Harrison 302 theremin antenna change

Posted: 2/6/2018 5:39:53 AM
invisiblejelly

Joined: 3/18/2012

Hello, I was lucky enough to obtain a Harrison 302 theremin,the one with flat plate antennas, on ebay quite cheaply and once set up I found I couldn't really play it like it was,ie with the flat plates.So I changed the antennas for small stainless steel bowls with the pitch antenna having a small aerial on top.I took a short video of me playing it with the new setup and I show the pitch field which is much more playable now.The addition of the aerial on the bowl for the pitch antenna kind of warped the field(for better linearity) so it's more like the traditional theremin setup.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2TMOXwRMz8

Posted: 2/6/2018 3:50:58 PM
dewster

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

Nice!  What do you think of the reversed volume sense?  I think I prefer it myself.

Those low notes are really fat sounding!  Is there any lag or slow build-up of the volume?  Around 1:40 the volume seems sluggish, but it's hard to tell with notes that low.

Posted: 2/7/2018 2:10:52 AM
invisiblejelly

Joined: 3/18/2012

I like the reversed volume closer louder setup it seems more natural,but the etherwave has a smoother space transition from soft to loud.The Harrison instrument seems to have the change from soft to loud over a shorter space,and in the low notes I have to get closer to make them loud enough and it's a bit sluggish.

Although I'm pleased with the pitch setup I have with a nicely spaced playable 4 octaves the volume response with the stainless steel bowl might not be as good as the flat plate.So I'm going to keep working on it.I really like the Harrison 302,it is stable and has good low notes, it is a well designed instrument but those flat plates for me were really hard to adapt to, so I had to ruin Mr Harrison's pleasing aesthetic rectangular design to make it playable for me...I hope he doesn't mind.

Posted: 2/7/2018 3:04:52 AM
dewster

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

"I like the reversed volume closer louder setup it seems more natural,but the etherwave has a smoother space transition from soft to loud."  - invisiblejelly

I'm practicing with a somewhat larger volume field at this point and it seems much easier to do dynamics.  Heterodyning the volume side can give ~exponential response for closer=louder, though few Theremins do this.  I often wonder if the farther=louder is mainly due to the simplistic volume topology of most Theremins (though can't be bothered to investigate it!).

"The Harrison instrument seems to have the change from soft to loud over a shorter space,and in the low notes I have to get closer to make them loud enough and it's a bit sluggish."

Even analog stuff can have latencies in the processing path.  I wonder if the lower notes are being rolled off somehow in in the signal chain, hence the need for a heavier volume hand?

Is the instrument made for a lefty?  The controls seem to be on the wrong side...

(I love your nym and avatar!)

Posted: 2/7/2018 5:37:37 AM
invisiblejelly

Joined: 3/18/2012

Yes the instrument is configured for a 'lefty' that's why I got it so cheaply on E bay.

Talking about theremin volume control maybe this simple circuit could be adapted for one.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwC6EHah9xI

 

 

 

Posted: 2/7/2018 2:50:59 PM
dewster

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

"Talking about theremin volume control maybe this simple circuit could be adapted for one."  - invisiblejelly

I don't think I'd use it.  It relies on 50Hz / 60Hz mains hum coupling, which is everywhere it seems but isn't guaranteed to be there.

Posted: 2/7/2018 3:32:33 PM
invisiblejelly

Joined: 3/18/2012

"It relies on 50Hz / 60Hz mains hum coupling" dewster said...Oh I see then it's a bit nasty .But I have something else for you and others here, dewster you mentioned my theremin had a 'fat' sound.Well I fattened it up a bit by passing the output through a simple passive circuit like a guitar pedal.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JeV39g7Ot3I

So I've played a little bit more on a slightly different tone setting to show that 'fat' sound and here below is the passive circuit I put the output through to fatten it up...actually it sounds fatter on all tone settings.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYrxsUgUb1s

I really like the tone and playability of this theremin now and I like the fact that it runs off a nine volt battery.

 

Posted: 2/7/2018 7:13:01 PM
rupertchappelle

From: earth

Joined: 5/8/2017

Ruin a perfectly good instrument and then notice how it doesn't quite work right - priceless.

I get a usable 8 octave range and you can trim the range by aiming at the corner of the plate.

I have hundreds of videos of it being used correctly.

Adjusting to the antenna setup took about a week, after two weeks I was playing faster and more accurately than with the Etherwave.

Learn the instrument and you will be more than happy.

The two bowls leave me thinking of two things that would be useless on a Bishop.


It can be returned to its original state.

So can the bowls.

 

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