Effects pt.2

Posted: 10/15/2009 12:02:37 AM
Joe Max

From: Oakland, California

Joined: 1/2/2009

Another approach is to process the theremin signal through a computer. I'm an audio engineer by trade, and there are lots of guitatists (Pat Metheny and John McLaughlin come to mind) I've heard running their guitar through a laptop and nothing else (well, except for a really nice tube pre-amp, like a UA or Avalon - you can feed a UA with a digital signal.)

Most pros I've seen used Logic or Abelton Live recording software, and just ran their guitar audio through track inputs, applied the plug-ins.

If you have a Mac, you can do the same with the Garage Band software that came with it for free.

All you need is an audio input on the computer (either built-in or a USB adaptor) and get a stereo signal out from the headphone jack with the right adapters.

InTone Matrix software by Audiflex is a stand-alone virtual effects rack. I've run my theremin through a demo version of inTone for Mac and the results were pretty impressive, though it's a bit pricey.
Posted: 10/15/2009 6:39:38 AM

From: Canada

Joined: 8/1/2008

Re: Gordon's mp3 shifter sample - this is an example of what I was talking about. We can hear the device "working" and what we end up with does not sound at all like a theremin. It's a sort of growling and rumbling sound. At times it sounds more like a vacuum cleaner than a musical instrument. There is also a lot of static toward the end of the sample (possibly from an overload into the recording device).

There are certain kinds of music in which the distortion, artifacts etc. all become part of the sound and are actually considered desirable. It all depends on what you are looking for.
Posted: 10/15/2009 7:38:06 AM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

The crackling is indeed due to an overload, as I noted in my previous posting.

By an odd coincidence, shortly after I uploaded the samples I became aware of this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DO6Y9_5e7A) of The Bloody Beetroots, which from about 55 seconds in has a sound not a million miles from the sample of the PS2 - albeit cleaner and more in tune. (I suspect it is from a Moog Voyager.)

I agree with Peter that there is a fair amount of music for which this would be inappropriate. I am currently working on a piece that uses it. :-)

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