Questions about my new theremin

Posted: 1/18/2007 3:03:03 PM

From: Bloomington Indiana

Joined: 11/17/2006

On Monday my Etherwave Standard came in the mail. I couldn't be happier with it. Despite the fact that I can't really "play" anything on it yet I am having an amazing time just figuring little things out and praticing scales and whatnot. That said I have a few questions:

1) Is it harmful to touch either antena, I've found that when I tap the pitch antena it makes a ver very high pitch noise and if I do that very rapidly I can make a bird noise which I think is pretty cool. Should I stop doing that?

2) When I touch the metal amp pick up it makes a neat noise which I can do some cool things with while playing. Is this harmful, should I stop?

3) When turning on/off the theremin, should I turn off the amp on/off the amp or the theremin first?

4)Are there any pratice drills I should be doing, I've already gotten into the habit of running through the scales a few times every time I start/stop there anything else that I should be doing to pratice "good technique"

5)Anything else I should know?
Posted: 1/18/2007 3:41:03 PM

From: new haven ct.

Joined: 7/8/2005

touching thye antennas doesn't do any harm. A lot of people touch their amps or have tin foil on the theremin to get that trill effect.
As far as starting off, if it works for what you want, then fine. You may want to look into getting Peter Pringles DVd to get some guidence.

Posted: 1/18/2007 4:12:34 PM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

1. Yes, stop it at once. If you keep touching it like that you'll go blind!

(Only kidding. It's a harmless practice, as vonbuck says. Incidentally if you touch the black plastic cap on the top you get a different high pitch.)

2. I noticed that too. I get a distinct pitch shift. Something to do with altering your body capacitance. Like touching the pitch rod it's kind of a free if rather limited effect.

3. I normally turn on the theremin first, then drape the audio lead over the volume loop to mute it, then turn on the amp. I turn off the amp before the theremin. (Avoiding sending spikes through the speaker.)

4. I'll leave that to someone who knows about scales and uses aerial fingering. My warm-up mostly consists of relaxing into a meditate state of mind and slowly sweeping through the pitch field whilst listening attentively to [i]calibrate my arm[/i], so to speak.

5. Lots, probably. There's some good readin' in the techniques forum.
Posted: 1/23/2007 5:01:16 AM

From: Bristol, United Kingdom

Joined: 12/30/2006

Touching the antenna causes extremely mild electric shocks for the duration of playing afterward. Mild enough that you can ignore them, but they're there.
Posted: 1/23/2007 12:25:28 PM

From: Undisclosed location without Dick Cheney

Joined: 2/21/2005

Alexander, that has never, ever happened with my Etherwave standard, and [i]thousands[/i] of people have toyed with my Etherwave, probably more than half of whom touched the antennas.

If you're getting any shocks from your instrument, you might want to call up Moog to talk to them about it, and maybe have it repaired. Shocks can be dangerous.
Posted: 1/23/2007 1:19:55 PM

From: Bristol, United Kingdom

Joined: 12/30/2006

Apparently it's pretty normal. Got the exact same thing off Jake Rothman's Elysian Theremin as well. To be honest it feels like very very very (almost unnoticeable) pins and needles. Happens more in more humid environments, too.
Posted: 1/23/2007 6:56:11 PM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Maybe I'm giving my ignorance an airing, but is this a static charge we are talking about? Charges do accumulate on capacitor plates. I believe that is kind of the point of them.

Do you wear rubber soled shoes and nylon shirts, or are you particularly sensitive to static charges - do they make your scalp go all goosefleshy?

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