Having surgery soon - Will a metal pin in my left hand interrupt or adversely affect frequencies?

Posted: 10/8/2013 3:48:11 PM

Joined: 10/8/2013

Greetings, fellow theremin fanatics. I am an injured, classically trained, orchestral violist. Due to a scooter accident several months ago which caused a chip fracture in my left wrist, I've had to momentarily suspend my career. Because of this, I've been recently delving into theremin performance to pursue a long-time passion. A surgery is in order within two months and I'm here to ask the technologically minded if a potential metal pin in my left hand (y-axis) will interrupt any of the device's frequencies. It is a standard Etherwave 50th anniversary edition (if it makes a difference from model to model). Thanks in advance for your assistance!

Posted: 10/8/2013 4:50:22 PM

From: Theremin Motherland

Joined: 11/13/2005

Instrument physically do not care what you have inside. It loves just the contents of your brain.

Posted: 10/8/2013 6:59:27 PM

Joined: 10/8/2013

Thank you, Ilya. I was worried that metal in my hand would cause feedback and/or other technical issues. Thanks very much for your advice!

Posted: 10/8/2013 11:46:53 PM

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

Metal could possible make your hand a bit more sensitive, but the primary mode here is capacitive rather than inductive (metal detection) so I guess I'd be surprised if you notice it.  Metal objects near my prototype air-core inductors alter the resonant frequency quite a bit less than I thought they would, and the EW uses ferrite cores to concentrate the coil fields even more locally.

In the future you might want to keep those classically trained hands away from scooters!

Posted: 10/9/2013 5:54:47 PM

From: Colmar, France

Joined: 12/31/2007

It risks to add a little capacitance to your left hand which will make the volume probably go down somewhat higher above the volume loop. Thus you'll probably need to fiddle a little bit with the volume tuning knob to restore the known behavior.

One may see the same difference in the volume response when playing with and without wrist watch.

Posted: 10/10/2013 12:12:41 PM

From: Canada

Joined: 8/1/2008

ThereMan, are you aware that Clara Rockmore who was arguably the finest thereminist who has ever lived (although not the most famous), was forced to abandon a promising career as a professional violinist in the early 1930's because of a chronic injury to her bowing arm?


She took up the theremin, and the rest is history!


You are fortunate, as far as theremin playing is concerned, that your injury is to your left (volume antenna) hand, and not your right. Volume control does not demand the same level of flexibility and dexterity as pitch control. 


That being said, as a professional violinist you had no business getting on a scooter (or a motorcycle or bicycle) in the first place! What on earth were you thinking?! 


.....sorry, hate to sound like a nagging mother.....LOL

Posted: 10/10/2013 6:09:27 PM

From: Theremin Motherland

Joined: 11/13/2005

"Metal objects near my prototype air-core inductors alter the resonant frequency quite a bit less than I thought they would" -- dewster

Not surprising. A magnitude of the dipole field (inductance) depends as 1/r^3 versus 1/r^2 at monopole (point charge).

Posted: 10/18/2013 3:21:26 AM

Joined: 3/30/2012

If you still have doubts or concerns, I suppose you could try playing with a small metal object taped to your left hand and see what, if any, effect that has.

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