Gift from the Three Kings

Posted: 1/6/2011 6:15:38 AM

From: A Coruña, Spain

Joined: 9/26/2010

The night of the 5th of January is a special night in Spain: the Three Kings of the East that were said to give gifts to baby Christ come and leave presents for young and old, just like Santa Claus does in other countries.

This year it seems that I have been good, and they have brought me a Moog Etherwave Plus! :)

I have been trying it and I have found it easier than I thought to adapt to its field, being used to a B3 theremin. Of course at the moment I make many more mistakes than on the B3 since I have to adapt, but the hand positions that I was using in the B3 seem to be basically valid for the EPlus in the middle of the range, if I tune it right and sit at the right distance from it - the differences seem to be more accused in the non-linear parts at the edges of the range, where each of these two theremins behaves rather differently.

I'm enjoying a lot the waveform and brightness controls in the EPlus, they give a lot of variety to the sounds that can be produced, including sounds that are similar to string and wind instruments which is interesting for some pieces.

All these things will be obvious for most of you so sorry for boring you, but I'm really excited with this theremin and I had to share my impressions with people who would understand :)

By the way, something that was unexpected to me was that my EPlus does not make any sound when one walks away from it. I have read in several places on the Internet that the Etherwaves' pitch field goes down to zero beat (no sound) and then makes sound and goes up again in reverse if you keep moving your arm/body away from the pitch antenna beyond zero beat. My EPlus doesn't do the latter, is this normal? Maybe a change introduced with the EPlus with respect to the standard, or perhaps it could be related to playing it on a table rather than on a mic stand?
Posted: 1/6/2011 12:32:40 PM

From: Colmar, France

Joined: 12/31/2007

Your Etherwave Plus may behave differently in different capacitive environments, so it may have a negative beat zone when you put it in another place.
The same may appear with an "old" Etherwave Standard, which may have a negative zone in one place and none in another place or at another temperature or with a slightly different tuning since the player was standing nearer to the instrument and had a big keychain in his pocket...

There are so many factors which decide over the tenths of picofarads that you can't find general rules. The oscillator/mixer circuits of the Etherwave Standard and Plus are identical and have seen only a slight modification in the last 5 years when Moog changed the supplier of the variable inductors. But the effects which you describe existed before, after, and will still exist as long as theremins with conventional oscillators/mixers are produced.

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