Alternative volume-control mechanisms

Posted: 10/15/2005 8:13:46 PM

Joined: 4/28/2005

There are many pitch-only theremins available (Theremaniacs, Christopher's RC theremin, many others). Some of them, to my ear, sound OK.

Anyone ever tried to control volume of a theremin with a foot pedal?

Anyone tried Christopher's solar cell it responsive enough?

Apart from a foot pedal, or Christopher's solar cell unit, what other volume-control options are out there?

Just curious.

Posted: 10/16/2005 10:18:11 AM

From: gretna, louisiana

Joined: 8/10/2005

i have used a '70s DeArmond Volume-Tone control pedal with the EPro, so that i wouldn/t have to walk over to the amp. it/s like a volume control on a guitar. it/s difficult to
actually move it while one is playing, since most of the weight is then on one leg. however, it/s is useful at times.
i think i would use one on a gig. a downside is that
the signal gets 'coloured', since the pedal is a tone pedal also (volume up-down, tone left-right). also there are more chances for something to go wrong. (bad connections)
Posted: 10/16/2005 6:47:15 PM

From: Kansas City, Mo.

Joined: 8/23/2005

Well, I can think of a number of alternate volume control methods, all of which probably would end up exceeding the difference in cost between purchasing a one-antenna theremin with a two-antenna one.

In the interest of some good, clean, fun... here a few wacky ideas that come to mind:

Install the speaker inside one of those plastic or metal trashcans that has the foot lever that pops up the lid. You could then use the foot lever to open and close the lid, thus changing the volume.

(I know some of you may be snickering... did you know that the "volume control" on pipe organs is a similar arrangement? Yep... the swell pedal on the organ controls wooden shades that open and close -- the pipes are in a case behind the shades.)

For that matter... you could hold a small enclosed speaker in your left hand... and just press it against your chest to mute it.

You could put the speaker into a horn-shaped enclosure and use various mutes to change the volume color.

I'm not sure how playable any of this would be but what a sight!

Posted: 10/17/2005 1:59:51 PM

From: Jax, FL

Joined: 2/14/2005

The horn thing remids me of some percussion instruments I have played. One of them was a set of bells and I cup my hand over the end to change the volume and timbre.

I was thinking about some kind of hand-held rheostat that you would have in your left hand.

Something like an old slot car controller or something.

That way you would still maintain the idea of not having to touch the instrument.

This reminds me,

Has anyone tried running their theremin through any kind of talk-box effect, ala Peter Frampton?

Posted: 10/17/2005 7:13:02 PM

From: Kansas City, Mo.

Joined: 8/23/2005

Well, it sounds as though in Ninki V's remarkable arrangement of "Lullay Lullay" she is running a theremin thru a Vocoder.
Posted: 7/16/2006 11:09:57 AM

From: Portland, ME

Joined: 7/16/2006

Could you post a link to the song with the theremin/vocoder? I am experimenting with this combination myself as a possible operatic voice.
Posted: 7/17/2006 8:43:06 AM

From: Netherlands

Joined: 7/9/2005

Eowave has a lot of intriguing sensors you could use for a volume control thing:

(Maybe not so suited for practical use, but very nice to tickle ones imagination...)
Posted: 7/17/2006 10:12:13 AM

From: Kansas City, Mo.

Joined: 8/23/2005

Since I made the post I learned that Ninki V used a filter on "Lullay" rather than a Vocoder.

Wilco Bottermans uses a lot of effects (I understand both hardware and software) and if he isn't doing vocoding, a lot of his sounds sound very voice like.

I have two devices with Vocoder functions. Last month I added patch points and reconfigured so that I can conveniently use my effects as inserts as well as send-return effects. Thus, I am looking forward to some experiments with Vocoders.

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