Large theremin

The instrument's controlling section usually consists of two metal antennas that sense the relative position of the thereminist's hands and control oscillators for frequency with one hand, and amplitude volume with the other. The electric signals from the theremin are amplified and sent to a loudspeaker. The sound of the instrument is often associated with eerie situations.

The theremin is also used in concert music especially avant-garde and 20th- and 21st-century new musicand in popular music genres such as rock. The theremin was the product of Soviet government-sponsored research into proximity sensors. After a lengthy tour of Europe, during which time he demonstrated his invention to packed houses, Theremin moved to the United Stateswhere he patented his invention in Although the RCA Thereminvox released immediately following the Stock Market Crash of was not a commercial success, it fascinated audiences in America and abroad.

Clara Rockmorea well-known thereminist, toured to wide acclaim, performing a classical repertoire in concert halls around the United States, often sharing the bill with Paul Robeson.

During the s, Lucie Bigelow Rosen was also taken with the theremin and together with her husband Walter Bigelow Rosen provided both financial and artistic support to the development and popularisation of the instrument. InTheremin left the United States, though the circumstances related to his departure are in dispute. He reappeared 30 years later.

In his biography of the inventor, Theremin: Ether Music and EspionageAlbert Glinsky suggested the Russian had fled to escape crushing personal debts, and was then caught up in Stalin's political purges. In any case, Theremin did not return to the United States until After a flurry of interest in America following the end of the Second World Warthe theremin soon fell into disuse with serious musicians, mainly because newer electronic instruments were introduced that were easier to play.

However, a niche interest in the theremin persisted, mostly among electronics enthusiasts and kit-building hobbyists. One of these electronics enthusiasts, Robert Moogbegan building theremins in the s, while he was a high-school student. Moog subsequently published a number of articles about building theremins, and sold theremin kits that were intended to be assembled by the customer.

Moog credited what he learned from the experience as leading directly to his groundbreaking synthesizerthe Moog. Arounda colleague of Moog's, electronic music pioneer Raymond Scottpurchased one of Moog's theremin subassemblies to incorporate into a new invention, the Clavivoxwhich was intended to be an easy-to-use keyboard theremin.

Since the release of the film Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey inthe instrument has enjoyed a resurgence in interest and has become more widely used by contemporary musicians. Even though many theremin sounds can be approximated on many modern synthesizers, some musicians continue to appreciate the expressiveness, novelty, and uniqueness of using an actual theremin.

The film itself has garnered excellent reviews. Both theremin instruments and kits are available. The Open Thereminan open hardware and open software project, was developed by swiss microengineer Urz Gaudenz, using the original heterodyne oscillator architecture for an authentic playing experience, [12] combined with Arduino.

Using a few extra components a MIDI interface can be added to the Open Theremin, enabling a player to use their Theremin to control different instrument sounds.

Some inexpensive theremins may only have a pitch control and may be harder to play accurately because of a relatively non-linear relationship between the distance of the hand and resultant pitch, as well as a relatively short span of hand-to-antenna distance for producing the available range of pitch.

The theremin is distinguished among musical instruments in that it is played without physical contact. The thereminist stands in front of the instrument and moves his or her hands in the proximity of two metal antennas.

The distance from one antenna determines frequency pitchand the distance from the other controls amplitude volume.The RCA Theremin holds a place in history as the first manufactured electronic musical instrument, and is credited with laying the foundation for all electronic music to come. Further distinguishing the theremin from the traditional world of mechanical musical instruments reeds, woodwinds, horns, strings, percussion, etc.

To quote period advertising literature from RCA: Simple and graceful movements of the hands produce and control the tone.

large theremin

Petersburg, Russia, Augustdied Moscow, November Theremin demonstrated his first working model of the instrument that bears his name in as the Etherphonesoon to be known as the Termenvoxor literally, Voice of Termen. When properly adjusted and voiced, the RCA Theremin has a pitch range of 3. Quoting Dr. Robert Moog, the creator of the Moog synthesizer, The theremin specifically, and Leon Theremin's work in general is the biggest, fattest, most important cornerstone of the whole electronic music medium.

How to make a giant Theremin?

That's where it all began. The theremin remained a laboratory curiosity from its inception until March when Theremin performed on the instrument for Lenin. The following December saw the beginning of several years of touring with the instrument in increasingly wider circles throughout Europe.

These tours culminated with Theremin's arrival in the U. At first, Theremin's instruments were limited to just a few that the inventor himself personally made.

