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More Talking Machine - Rob Schwimmer Plays "Lost In The Stars"

Without a doubt, the Electro-Harmonix Talking Machine would take the title of "Best Theremin Effect" for 2012 (if such a title existed).  

Here, you can hear Rob Schwimmer using the 'Machine in a performance of Kurt Weill's "Lost In The Stars".  That's not a human singing the melody; that's Rob's theremin running through the TM's vocal formant filter!  

It's uncanny how much this pedal sounds like a human voice.  Originally designed for electric guitarists, we believe Peter Pringle was the first to bring it to the attention of thereminists earlier in the year with this video he posted on YouTube.  Since then, we've seen several more thereminists experiment with them.

Some purists will argue a theremin needs no effects... that it's almost mechanical simplicity stands on its own.  For others, combining the magic of the theremin with the uncanny vocal tones this pedal can produce elevates the theremin to a whole new level.

So, which side of the fence are you on?


RSchwim 12/27/2012 4:22 PM
I'm on both sides of the fence (less painful than it sounds.) For me I like to keep it a rarity in my shows... Maybe 2 pieces a night. I don't think any of us would want to hear a whole night of it but it sure makes for a very nice and cool contrast.

Jason 12/27/2012 11:17 PM
Here's another awesome example of using effects with a theremin: In this case, I believe Jon is using some Moogerfooger pedals.
Lawrence Kaster
Lawrence Kaster 1/7/2013 3:48 AM
I've combined digital filters to produce vocal effects, but I've found the overuse of any effect becomes tiresome over time. (Yes, my apologies.) If spending a couple hundred dollars for a foot-pedal effect floats your boat, it's fine. But the music doesn't come from there.
kkissinger 1/11/2013 4:11 PM
I use effects such as delays (to accomplish live-looping) and some reverb (to compensate for "dead" acoustics in most settings). I like to vary the timbre of my theremin (with the Epro's timbre switch and tone controls) and, thus far, have worked within the instrument's capabilities and limitations.

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