Moog Theremini!

Posted: 1/25/2014 4:31:38 AM

From: Md, USA

Joined: 1/24/2014


I dont know how pitch correction works exactly, but wouldnt it prohibit vibrato? - Chobbs

I have been making optical mice based controllers (very cheap with an Arduino) which give continuous control and or corrected control. Initially with correction I found it was easy to end up close to a boundary and jump to the next note. I changed the algorithm to re-center on 'attack' and then go continuous so you get correction and vibrato. Using one of the buttons, I can switch from vibrato to glissando and a different button allows memory of up to 4 notes for chords.

Posted: 1/25/2014 8:05:18 AM

From: Rome (Italy)

Joined: 7/1/2012

Hello Fred,

I am a technologic enthusiast. I'm like a child in front of a new toy. :-)

I certainly have not the skill to create theremins, but I love to play theremins! :-)

So technically speaking, certainly your thought about armonics and sine wave are correct. 

What I meant was simply that: 

1- I don't like to hear that "jump" that I heard on YouTube video when you use the pitch correction button. It is not fluid, but probably very useful for educational, for learning position and other things like.

2- I would love to try the theremini and discovering the sounds included in the wave table. For example, I have also a voicematic v3 from subscope, and I love that "voice" sound, it is warm and gently, and it is close to my personal idea of theremin sound.

3- I love the Animoog sounds. And, as many keyboards or virtual instruments today, the starting point is to play sounds from wave tables included, but all these instruments have the possibility to change that sounds and store a new one starting from one of the original Wave table. This functionality I didn't see yesterday on the theremini YouTube video. It could be that a "pro" version could use the Animoog as an external expansion module, as Gordon said. It could be great, because one of the good things all the musician love is to "built" their own sound.

4- all the other functionalities I watched on those videos look great! And certainly, every new Moog Music product is always a good way to change the music world, to  move forward...

So ... We have to test it!



Posted: 1/25/2014 1:31:16 PM
Kuli Schreiber

Joined: 3/17/2011

on the theremin playing was once said - less is more. This may be true not only in playing technique... I personaly think that this new type survives maybe just one decade. Mainly thanks to its design which is too indebted to the time in which came out. If I understand well, it is rather an intermediate step to something new. Maybe the time will come when Moog Music shows amazing new MoogOtamatoni

Posted: 1/25/2014 2:11:18 PM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Hey, the denizens of GearSlutz are critiquing this thread. LOL.

From comment #16 onwards. (comment numbers on RHS of comment.)


We are Les Grognards! and don't you forget it.


(Lucky they haven't found the LevNet theremini thread yet. ;-)

Posted: 1/25/2014 2:36:11 PM

From: Eastleigh, Hampshire, U.K. ................................... Fred Mundell. ................................... Electronics Engineer. (Primarily Analogue) .. CV Synths 1974-1980 .. Theremin developer 2007 to present .. soon to be Developing / Trading as . ...................................

Joined: 12/7/2007


We are the Grognards and were coming to town - Beep Beep! (or perhaps wooo wwoo )- (apology to David Bowie ;-)

(Lucky they haven't found the LevNet theremini thread yet. ;-)

- I hadnt realised that one could view the [unspeakable] thread without subscribing! - Your comment got me to look for and find it... Havent read [the place that cannot be named] for months - year ?

LOL - ;-)

Theremageddon... Nah!  I didnt say anything quite that extreme, did I ;-)


Posted: 1/25/2014 2:49:03 PM

From: In between the Pitch and Volume hand ~ New England

Joined: 12/17/2010

I read their thread... They may be laughing at us ~ which is fair I suppose. 

I am just passionate about the theremin and worked hard at it to actually play it... I might have jumped the guns a little bit, but that's the way I am ~ I do live my feelings fully :)

And Gordon, yeah I am laughing at the "luckily they have not found the Theremini thread on Levnet yet"...

Posted: 1/25/2014 3:02:38 PM

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

0:20 - "You've got a traditional heterodyning oscillator playing your pitch..." - Hmm.  (The best way I've seen to employ heterodyning in a digital instrument is the way it is done on the Open.Theremin.Uno, where the beat minimum is set to several hundred Hz.)

2:30 - Shipping in May, street price is $299!

2:56 - "The hardest thing about playing the Theremin is playing the Theremin" - Ha ha!