Theremin then trained a small group of musicians in the art of playing them. Although various factors contributed to the demise of the RCA Theremin as a manufactured item, a possible contributor may have been its high cost, in combination with the big stock market crash Black Thursdaya mere ten days after RCA's public debut of the instrument. Perhaps the most significant miscalculation on the part of RCA was the perception that the theremin was easy to play.

Anyone who can carry a tune can play the Theremin! In reality, while anyone who moves their hands near the antennas of a theremin can cause it to alter its sounds, relatively few people possess the innate musicality required to play the instrument on pitch, let alone with nuance of expression. For melodic playing, a good sense of relative pitch is a prerequisite, and as with any other instrument, practice is essential to a pleasing technique.

RCA ceased production of the theremin after a very limited pilot production run of only instruments in totalmaking them among the rarest manufactured electronic devices of any kind. To put this in perspective, inthe year after the last documented sale of a new RCA Theremin, RCA as just one of many manufacturers produced 9, radios per day. Currently, only RCA Theremins are known to survive.

Theremin (An instrument you play by not touching it)

A non-technical explanation of the principle of operation is necessarily a simplification. To put it succinctly, a low-level electromagnetic field is generated within the circuits of the instrument.

This field, which extends to an active distance of a few feet, emanates from the two antennas; the vertical pitch control rod on the top of the cabinet, and the horizontal volume control loop on the side. The electromagnetic fields are relatively weak; a tiny fraction of a mobile phone in use. Both are set at approximately kilohertz which is in the radio frequency, or RF range.

This is well below the AM radio band, but still about ten times beyond human hearing. The like frequencies of the two pitch oscillators cancel each other out, leaving just the difference frequency which is well within the range of human hearing.

Leon Theremin's conception of his namesake included a repertoire of classical music selections. By the end ofit had been heard on programs of the New York, Cleveland and Philadelphia symphony orchestras and a number of composers of prominence had written especially for the theremin.

Also that year, a performance of ten theremins was demonstrated at Carnegie Hall as part of an avant-garde multimedia production.An artist friend of mine is making a sculpture out of 12 gauge steel. It will be about 8 feet tall and 5 feet wide.

He asked me how he could have it make sounds when people interact with it. I immediately thought of making it into a giant Theremin. It would be a simple Theremin with pitch control, but no volume control. If the dome is insulated from the ground, could the whole sculpture be the antenna? Can anyone recommend a simple circuit that I could build that would work with this?

It should be able to be connected to a common audio amplifier and speakers. It would be ideal if the whole sculpture could be an antenna, but if that wouldn't work, it might be possible for some part of the sculpture to be the antenna. Is there another way to have the sculpture produce sound when people are near it? I don't think that an optical Theremin would work for this as the people would be interacting with it outdoors day and night in constantly changing lighting conditions. When I googled to see if I could find any information on making a large Theremin, I found the giant Theremin in Melbourne, Australia, which isn't really a Theremin at all.

That sculpture apparently uses video cameras and computers to detect people and produce sounds. That is much too complicated and expensive for this project. Your subject comes up periodically. So you're artistic approach should be to turn something on and off. The most proven method is passive infrared detection and after that is ultrasonic detection. Look these two methods up in the field of home alarm systems. There may be something new on the market but I am not aware of it, then I am not aware of a lot of things.

large theremin

Your original approach is the same as making a car sitting on four rubber tires a theremin. There are technical reasons why this could never work effectively. From: Eastleigh, Hampshire, U. Fred Mundell.

Electronics Engineer. Primarily Analogue. CV Synths Theremin developer to present. A lot comes down to the size of the structure, and how much you know about electronics. You are unlikely to find any circuit ready to do the job. The size area of the conductive elements defines the "background" capacitance seen.

large theremin

Also, the structure needs to be electrically isolated from ground. It wont be playable, one person would probably give only marginal shift in pitch the more people gathered 'round the structure, the higher the pitch and you would probably want to link pitch to volume in some way so that there wasnt a continuous irritating whine.

But it should be possible. But it all really comes down to your skills with electronics - it certainly could be done, but will require some calculations to get you in the right "ball park" and then a lot of fiddling about with component values on the actual sculpture. Email me and I will give you some starter ideas - BUT - ONLY if you understand how a works, what capacitance is, how a theremin basically operates etc, as I cannot spare the time to teach you electronics!

