The wild world of sound

Posted: 1/18/2016 7:45:46 PM

From: 60 Miles North of San Diego, CA

Joined: 10/1/2014

Hey Spud,

My most popular theremin design was an Optical-Theremin approach I began studying over 10 years ago. Then humorously I had to listen to all the digital people faking it tell me that what I was doing was not a theremin. I am still waiting for their digital results, OK we got the Theremini.

Sound Byte  I do believe I could enhance this Optical generated wave shape into that classic opera lady sound, long ago her voice was a gift to me.

I have concluded what makes something a theremin is you just have to give it that name. So let's even touch the thing as long as it captures something beautiful about the original theremin voice, no puny whistle.

With imagination and the optical sensors this could go much further than most people think.

The original Electro-Theremin sounded sweet because the vacuum tube oscillator generated even harmonics. Today my optical approach has good sound with even harmonic overtones.

I abandoned developing my webpage because I am not a musician and interest in the analog theremin has really dwindled over the years. Since cell phone popularity has increase, more people are disconnecting from reality and being absorbed into the new digital world order. They are also becoming easier targets to mug. 0-'


Posted: 1/18/2016 10:15:20 PM

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

"The original Electro-Theremin sounded sweet because the vacuum tube oscillator generated even harmonics."

If the sound source was a lab grade sine wave generator, you would have a very hard time hearing any harmonics (other than the fundamental of course).

Posted: 1/19/2016 1:14:35 PM

From: Where ever spuds are sold

Joined: 1/15/2016

I have a lot of reading ahead of me. I thought I knew how theremins work. I've realized that I've only rudimentary knowledge

Posted: 1/20/2016 1:02:46 PM

From: Canada

Joined: 8/1/2008

The tragedy of the theremin is that following the initial run of RCA’s and the demise of the vacuum tube, theremins have been built by technical people who have consistently refused to allow themselves to be guided by musicians. 


As a result, what we are seeing today is the devolution of the instrument as it increasingly becomes a toy rather than the “serious” musical instrument that Leon Theremin envisioned in the 1930’s. The most obvious example of this is the enormous popularity of the Russian doll “matryomin” which is incapable of expression, and when played by large groups has all the musical appeal of a swarm of killer bees.


Some of the responsibility for this has to do with the fact that the theremin is the most difficult instrument ever devised, requiring not only an investment of thousands of hours in order to learn it but a set of natural abilities one has to be born with (muscle memory, hand/ear coordination, a keen sense of pitch, etc.) in order to take on the challenge in the first place. Unfortunately, these are faculties with which everybody seems to believe they are endowed.


Even if you are prepared to take the plunge, and you have all the prerequisites to succeed, what have you got when you finally reach your goal? No one has ever been able to make a living from playing the theremin, and as the instrument becomes increasingly well known the “novelty factor” ain’t so “novel” anymore.


The rewards of playing the theremin are entirely personal, and anyone who wants to play professionally is going to have to find a way to subsidize their career.


Theremin builders, on the other hand, must face the reality of the fact that the market for the instrument consists primarily of people whose decision on what to buy will be guided by cost.

Posted: 1/21/2016 1:42:51 PM

From: Where ever spuds are sold

Joined: 1/15/2016

I have been severly disappointed by all martyonim performances. Without running a few filters through just leaves an underwhelming, boring conversation pieces that lives on your coffee table.

I've tempered my musician dreams down from eccentric virtuoso to releasing works of love for free or collaborating with game makers (neither of which I've done)

What I see in the theremin is the same thing I see in most nontraditional western instruments: the potential to speak with sound not entirely bogged down with familiarity. That being said, I very much expect myself to become proficient.

...just kinda overwhelmed by all of the unfamiliar jargon. Just when you thought you knew something, it all flips around.

Posted: 1/21/2016 9:23:44 PM

From: Canada

Joined: 8/1/2008

Just wanted to thank rkram for the hot tip on the ULTRAMATCH PRO SRC2496. The one I ordered arrived this morning, I plugged it in and BINGO!! Now I can use the AES outputs on my Haken Continuum. It seems like a highly versatile device.

… if I can just get him to tell me how to use the AES input to feed external sounds into the Continuum matrix I may actually have some FUN!!

Posted: 1/21/2016 10:57:40 PM

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 7/29/2014

Wonderful that it's working for you. I have not seen a better unit that does all this thing does at that price.

I will tell you how to use the inputs - Back in my continuum thread.

Stay tuned.


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