Record theremin on iPod?

Posted: 5/15/2006 3:45:37 PM

From: Glasgow UK

Joined: 4/10/2006

Record theremin on (3G) iPod?

So I've built my theremin and am trying to put in a little practice each day.. At this point it'd be nice to record some of the results so I can chart my progress. OK I could use an old tape machine or something but where's the fun in that. I want to do some techno-mismatching.

the iPod's not doing much right now..

Anyone tried music mastering on an i-pod? I'd love to hear how it went.

Now I know some of you are thinking you can't record on an ipod or you can but only at a low bit rate through a rubbish microphone but as some of you may be aware iPod has undocumented line in pins on its connector and if you hack the OS and install linux you can record up to 96kHHz (not 8 like you officially get).

You also have mic input through the headphone jack but that's probably not the way to go.

I've just ordered myself a couple of ipod port connectors and I'll put full instructions on how to go about it on my web site if it works and if there's any interest but just to start off, Has anyone already given this a go and have any tips to share?
Posted: 5/19/2006 4:28:20 PM

From: Glasgow UK

Joined: 4/10/2006

A little update.
So I built a lead with audio line out and audio line in.
Some observations.

There's no signal on line out when you play into line in so if you want to hear what you're recording you have to split the audio signal before the ipod.

There's no indication of recording level so you've got to use a lot of guesswork and experimentation to get the rec. volume right.

Recording in stereo at 96kHz and 88kHz caused jarring gaps in the recording.. I suspect the hardware of the 3Gi-pod isn't up to the job of recording at those speeds. At 44kHz it appears usable.
It's a shame I can't figure out a way to record in mono as I guess that'd get the rate up.

Next I'm going to try and lash up a quick way of hearing what I'm recording so I can grab a little theremin playing into the thing (not that I'd call the sounds I can make with the theremin anything even remotely like music yet).

Posted: 5/20/2006 5:05:04 PM

From: Glasgow UK

Joined: 4/10/2006

hmm. well that didn't go as well as I'd hoped.
The home brew recording software on the ipod appears to still be a bit buggy. I managed to record some good sound but every so often it'd start to flake out, rendering it useless realy. But of a shame that as what worked does sound ok. Here's a little bit of my recording. please don't laugh at my playing.. I've only had the theremin working for a week or 2.

Hurt My Ears SOME MORE why don't you? (

Actually - go ahead.. laugh all you like :)

I think I'm going to have to put this idea on the back burner for a bit and try something else.. like a minidisk player/recorder?

If the linux for ipod people revisit the recording code it may be worth checking out some more.


to add:
I just read that the mic input is mono. I'm thinking of trying to connect the theremin there through one of these circuits:

not sure which would be best though.
Posted: 5/20/2006 7:05:29 PM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

I'll maim that tune in one!

Was it the Star Trek theme?

Do I get a prize?
Posted: 5/20/2006 7:48:51 PM

From: Glasgow UK

Joined: 4/10/2006

Your reward is you don't have to listen to it again :)

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