It is also worth considering the sound produced. Without additional processing the instrument will produce a constant howl of unvarying volume or timbre that randomly slides up and down in pitch.Our new search experience requires JavaScript to be enabled. Please enable JavaScript on your browserthen try again. Save theremin to get e-mail alerts and updates on your eBay Feed. Unfollow theremin to stop getting updates on your eBay Feed. You'll receive email and Feed alerts when new items arrive.

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We will get through this together. Updated: February 27, References. A theremin is a musical instrument played without touching it.

To create sound with a theremin, electromagnetic fields are generated by antennae and manipulated by hand. The instrument is better known for its use as a special effect in science fiction movies than for music, though the inventor toured the US playing classical pieces on this ethereal-sounding creation. Used famously in songs by the Beach Boys, Led Zeppelin, and the Pixies, you can build a theremin using radio frequency oscillators and other items readily available at electronic parts stores.

While you need to have a good handle of basic electronics and wiring, you can learn the basics of wiring the circuits and putting together a unit of your own. Log in Facebook Loading Google Loading Civic Loading No account yet? Create an account. We use cookies to make wikiHow great.

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Together, they cited 6 references. This article has also been viewedtimes. Learn more Explore this Article Planning Your Project.

A Vacuum Tube Theremin

Wiring the Theremin. Finishing the Theremin.The theremin is a simple musical instrument, and its range in specs and cost largely depend on the materials and quality of the instrument. The typical overall design of the instrument has not really changed a lot since the production of theremins began decades ago, so, it might not be difficult to get yourself one and start playing.

Before you start contemplating about the different features and all you need to know about buying a theremin, there are some basic things that simple ones should have and what they do to enable you to play it better. Before even a beginner can start playing the instrument, there are a couple of things they should look out for when buying a theremin.

These things to look out for are not major pointers to a good product, but they will make the item an enjoyable one to have. Because playing it depends on the relative distance of the hand from the antenna, the model of the theremin you purchase will affect the natural range of each note. You might want to consider this because a small-sized theremin might be challenging to play.

The simplicity of the instrument matters a lot. If you take up more than you need, playing it might be difficult, and you may end up dissatisfied with the musical instrument. Some features can be a distraction from the main goal of controlling the pitch to produce good sounds. The original theremins came with two heterodyne oscillators as part of their design. One of the oscillators plays a fixed frequency, while the other plays a different pitch relative to your hand movement.

The difference between those two will be what you hear. But theremins today can be made with only a pitch oscillator. This makes the instrument simpler and easier to build. Before buying a theremin, ask yourself what you intend to do with it. This will affect the standard of theremin you can get for yourself. Do you want to generate spooky sounds for your Halloween parties and for fun, or do you want to play classical music?

How the pitch is controlled will determine which one to go for. Look for a theremin that has good pitch linearity. This means that the notes are more evenly placed across the pitch range of the theremin.

This is what determines the playability of a theremin — its linearity. When considering an unassembled theremin, it is crucial that you have some fundamental understanding of how the electronics work.

It also helps if you have any previous experience with electronic kits.In this project I will show you how the electronic instrument Theremin works and how we can create a simple version of it with the help of 2 ICs and only a few complementary components.

Along the way we will talk about oscillator types, body capacitance and much more. So let's get started! Did you use this instructable in your classroom? Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

The video gives you all the information you need to create your own simple theremin. In the next steps though I will present you some additional information to make recreating this project even easier. Here you can find the schematic along with reference pictures of my finished perfboard layout. Feel free to replicate my circuit. I have a question on the Potentiometers. Should TM2 be 10k? Basically you can turn this circuit into a superheterodyne radio by replacing the antenna oscillator with an RC circuit as the AM radio receiver.

Awesome Instructable. Great seller examples with links! Just wondering - how could I add the volume antenna? Reply 2 years ago.

large theremin

How hard would it be to add a circuit to allow it to have a volume antenna as well as the note? The problem with this and many other simple Theremins is they describe only half of the Real Theremin. If you watch the video he explains the logic behind removing the volume antenna in order to simplify the circuits. Its a pretty slick workaround. By GreatScottLab Follow. More by the author:. Add Teacher Note. You did it! You just built your own Simple Theremin! Did you make this project?

Share it with us! I Made It! Embed Tinkercad Designs in Instructables by bekathwia in Websites.

Make Your Own Simple Theremin

Large Motors Class 14, Enrolled. Reply Upvote. Prius 8 months ago. What an incredible Instructable, extremely well explained. Thanks a lot! Mekhi Graham 2 years ago. Awake 2 years ago. JerryE4 2 years ago. Watch a bit of Star Trek the origional series, the Theramin is used in the intro music.