Actual information on Claravox

Posted: 6/6/2021 7:17:54 PM
ContraDude

From: Basking Ridge, New Jersey, USA

Joined: 12/12/2020

So bendra, anything to report on the Claravox?

He just posted a video on facebook. I'd like to hear his impressions as to how it compares to other theremins he's played.  

Posted: 6/6/2021 10:18:59 PM
bendra

From: Portland, Oregon

Joined: 2/22/2018

So bendra, anything to report on the Claravox?He just posted a video on facebook. I'd like to hear his impressions as to how it compares to other theremins he's played.

Sure. Here is the video mentioned above: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2822680571313933/permalink/2964391650476157/

I haven't done all that much with it yet, but here are my impressions so far:

1) The pitch field tuning is extremely flexible; in addition to the expand/contract field nob there's another nob which adjusts the spacing of notes within the field. I'm still getting the hang of how to make the best use of it.

2) The volume field also has 2 knobs, which work together in ways that I don't really have down yet. But through trial-and-error I'm able to crate a VERY large expressive range for volume if I want (like about a foot, much larger than I can really use)

3) There are six presets, only two or three of which have sounds I'm likely to use musically. I haven't tried changing any of them, either with knobs or with the advanced editor. But it appears that the theremin can produce a very wide range of sounds

4) Preset #2 is my favorite, which is what I am used for the video above. Beautiful and warm.

5) Physically, it's quite a bit bigger than I was expecting. It looked so tiny next to Gregoire Blanc in all of the videos! Because of the vertical orientation of the body this means anyone on the shorter side, or who prefers to play seated, will probably not be able to use the (overpriced but pretty) claravox stand comfortably (or they will need a very tall stool). Both of those conditions apply to me. Fortunately I was able to swap it for the one I'd been using with my hobbs. It's a very nice match actually!  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Roz3Jmb74xwBDhBBTie8HCrHxQSW0sgs/view

6) Reverb is easily added through pedals or other external tools and I'm not sure I see the advantage to having it integrated into the unit (maybe there is some advantage I've not thought of)

That's about it. I expect it will be my primary instrument at least for the near future so I'll probably have more to say as time goes on. I'm also getting an expression pedal and look forward to seeing how I can leverage that

Posted: 6/7/2021 1:06:59 PM
dewster

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

Thanks bendra!

"1) The pitch field tuning is extremely flexible; in addition to the expand/contract field nob there's another nob which adjusts the spacing of notes within the field. I'm still getting the hang of how to make the best use of it."

As you know, the normal situation with Theremins is you place the null point so that the mid field is roughly linear, and the Claravox manual says the PITCH ANTENNA knob controls the null point.  With it, are you able to move the null point farther away from the antenna (thus spacing out the notes, but also making the mid-field non-linear) and then make the mid-field linear again with the RESPONSE knob?  That is, are you able to dial in a more relaxed (wider note spacing) pitch field that is still somewhat linear?  If so, that's a game changer IMO.

"6) Reverb is easily added through pedals or other external tools and I'm not sure I see the advantage to having it integrated into the unit (maybe there is some advantage I've not thought of)"

I'd rather have reverb than delay, particularly in a Theremin, and having features built-in is always preferable to outboard.  IMO!

[EDIT] bendra, what are your thoughts regarding the "Traditional" mode?  Is it maybe there mainly to please purists?  The manual says the RESPONSE knobs don't work in that mode.

Posted: 6/7/2021 2:16:30 PM
bendra

From: Portland, Oregon

Joined: 2/22/2018

Thanks bendra!"
1) The pitch field tuning is extremely flexible; in addition to the expand/contract field nob there's another nob which adjusts the spacing of notes within the field. I'm still getting the hang of how to make the best use of it."
As you know, the normal situation with Theremins is you place the null point so that the mid field is roughly linear, and the Claravox manual says the PITCH ANTENNA knob controls the null point.  With it, are you able to move the null point farther away from the antenna (thus spacing out the notes, but also making the mid-field non-linear) and then make the mid-field linear again with the RESPONSE knob?  That is, are you able to dial in a more relaxed (wider note spacing) pitch field that is still somewhat linear?  If so, that's a game changer IMO."

Yep, you've got the idea. There is also the octave switch, which can help to allow the player to use the most comfortable/stable part of the field for whatever music they are playing.

Both of these features are only available in "modern" mode.

6) Reverb is easily added through pedals or other external tools and I'm not sure I see the advantage to having it integrated into the unit (maybe there is some advantage I've not thought of)"
I'd rather have reverb than delay, particularly in a Theremin, and having features built-in is always preferable to outboard.  IMO!

Darn it, yes I meant delay. Anyway, the argument against having it onboard is that it increases the cost, complexity and size of the unit (which is already very complicated and large - it essentially contains two theremins) and an external pedal can be more easily tailored to the specific needs of a musician.

Posted: 6/7/2021 2:36:27 PM
dewster

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

"Anyway, the argument against having it onboard is that it increases the cost, complexity and size of the unit (which is already very complicated and large - it essentially contains two theremins) and an external pedal can be more easily tailored to the specific needs of a musician."  - bendra

Ah, good points!

You must be getting hit from all sides on social media! ;-)

Posted: 6/7/2021 4:27:00 PM
DreadVox

From: The East of the Netherlands

Joined: 6/18/2019

While I had rather waited until more people received a production model Claravox and some more videos would be around including a teardown, I've placed an order for one, I first contacted Wilco Botermans, but he didn't know how many units he was going to get, so there might or might not be one available through him. I had seen that Thomann lowered the price from when the ordering page came online, so pricewise it's the same, and Thomann gives a 3 year warranty to boot, so before the opportunity window closed I jumped at that. As I'm looking at it now, I'm most interested in the analog/classic part of it, and the range of timbres it has in the classic mode, but it will probably be fun to have something like a Theremini Pro, that never really came about built in as well.

Posted: 6/8/2021 4:23:05 PM
UROMASTYX

Joined: 2/24/2018

Did they include any kind of carrying case? 

Posted: 6/8/2021 4:23:06 PM
UROMASTYX

Joined: 2/24/2018

Did they include any kind of carrying case? 

Posted: 6/8/2021 5:26:25 PM
bendra

From: Portland, Oregon

Joined: 2/22/2018

Did they include any kind of carrying case?

Nope. Although the cardboard box is so nice I feel a bit bad throwing it in the recycling

Posted: 6/8/2021 9:07:09 PM
dewster

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

"Nope. Although the cardboard box is so nice I feel a bit bad throwing it in the recycling"  - bendra

Stick it up in the attic (ours is full of this sort of kindling).  It's a selling point if you end up selling it, used stuff in the original containers somehow doesn't seem quite so used.  And that packing can come in handy if/when you move, as it's designed for gorillas to toss around.  And it's rather historic.

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