Etherwave or Harrison - which to buy ?

Posted: 7/26/2017 8:30:37 PM
JPascal

From: Berlin Germany

Joined: 4/27/2016

 "You are the most important part of the instrument and you are not linear." - rupertchapelle

That's right. So you can take a banana as pitch and get linearity. :-)

 

Posted: 7/26/2017 10:02:54 PM
rupertchappelle

Joined: 5/8/2017

so the plate antenna is non traditional . . . . 

would not a linear pitch field also be non traditional . . .

but the linear pitch field makes playing the theremin easier . . .

but the plate antenna makes playing the theremin easier . . .

now who took my banana?


Posted: 7/27/2017 3:23:42 AM
dewster

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

"so the plate antenna is non traditional . . ."

True.

"would not a linear pitch field also be non traditional . . ."

A linearized pitch field is quite traditional, you find it in Theremin's originals, and Bob Moog's creations.

"but the linear pitch field makes playing the theremin easier . . ."

It does, actually, hence the effort to linearize the playing field by the great designers.  I would say it's pretty much the #1 goal.

"but the plate antenna makes playing the theremin easier . . ."

This is certainly open to debate.  You claim plates are easier, all I know is long rods are used mainly for heterodyned linearity.

 

Posted: 7/27/2017 7:21:33 AM
rupertchappelle

Joined: 5/8/2017

I played the Etherwave for just over ten years, I would not consider it to be linear at all. Having played an RCA I have no interest in them whatsoever as they are not easy to play unless you are talking a two octave range.

A capacitor in an electronic circuit is traditionally plates or rolled up flat surfaces, not rods or poles. The choice of the antenna versus the plate was a marketing and aesthetic decision - radio is sexier than capacitors.

Until you are familiar with both kinds of theremins opinions carry little weight.

There is no debate - any lateral deviation of your hand with a pole antenna deviates the pitch significantly. With plates this is not the case - you have to work to lose the pitch. This is demonstrable. Plate antennas are more sensitive to proximity, which is what you want.

Which is why Moog chose to make the Theremini easier to play by using digital pitch correction. So how come violins don't have pitch correction?

The length of the rod adjusts the pitch range - nothing to do with with heterodyning except to control the pitch of one of the oscillators - I used four different kinds of antennas with the Etherwave - the spring was instantly adjustable.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heterodyne

Refer to the section on musical synthesis - the antennas act as capacitor PLATES.

Posted: 7/27/2017 2:53:13 PM
dewster

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

"I played the Etherwave for just over ten years, I would not consider it to be linear at all."

Perhaps it was mistuned?

"Having played an RCA I have no interest in them whatsoever as they are not easy to play unless you are talking a two octave range."

Perhaps it was mistuned?

"The choice of the antenna versus the plate was a marketing and aesthetic decision - radio is sexier than capacitors."

A high aspect ratio for the antenna reduces near-field mutual capacitance geometrically, which helps linearize it.  Theremin was an excellent and observant engineer and knew what he was doing here - I doubt he ever chose form over function.

"So how come violins don't have pitch correction?"

You mean frets?  I suppose because glissando playing is valued over exact pitch?

"Refer to the section on musical synthesis - the antennas act as capacitor PLATES."

I've studied the capacitance of Theremins for years, both in simulation and via physical experiments, so I do understand it. Separated conductors of any shape have intrinsic and mutual capacitance, different shapes work somewhat better for different types of Theremins.

 

Posted: 7/27/2017 3:29:31 PM
rupertchappelle

Joined: 5/8/2017

My etherwave performs as any other etherwave - at least as of 2009.

There is and was nothing wrong with it.

Calibration - internal trim pot and the pitch knob - hardly a complex operation. The trim pot is rather tedious.

The RCA I played was also in good working order.


I would suggest you buy a Model 302 and stop trying to figure out a better way, Harrison already did that. I also don't have to open up my theremin to calibrate it - the pitch knob does it just fine.

"A high aspect ratio for the antenna reduces near-field mutual capacitance geometrically, which helps linearize it."

Oy Veh!

Posted: 7/27/2017 4:16:05 PM
dewster

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

"Calibration - internal trim pot and the pitch knob - hardly a complex operation. The trim pot is rather tedious."

It's not a pot, it's a variable inductor, and there are two of them for the pitch side.  I find calibrating the EW fairly tedious too.

"I would suggest you buy a Model 302 and stop trying to figure out a better way, Harrison already did that."

Thanks for the suggestion, but all analog Theremins offer more of a compromise than I'm willing to tolerate.  If carefully designed, digital approaches are more stable, linear, and amenable to further enhancement (mains hum filtering, adaptive filtering, pitch correction, DSP voices, etc.).  I have a thread on it here at TW.

Posted: 7/27/2017 6:01:09 PM
rupertchappelle

Joined: 5/8/2017

It sounds all so non-traditional, i prefer the theremin to a synth or computer controlled by a theremin circuit.

If these new circuits are really linear, does anyone put a paper sheet with a picture of a keyboard to guide where they place their fingers when they are playing, or do they just stare at their hands and do the calculations in their heads?

If you really want perfect pitch, why not just use a keyboard.

The Korg Monologues will do what you want and it is less than 300 bucks plus you can customize the scale. You could hook a Roli or a ribbon controller up to it. It also can do a fair job of faking a theremin.


Posted: 7/27/2017 8:48:45 PM
oldtemecula

From: 60 Miles North of San Diego, CA

Joined: 10/1/2014

I do not want to interfere with the intellectual exchange of ideas on this thread.

Rupert said: "If these new circuits are really linear, does anyone put a paper sheet with a picture of a keyboard to guide where they place their fingers"

My early theremin designs, tube and solid state were all perfectly linear outside of 1" of the pitch antenna and that was 15 years ago. Then I discovered how the original authentic theremin sound came about. I give all my PCB's away at no cost and found most people are mostly interested in building Moog, cheap or generating a whistle sound, then they enhance their noise with reverb or with add-ons.

My method for linearity would allow for five octaves, there is no almost linear, it shows up or it does not. Interesting phenomena.

The PCB is mounted under the glass dolphin.

Christopher

Posted: 7/27/2017 9:42:38 PM
dewster

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

"If these new circuits are really linear, does anyone put a paper sheet with a picture of a keyboard to guide where they place their fingers when they are playing, or do they just stare at their hands and do the calculations in their heads?"

Many Thereminists use hand and finger gestures to play various intervals.  Linearity of the pitch field allows them to use the same gestures anywhere in the field and get the same result.  They don't have to stare at their hands to make them work.

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