Painted fiberglass box for a Theremax

Posted: 3/15/2012 8:01:56 PM

From: Occitanie

Joined: 3/4/2012


I play the Theremin since 2008 but I am new here.

I just wanted to share some pictures of the fiberglass skin that a friend of mine made for my Theremax box.

She likes painting and dress-making. You can see some of her other creative works there:




She also made a Theremax bag


Posted: 3/15/2012 9:01:23 PM

From: Hillsborough, NC (USA)

Joined: 2/13/2005

I like it!  thanks for sharing! 


I also like the camera tripod stand.  Is it fairly stable?


Welcome to Theremin World!

Posted: 3/15/2012 9:24:10 PM

From: Occitanie

Joined: 3/4/2012

Thanks !

Camera tripod stand: I made a wooden platform (12 cm * 24 cm) with some anti-slip pads.

Before, I had the heavy "lectern case". Now it is lighter and it is stable enough for indoor use.

Outside, I must take care of the wind, if it's not in use, I put it on the ground...

I'm thinking about fixing the theremin to the plaform...

Posted: 3/16/2012 10:32:33 AM

From: Canada

Joined: 8/1/2008

This is one of the most colorful and imaginative theremin designs I have seen and I have seen hundreds of them over the years. While it lacks grace and is rather bulbous, it has a wonderful Picasso-like charm. 

I miss the Roussillon. I spent much time in the tiny town of Castelnou (not far from Thuir).

Ton theremin a un certain parfum du Midi.

Posted: 3/16/2012 8:48:27 PM

From: Occitanie

Joined: 3/4/2012

"[...] Un certain parfum du Midi" :

It's probably because it's shaped with some pebbles from Palavas-Les-Flots and some fiberglass used to repair the boats ;)

I just talk to my colleague who built this painted box, she was happy to have some comments... She just began to share her work on the web and in exhibitions.

Posted: 3/18/2012 1:58:03 AM

From: Flying with the Phoenix

Joined: 3/9/2011


Your Theremin is a cross between a "Rat Rod" and a "A Custom Show Rod". I mean that in a "Good" way. I'm not a Theremin expert or a Art expert, but this is simply "Awesome".

In His Service --- Dana


Posted: 3/18/2012 10:04:22 AM

From: Occitanie

Joined: 3/4/2012

Hello Dana,

Happy to meet you here :)

Seeing your Theremin design on Theremin World influenced me in changing mine.

It is funny, one day, I told to the person who built the fiberglass skin that I wanted to electroplate the antennas with nickel. She told me not to change anything because it is the "rat rod" part of the theremin: It is made with old bolts but it works. 

... and sometime I hardly manage to make music with it ;)


Posted: 3/18/2012 9:11:00 PM

From: Colmar, France

Joined: 12/31/2007

Interesting to see a Theremax circuit with relatively thick (compared to the original design) antennas. Can you tell about the pitch range and the field geometry?

Posted: 3/18/2012 10:41:25 PM

From: Occitanie

Joined: 3/4/2012

The antennas are made of 8 mm plumbing pipe (I was not satisfied of the thin antennas of the original design). 

The pich antenna is 42 cm long. I made no big calculation but read that someone was satisfied of such an antenna in another thread here. Then I tried this design.

Usualy, I tune it so as it makes no sound with my body at my arm length from the knob (then I'm approx at 1 m from the antenna). When I'm in playing position, and I hear a sound even if my arm is away from the antenna (approx 1 octave under middle C).

The total pitch range is of 6 to 7 octaves:

1 lower too much extended octave, 3 to 4 playable octaves and arround 2 high octaves very compressed.

Although I studied and work in the electronic domain, I decided to learn to play this instrument as is rather than spending time to make it perfectly linear. It's a problem that many of us know, when one likes music and electronics, this one allways has to find the correct proportion of both.


Posted: 3/25/2012 12:52:44 PM

From: Occitanie

Joined: 3/4/2012

Thierry, I couldn't sleep because of your question about field geometry ;)

Then I made some serious measurement using a chromatic tuner and a ruler as a bow to measure the distance between my hand and the antenna:

And I obtain the following measurements:

And I saw what big error I was making by tunning the nulling point behind myself. This is the reason why I have "1 lower too much extended octave".

If I tune my Theremax so as the nulling point is at my body in normal playing position, I have 4 linear octaves (7 cm / Oct.) centered on  Middle C.

I read a lot of things about Theremax but I find mine quite playable, am I very lucky ?

(I made some mods on my T-max but the only one I made for picth linearity is changing the antennas).

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