Roll Call 2015

Posted: 4/5/2015 2:10:57 AM

From: Kansas

Joined: 4/3/2015

Just wanted to add how I got interested in theremins.

When I watched Peter Pringle play "Somewhere, Over the Rainbow", I was "hooked"!

Also watching Thomas Grillo playing Burns B3-deluxe, I decided that might be a good place to start.


Posted: 4/27/2015 7:32:18 PM

From: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Joined: 4/24/2015

Hello there!

I just joined TW this weekend, and have been lurking around reading through the forums about schematics and trying to get a sense of what I'm getting into and who you all are... Before I start posting my questions in the forums, I guess I'll introduce myself here on the roll call.

I'm an artist about to embark on a rather ambitious project of buiding 13 theremins, that I will run through a pitch to midi converter into a Max MSP patch to trigger audio recordings that I made by placing home made contact microphones onto shortwave radio towers.  The project is called Requiem for Radio, and it's about the demolition of the Radio Canada International shortwave radio site (the site was torn down last year).  There were 13 radio towers on that site, and I recorded the sounds of each one of them, so I plan to build 13 theremins, 1 for each of the towers, and I will set them up as a scale model, with their distances from one another, and antenna heights relative to the towers they represent.  The finished project will have two incarnations: 1. as an art gallery installation where the public can enter and play the ghosts of the radio towers with radio waves, and 2. as a performance where the theremin / towers are played by dancers.

I have never built my own theremin before.  Well, I've built optical theremins on a bread board, but that doesn't count.  Aside from a few basic electronics workshops, I am mostly self taught, but am pretty handy with a soldering iron.

I don't play the theremin yet either.  I'm not sure if I want the theremins I build to even make sound, since I am only using them as controllers. but still, if I am building 13 of them, I figure I should learn how to play. 

However, since I'm building 13 of them, I want to do it well, and I want to really understand every aspect of them and how they work.

-- Currently I am borrowing a Theremax 9505 from a friend.  But I'm ready to start building now.
-- I plan to buy one Etherwave Plus kit to get started... so that I have a solid pro instrument for learning to play.
-- Then I plan to buy a PAiA kit, so that I can build an entire circuit board from scratch and get more comfortable with the electronics.

-- I'm also working on a super simple one this week, based on the schematic I found in this youtube video.
Essentially, I want to find the most stripped down schematic possible... so that I can wrap my head around how it actually works on the most basic electronic level.

--I also found the schematic for the Thierrymin in the forums here (Thanks Thierry!)... I will build one of those as well...
I figure that after building an Etherwave, a Theremax, that super simple polish one from the youtube video, and the Thierrymin... I should then *hopefully* have a relatively solid understanding of what's going on in the circuits. *hopefully*.

yup.  so that's me, and that's what I'm working on. :-)

happy to be here and to meet you all. 

(oh, and I'm on the east coast of Canada... Moncton, NB...  - it is snowing here! on april 27th! ?!?!)





Posted: 5/12/2015 9:20:31 PM

From: Kansas

Joined: 4/3/2015

As a newcomer to the theremin, the topic most helpful to me at this beginning stage is "Aerial Fingering". 

Thanks, Kevin, for starting this topic and encouraging it along.  There doesn't seem to be much activity there lately, but the help provided in that thread has encouraged me to explore various fingering approaches to find one that works for me.

If you are new to the theremin, don't miss the Aerial Fingering topic.  In my opinion, fingering is one of the areas where we can start some bad habits that may hinder progress. 


Posted: 5/16/2015 9:12:34 PM

From: Bristol, United Kingdon

Joined: 5/8/2015

Greetings and warm ones at that!

My name is Gremlin, I'm from Bristol in the United Kingdom!

Not a theremin owner just now, but in coming weeks, I will be changing that with the addition of an Etherwave. I have wanted one ever since I was a wee 'un, and am thoroughly excited!

My biggest influences are Post Rock bands, like GY!BE and old school Zappa/Beefheart!


My goal is to eventually take it Busking and try to inspire people as I was inspired as a youth!

Posted: 7/3/2015 5:32:50 PM

From: Kansas

Joined: 4/3/2015

One of the suggestions for beginners I have seen:

Record and listen to your playing.

Question: Will I get in trouble plugging the output of my B3 Deluxe into the microphone input of my computer?

I have recorded using a microphone, but someone suggested I plug the theremin into the audio mic input directly.  Is there a danger of causing a problem for the B3?


Posted: 7/4/2015 2:43:47 AM

From: 60 Miles North of San Diego, CA

Joined: 10/1/2014

Hello my friend Lyle,

Using a mic has the advantage of developing the theremin sound acoustically which can be better. Plugging in direct you might need to use an attenuator to get the best level for recording. Earth ground would need to come through the sound card sleeve on the jack. The theremin presents a lot of trial and error which makes it fun!


Posted: 7/4/2015 3:05:54 AM

From: Kansas

Joined: 4/3/2015

Thanks, Christopher.

I will probably avoid the direct connection of B3 to computer.

I may be on shaky ground for ESD since my house wiring is ungrounded.  Dan Burns told me the B3 deluxe is pretty well protected from electrostatic discharge, but I don't like to try things that might cause a problem.


Posted: 7/12/2015 2:26:13 AM
John Gribble

Joined: 7/12/2015

At 68, I'm a junior-grade geezer, not yet retired, but slowing down. I studied music and music therapy formally. I also have degrees in English, including a MFA in writing. I taught guitar and related instruments, and worked in music retailing in Southern California for 25 years. My main instrument for the last few years has been fretless clawhammer banjo. I am also a writer, a publishing poet and translator.


I have lived in Japan with my wife Miwako since 1993, where I teach English and related subjects, mostly at the university level. I also help organize a couple writers groups and the annual Japan Writers Conference. 


I have been fascinated by the theremin and its playing technique since I was but a lad, when I  saw it on the 1950s TV show "You Asked For It."  As electronic instruments became more common in the 60s and 70s, I was interested but didn't have the money nor the technical leanings to get involved. Nor did I care for much of the music I heard. 


A couple years ago a friend gave me a copy of "Clara Rockmore's Lost Theremin Album."  I figured this was just a "Barking Dogs"-type novelty album and set it aside. But when I finally did put it on, I was amazed by the woman's artistry. I listen to it often, not because it is a theremin album, but because it is a wonderful music performance. It led me to pick and read the Glinsky biography of Theremin. And after another listen a couple weeks ago, I decided to go online and find out what’s happening in the theremin world these days. That’s how I found Theremin World and through it Burns Theremins. After Kathy Burns patiently answered my several nervous questions, I ordered my first instrument last week. It is supposed to be delivered today between noon and 2:00. It is now 11:11. I’m excited. 

Posted: 7/12/2015 3:09:07 PM

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 7/29/2014

Welcome and Good luck! It's been the most enjoyable musical adventure of my life.

Any "fretless" musician should have a pitch sense that translates well for theremin playing.

Hope you like it.

Posted: 7/12/2015 7:40:17 PM

From: Cleveland, Ohio

Joined: 12/21/2014


Welcome!  You and I should definitely compare notes -- I am about to start a music therapy training program, and my son is going to Japan for a year in Sept. on a college exchange program (he's also a musician, writer, and artist...)  PM me so we can connect.


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