New To Theremins, Issue With Sound

Posted: 2/25/2015 9:57:20 PM

Joined: 2/25/2015

Hello all,

I recently purchased a Moog Etherweave Theremin to learn to play on. I have it hooked up to a Behringer 15W Keyboard Amp as I saw suggested in other forums. 

I must have missed something in the setup because it's making a strange noise. It's hard to describe, but it would be best described as a whining sound similar to what it sounds like when a DJ 'scratches the record' so to speak. Or sort of like a zipper sound. If nobody can understand what I'm talking about I can attempt to record the sound but I'm hoping someone here knows what is causing it and what I'm doing wrong.

At the moment it is not producing any sound that could conceivably be considered music. Lol.


Thank you very much in advance,


Posted: 2/25/2015 10:36:45 PM

From: 60 Miles North of San Diego, CA

Joined: 10/1/2014

Hello Ken,

"At the moment it is not producing any sound that could conceivably be considered music. Lol."

Its all in the fingers, but I am working on that aspect of the EWS.

It has been so quiet around here and most of us are so old I figured everyone died?

A recording of your sound will reveal all and also indicating which country you are in will tell what wall-wart power requirements are used.

When it comes to strange noises my first area to explore is your connection to earth ground and ground loop hum. A zipper sound is something I got to hear. lol


Posted: 2/25/2015 10:54:34 PM

Joined: 2/25/2015

Hello Christopher,

First of all, thank you for your response, I really appreciate it. :)


This is the best recording I could get for the sound. You'll probabyl find my explanation was just very poor and you won't hear anything new, lol:


I am a US resident using a 3-prong 120v home outlet. I'm not entirely sure it is a grounded outlet though. I don't entirely understand the whole grounding issue that I read about in my manual.


Thank you,


Posted: 2/26/2015 1:58:53 AM

From: 60 Miles North of San Diego, CA

Joined: 10/1/2014

Hello Ken,

Your in the states, not where they drive on the wrong side of the road, that helps.

If you bought this New get Moog involved to resolve the issue. They can be helpful.

I brought the level of your sound up a bit, is this what you hear while trying to play it normally or is your sound always too quiet?  Your Sound Byte

In your sample I see the volume has good control but so far I am baffled why a EWS would sound like this. My first guess is the volume tuning has the sound somewhat muted.

Are you on a mic stand, is your volume loop clear of objects like the table top?

It reminded me of this old sample of mine that mimics a beached whale.

This issue has nothing to do with grounding.

We are going to need one of the sharper minds around here to chime in. My mind is sharp as a marble.

Thierry - Christopher - ??? - dewster


Posted: 2/26/2015 1:42:58 PM

From: Colmar, France

Joined: 12/31/2007

I'd need to know the exact type or model number of the so-called 15W Behringer Keyboard amp. Normally it should be the Behringer Ultratone KT108.

What I hear from the sound sample, is a muffled sound but basically the sound of an Etherwave. All theremins sound a bit annoying as long as the player has not learned to shape the tone in an expressive manner. What you could check is the following:

- Turn the Waveform knob of the Theremin to 11 o'clock.
- Turn the Brightness knob of the Theremin to 3 o'clock.
- Set the Volume tuning knob of the Theremin to its center position (12 o'clock).

- Turn the EQ knobs (Low, Mid, High) of your Behringer KT108 to 5 (center position).
- Turn the Instr x Knob (x corresponding to the used input) to obtain a convenient volume.

Now try to play long, steady tones in the upper mid register and modulate them slowly with the left hand. That should ressemble to a bowed violin. If not, please make another recording with these settings and post it here.

Posted: 2/26/2015 9:27:51 PM

Joined: 2/25/2015

Hello Thierry,


Thank you for your response. The Amp is indeed the 15W Behringer Ultratone KT108. I will make a new recording with a better recording device and post it the next time I get a chance. If it is a simple matter of my lack of experience that would be a huge relief. :)


Thank you again,


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