Etherwave Pro arrives!!!!!!!

Posted: 6/1/2006 2:58:18 PM
lifeinbalance

From: Pittsburgh, PA

Joined: 5/27/2006

Yipeee!!!
My Ewave Pro arrived in the mail (ordered from americanmusical.com).
So far I truly like the instrument soon I will Love it, but first we need to get to know each other a little better.

First thing I did was to plug it into my rig -Power book running Ableton Live- I called up some nice reverb and delay rooms added a touch of phase and the beauty flowed from my finger tips.
next I routed the CV out's into my voyager - this is the big moment of truth as I brought the E-pro to be used as a controller for the Moog synth.
With a deep breath a put my fingers into the playing field and plucked some fat analog synth sounds from the air.
nice ....
On to day two.
BTW I don't find the theremin all that difficult to play - a challenge yes, I believe all my years of Shakuhachi playing helps.
Steve
http://www.lifeinbalancemusic.com
Posted: 6/2/2006 8:59:16 AM
DiggyDog

From: Jax, FL

Joined: 2/14/2005

You always hear that it is "the most difficult instrument in the world to play".

I don't really subscribe to this point of view.

It is hard to be spot-on the pitch sometimes but it is easy to pluck a simple melody out of the air. (That's what vibrato is for...)

Anyway, I am glad you like it so far.



Posted: 6/2/2006 10:37:13 AM
kkissinger

From: Kansas City, Mo.

Joined: 8/23/2005

Good to hear that your are enjoying your Epro already and that it is working nicely with your Voyager.

The other day, a friend and I were discussing the issue of the Theremin's alledged difficulty and when the issue comes up I'm never quite sure how to approach it.

I don't think the Theremin is particularly difficult. However to play the Theremin to a given level requires the same dedication as any other instrument.

The ultimate challenge for any musical instrument or voice is to reach beyond the notes and speak the [i]universal language[/i] of music. Artistic decisions include: how does one make a passage sound smooth as opposed to individual notes, where are the climactic passages of the music and how does one express them effectively, what tempo works best, and so on. Other questions an artist may ask include: "Is this performance bridging the gap between what is in the composer's (or one's own) head and what the audience is hearing?"

Playing notes is one thing. Creating art is another. The pursuit of art may or may not be technically difficult, however the decisions along the way can be gruelling.

Simple and tranquil music that sounds very peaceful, natural, and spontaneous is often what is left after many false starts and abandoned experiments.

To return to the original topic: "Is the Theremin difficult" I would answer that, like any worthwhile endeavor, it has its moments. :)
Posted: 6/3/2006 10:09:18 PM
DiggyDog

From: Jax, FL

Joined: 2/14/2005

I am a bit jealous of you folks who have made the leap to the E-Pro.

Mine just got set back a little.

I have been saving up gig money and spare change for several months now but I recently splurged on a much-needed amp and today I picked up an Ipod Nano for Mrs. Diggy's birthday.

Hopefully, she doesn't come here anymore. She actually registered when Jason was giving away the Ipod but she finds theremins about as interesting as dirt so I think I am safe.

Anyway, if any of you ever want to part with your Etherwave Pro I should have enough lettuce stashed away in about 3-7 years...

Posted: 6/9/2006 9:15:44 PM
Jason

From: Sammamish, Washington

Joined: 2/13/2005

HA! I got my wife a Nano for Mother's Day. She too thinks theremins are, well... less than interesting. But it's her loss, I figure :)

I too am envious of anyone with an Etherwave Pro. It's a fantastic instrument! I'm even more envious of people who actually have time to play!!
Posted: 6/9/2006 9:58:16 PM
Jeff S

From: N.E. Ohio

Joined: 2/14/2005

Jason! You have a Moog Ethervox, for cryin' out loud. There are E-Pro owners who are jealous of YOU.
Posted: 6/10/2006 6:23:11 AM
Charlie D

From: England

Joined: 2/28/2005

"I don't think the Theremin is particularly difficult. However to play the Theremin to a given level requires the same dedication as any other instrument."

My personal opinion is that the theremin seems to be one of the easiest instruments to pick up and play badly, but is perhaps the most difficult on the planet to become anywhere near proficient at.

I would argue that to play the theremin to a level which makes it even remotely comparable aesthetically to, say, a well-played violin or piano is superhuman. To play notes on key consistently is nigh impossible - sure, Clara Rockmore was able to do it fantastically for all but the fastest passages of music, but to my mind she is about twenty times better than any thereminist alive today, and she was also incredibly musical. Surely the fact that a child-prodigy concert violinist was able to play a handful of slow violin, cello and vocal pieces where so many others fail demonstrates how difficult this instrument really is? To say that the theremin is not particularly difficult when for the majority, only the simplest of music can be played on it with any degree of accuracy seems to me a rather bold statement. Heh.

Perhaps it is the easiest of all instruments to pick up, but it certainly seems significantly harder to play things flawlessly on the theremin than the piano or violin.
Posted: 6/28/2006 5:22:21 PM
marxc2001

From: UK

Joined: 5/16/2006

Congratulations on the EPro! I personally have too few funds to get one, but the sounds I've heard are very nice.

