Meet the Theremini, retro reimagining of early electronic instrument


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Ever since I tried on two seperate occasions to build a theremin, failing each time, the lure of just buying one has slowly grown. This only burgeons it further…

I should sell my old theramin … I haven’t touched it in years!


That’s what I love about Animoog. It looks physical, but there would be almost no way to recreate it in a physical form and keep it affordable. The closest thing I can think of would be like a very long kaossilator for the “key bed” (with an embedded custom-made screen underneath to show the key spacing), and an iPad-like-thing for the main screen. Once you add in all the knobs, it would probably cost as much as most houses.

They took the iPad’s essential trade-off (a highly responsive multitouch surface AT&T he expense of any physical buttons) and just ran with it.

And now I also need 300 bucks. Excuse me while I rummage around my basement for something to eBay.

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Nothing wrong with using both kinds of tools. What they got right 30 years ago need not go to waste. Sometimes I want to poke at a screen but at least as often I like knobs, sliders and keys.

OK but in the ~30 years I’ve been producing music, no one has ever asked me what tools I used to make a track except some other musician/producers.

How do you get to talking about snobs here?

All I said was I like to use both. LIke sometimes I’ll do a bassline with Animoog or some other soft synth, sometimes with something like the Korg Volca Bass and sometimes with my Fender Jazz. If I feel really daring I might use more than one in the same track :smile:

My wife has said to prepare for divorce if I begin playing a theramin.

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You’ll have to get a Martenot then, eh? :smiley:

So far I have the Volca Bass & Beats and I wouldn’t call either a toy as both are incredibly expressive. Check out some of the youtube videos to see what I mean. Out of the box, they don’t have MIDI OUT or CV but there is an active mod community, see here for extensive mods to the Beats and search on other CV or MIDI mods.

In my youth I played a p-bass, then for a while an Ibanez with active pickups but since I came to really understand bass as part of the rhythm section, I’ve stuck with the j-bass with flat wound strings. I still have the Ibanez but it is just gathering dust these days.

You don’t suppose knowing the exalted and expensive provenance of an instrument might influence how a musician plays it? A Stradivarius might not sound better in a double-blind ABX test performed by a robotic bow, but a human musician will almost certainly approach it very differently than a $200 junior varsity band special from Guitar Center.

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