Moog Theremini Owners

Posted: 10/29/2014 9:11:23 PM

From: Scotland

Joined: 9/27/2012

Amethyste, I would hope that you most definitely put your 'fan' right. In the nicest possible way of course!

The more times peoples' notions regarding the Theremini are set right, the better, not only for them but for the theremin world - and I don't mean this website.

Most people don't have a foggiest about what a theremin is and if MOOG tell them a stick of Blackpool rock is a theremin, then they'll believe it and before you know it, until someone tells them otherwise, they'll be waving their sticks of rock in the air looking and behaving like third rate Morris Dancers happy in the knowledge that they are doing the theremin thang!

Much better to educate them than tell them to talk to the hand.

At the same time though. keep on banging at MOOG's door-sooner or later they will get the idea...hopefully!

PS-I like Morris Dancing.

Posted: 10/30/2014 1:56:57 AM

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


Difference might be that those who buy a veggie haggis probably know what a real haggis is, and do so for health / conscience reasons.. Or deliberately choose a veggie haggis because (for whatever reason) they DO NOT want a REAL haggis... ( they may simply not like the real haggis, and prefer something which isn't a haggis even if its called a "veggie haggis")

I dont think anyone chooses a theremini because they dont want a theremin..

- > "But the absolute worst thing about the Veggie Haggis is that if I had bought it first I might have  never known the joy of eating a real haggis"

-> "But the absolute worst thing about the Theremini is that if I had bought it first I might have given up on the instrument and never known the joy of playing a real theremin" - Rich.

Which brings me to a sincere question, Rich.. Do you now get that same joy and freedom from playing your theremini ? - Do you now think that those who buy a theremini actually experience what you experienced from your EW?

Do you honestly believe that they can experience the theremin if they only own a theremini?


Posted: 10/30/2014 7:47:11 AM

From: züriCH

Joined: 3/15/2014

@fred, your a fun spoiler no, in fact i mean it.  you know so much about the technical stuff in theremins etc... but if you let your EE just stay out of this particular topic, and let the 'kids' have fun and see what might happen...but i'm off here anyway, before i loose my enthusiasm completely. cheers.

Posted: 10/30/2014 9:32:49 AM

From: Scotland

Joined: 9/27/2012

Difference might be that those who buy a veggie haggis probably know what a real haggis is, and do so for health / conscience reasons.. Or deliberately choose a veggie haggis because (for whatever reason) they DO NOT want a REAL haggis... ( they may simply not like the real haggis, and prefer something which isn't a haggiseven if its called a "veggie haggis")

I dont think anyone chooses a theremini because they dont want a theremin..  -  Fred

Good point Fred.

Posted: 10/30/2014 6:07:42 PM

From: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Joined: 1/1/2011

"moog doesnt give a damn about the theremin or about Bob's love for it"

I am sure that for years before Bob Moog passed away there was someone in the company positioned to take his place criticizing his farting around and wasting money on the theremin.   No doubt the EWS makes money for Moog but for how long?   The trend may be dying off and Moog may have thought that marketing the Theremini would be the best thing since canned celery.  Maybe they figured it would resurrect interest and bring in a profit riding on the coat tails of Bob's hard work and passion.   Despite the deception of being a theremin that we purists would want to play, the Theremini will probably die off in a couple years or sooner and be forgotten.  I for one am not holding my breath for a re-design by Moog to suit our requirements.  

This may have been mentioned above somewhere but I know many "Apple Heads" who are just as passionately disgruntled about the way Apple has been going since Steve Jobs has passed.   We have to remember that Moog is not in the business of making theremins.  Go to their website and see their all of their products.   I do have to agree however that the Theremini is marketed in a deceptive way.  On their product page they have a section for etherwave thermins with a picture of the Theremini!

So bottom line is we no longer have a company known for the development of the modern day theremin providing us with anything new.  A new and less expensive version of the EW Pro is what we all wanted and we got the baguette!  

Let's look at what we do have.....

We have enough EWS theremins around to last all of us for a lifetime and all the better with Theirry's ESPE01 enhancement.  Dan Burns is still in business.....maybe we should be telling him the kind of theremin we would like to see instead of wasting energy on the white toaster.  Dominik Bednarz has the Subscope theremin which IMO is the most overlooked design on this site and the favorite in my collection. Why can't we put our energy and support towards him and get a theremin on the market we all want to see. There are others but you get my drift.  I am saying that hoping for anything from Moog without Bob there is like beating a dead horse with a Theremini!  

The thread here called "Goals for a TW Theremin" is definitely a step in the right direction.  Unfortunately I can't contribute much on the technical side of things since I am a humble optician by profession.  

I understand the anger about their marketing strategy but in the final analysis if the Theremini goes the way of "New Coke" for the company I'm sure it will not affect the success of Moog greatly because of all the excellent musical products they put out that have nothing to do with theremin players. 

