Let's Design and Build a (mostly) Digital Theremin!

Posted: 1/13/2022 8:06:58 AM
Buggins

From: Theremin Motherland

Joined: 3/16/2017


Lydia Kavina kindly supplied me with five different voice samples of her tVox tour Theremin (which was designed by her husband, George Pavlov).  The samples consist of a slow gliss from very low to very high frequency, followed by two or three fixed notes per octave.  Lydia also kindly gave me permission to share them (mono, converted from *.wav to *.mp3):

Wow. Pretty nice.
Could you please share uncompressed WAVs as well?

Posted: 1/13/2022 2:51:41 PM
dewster

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

"Could you please share uncompressed WAVs as well?" - Buggins

Sure!

https://www.mediafire.com/file/ptua1miokvgtius/wetransfer_tvox-audio_2021-12-01_1132.zip/file

Posted: 1/13/2022 7:41:25 PM
JPascal

From: Berlin Germany

Joined: 4/27/2016

Many thanks for sharing this! Always look on/for the bright side of sound...

Posted: 1/14/2022 2:20:08 AM
dewster

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

"Many thanks for sharing this!" - JPascal

You're welcome!  We're all in this together...

Posted: 1/16/2022 8:51:24 PM
dewster

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

The Other Ave Maria

I'm just learning the Bach Ave Maria, the Patsy tenor voice preset goes well with it IMO:

https://d-lev.com/audio/2022-01-16_ave_tenor.mp3

Tried using a MIDI file for accompaniment, but it ended up a cappella again (as usual).  Almost no matter how slow, I always feel rushed by strictly timed accompaniment.

Posted: 1/17/2022 11:45:59 AM
Buggins

From: Theremin Motherland

Joined: 3/16/2017


I'm just learning the Bach Ave Maria, the Patsy tenor voice preset goes well with it IMO


Eric, your playing skills are being improved every day.
Good performance, and good preset.
Is this preset based on excitation + filter?

Posted: 1/17/2022 3:33:07 PM
dewster

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

"Eric, your playing skills are being improved every day. Good performance, and good preset."  - Buggins

Thanks!  I've been playing a little more lately, and I'm trying to consciously control my vibrato rate and depth.  I don't know how anyone plays without an active tuner, particularly a cappella - I've been told that I have a good ear, but it's not good enough to do that.  But others have just the opposite strongly held opinions / observations, that the ear is faster and more accurate than the eye, so maybe the truth is somewhere in-between, or maybe I'm dead wrong here.

And I'm somewhat crappier if I turn off the pitch correction.  I think a fair amount of the amazement people have for certain Thereminists is due to the exactness of their pitch during performance, and not their playing style so much.  But a lot of this can be "improved" with correction (live on stage, and certainly in the studio) which makes me wonder how many actually do?  Pitch correction is a super natural thing to put in a Theremin, it really belongs there IMO, and I wouldn't fault anyone for using it.  Given the choice, I'd rather hear overly correct pitch than overly incorrect pitch (particularly when it comes to Theremins).

"Is this preset based on excitation + filter?"

Yes, it's Roger's Patsy preset with lowered formants:

I also reduced the oscillator filter vmod a bit (24 => 17) to make volume shaping less "wa-wa" sounding.

Posted: 1/17/2022 7:22:01 PM
JPascal

From: Berlin Germany

Joined: 4/27/2016

The performance is impressive! How long did you practice for holding the pitch and jumps?

Posted: 1/17/2022 7:41:31 PM
dewster

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

"The performance is impressive! How long did you practice for holding the pitch and jumps? "  - JPascal

Why thank you! 

I've worked on the song for a few days now, maybe 4 hours altogether not counting recording.  Internally it is constructed of more various "parts" than the simpler songs I normally pick to play, with little repetition, so a lot of the practice time was spent just learning the notes.  The ending with all the jumps is the most challenging. 

The other Ave Maria (Schubert) is falling of a log in comparison, I could play that years ago (and still do): [MP3]

Much as I would like to take credit, I think the positive impressions are due more to the expressiveness of the preset voice, and less to my playing ability.

Posted: 1/19/2022 7:50:02 PM
JPascal

From: Berlin Germany

Joined: 4/27/2016

Yes, you should take credit! Both is ment.

The singer holding vowel A is certainly surprising for an audience. But no artist would do so. I wonder if a timbre not clearly a voice or wind instrument is more credibel for the faszination of theremin. But this is only my thought, without any relevance. We all are digger in the wide field of timbres.   

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