OT: Therepings and other non conventional musical instruments.

Posted: 5/18/2006 4:22:33 PM

From: Glasgow UK

Joined: 4/10/2006

I loved the article about the thereping and I'm eyeing up my little kit pic based theremin wondering if I can reprogram it with a cool blues scale but it got me wondering if anyone in this forum had any interest or experience with other non conventional musical instruments?

Not that I'm implying there's anything unconventional about the theremin :) OH no.

But anyone else put the theremin to odd use or built any other oddball instruments?

My next project I think will be to build a Laurie Anderson inspired tape ribbon violin.. If it works out it's going to be the test bed for an audio cassette based mini mellotron (maybe even a clockwork one at that!).

I'm also toying with the idea of building a theremin controlled robot.. that plays a theremin, that controls another robot, that plays a theremin, that controls another robot, that plays......
Posted: 5/19/2006 7:56:16 AM
Charlie D

From: England

Joined: 2/28/2005

Posted: 5/19/2006 9:15:47 AM

From: Netherlands

Joined: 7/9/2005

Home of the daxophone, another non conventional instrument. And a beautiful and entertaining website too!
(Theremin relation: Rob Schwimmer owns a daxophone.)

Posted: 5/19/2006 10:38:55 AM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Beautiful, entertaining and very, very frustrating.

Ten minutes later, given up hunting, still no idea what a daxophone is.

Five seconds at wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daxophone) - aha! it's a set of miked up wooden twangulators (http://www.thereminworld.com/forum.asp?cmd=p&T=1420&F=557&p=14), without the theremin.

Posted: 6/3/2006 10:49:34 PM

From: Jax, FL

Joined: 2/14/2005

I have done two circuit bent creations.

One of them is a Kawasaki toy keyboard and the second is an electronic thing called Apple Park. It's sort of a baby toy that plays music, sings, and does animal sounds.

Both have pitch knobs. The Kawasaki has a switch that drops the pitch by anywhere from a quarter-tone to almost nothing, depending on where the pitch knob is set. It also has a glitch switch that makes a really nice and ugly distorted saw-tooth wave type of sound.

The Apple Park toy has several push buttons that make it ding with different rythyms and notes. The pitch knob can drop the animal voices down to a mosntrous growl.

For the uninitiated, circuit bending is done by simply opening up an electronic toy and connecting different contact points to see what happens. When a good sound shows up the points can be soldered together with switches, potentiometers and such.

Lots of fun if you can handle a soldering gun!
Posted: 6/12/2006 9:35:46 AM

From: Morrisville, PA

Joined: 10/19/2005

The daxophone works basically on the same principle as what a lot of us as kids used to do with wooden rulers. You'd hold one end down with your hand and extend the other end over a table ( or desk at school), then you'd pluck the loose end. The ensuing vibration would cause the ruler to "sing" a note. You could change notes, by shortening the free end and plucking again.

The daxophone was invented by guitarist Hans Reichel. The instrument is simply a foot-long piece of wood clamped to a base, with most of its length hanging over into space. The wood can then be bowed with a violin bow. In order to produce different notes, you use an object called a "Dax." It's another piece of wood, more like a small block about six inches wide, with a slight convex shape. You hold the dax against the flat anchored stick while simultaneously bowing. Pressing the dax at various locations on the stick changes the frequency of the vibration. Bowing in different locations changes the sound also.

Reichel's instruments are beautfilluy carved and polished. Very unusual looking but the aesthetic is great, particularly because the actual SOUND of the daxophone is SO UNLIKE anything you've ever heard. It has a startling human vocal quailty to it.

I've been trying, without success, for years to find out where I can purchase one. Any reference to daxophone on the web gives information on the instrument but nothing about if they're made to sell.

Anyone ever find one and purchase it? If so, where?

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