands
Better tone. I would like more of the "Singing String" sound
A volume control (not response) - to make it softer
A fixed volume (with control) pich out
All of the cables out the "back"
Posted: 12/15/2005 7:02:40 PM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

It would look like this...


and the casing would be mirror finish stainless steel with acid etched detailing.

Posted: 12/15/2005 7:50:14 PM

From: Kansas City, Mo.

Joined: 8/23/2005

Gordon, love your design!

So, where would you put the controls and the patch connections?

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