theremin beginner and jaycar kit

Posted: 12/19/2011 5:29:47 PM

From: Hillsborough, NC (USA)

Joined: 2/13/2005

From Jeff:

"I believe you can. In fact, it's already been done by a surf-rock group called 'The Manatees'. You can sample one of their CD's at CD Baby, however the theremin is only lightly used on the album and heard only briefly on two of the samples: 'Beyond the Wave' and 'Rolling to a Stop'. They do a nice cover of Gary Numan's 'Are Friends Electric'."

I love this band.  I've seen them live in Seattle several times.  They bring back the whimsy and surfitude of the Ventures to the Pacific Northwest.  Their lead guitar player is known for using his head to play the theremin while ripping out surf riffs on the guitar.

Posted: 12/19/2011 6:13:17 PM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

I'll email you in the new year, Thierry, and we can work out when it would be convenient.

Posted: 12/20/2011 9:09:04 PM

From: Hillsborough, NC (USA)

Joined: 2/13/2005

Alrighty folks - thanks for bearing with me while I debugged the problem with page 2 of this thread.  It should be working fine now, so feel free to carry the conversation forward again :).

Posted: 12/20/2011 9:12:20 PM

From: Colmar, France

Joined: 12/31/2007

Out of about 10 notifications which I got in the last hours telling me that people had posted 2 days ago, it works fine now. Thank you, Jason!

Posted: 12/21/2011 7:26:47 AM

Joined: 12/7/2011

Thierry: what material you suggest to build antennas?

I found some copper chromed hydraulic pipes and some solid alluminium sticks both have a diameter of 10mm, what's better?

you said 40cm for the pitch, what you suggest for volume?

How is important the shape of volume antenna? just an u-shaped antenna or is better to copy the shape of moog volume antenna?



Posted: 12/21/2011 8:08:14 AM

From: Colmar, France

Joined: 12/31/2007

It will be difficult to bend a solid aluminum stick... so you might rather take the hydraulic pipes. There exist spirals which help you bending them.

The shape of the volume antenna is a question of personal taste and od your playing technique. Technically there is not much difference. I've made the experience that a simple U as on the Theremax is rather difficult to control. So I would prefer an U with a paunch. The Moog volume loops end up in a circle shape whose inner diameter (about 4") is two times the inner distance between the legs (about 2").

Posted: 12/21/2011 8:31:42 AM

From: Tucson, AZ USA

Joined: 2/26/2011

For the past couple of years I have told serious Thereminist to avoid the Jaycar theremin as it is a black hole when realized and when it passes the event horizon ends up in a junk drawer. Coil tuning and frustration are the obvious lessons, I think it is wonderful that some persist in Maxie's footsteps and Maxie I do admire. To continually promote his approach limits real learning and will drive away future potential Thereminist from further exploration. A first theremin is like your first crush in middle school, it is difficult to imagine there could be something better and you are unaware of it. Time will reveal the truth!

I am only the messenger.


Posted: 12/21/2011 3:18:57 PM

From: In between the Pitch and Volume hand ~ New England

Joined: 12/17/2010

very messiah-istic message, Touchless :)

Posted: 12/21/2011 10:19:10 PM

From: portland

Joined: 11/30/2011

I dont know, touchless, my first theremin was a hand-built rs theremin, with a foot pedal, and while frustration with it going out of tune every 20 minutes, led me to buy an etherwave, but the process of making it, (and getting frustrated) gave me a rudimentary understanding and appreciation of how the instrument works. It feels more traditional way to learn. Also, if you are dedicated enough to build a theremin, and do all the mods, you are probably dedicated enough to learn to play it. Which is good to find out before one spends a bunch of money. Though I suppose there is a danger of becoming obsessed with tinkering with it, never actually learning to play it, mistaking flaws in technique to flaws in design.

Posted: 12/22/2011 2:13:40 AM
RS Theremin

From: 60 mi. N of San Diego CA

Joined: 2/15/2005


Thank you, I think I got a soft compliment. Any exposure to theremin building does give a better understanding of how it all works. I abandoned my early RS research because it did not arrive at the result I had hoped for, which asks the question of what is the ideal sound? I experienced one of those theremin moments where I needed to backup which led to my current hybrid design. As a raw developer, modifications continually show up and slow the process of reaching a finish line.


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