Moog Theremini!

Posted: 6/12/2020 3:03:28 AM
DreadVox

From: The East of Netherlands

Joined: 6/18/2019

Welcome Jocre8,
the Theremini did get a lot of flack, but I did get one even after reading many not so positive opinions on it, I still figured it would be a way to try if in practice the touchless interface was something I could get along with, and if not it could still be a source of intersting editable sounds with options to connect it to a computer for MIDI interaction/control and one selectable CV to interface with analog synthesizer gear. I think the various sound preset options can make practicing with it more interesting. While I didn't really like the pitch correction option while actually playing I did find it quite interesting to check out and listen to the various tone scales it can be set to. Before I got my 'upgrade' to an Etherwave Plus I did have quite a lot of fun and learning with the Theremini.
I even played in a few jam sessions with it just before I bought my Etherwave . I do understand how people who are used to playing good quality analog theremins can find it too toyish and/or flawed, even unplayable, and I read through this thread and just about any discussion here and on the Moog forums discussing the Theremini, and while aware of the critique and relative shortcomings, it was my first step into my theremin journey, it didn't put me off and I quite enjoyed it as a way to get my feet wet with this theremin-synthesizer hybrid. So I hope you will find plenty of enjoyment with it as well. As for starting new discussions, the Theremin Newcomers and the Theremin General forums would likely be the most appropriate (depending on the topic or question of course).

Posted: 12/3/2020 9:46:52 PM
kindfoz

Joined: 12/3/2020

Hi all theremini users I'm trying to find a way of controlling/playing Kontakt instruments in logic with the theremini, I can control volume /swell but use the antenna to control the pitch (as normal with a theremin), can you help?

Posted: 12/4/2020 4:31:28 AM
DreadVox

From: The East of Netherlands

Joined: 6/18/2019

Hi Kindfoz, as far as I know, the pitch antenna generates a pitch bend MIDI data stream, no (absolute) pitch and no note on/off data.

Posted: 3/10/2021 7:08:43 PM
SadBanjo

Joined: 2/27/2021

My first theremin was an Etherwave. It was so hard to control that I almost quit.

My description of the experience:

How hard could it be? Well, holy crap. Playing theremin is like performing self dental surgery on the deck of a tall ship in high seas while wearing roller skates as a person — a person who holds no warm feelings for you, clobbers you about the head and shoulders with a fungo bat.

Rather than quit, I saved up a few months with a Theremini.


Perfection ain't gonna happen, but familiarity is waiting for you to show up. You want the melody of the song in your bones and the instrument should be like a big friendly dog you can wrap your arms around. So, I sang the song and had fun trying to get the notes on my glorious Moog electric tin whistle. I had so much fun that I found the melody and how to move from note to note through a combination of blind instinct and dumb luck.
The best part? I was happily making music without worrying about my arthritic hands. I even forgot that I was only hearing out of one ear or that I was standing on neuropathic feet. For that time, I was free.
If that is as far as I ever get, I would still count myself a lucky man.


It is not perfect, but it works well enough to start exploring and making music.

I encourage anyone who loves the theremin to really think hard about the Theremini. It's a gateway instrument that has assistive features that give someone like myself who is nearly deaf a chance to make music. Best of all, once you move on the thing is cheap enough to pass on to a kid.

Honestly, some of the hate I am seeing is depressing. I will continue to explore the instrument, but I don't want to be part of your community.

Posted: 3/10/2021 9:41:40 PM
dewster

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

"Honestly, some of the hate I am seeing is depressing. I will continue to explore the instrument, but I don't want to be part of your community."  - SadBanjo

I'm frankly shocked at how many folks internalize the largely constructive criticism in this thread, and then feel the need to lash out.  The Theremini is a real outlier, with interesting and unusual features, but it also has many serious issues that potential customers / players should be aware of up-front.  If the benefits outweigh the negatives for you personally at this point in your Theremin journey, terrific!  I'm genuinely happy for you!  But others have come to the opposite conclusion, and that doesn't necessarily make them wrong or "haters" or whatever.

