Best sounding Theremin question

Posted: 5/25/2012 1:42:05 AM

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

Joined: 12/17/2010

I guess I am too stupid to see the difference...

Posted: 5/25/2012 3:22:07 AM

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

Oh Thierry.  The intersection of engineer and musician is not the null set.  You of all people should understand that.

Posted: 5/25/2012 5:21:25 AM
All Souls Night

Joined: 5/22/2012

Me too, i've hear the official ones and we are friends on Facebook, i'd love to try one eventually and maybe one day i'll getmy hands on one of them, when I have a little more liquid cash lol. I am just a little apprehensive of the tubes: where do you get them when one decides to bite the dust? That's mainly my set back...


Pegna has the tubes for sale.

Posted: 5/25/2012 5:23:53 AM
All Souls Night

Joined: 5/22/2012

I just built a replica RCA and with the exception ,of the 120, I got everything else "used but tests good" for a few bucks each. (some NOS  can get pricey)


How did it turn out? Are you pleased with the sound? Was it hard to do?

Posted: 5/25/2012 11:11:59 AM

From: Canada

Joined: 8/1/2008

Thereminists are fixated on finding the instrument that has just the RIGHT sound for them but they are rarely satisfied. This is because the general effect the instrument has on listeners (including the player him/her self) has more to do with how the sound is sculpted than the timbre produced by its circuits. 

There are plenty of people who own fine theremins but they are unable to play them with anything even close to the level of skill and musicianship that would be expected from the average violin student. 

Then there are those who play beautifully on what most thereminists would consider an "entry level" instrument. Dutch thereminist Thorwald Jorgensen, up until fairly recently, regularly concertized with great success on a standard Moog Etherwave. 

The satisfaction we get from playing a musical instrument should not be confused with the pleasure others get - or fail to get - from hearing us. The value of a good teacher has less to do with being shown the mechanics of HOW to play than it does with WHAT to play. 

So often I have heard newcomers to the theremin say that they would love to have just a few lessons from a player who can show them the basics. They think that playing the theremin is like driving a car - you won't need an instructor after you know the rules of the road and how to slam on the brakes! They are convinced that they already possess the music and they cannot be persuaded otherwise.

Music is the art of moving people emotionally with sound. Not everyone is moved in the same way by the same thing, but the sound itself is just a tool. Everything else comes from YOU. Your theremin is to music what a paint brush is to an empty canvas. 

"I think it would be wonderful if everybody could play the theremin as well as I do, BUT THEY DON'T." Clara Rockmore

Posted: 5/25/2012 1:42:31 PM

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

Joined: 12/17/2010

I know that we could debate this to the death (and we don't need more of them in the Theremin community...), but truly, the sound you fall in love with is mostly induced by the thereminist behing the machine. your emotions, your soul, your phrasing, your knowledge; they all come to the apex of what comes out of the theremin. If you fall in love with the sound that you hear, might as well fall in love with the playing... I tells so much about a person! The theremin is so transparent.

I 've had several lessons with Thomas Grillo, I am not going to lie about it. I don't play like him, but he helped me develop my own technique. I needed guidance on how to stand, theremin height, tuning and all the stuff that is needed to understand before you start playing. i've learned most of my position by watching all the videos of the people I admire on YT and tried to apply some of their technique to develop my own.

I guess I am in love with Peter, Thorwald, Pamelia, Carolina, Thomas, Clara, Kevin K... so many to mention! Thanks to all of you, you are my mentors!!! you all have shaped the thereminist that I am today :)

Posted: 5/25/2012 2:17:05 PM

From: Brooklyn,NY

Joined: 12/1/2009

"How did it turn out? Are you pleased with the sound? Was it hard to do?"

Actually it turned out well, Im pretty pleased.   I need to get up some images- sound clips may be more difficult to-  heh dont think I can record directly by plugging the 160v signal output into my macbook.

Nothing was too difficult, but If I had to pick a least favorite step it  probably building the replica cabinet.  The doors/ knife hinges were a real pain.

RCA's can sound great, but they can also sound like crap.   The magic is (mostly) all in the osc tubes and the mixer.   Mine sounded like a glitchy- choking duck until I tweaked a few resistor values and went thru my shoe box of 27 tubes , mixing and matching until I found  a few pairs that works well.  Now she sings! 

I also restored a 106 loudspeaker driver and made a diamond speaker stand based of pics of Floyd's replicas

Posted: 5/25/2012 2:22:07 PM

From: Brooklyn,NY

Joined: 12/1/2009

oops, double post!


Posted: 5/25/2012 3:48:08 PM

From: A Coruña, Spain

Joined: 9/26/2010 what Im saying is ..."build a tube theremin, everyone!"

Yes... if only all of us had the knowledge to do so (or the time to learn it)...

I suspect if someone with that knowledge started to offer Keppinger theremins or RCA replicas for sale, they could make some business out of it.

Posted: 5/25/2012 4:11:13 PM

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

Joined: 12/17/2010

I agree with you, Alkhwarizmi! I think I'd one of the first to be in line!

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