Now...having said all that I am turning this thread back over "Moog Theremini Owners".  IMO this thread should be about Theremini owners and their experience with it.  Let's take everything else back to the "Moog Theremini!" thread. Thanks for reading my rant ;^)


Posted: 10/31/2014 1:40:21 AM

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

Joined: 12/17/2010

I LOVE MY SUBSCOPE!!!! Dominik is a great theremin builder... !

Posted: 11/1/2014 12:11:58 PM

Joined: 7/23/2010

Sectarians! Is there a third person on the forum, who shares your opinion? Based on the experience of selling my Subscope, I can say the answer is no.

Posted: 11/1/2014 6:42:47 PM

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

"I own one, I enjoy playing it, and I'd like to dialogue with others who are in the same boat.

I'm not interested in hearing that I've wasted my money, that Bob Moog is rolling over in his grave, etc.  Rather I'm hoping this can be a welcoming and positive thread to support those of us who are using a Theremini.  If this thread turns negative, I will abandon it and seek other avenues."  - SapereAude in the OP

Not to throw another grenade in the room, but for the purposes of clarity and honesty, why wasn't this thread named "Moog Theremini Lovers Club (bellyachers need not apply)" or similar?  Not qualifying "Owners" in the title is misleading because it's not really just an "owners" thread - the OP doesn't want negative observations or experiences posted in it, not even by legitimate owners.  And I get the the distinct feeling that non-owners who post positive things aren't in danger of getting their asses handed to them by the club nor of causing a mass exodus of said club. 

Anyone got a copy of the bylaws?  Are we following Robert's Rules of Order here?  How many do we need for a quorum?

Posted: 2/12/2015 6:52:18 AM
Gary Honis

From: Sugarloaf, PA

Joined: 10/17/2014

I put together a YouTube video that covers the Theremini Firmware Update version 1.1 that Moog released in December 2014.  The video also includes a demo of Moog's Advanced Software Editor for the Theremini.  It may be useful for others starting out like me with the Theremini being their first Theremin or for others considering purchase of a Theremini.  The YouTube video is here:


Posted: 2/13/2015 2:14:10 AM

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 7/29/2014

Everyone just has to understand the Theremini and the Theremin are two different instruments. That is the basis of the whole problem here. Everyone is trying to fit the Theremini 100% into a theremin shoe size. Can't be done. There are plusses and minuses to both of them as with any instrument. But let's stop the nonsense that you can't play melodies on the Theremini. It just takes practice like with any other instrument. I now can get just as much dynamic response out of my Theremini with some tricks I've mastered, but I can not get the same vibrato response (but then again I can do things with the Theremini that no Theremin can do). You need to weigh what your real goals are. Either instrument may be right for you. And then again, neither may be.

Do I like playing both the same? Yes, but not in the same way. Maybe the real question is do I enjoy playing them both about the same. I have to say yes there. I can do so many cool things with the Theremini but then again that feel of the theremin is so nice! Then again I have them both and I try to be objective about what both can do for me (and they can not do the same things for me). If you enjoy playing it, you made the right decision. 

So many people are asking should I get one or the other. You just can't say things like "the Theremini is a toy", "you are wasting your money to buy it". Those statements are being made by people who are only taking one side of the argument into consideration. The real story is more complex. And this is my take for anyone who is undecided. I am going to just assume $300 vs. $400 is not the deal breaker.

If all you want to do is learn how to play the theremin melodically and expressively like Clara, Peter and the other masters you hear on the Internet, if that's your real goal, and you have a good ear, I would tell anyone go buy an Etherwave and then go practice your butt off for two years if you want to get really GOOD! Can't see it happening in anything less than two years with constant practice and supreme commitment.

But if you are interested in electronic music, if you are a composer, if you are more interested in the "experimental" side of the theremin, if you are a beginner and especially a beginner to music and you would like to play tunes in key relatively soon realizing it does not have exactly the same feel and that your goal may be to get a theremin later if you like the gestalt of it, then maybe a Theremini is your best choice. You certainly can have a lot of fun with a Theremini. But just like a theremin, if all you do is mindlessly wave your hands in front of it like those silly Dorit videos, you will get bored of it quickly and boredom is the death of learning how to play any instrument.

Frankly, I hardly ever play my Theremini in non-quantized mode and I always optimize the range to what I am playing. I am convinced that quantization is worth the cost of the instrument in an of itself to help better train your hand motions for the theremin (people may disagree but seems to work for me). But that only scratches the surface. It's nice to have them both as that really keeps me from getting bored. When I get tired of the constant similarity of timbre on the theremin and get frustrated in practice I'll move over the the Theremini and vice versa. And there is no question, playing the theremin for hours can take its toll on you.

So its been 100 years, and pretty much with the exception of adding CV and going to transistors (which to my ears has only made the sound worse), not much has changed with the theremin. The Theremini is finally a major evolution in the instrument. Maybe not perfect, but I think a good first step and likely its the harbinger of the future of the theremin if the theremin is to grow.

And no one really brings up the most important point. It's sparked renewed interest in the theremin. That's good news for Theremin World. I will continue to like them both, play them both and post about both (as soon as I get my Etherwave back that got zapped with winter static).


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