I'm also frankly shocked that something this self-evident needs any explanation whatsoever, but I guess this isn't the first time I've seen people fainting over no-holds-barred product reviews and then wanting to kill the messenger / shut down the conversation.  Over a mass-produced consumer item no less.

Posted: 3/10/2021 11:32:55 PM
DreadVox

From: The East of Netherlands

Joined: 6/18/2019

Clara Venice has a refreshingly positive take on the Theremini in her Q&A video with Theremin Today, she explains amongst other things why it is her favorite theremin for touring and for workshops with children:

Posted: 3/11/2021 12:53:20 PM
pitts8rh

From: Minnesota USA

Joined: 11/27/2015

It pains me when I see a new member come to this forum, or any forum for that matter, excited about a new toy looking for some community interaction and immediately getting their purchase decision critiqued. 

It doesn't matter if it's an automobile, guitar, power tool, or theremin, there are always better/different decisions that could have been made, and greeting a newcomer with a list of shortcomings or scathing reviews of their purchase isn't very tactful, even if it is "just being honest".  I've never owned a Theremini but I'm pretty sure it's not worthless to all of the hundreds of people that have bought it, despite it's shortcomings or lack of "professional" street cred.  And if you can encourage the interest that a new Theremini owner has already demonstrated by taking the jump and making the purchase, it may just end up as the gateway drug that leads to the more serious theremin addiction (I say that as if it's a good thing). 

I guess I feel that it's a little nicer to give honest pre-purchase advice if asked, but if that ship has sailed then it's probably better to give encouragement now and provide guidance if and when they feel the desire to move up.  Any theremin that can capture interest and either fulfill an end purpose or lead to something better without teaching bad habits along the way is probably a good thing.  I am keenly aware of shortcomings in all of the theremins (and guitars, etc) I have owned and yet I still keep an eye on Craigslist for a good deal on a Theremini, just for fun.

Posted: 3/11/2021 2:25:37 PM
dewster

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

Sorry SadBanjo, I overreacted.  I don't believe anyone here is critiquing your Theremini purchase?

This thread really rubs some folks the wrong way, and I don't know what can be done about that after the fact.

Posted: 3/11/2021 2:58:29 PM
SadBanjo

Joined: 2/27/2021

Okay, a bit of back-story: I spent the last 23 years as the boogeyman of the five-string banjo. I am banned from any and all banjo forums. People will happily run through lists of my great sins. I get death threats.

So, when health forced me to find a new instrument I thought the theremin would be harmless.

A few days ago, I started seeing people pop up here and there. New players with Thereminis trashing the instrument quoting this thread without understanding a word of it. They might as well be reenacting the witch hunt from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. "She turned me into a newt."

If the tool I am using to work around my deafness is going to be an issue, why bother? From where I am standing now, in order to learn the Theremini nonsense is going to have to be explained away endlessly - and needlessly.

Now that this lunacy is passive-aggressively being labeled criticism, I'm just quitting the instrument altogether. As much as I love music, I can't find a place where the craft is treated as anything but a private club. I give up.

Posted: 3/11/2021 3:54:25 PM
pitts8rh

From: Minnesota USA

Joined: 11/27/2015

SadBanjo, I think you need to be aware that after you posted to introduce yourself you moved here and responded to this thread that began in 2014, and you may be directing frustration at some of the discussion history of the Theremini and not so much recent conversations.  When the Theremini was first released it was somewhat of a hot-mess that apparently was improved with firmware updates. So if you are reading the thread from the beginning you are understandably hearing a lot of criticism aimed at the initial release, some of which was generated by members that are no longer with us (in any sense of the word).

If you want to talk about the instrument or learning to play, maybe try starting your own thread and see how it goes. This forum could stand more discussion of fundamentals and learning. There isn't a lot of traffic or activity here, so I wouldn't take immediate lack of activity as a snub.    

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