Interesting point Charlie, but it's a little too general, I feel. True, the Theremin is certainly one of the most difficult instruments to play, however, playing it well and in tune isn't too bad if you practise, and have good relative pitch (abosolute pitch, which I haven't got but Clara Rockmore had, would definitely be an advantage). Playing with an accompanist makes the process much easier, I have found, as you have a solid point of reference to constantly compare yourself to. As long as you have practised, any adjustments will only have to be minor. What you say about playing every note in tune is very true, but it is just as impossible to play every note in tune on a violin, viola, cello or double bass. Even Maxim Vengarov plays wrong notes! (heard one myself!)

Here is what I have found so far in my Theremin practise: one of the things that makes the theremin different from a violin etc. from a technical perspective, is that as your environment changes, so does the field around the pitch ariel (the volume is affected also, but I have found it not to be such a major difference). Wheras a violin doesn't have frets - it doesn't NEED them in the way that a guitar does (this has been proven to me by a violin-maker) - you know that if you put your finger 'there', and put another one a certain distance away, you will get a certain tonal change that is static (even high humidity will not have a large effect, as long as your string is still tuned to compensate). Due to the change in the pitch ariel I have found that movements can become finer or wider depending on your environment. I know, you can 'tune' the ariel, but getting it back to 'exactly' where it was before when you were practising is nigh-on impossible in itself. This is, for me certainly, the largest hurdle in 'playing' the theremin.

Just a few thoughts - I'm still a 'neophyte' thereminist, but practise makes perfect!

(however, an old tutor of mine used to say 'the more you practise, the more you need to practise...')

Have fun. ;-)

Mark.
Posted: 6/30/2006 3:17:05 PM
schielenkrahe

From: Morrisville, PA

Joined: 10/19/2005

To DiggyDog and anyone else who drools at the prospect of owning the Etherwave Pro: without questions it's a wonderful instrument. Without question its price tag is a hefty one -- even moreso than it initially was -- when I ordered mine, it was selling for $995.00. Within a few months the price rose to almost $1,500.00.

It might be helpful to really put things in perspective for anyone who's thinking about laying out the BIG CASH:

There are things I can accomplish with my standard Etherwave that the Pro is unable duplicate. This includes certain timbres (even though the Pro has manual timbre controls) as well as its playability, particularly as it relates to the volume antenna. After playing two other Pros besides my own, it's apparent that the settings vary fairly widely. My Pro is great, but there are sounds that come from the standard that I prefer in many cases.

There's very little that one can accomplish on a Pro that the standard is unable to do where actual playing is concerned. In addition, the standard's portability is sometimes a real advantage.

Another very significant factor when considering a Pro, is MAINTENANCE. Many of us are wondering how to deal with issues that inevitably arise concerning the INTERNAL tuning of the pitch and volume circuits. The manual is totally silent on such subjects. Sooner or later, opening up the case and fiddling around in there will be a necessity and it would have been nice if the manufacturer had provided some hints as to what to expect.

There have been a huge number of stories from Pro owners about the bugs they encountered with the theremin right out of the box. Everything from the theremin's volume being NIL, to the inability to acquire zero beat, to the volume antenna being set to respond so sharply that it was impossible to begin from silence and ease into a soft then gradually increasing the volume.
A fair number of people have been forced to immediately send their theremin's back for repair, adjustment or replacement.

For those who would accuse me of taking a negative slant on Moog Music I must disagree. It is neither positive nor negative -- these are just documented facts. I’ve spent thousands of dollars on their products and I think they’re superb. However, this is the world we live in --where a computer or software purchase results in zillions of glitches and bugs, where equipment that is purportedly plug-and-play is often closer to plug-in-and-poop-out.

In my own case, the Pro arrived and worked beautifully with the exception of two things. The response of the volume antenna was severely "soft," meaning that it was impossible to get a sharp attack on any note. Secondly, the volume hand had to be about one quarter of an inch from the antenna to get total silence. These two conditions had to be remedied. Luckily, Stave Dunnington at Moog Music talked me through the repair process over the phone – it was literally a ten-minute fix.

LIFEINBALANCE: let us know if you encounter any bugs with YOUR Pro. If it’s doing well for you from the get-go, you’ve got yourself a fabulous instrument to work with.
Posted: 6/30/2006 3:47:47 PM
lifeinbalance

From: Pittsburgh, PA

Joined: 5/27/2006

I just finished a two week cross country tour with the Etherwave pro.
Under some very extreme conditions it performed like a …. well like a pro.
Tonight I’ll be playing the instrument at an outdoor music festival and I expect it to play perfectly.
I purchased the instrument because it offers something that the standard does not – Controlled Voltage. This is very important to me as I’m using the E pro partly as a controller for the Voyager. I have a very long way to go in learning the instrument but I’m not afraid of it. Besides the audience loves to see it on stage. I try to connect with it on a deeper level before I even begin to play.
My goal is to shift the quality of listening and the first way to achieve this is through making a true connection with the listener – secondly I try to present a environment that “real” music can happen in. This should be an effortless and natural flow. Collaboration between the performer and the instrument – between the instrument and the listener.
A living symphony and crystallization of the moment.
See you in the ethers
Steve
Life In Balance

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