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Theramins

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Anyone play one? Anyone got one.

I have a recording session coming up in the next few weeks and one of our songs needs a bit of theramin action.

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I own one. Mr Venom plays it:

[url=http://soundcloud.com/terrortonemusic/cadillac-twist-2]Cadillac Twist[/url]

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I'll have a listen at home later.
I guess with modern recording all I need is a sound file to give to Mr Engineer......

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If you just want some spooky Sci-Fi noises all you need to do is to waggle your hands around in front of one. Playing in tune takes a lot of training. My Etherwave Theremin came with a DVD of Clara Rockmore playing which was enough to convince me I'd never get anything more than sound effects out of it. If I want to play in tune I go the Portishead route and use a synth patch with lots of portamento and pitch bend.

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The "annoying noise machine". Much overrated, impossible to play.

There are so many more, interesting, and actually playable electric instruments from that era...

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In my head an annoying 50s B movie spooky noise is what I'm after. I suppose I could go the synth route but it doesn't sound as much fun.

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[quote name='janmaat' timestamp='1331567279' post='1574939']
The "annoying noise machine". Much overrated, impossible to play.
[/quote]

At the hands of someone who can actually play it like Clara Rockmore or Bruce Woolley it's a massively expressive instrument with a tonality that mixes violin with the human voice.

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Theramins? Real men play the musical saw. Note the player's use of thigh vibrato.

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GpJkukZ29I&feature=related[/media]


[color=#ffffff].[/color]

Edited by skankdelvar

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[url="http://www.sagebrush.com/mousing.htm"]http://www.sagebrush.com/mousing.htm[/url]

... is a software imitation of a theremin that is played with a mouse .
( It has a free 30-day trial if that is of any use .)

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[quote name='GarethFlatlands' timestamp='1331584074' post='1575420']
Get a Korg Monotron instead, similarly difficult to play a tune on but smaller and encourages tweakings.
[/quote]

I also have a Monotron. TBH the Theremin is easier to play in tune (just)!

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[quote name='DaveFry' timestamp='1331584126' post='1575422']
[url="http://www.sagebrush.com/mousing.htm"]http://www.sagebrush.com/mousing.htm[/url]

... is a software imitation of a theremin that is played with a mouse .
( It has a free 30-day trial if that is of any use .)
[/quote]

Windows only :-(
Also appears to be a stand alone app rather than a DAW plug-in which makes it of limited use for real-world recording.

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[quote name='BigRedX' timestamp='1331569752' post='1575009']
At the hands of someone who can actually play it like Clara Rockmore or Bruce Woolley it's a massively expressive instrument with a tonality that mixes violin with the human voice.
[/quote]

Don't forget Louis and Bebe Barron, Lydia Kavina...

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Theramins..? Aren't they aquatic reptiles with a penchant for biting the hand that feeds them..? Must've dreamt it...

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I've been entertaining the notion of building one for a while - one day I may actually get around to it. I'm looking at valve-based designs, not for any particularly sensible reasons, but because I like working with valve stuff.

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[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNEMzH7pOZ8&feature=player_embedded"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNEMzH7pOZ8&feature=player_embedded[/url]

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Amusing - but it's essentially a stuffed badger wrapped around an ordinary theremin.

Also highlights why you either just stick to waving your hands about making spooky noises or take some serious time out to learn to play properly in tune.

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MB1. B)
Could this be classed as cruelty to badgers? its obviously in pain...
pretty sure this is not how they usually react when you wave your hands at them?

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[quote name='BigRedX' timestamp='1331911291' post='1580823']
Amusing - but it's essentially a stuffed badger wrapped around an ordinary theremin.
[/quote]

Indeed - if you were expecting a faithful electronic emulation of the dulcet tones of a badger being played acoustically in the wild, prepare to be disappointed!

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[quote name='Wil' timestamp='1331905666' post='1580725']
[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNEMzH7pOZ8&feature=player_embedded[/media]
[/quote]

I've been laughing at this for five minutes and I haven't even played the video yet.

Inspired.

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I want a theremin. I guess it will have to be a kit though, I can't justify spending £200 on one...

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[quote name='skankdelvar' timestamp='1331574640' post='1575145']
Theramins? Real men play the musical saw. Note the player's use of thigh vibrato.

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GpJkukZ29I&feature=related[/media]

[/quote]

Great tone. He'd never get tone like that from a plywood-handled saw.

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[quote name='alyctes' timestamp='1390845946' post='2350286']
I want a theremin. I guess it will have to be a kit though, I can't justify spending £200 on one...
[/quote]

Just make sure you get one with a volume aerial as well as the pitch one. Many of the cheaper models don't have the volume aerial as it significantly cuts down on the amount of circuitry, but even as some who just waves their hands about in front of the Theremin rather than seriously trying to get a tune out of it, the second aerial makes a big difference to the expressiveness of it.

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