Problem with kit etherwave

Posted: 5/4/2012 10:02:59 PM
zigmenthotep

Joined: 5/4/2012

I few years back I built an etherwave from a kit, but then I kind of lost interest and it sat in a closet for a few years. I recently pulled it out and started actually playing it but am reminded why I put it away in the first place.

The sound seems completely wrong, rather than the elegant ethereal tone I want, the sound is more equatable to a high pitched buzzing, or a sick cat.

obviously something is wrong that younger me didn't feel like fixing, but current me does, so any suggestions would be great.

Posted: 5/4/2012 10:29:14 PM
Jason

From: Sammamish, Washington

Joined: 2/13/2005

It could be just about anything, but the fact that you're getting some kind of sound is probably a good sign.  Do the pitch or volume vary as you wave your hands around the antennas?

Posted: 5/4/2012 10:35:00 PM
zigmenthotep

Joined: 5/4/2012

yeah, the pitch and volume are fine, it's totally playable. It's just that the sound I'm getting is like a pitched buzz. Also, I'm playing it through my stereo or with headphones, not an amp if that could have anything to do with it.

Posted: 5/5/2012 4:22:22 AM
zigmenthotep

Joined: 5/4/2012

I've recorded a small audio clip to give an example. Please note I've been playing seriously for about a day, and I realize the quality of my playing isn't grand.

http://yourlisten.com/channel/content/125889/thereminsample?rn=xc1no0wsyr5s

Posted: 5/5/2012 3:41:16 PM
RS Theremin

From: 60 mi. N of San Diego CA

Joined: 2/15/2005

Where on planet earth are you located?

Thank you for the sound byte. Use Audacity and compare your wave form to my EWS wave and you will see your wave form peaks are squared off indicating you are over-driving the input to your sound card. You also have a weak physical connection in the power or audio path.

RS Theremin EWS <=Grandson thinks start of this sounds like Spielberg’s “War of the Worlds.”

zigmenthotep EWS 

I would “not” expect this clipping through your stereo line-in but a ground hum may be what you heard. I have had very good results with amplified computer speaks with a sub-woofer; they better equalize the high and low frequencies.

All later model EWS use the three prong power plug, I am not sure about the very early models or what you have. Earth ground is important in the wave shape of your sound; you do have a three prong plug?  My guess is your EWS is probably working fine, just over-driving or too hot for the amp input.

There is a gadget around here we can buy to add two lower octaves to our sound and we can parade around like a heard of elephants, it is very exciting. The EtherWave Standard is a good starter theremin when you don’t know what you will be missing. About a 1000 of the advanced Thereminist abandoned the EWS and went for the EtherWave Pro for two apparent reasons and their ability to play raised exponentially, “this is something kept secret”.

Secret? I just let the cat out of the bag; no one else will respond and help you now.

Christopher

 

Posted: 5/19/2012 4:28:05 AM
zigmenthotep

Joined: 5/4/2012

Thanks for the advice, and sorry for not getting back to this in so long. unfortunately things keep getting in the way of my space music.

I do have a three prong plug, and I tried different outlets around the house just to make sure the one I was using didn't just have as bad ground connection.

You also said I might have a weak connection in the audio path, could that have anything to do with the 1/4" to 1/8" adapter I'm using?

Also, I noticed I don't get a big variance in volume when I turn the volume knob.

Does one of those 3 little things inside that I don't dare touch effect that? I've lost the documentation that came with the thing (lost as in put in a safe place so I wouldn't lose it) so I can't check any of that.

Oh, and I'm up in the south bay

Posted: 5/19/2012 9:50:23 AM
GordonC

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

This might help.

http://www.univers-sons.com/produits/MOOG/ETHERWAVEK/Montage_du_kit_En.pdf

Posted: 5/19/2012 8:03:50 PM
RS Theremin

From: 60 mi. N of San Diego CA

Joined: 2/15/2005

zigmenthotep, I said "Where on planet earth are you located?"

You said: South Bay. Planet earth is a large place and narrowing down to which south bay could be challenging. Just to stay cryptic is your land almost 20 billion in debt and run by Jerry who wants to build the Brown Streak Railway? lol

I think your theremin is fine if you could just get off those two bottom octave. If you can't, take the red tool that comes with the theremin and slightly turn L6 a square inductor clearly marked on the board. Listen to your sound as you this.

There is trick to getting it right so your pitch knob is centered when you put your cover back on. Use just slight movements 1/4 turn.

It may be scary but it is very easy!

The volume control knob expands or shrinks the field around the loop so you can set the playing distance from the loop. It is not a volume control in the standard use of the words.

Christopher

Posted: 5/24/2012 8:40:42 AM
zigmenthotep

Joined: 5/4/2012

GordonC: thanks that is helpful.

RS Theremin: I'm in manhattan beach, I kinda forgot there were like 3 "south bay"s in california alone.

Now here's the the part where things keep getting better, I didn't want to lose the red plastic thing, so I put it in a safe place, with the documentation, which as I mentioned, is someplace so safe that I can't find it. And I do have a few more questions.

Is there anywhere I can get a new red plastic thing?
Where can I get more information about the functions of the little tuney things on the inside?
is there such a thing as a place I can take a theremin to get checked out and (if necessary) repaired?

Also, i just wanted to thank everyone again for being helpful. Honestly, that is not what I expect when I look for help on the internet.

Posted: 5/24/2012 9:27:41 AM
GordonC

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Sorry we're not meeting your expectations. ;-)

Search for plastic trimpot alignment tool to find a replacement for your Little Red Flechette

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