The image on the right is a close up of the mount point at which the pitch antenna attaches to a Moog Etherwave Theremin Standard musical instrument.

I gave said instrument to my wife for her birthday. It is quite the amazingly cool bit of electronics. Not only is it one of the oldest electronic instrument designs, but it is the only electronic instrument played without touching the instrument.

(Or so they claim — that isn’t really true. I played with a video harp at CMU that was played without touching. But it was about 2 orders of magnitude more complex and not nearly such a package of silvery-black coolness.)


On the left is a picture of my wife playing the Theremin for the first time. Roger clearly digs the Theremin, too. He has discovered that if you sneak up on it, it’ll make some very weird low pitched “I see you!” noises. She is considering offering herself up as Theremin soloist for the Saratoga Community Band. Still a lot to learn about the instrument, but she is one of those rare people that can learn any instrument given a few weeks of practice.


I took a series of photos of the Theremin. It is quite the interesting piece of engineering. Elegantly looped volume control antenna and solidly straight pitch antenna.

The manual is thorough beyond the call of duty. Not only providing excellent setup instructions, but also providing you with hints as to how to “turbocharge” your Theremin. The main board has an edge connector through which a number of hack points are provided.

As well, the board has a slew of different tunable parameters (through potentiometers). This is both for the purposes of hack-a-bility and because the instrument’s tuning can be vastly altered by construction of the case, down to and including the type of paint and/or stain used on the wood.

Analog is cool.

5 Responses to “Theremin”

  1. ssp says:

    Uh, this is so cool.

    I only saw my first theremin a few years back at a gig and have been fascinated by them ever since. Never had the chance to try one out though…

  2. natevw says:

    I couldn’t believe the theremin was one of the oldest electronic instruments. But I see on that the theremin is about a hundred years old. Wow!

  3. John C. Randolph says:

    Cool stuff! I didn’t know anyone was manufacturing Theramins these days!


  4. Borkware Miniblog says:

    Quick Review of the “Advanced” book

    B.bum gives a short (but very nice) review of Advanced Mac OS X Programming. Everyone should run out and get a copy for themselves and for their pets.

  5. Pär says:

    How about a demovideo of this? 🙂

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