Moog Theremini!

Posted: 1/25/2014 3:53:44 PM
dewster

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

From : http://www.matrixsynth.com/2014/01/new-waldorf-2-pole-filter-moog-theremini.html

Pro upgrade kit, Amplifier, case, and stand available separately.

So I'm wondering if this is kind of a misprint, and the upgrade consists of the amplifier, case, and stand, or if there is more to it?

"But lets not declare "war" if we arent absolutely sure theres WMD - It may be linear and it may have low latency..." - FredM

Oh, I'm not trying to trash it, just attempting to dither out the basics from the typically poor (from a technical perspective, ironically) NAMM coverage.  For all I know some effect was on, the video / audio sync isn't good enough to perceive this via YouTube, etc.

I suppose I'm hyper aware of latency because it's such a critical factor in the physics of it all.  Any significant latency would pretty much nix this as a "serious" performance instrument. 

Also: Have they addressed ESD at all in there?  Perhaps we can convince someone to put the rib spreaders on their unit when it arrives and take some pix.  Something tells me Moog won't be issuing schematics for this thing (the days of schematics seem long gone).

Posted: 1/25/2014 4:06:13 PM
FredM

From: Eastleigh, Hampshire, U.K. ................................... Fred Mundell. ................................... Electronics Engineer. (Primarily Analogue) .. CV Synths 1974-1980 .. Theremin developer 2007 to present .. soon to be Developing / Trading as WaveCrafter.com . ...................................

Joined: 12/7/2007

 

"Here's a thought. Perhaps the guys at Moog know what they're doing. From a business point of view." - GordonC

That is the one thing, the only thing, that I am absolutely sure about! I think if there is a theremin "jackpot" theyve hit it.. A bit unfair really, they were the only ones who had a chance - Anyone else bringing an instrument like this to market would have been laughed out of town!** - But perhaps its "fair" - Bob laid the foundation.

They certainly knew "what they're doing. From a business point of view." - We must wait and see if they knew what they were doing from a technical / musical point of view..

But I dont think even if its a pile of crap, that this will make much difference to the jackpot.

** No - Thats unfair! - At the price, this instrument would have found a place regardless of who brought it to market.

Posted: 1/25/2014 5:24:30 PM
Jason

From: Sammamish, Washington

Joined: 2/13/2005

I haven't caught up on the whole thread yet - you folks post a LOT!  :) 

I'm in the camp with DiggyDog.  I missed out on the E-Pro at a discount price a LONG time ago, and I really regret that.  While this is no Pro, I really appreciate that Moog is trying something new.

Then there's the business argument... I see a lot more theremins in the $100-$200 range selling than theremins in the over $400 range.  That's the sweet spot for people who want to try it out before deciding if they're going to commit or if it's just a passing phase.  That market segment was well served by the Burns theremins, but there weren't many other viable choices.  This one changes the game.

For just a little more, you get a synth engine (and hopefully future sound upgrades?  we can wish!), MIDI support, CV out, etc.  Sure, it looks a little mid-century modern (which I happen to dig), but we've seen what creative people do with theremin cases.  It's more about the guts for me. 

There will always be choices for people who want to spend more, and I also wish Moog would put out a new high end theremin to serve the Pro+ market.  As more people discover the theremin, I suspect a subset of our community at large will begin to thirst more and more for a professional instrument.

I fully respect the opinion of those who aren't enamored with this new theremin, but I don't share those opinions.  I've already placed my pre-order.

Posted: 1/25/2014 10:37:44 PM
GordonC

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Jason: I spotted a Moog rep at NANM on one of the YouTube videos saying that it would be possible to upload new sounds.

Re: pitch correction and glissandos, with correction half-on, glissando would still be smooth but would linger slightly over the pitches it is correcting to. It could be quite cool - a slightly more harmonious glissando than usual.

Posted: 1/26/2014 12:34:57 AM
Amethyste

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

Joined: 12/17/2010

Jason wrote: "I fully respect the opinion of those who aren't enamored with this new theremin, but I don't share those opinions.  I've already placed my pre-order."

Please let me know when you are going to upload your version of "The Swan" on Youtube playing your new theremin :) (you know I love ya! :)

 

The thing is I'll probably get one just to see how it is and probably sell it later cause I'll end up not liking it... I know I am weird.

Posted: 1/26/2014 12:38:25 AM
Gibarian

From: Germany

Joined: 12/27/2013

Someone is bound to buy the Moog Theremini, transplant the guts into a vintage case and post videos on YouTube :P

Posted: 1/26/2014 12:44:06 AM
Amethyste

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

Joined: 12/17/2010

You are probably right :)

Gibarian wrote: "Someone is bound to buy the Moog Theremini, transplant the guts into a vintage case and post videos on YouTube :P"

Posted: 1/26/2014 12:45:26 AM
GordonC

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Actually, I think I might actively like the pitch correction knob. I will definitely have to give it a better name though.

