Moog Theremini Theremin

Enya's Watermark - By Amethyste on her new theremin!

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Posted: 2/4/2013 7:11:52 AM
FredM
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 WaveCrafter.com . ...................................
Joined: 12/7/2007

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Amethyste remembered that my youngest daughter was named Enya, and sent me a link to her latest piece played on an E-Pro.. So I assume this is her new theremin!

http://snd.sc/WIn6tO

I am pasting this link here with her permission - I think it is lovely - Theremin in the fore, not subdued behing some new-age mush! ;-) LOL  (Ive gotta say something to get peoples hackles up ! Life is too boring otherwise!  ;-)

Must admit, I am not a great fan of the E-Pro sound, but I think it fits this piece better than most.

Posted: 2/4/2013 8:28:55 AM
gtc
Joined: 3/30/2012

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I really enjoyed that performance. Bravo!

Posted: 2/4/2013 9:15:28 AM
GordonC
From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK
Joined: 10/5/2005

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Beautiful, and Améthyste's ability to play in tune has now exceeded my ability to hear discrepancies in pitch. To my ears it sounds pitch perfect. In fact, along with the lovely, flutey timbre, if I did not know this was a theremin I would be wondering if it was a rather convincing emulation of a theremin.

My mother used to knit. She made complex Aran and Fair Isle sweaters that were effectively perfect. I could examine a new one in minute detail and not find any unevenness or flaws. They were there when she pointed them out to me, but people were continuously surprised to learn that my sweaters were home-made. "It looks like a shop-bought one." they would say. By which they meant "machine-made". Given the effort and skill involved in the making, we were never sure just how complimentary "it could have been made by a machine" really was!

Posted: 2/4/2013 9:53:50 AM
FredM
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 WaveCrafter.com . ...................................
Joined: 12/7/2007

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" if I did not know this was a theremin I would be wondering if it was a rather convincing emulation of a theremin." - Gordon

Yes - You said it, IMO, you summed it up...

That, in my opinion, is whats "wrong" with the E-Pro .. Its too "pure" and just doesnt sound convincingly like "a Theremin", probably because its too "perfect".. (possibly made even more noticable when there are no pitch errors which give it away - I am sure that when I played the E-Pro, no one would have had any doubt that I was playing a theremin - they certainly would know it was no keyboard! LOL ;-)

Even though, of course, it absolutely is a theremin by every standard - its a capacitance controlled, beat frequency, heterodyning musical instrument with pitch and volume antennas.

So why does it, to my ears, sound like "not quite a theremin" ?  I think it comes down to the mixer... The mixer in the E-Pro is about as far as one can get from the mixer in one of Lev's theremins as is possible - and this distance was not an improvement.

BUT -

Amey's use of the E-Pro for this piece was, I feel, a good choice - I think the "flutey timbre" (it is, in fact, "flutey" because the source audio from the E-Pro is a triangle wave containing only odd harmonics - deliberate distortion gives some even harmonics for some E-Pro sounds, but the instrument is predominent in odd harmonics) suits this piece.

And Amey has only had this particular theremin for a few days.. and manages to play with this piece so beautifully and select the right voice.. Truly impressive IMO!

Fred.

Posted: 2/4/2013 10:12:48 AM
FredM
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 WaveCrafter.com . ...................................
Joined: 12/7/2007

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Amey,

I REALLY love your control of the dynamics in this piece - You manage to get wonderful smooth increases and decreases in volume, but also to have a few quite rapid changes in volume just when they are needed.. To my ears, well - I dont think I have ever heard such perfect control of dynamics on any other piece ..

Yeah - I know.. Someone will come along and show me that I dont know what im talkin about.. but who cares, LOL ;-) .... I must have played the piece 10 times now, and I have not found a fault - Dynamics, pitch, chosen timbre, timing, backing.. I cannot fault anything!

Fred.

