helloooo! theremin newbie in new york

Posted: 5/11/2006 12:40:18 PM

From: brooklyn, ny

Joined: 2/25/2006

just ordered an etherwave and i am so excited! i viewed "theremin- an electric odyssey" years ago and have wanted to play the theremin ever since.

i studied and earned a bachelor's of music in flute performance and music education, and also have a background in conducting and (slightly less) in dance. hoping these will help me on my way to learning the theremin.

need to purchase a decent (but not too expensive) keyboard amp...ordered the pringle dvd. have a practice room and some headphones, and, actually, some time (for once).

any suggestions? words of encouragement? teacher recommendations in the nyc area?

thanks! this forum has been a wealth of information for me...just reading the posts re. technique make me practically giddy. :)
Posted: 5/11/2006 1:42:14 PM

From: Jax, FL

Joined: 2/14/2005

Welcome to Theremin World, nowlze.

I am currently shopping for amps also.

The best thing I can tell you there is to take the Etherwave to a local music store and try out some amps.

I am leaning toward the Crat kx100. It was great bottom end and lots of nice features.

At home I play through a small Peavey guitar amp, which works OK.

Headphones help keep the peace at home.
Posted: 5/11/2006 2:05:07 PM
Charlie D

From: England

Joined: 2/28/2005

I'd recommend that you get a nice guitar amp instead of a keyboard one, as they have reverb (useful for making it sound nicer + it makes it significantly easier to play, as you can 'hear' yourself better). Go test some out when the Etherwave arrives!

Really, I wish you the best of luck. Practice whenever you can, and most of all, enjoy it. Just have fun, and listen to lots of good theremin playing (Rockmore, Pringle, Kavina etc.)

I hope to hear from you you soon!
Posted: 5/15/2006 3:08:31 PM

From: brooklyn, ny

Joined: 2/25/2006

thanks for the well wishes!
my theremin came from zzounds (very expeditiously, i might add...) and i LOVE IT! i've been playing it through headphones and a mixer. so far, just practicing scales and arpeggios, simple melodies that lend themselves to the instrument, trying to mess around with the left hand, vibrato, and just basically attempting to understand the workings of everything. and, of course, fulfilling my need to rock.

i cannot get my head around how you create a physical reference for yourself when playing this instrument, but i am having a lot of fun.
Posted: 5/15/2006 4:43:42 PM

From: Kingston, NY

Joined: 2/13/2005

So glad it arrived fast and your having fun and rocking out with it, contrats!

For me, for now at least, the shape of my hand and arm is my physical reference.
You should check out the various threads in the Theremin Technique forum, there's a lot of different approches people have posted there.
Hope to we meet at some of the local theremin events seems most of them are in your borough!
Posted: 5/15/2006 10:06:11 PM

From: Kansas City, Mo.

Joined: 8/23/2005

Some Theremins produce line level signals and others produce instrument level signals.

If an instrument level signal is applied to an input that expects a line level input (a typical keyboard amp input), then you will have to turn your volume up pretty high to compensate -- and you may pick up noise in the form of unwanted hiss and hum. The only solution to this is to get an amp that accepts an instrument level input or to get a separate preamp.

The opposite problem occurs if you run a line-level signal into an amp that expects an instrument (or mic) level input (a guitar amp input). In that case, the Theremin's output may overdrive the amp's input, causing distortion.

So, what can one do if one's wants to use a guitar amp (that expects an instrument level signal) with a Theremin that produces a line-level signal? One option is to get an attenuating patch cord (Radio Shack sells them) that will convert your line-level signal to an instrument level signal.

An alternative to built-in effects is to get an effects pedal. Some performers like the effects pedal (sometimes called a stomp box) because you can change the effect with your foot while playing.

The path from your Theremin to the speaker is called the signal path. The signal path consists of preamps, effects, power amp, and speakers.

A guitar or keyboard amp with built-in effects and speaker is the most portable solution -- just plug in your Theremin and you are good to go. A setup with seperate effects units, preamps, speakers... can be harder to transport and takes longer to set up. Thus, the way you configure your signal path depends upon your needs and desires.

For example, I use a mixer with built-in effects however, at the moment, the only effect I use is to add a little reverb to the Theremin signal. If I have a desire to turn effects on and off on the fly, then I will have to get an effects pedal of some kind.

Keep us posted on your progress.

-- Kevin

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