The Niceness Knob.

Here's the thing - for aleatoric players such as myself (generally I have a reasonable idea as to what the next note will be, but I don't bother about conforming to 12TET or any other tuning, and anything close to what I was aiming for - say plus or minus a semitone for the sake of verisimilitude) it is reasonable to wonder about the probability of the frequencies of two successive notes being close to being in simple ratio (i.e. highly consonant.) It's fairly low. The chance of my hitting a second 12TET note, for example, is about 6 in 100, assuming the listener can resolve a pitch to plus or minus there cents. So, lots of not very nice sounds. We could say it is only 6% nice. (This can be reduced to zero with a ring modulator! That's fun too.)

With the niceness knob full on, there's going to be nothing but notes that play nicely with one another - 100% nice, and turning it down will reduce the ratio of consonant to dissonant notes thereby reducing the niceness, for want of a better term, of the piece.

Posted: 1/26/2014 1:37:11 AM
FredM

From: Eastleigh, Hampshire, U.K. ................................... Fred Mundell. ................................... Electronics Engineer. (Primarily Analogue) .. CV Synths 1974-1980 .. Theremin developer 2007 to present .. soon to be Developing / Trading as WaveCrafter.com . ...................................

Joined: 12/7/2007

"Then there's the business argument... I see a lot more theremins in the $100-$200 range selling than theremins in the over $400 range.  That's the sweet spot for people who want to try it out before deciding if they're going to commit or if it's just a passing phase.  That market segment was well served by the Burns theremins, but there weren't many other viable choices.  This one changes the game." - Jason

It does - completely!

This instrument will be extremely bad news for all manufacturers of theremins in the lower - mid price range - Sales of anything selling at > 50% of the theremini price will be be impacted. Anything selling above the theremini price will only sell into the extremely small "pure theremin inclined" market..

"Please let me know when you are going to upload your version of "The Swan" on Youtube playing your new theremin :) " - Amey

The above probably sums up this "pure theremin" market - But the number of people wanting a theremin to play "the Swan" aint big enough economically to justify making instruments! - The real market is those who wouldnt be interested in playing the Swan even if they could! - Make an instrument that is attractive to people who arent interested in emulating Clara, And on which it is possible for people to play the the Swan if they want to and have the ability to, and one gets the big market and the much smaller one..

In my mind there is no question that theyve got the big market - All that remains to be seen is whether this instrument is suitable for the small market, and how many people in this market would buy it even if it is!

I believe the theremini is  what we can expect for 21st century theremins - its moved the theremin out of the 1930's and repackaged it for todays taste. Those who hate the wasteful instant-gratification mentality of our present age will most likely hate it.. Those who hate plastic will hate it, those who want difficulty so that they can master this and stand out from the crowd will hate it (IMO, for the wrong reasons - They are right to feel pride at their achievement and ability, but IMO wrong to fear that they will lose recognition / esteem just because unmusical people are able to "play" the theremini)

And as the sales of the instrument soars and the theremin is seen as a money cow by other manufacturers, I think there might be quite a few "instruments" mass produced in China etc coming to market in the next few years.. But none of them will be targeting the small market which is represented by a subset of those here and on Levnet... For them / us, I think the theremini is the worst possible news - it wont encourage development of theremins for "us" - I think that if anything it will impede it by knocking out the cottage industry which was "our" only real hope.

Fred.

One big "propaganda" issue strikes me:

I dont think one can compare the theremini to the E-Vox in any way. - To me, the only thing they sort of have in common is MIDI  (and the related pitch correction) ... The way folks are talking, you would think Moog had re-released the E-Vox and put it on the market in a plastic case for < $400.

This is NOT a mini E-Vox  - It has a different front end, a different voice, a entirely different antenna shapes and form, and to compare it in any way to the Evox is, well.. Blasphemy! ;-)

The Theremini is a digital synthesiser connected to a capacitive sensing front-end which outputs MIDI and adjustable pitch corrected data.. Thats what it is, and thats all it is! - Many times here we have "debated" what a theremin "is" - And on most counts, based on these discussions, the theremini is not a theremin..

But the above is just noise - it matters to nobody except the few "purists" here and on Levnet..

Posted: 1/26/2014 1:53:35 AM
dewster

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

"The thing is I'll probably get one just to see how it is and probably sell it later..."  - Amethyste

Same here.  If I can find one at the local Musician's Friend and it seems interesting enough, I may buy one to crack open and reverse engineer to some degree.  And if it seems funner than what I'm contemplating building, it may make an interesting addition to my wife's piano studio.

I know NAMM videos don't present new technical products very well, and I'm not here to poop on any Theremin being introduced to the fold.

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