(I was holding myself back from saying those things - thinking that I should leave enough time for those who know music to jump in, and point out "the flaws" to me - But hell - thats just silly cowardice.. I dont claim to know what I am talking about when it comes to music - so I can say what I feel ! ;-)

Posted: 2/4/2013 12:34:25 PM
Amethyste
From: In between the Pitch and Volume hand ~ New England
Joined: 12/17/2010

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Hey guys! What a nice thread to see early in the morning :) well, it had to be as perfect as possible, I recorded for 10 hours I think. I punched in 5 sections of the song and recorded each one as close as perfection as I could. I think the middle segment, I recorded 200 takes haha. Enough to drive you mad! Oh I hear imperfections still, as I came in a little to early at several places or extended a few notes too long, but my vibrato, yes ~ I worked pretty hard on this in the last few months and when I got my pro, that's when I said bye bye to wide vibrato. Not always, but most of the time . The dynamics are better produced with this Epro, the crescendos and decrescendos are much easier to achieve than on my wavefront, it really does mirror your inner feelings more. Putting yourself in the right frame of mind when you play is key when you play the theremin.

After close to 10 hours of recording time, I sent the wave to my husband and I said to please make the song pretty, dreamy and comforting. I think what hides some of the pitch flaws is at he loaded the theremin line with a crapload of reverb, some delay and has added a bit of compression to the line. He's pretty good when it comes to make something sound amazing. 

Thank you for the kind words! Enya has been forever part of my musical journey. When I listened to the song after my hubby sent it to me I needed to ask myself that if Enya heard it, would she approves. I think she would...

Posted: 2/4/2013 1:47:45 PM
coalport
From: Canada
Joined: 8/1/2008

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This theremin version of WATERMARK is more reminiscent of soprano Sarah Brightman's 1995 "open AH", wordless version of the composition than it is of Enya's original 1988 piano version. Both this theremin rendition and Miss Brightman's recording are bathed in reverb so it's hard to get a sense of the solo. You just have to let yourself be carried along on the dreamy New Age wave.

This is very nicely played, Amey, but it doesn't highlight the timbre of your new E'Pro because the more effect that is applied to a sound, the more distant it seems to be from the listener's ear.

Ten hours is a long time to come up with an acceptable version of a very simple three minute tune. If you were not happy with what you were doing, it may be because you have not yet had enough time with your new E'Pro to familiarize yourself with it.

 

 

Posted: 2/4/2013 2:06:26 PM
Amethyste
From: In between the Pitch and Volume hand ~ New England
Joined: 12/17/2010

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Also I was getting used to the new soundcard that I have and getting all levels in an acceptable recording without white noise. It was a challenge: 10 hours includes all sweat and tears time, all bathroom time and taking the dog outside to pee time :)

But Coalport, it doesn't really matter what I do right? Some will like it and some will not :) It's ok if you don't, and on the same token, I don't really care if you don't like it: I am happy with the result, it was a great learning experience and a way to remember how I came upon the Epro and a "souveninr" of the begining of our journey together :)

Posted: 2/4/2013 3:34:28 PM
dewster
From: Northern NJ, USA
Joined: 2/17/2012

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Very nice Amethyst!  Thank you so much!

"I worked pretty hard on this in the last few months and when I got my pro, that's when I said bye bye to wide vibrato. Not always, but most of the time."  - Amethyst

So what is your subjective opinion of the pitch field on the Epro compared to the wavefront?  Is it wider?  (I ask that because wide vibrato is easier to do with a narrow pitch field.)  Is the pitch field adjustable in useful ways, or is there pretty much just one sweet spot?

"The dynamics are better produced with this Epro, the crescendos and decrescendos are much easier to achieve than on my wavefront, it really does mirror your inner feelings more."

Does the volume field seem smoother, less snappy, etc.?

Posted: 2/4/2013 5:04:40 PM
Thomas Grillo
From: Jackson Mississippi
Joined: 8/13/2006

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I agree with everyone. Very nicely played, and congratulations on the Etherwave Pro. :)

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