Weird sound

Posted: 1/24/2013 12:41:37 PM

Joined: 1/24/2013

I just bought an Moog Etherwave and i'm very dazzled by the sound.

It sounds like the squeaky noise from a dogs chewing toy, when as far as i know the tone was suppose to be more like a violin.
When i bought the theremin the store told me that if I bought a small mixer i could plug it through it and then to my speakers without need of an amplifier. - could this be why my sound is off?
My theremin is placed on a mic stand. 

Posted: 1/24/2013 1:04:09 PM

From: Colmar, France

Joined: 12/31/2007

The sound comes mostly from the player and their playing technique.

The electronics of the theremin/mixer/amp chain are only the cherry on the cake. Even the most professional theremin will sound like a dog that you walk on the tail if you do not know how to play.

It's like a $100,000 Stradivarius violin which will sound screechy when played by a beginner.

The theremin is one of the most difficult instruments to play, even more difficult as a violin as said the "grande dame" Clara Rockmore, and it needs years of hard work until you master it. Thus you shouldn't expect to produce something sounding pleasant only a few minutes after you bought the equipment and without having had lessons.

Posted: 1/24/2013 1:13:35 PM

Joined: 1/24/2013

Thank you for your answer. 
I've play'd the theremin for three years. i just bought a new one, and this one will not give me one single clean note. 
If it is my playing that is the problem, then perhaps i should just stick to my old theremin since that one sounds nice when i play it. 


Posted: 1/24/2013 1:22:50 PM
RS Theremin

From: 60 mi. N of San Diego CA

Joined: 2/15/2005

Hello Ronja,

My bet is on the fact that you may be over-driving your mixer/amplifier. The theremin signal is too hot so you need to attenuate it slightly with something in between the theremin and amp.


Posted: 1/24/2013 1:25:59 PM

Joined: 1/24/2013

What do you suggest? :)

Posted: 1/24/2013 1:31:13 PM
RS Theremin

From: 60 mi. N of San Diego CA

Joined: 2/15/2005

Your mixer might do it if it has a volume or level control.

I like using an Art Tube Pre-amp

This uses a mic or line level and you can adjust the input and output level.

Others may have more suggestions so stick around.


Posted: 1/24/2013 2:12:17 PM

From: Colmar, France

Joined: 12/31/2007

If it's not the playing, one would need a little more information:

The new theremin, is it a Moog Etherwave Standard or a Moog Etherwave Plus (although they have almost the same audio circuit, their output levels differ slightly)?

The 'old' theremin, which model is it? Does it still sound nice when connected to the new mixer or does the sound also seem degraded?

Many mixer inputs can be switched for different sensitivity from mic level to line level. Please make sure that you connect the Etherwave to an input which expects line level.

Posted: 1/25/2013 9:03:31 AM

From: Bochum, Germany

Joined: 10/8/2008

Does your setup provide proper grounding?

Posted: 1/25/2013 12:34:29 PM

From: Canada

Joined: 8/1/2008

Thierry wrote: "It's like a $100,000 Stradivarius violin which will sound screechy when played by a beginner."


Thierry, if you can find a Strad for $100,000.00 let me know. I will buy it immediately.

Posted: 1/26/2013 12:18:35 AM
Jeff S

From: N.E. Ohio

Joined: 2/14/2005

Wuddya mean?  Every $400 violin I've seen on Craigslist is a Stradivarius!

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