B3-based analog theremin with Visual feedback

Posted: 1/26/2014 3:33:26 PM

Joined: 10/8/2013

Hey everybody!

I've been following thereminworld for a while now, and it is time to bring my project up to discussion!

My name is Ohad, and I am an Industrial Designer from Israel.

My latest project, as you might have guessed - is a Theremin.


So I'm adding a picture of my latest design, and I would be happy to hear your comments or anything you would like to point out that could help me improve it.

Here are some specs:

as the title mentions it is based on a burns B3, and it has a visual feedback panel, that has the brain of an Arduino mega.

It is made of wood (6mm laser-cut birch, oak veneers), and some plexi.

It has been thought completely to be as transportable as possible. that's why the pitch antennae folds into the body, and the left part of the theremin slides over to increase the length between the two antennae.

Basically the Arduino will analyze the pitch in real time (I'm still developing the code - if you know similar project, please post!) and display it both in an LED ring and on a 7 segment indicator.

the antennae will be made of brass. 

Pitch - a 10mm brass pipe (that folds in to the theremin when not in use).

Volume - a 4mm thick brass plate which is on the lefthand side of the theremin.


I haven't made the "surgery" to implant the electronics into my model (which exists and is looking great by the way).

please note anything that comes to mind, I'm very "green" in theremins and I really want this project to look and sound best as possible.

I've also been having some trouble with picking up radio transmissions with the existing B3, anyone knows anything about that?

Here Are some more pictures:




Indication panel:

Indication panel

Thanks a bunch!



Posted: 1/26/2014 9:32:38 PM

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

Interesting!  I like the sliding feature!  Many may not like the volume plate, preferring a loop.  And the tuner may be too close to the pitch antenna?  (You may get some noise from the LEDs, particularly if you do PWM, I would prototype this before committing to final layout.)

Also, you don't have to use solid metal for the volume plate, thin metal or even foil stuck to the wood would likely work as well, and would reduce weight.  Any metal should work, I suppose I'd stick to non-ferrous ones.

Posted: 1/27/2014 4:27:09 PM

Joined: 10/8/2013

Thanks dewster!

I'll definately check on replacing the volume antennae with a thinner plate.

Do you think there will be a problem with the direction it's facing? (sideways and not upwards)

I would love to hear more feedback !

Posted: 1/27/2014 5:42:55 PM

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

"Do you think there will be a problem with the direction it's facing? (sideways and not upwards)"  - Ohadbas

It's a lot like the Moog Melodia.


You might come up with some way to make the tuner exist behind a solid piece of red frosted plexiglas?  That would keep you from having to do all that fancy cutout work.  My own plan is to do this by having all of the LEDs lit up, with the one indicating the pitch be dark.  That way the pattern is visible without the need to physically expose the LEDs.

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