Remember the Analog Theremin?

Posted: 9/21/2019 2:59:29 AM
oldtemecula

From: 60 Miles North of San Diego, CA

Joined: 10/1/2014


This is a two weekend build from a one click Mouser Parts List $100. No add-on effects, not even reverb, just plain old solid-state theremin principles.

The ideal theremin sound comes from the simple theremin circuit design, you will never add it in later, (pedals) ...then you can only shape what you hear.

There is a full range timbre control from voice, mello cello to edgy violin as you hear.


Performance by Valery S of St. Petersburg Russia

The Swan is the ideal song to play to capture the many characteristics of theremin play that are subtle, revealing what makes it a unique instrument. The best I can describe it, it allows the artist’s expression to have fluid articulation.  Use The Swan when comparing models.

Listening to the TW board the past month, it demonstrates what happens when some listen to music that must have been too loud for too long and it damage their hearing so now everything sounds good.

I need to post my link or google buries my web page under all the want to be theremin stuff.


She gets my attention!

Christopher
www.Hwy79.com

Posted: 9/21/2019 1:53:45 PM
bendra

From: Portland, Oregon

Joined: 2/22/2018

Sorry if you don't like my vids. Your theremin sounds great, if I had the skills and time I'd try to.build one.

We all have to do our best with the the tools and skills we have, no?

Posted: 9/21/2019 5:34:57 PM
oldtemecula

From: 60 Miles North of San Diego, CA

Joined: 10/1/2014


Bendra, I enjoy your experiments as I was never able to play the darn thing. My post was to remind people of what could be. Darkness swooped over Theremin World a few years ago and I still wait to see if it reveals anything of value.

I created my own EtherWave Standard mod to give the box a better vocal range and it never caught on and then again who is going to damage their EWS for better sound?

Half way into this sound byte I flip a switch to kick in electronic enhancing so you hear the $1 audio transformer natural effect.

 A page of frustration: Forgotten Acoustics  I still think something of value could be found in mechanical acoustics.


Other than that one Thereminist who is really good using his $5000 sound processor, when I hear the other Masters play, their sound lacks the fullness of what the theremin could express which is more than an enhanced whistle.


Christopher
Hwy79.com

Posted: 9/21/2019 11:32:48 PM
DreadVox

From: The East of Netherlands

Joined: 6/18/2019

Hi Christopher,

the sound of your Phoenix design theremin is indeed very very lovely. I hope to have a chance sometime to play one of those myself.
The tone colour/timbes range of the Etherwave is quite ok, although I do send it through pre-amp/attenuator, multi-Fx modeling pedal, also emulating tube amps (and containing an actual pre-amp tube that emulates a tube amp's power stage), and usually one or two low-wattage tube amps one of them with a very old (1940s/1950s) loudspeaker cabinet (probably was a radio extention speaker). Those all subtlely interact and colour/equalize/mould the tone and help to shape the final voice that will be heard in the air.

Sometimes I put one or two of those plastic, usually in neon colours, toy 'microphones' that contain a spring to have e reverb effect close to or on top of the speaker for an extra mechanical/acoustical reverb. I used to use such a toy acoustical reverb microphone already sometimes when playing instruments like bamboo flute or Dan Moi mouthharps and doing overtone singing.

I'm still kind of testing with how to best set up things for live performances/concerts, in terms of what boxes/pedals to use, what to send to the main mixer, to rely on the available (floor) monitors and PA system only or to bring my own amp/speaker to set up for hearing my own theremin sound accurately enough to help with good ear-hand coordination and of course improvisation themes/frameworks/moods/styles to play with. I've been making some preliminary appointments for a venue/place where I can do a few perfomances meant to try out things and help it find its form(s) until the end of 2019 and by then I hope to be able to take it up a notch, and also hope to have made the social networking connections to be able to get some gigs in 2020 and onwards.
Still have to try out a bit if the Loop Station has a place in it, or if that will mainly be kept for the home studio and my weekly webradio and SecondLife shows.  

It'll probably have theremin and a percussion / handpan player as basis with room for occasional guest musicians joining in as well.
 
  That's the plan/aim at least. I hope to some extent to be able to do for the theremin what I did 30-40 about years ago for the didgeridoo in the Netherlands and Europe, which was virtually an unknown musical instrument at the point in time I started playing it, after first after having heard it on the radio a few years earlier, but no other information than it being music from the Aboriginals from North Australia, and finally in the Australian Gift Shop in London, in the storage cellar, finding out how it looked and what was the sound producing principle of it (the one they had there was cracked, but I then knew I could start with a suitably sized hollow bamboo stem or some hollow tube, PVC or thick cardboard).

By then Lights in a Fat City emerged from London/UK and put out the first European album featuring the didgeridoo prominently, and some later Yothu Yindi scored their international hit with "Treaty" and did several world tours. I've been doing performances/gigs/jams/recordings/workshops/teaching with it over the years and contributed some to now most people are somewhat familiar with it, and new generations of European players have developed sever new and distinct and somewhat country specific playing styles by now, it prettywonderfull into which it has grown/flowered.
Robert

Posted: 9/22/2019 6:56:35 PM
oldtemecula

From: 60 Miles North of San Diego, CA

Joined: 10/1/2014


Hello DreadVox and Everyone,

For me theremin designers can also be divided into two groups. Those that built a crystal radio in their early years and those that made a 555 oscillate and now think they’re all knowledgeable in making a theremin.

In the many Pitch Fields I experimented with, sometimes the field was not fluid, rather stiff which made for horrible playing and my best guess this feel is caused by the slightest amount of latency in the response.

Here is the best of a 555 Optical Theremin with no latency. This can be built for about $25 from a one click Mouser parts list. This blows most theremins away except my Phoenix. This can be Pitch/ Volume or Pitch with Vibrato Control.

For those that see a Tannerin in the design, Brian Wilson and Paul Tanner were my early influences and Paul my neighbor until he passed in 2013.

Christopher
Hwy79.com

Posted: 9/22/2019 9:10:49 PM
DreadVox

From: The East of Netherlands

Joined: 6/18/2019

Yeah, I'm still from the generation that built a germanium diode crystal radio and an optical theremin with an LDR (also made a primitive keyboard for it with nails, trimpots and scraps from a tin can) in my young years.

Posted: 9/25/2019 8:21:29 PM
oldtemecula

From: 60 Miles North of San Diego, CA

Joined: 10/1/2014

I remember when first learning about theremin behavior, I found threads at TW that seem to go nowhere year after year, technical gibberish, then when they did produce sound cause you waited long enough it seemed budget, toy or gimmick like? That is when you find out everyone's an expert.

Heterodyning will get you a cheap whistle but I will sell you a theremin soul for $1000, you need this, it is much better than that popular bass mod and this latest model has an "enhanced" specially wound coil. Some people put St Christopher on their automobile dashboard, others would for sure buy this if draping it across an EWS box got you the same volume and pitch response with the sound of the Christopher's Phoenix up above. The theremin is about very simple electronics from 100 yrs ago, why many do not succeed at building and then others have some need to make it more complicated than it is looking for her secrets in darkness.


In the Top of page photo the girl with her arms up is in the process of capturing the theremin soul.


Christopher

Posted: 9/26/2019 2:32:39 PM
bendra

From: Portland, Oregon

Joined: 2/22/2018

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