3:14 - He touches the pitch antenna and it seems to make a strange noise briefly.

3:30 - Pitch correction is variable.

3:47 - "Calibration is much easier than a normal Theremin, it's a stepped process so it's very easy to understand"

4:05 - "You can use it on a table but you kinda want to keep it away from metal."


I didn't hear they guy say anything about linearization, though I suppose it could be part of the calibration process and invisible to the user.  Or it might not be implemented at all.

Also (and I could be totally wrong about this) around 3:25 the pitch correction is dialed off and he pulls his hand away pretty quickly, but the pitch seems to drop maybe too slowly, and continues to drop a bit after his hand stops.  This seems like evidence of too low of a LPF cutoff on the pitch side.  (If I could LPF the pitch side to say 10Hz then many of my problems would disappear and I'd turn my brain off and start cranking out Theremins, but unfortunately ~500Hz or thereabouts is the lower limit where the player can start detecting a lag - and, since the player forms 100% of the pitch feedback loop, no perceptible delay is tolerable IMO.)

Also, I knew the day would come where a cheap, largely digital implementation would hit the market and (1) kill the price, (2) up the feature set, and (3) make it easier to calibrate / play.  This thing looks like lots of fun, but I'm not sure how real-time responsive the pitch side is.

"Theremini" seems to imply bigger things to come, anyone know anything about that?

Posted: 1/25/2014 3:18:19 PM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Here's a thought. Perhaps the guys at Moog know what they're doing. From a business point of view.

The pitch correction is attracting a lot of attention, and in the wider electronic music community, they like it. Yes, it is probably crap, but it is a Unique Selling Point.

There is a second Business Opportunity built in - wavetable synthesis.

The deal is: "come for the autotune, stay for the wavetables".

Prediction. At some point, once they have sold enough, you will be able to buy additional sound sets for the theremini on your computer or portable computing device at a price point carefully chosen so that you might as well get them. Probably themed and/or celebrity endorsed. Get the Jean Michel Jarre retro sound set. Or the old school industrial noise set, lovingly sampled from Throbbing Gristle's first album by Chris Carter himself!!! And so on.

And then there's the pro upgrade. Still wondering what that might be. Possibilities include: a more powerful processor, connectivity to your mobile computing device for more (touchscreen based) knobs to twiddle during performance, create-your-own-wavetable software for your computer (sound sets can be sold for a commission via Moog.)

Posted: 1/25/2014 3:27:52 PM

From: Eastleigh, Hampshire, U.K. ................................... Fred Mundell. ................................... Electronics Engineer. (Primarily Analogue) .. CV Synths 1974-1980 .. Theremin developer 2007 to present .. soon to be Developing / Trading as . ...................................

Joined: 12/7/2007

Quoting the developers words (I think - difficult to be sure..) "we see this as an educational product" -

is this perhaps calling it a "toy" ? - Perhaps, Perhaps not  -The EMS Synthi AKS was an "educational" instrument which has been used by Pink Floyd, Jean Michelle Jarre and hosts of other musicians, and is everything except a toy..

Your observations look about right to me, Dewster - But its hard to be sure what with the audio delay control and the background (show) noise..

Also, I thought you were wrong when you guessed its core was probably an EW Front end - Now I think you are probably right.

Not at all impressed by the videos ive now seen.. In fact, the only impressive thing that I can be sure of so far is the price! - its cheap, for what it is.. even if what one sees is all there is..  A real cool toy if thats what it is..

But its early days - the details (linearity. latency etc) are where the devils are likely to lurk.. But lets not declare "war" if we arent absolutely sure theres WMD - It may be linear and it may have low latency .... These matters are important to us, but most in the target group probably wouldnt notice or be bothered if they did notice, even if linearity and latency were appalling.

I think the pitch correction is quite horrible - but thats just my personal taste.. Again, its impossible to make any real evaluation - the sounds chosen will probably impact greatly on the "pleasantness" or otherwise of pitch correction.


Posted: 1/25/2014 3:51:06 PM

From: Jax, FL

Joined: 2/14/2005

I think this thing is awesome.   As someone who missed the boat on the E-Pro (had the money sitting in an account but just didn't pull the trigger soon enough) I am always happy to see Moog putting out anything theremin-related.


keep in mind, you can turn off the quantizing.


the MIDI alone is enough for me to pick one up.

You must be logged in to post a reply. Please log in or register for a new account.