Sticky: Roll Call! - 2009!

Posted: 1/2/2009 1:08:49 PM

From: Kingston, NY

Joined: 2/13/2005

Well here's another year...
and here's a new thread for 2009 to introduce yourself.
Whether you're a new member, or you've been one and just haven't said hello yet.

This is the place to tell us a bit about yourself and how the Theremin has become part of your life, what's gotten you interested in it, or what your first Theremin Adventures are like.

I'm John. I live in New York City, and have been working with Jason here at TW for several years. I've been playing a theremin a while now, and have gotten to perform in a lot of different situations.

ThereminWorld has always been my main stay for All Things Theremin; TW and our unique instrument have helped me meet a lot of kindred folks and make some good friends.

I, and the gang here, look forward to getting to know all of you!
[b]Happy Thereminizing![/b]
Posted: 1/3/2009 3:43:20 PM
Joe Max

From: Oakland, California

Joined: 1/2/2009

Hello All,

I'm Joe and I live in Oakland CA. I'm in the process of buying my first real theremin and appreciate any advice.

My first theremin adventure was in the early 1970s in my garage band (I was the singer). The guitar player had a Sonic Wave theremin that I would make Jimmy Page noises with in some of our songs.

I'm on a limited budget (who isn't these days?) and can't afford to spring for an Etherwave or Theremax right now, so I'm looking for alternatives for decent quality theremin.

Whatever I end up with, I have plans to build it into a gorgeous 1920's style "treasure box" I've been saving. I'm good at soldering and building kits, but I don't balk at buying an assembled theremin and taking it apart to adapt it to my box.

Even though I'm not a Clara Rockmore level musician (not even close!) I still am leaning toward a two antenna instrument, because I want the real thing.

The best deal for the money in a two antenna theremin seems to be in Australia, which sells a kit for US$95. Does anyone have any experience with these instruments? Graeme has been very helpful in answering my questions.

I'm a bit dissapointed that Theremin World doesn't have more coverage of the various instruments available beyond the Etherwave and the Theremax, except for one other theremin maker that seems to have gone out of business. It would be a great service to potential thereminists if there were listings, reviews, etc. on the many theremins available today, to help us make a better decision on purchasing.

But thanks to the folks at Theremin World for this forum and website!
Posted: 1/3/2009 6:18:43 PM

From: Redmond, WA

Joined: 9/1/2007

Welcome to Theremin World, Joe Max!

You might try Tom Farrell's page...extensive info on various models, and a chart comparing their features.

List of models with discriptions (

Chart comparing features (

Posted: 1/18/2009 4:30:26 AM

From: Phoenix

Joined: 1/18/2009

Hi! My name is Mandi I live in Mesa, Az (part of the Phoenix metro area) I learned about theremins 3 years ago in my rock n roll history class and the moment I heard it I was in love. I finally will be buying my first theremin in a few weeks I am not looking for anything special just something simple to start off with like a analog theremin and once I get a little bit more serious maybe I will purchase a mook I am still learning about them and so I dont know what the difference is between the two but from what I have knoticed a mook is a little more advance/nice than a typical analog thermin. As much advice will be helpful for me but either way I am SO excited to get started.
Posted: 1/19/2009 3:22:03 AM
Joe Max

From: Oakland, California

Joined: 1/2/2009

Hello Mandi, I'm in the same situation, except I've played a cheap Theremin (called a "Sonic Wave") years ago in a band I sang in.

I just ordered a Burns B3 myself. The playing field is small, but it seems to be usable judging from the videos I've seen on YouTube. And it's very affordable for a real, nice sounding instrument.

The B3 is an analog instrument, not digital. Digital "theremins" usually use tiny light sensors that you shade with your hands instead of antennas, so the amount of light where you're playing makes it respond differently (and it's no good at all in the dark!) They aren't good for much but making scary noises.
Posted: 1/19/2009 4:12:07 AM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Joe Max wrote: [i]digital "theremins" usually use tiny light sensors[/i]

This is true, but not what defines a "digital theremin" - the audio output of a digital theremin is generated digitally - for instance with a 555 chip ( Instruments using light sensors are designated "opto-theremins" in contrast to theremins, which have capacitive sensors.

Here ( is an example of a digital capacitive (single antenna) theremin. I am not aware of any capacitive opto-theremins, although they are feasible.

(And just to add to the confusion, the device used by The Beach Boys, often mistaken for a theremin is an "electro-theremin" or tannerin, which has a tactile interface (you touch it.) There is more info about tannerins here (

Posted: 1/20/2009 7:11:08 AM

From: Phoenix

Joined: 1/18/2009

I have heard about tannerins and I think one day I may pick one up but for now one instrument at a time. I am very excited I got a B3 deluxe off ebay and I will be buying it today. I am very excited :) Also I was at guitar center the other day and they had a keyboard with a built in theremin, looks like its mostly just for spooky sounds and I also knoticed when I was at the Styx concert on new years the singer that plays the keyboards for them had one. Can anyone tell me about that?
Posted: 1/20/2009 6:20:24 PM

Joined: 11/30/2008

Hello hello,

Just in case you're still looking for a theremin, there's a Moog Etherwave Standard, for a pretty good price.

$299 on theBay (

And no, it's not mine and neither do I know the seller, just thought it's a good deal for anyone on the board who might be interested.
Posted: 2/7/2009 7:16:39 PM

From: Chillicothe, Ohio USA

Joined: 1/29/2009

My name is Margaret. I first heard the theremin at a festival in Chicago in 2001. It was the most exhilarating day of my life prior to the day I received my theremin in the mail and colected it at the post office years later.

On that day in 2001, I was in attendance of the festival in order to perform as a member of the Capital University MIDI Band. I played an Alesis QS8 most of the time, and later a vocoder, which was great fun. After the concert, which was a huge success, Dr. Rocky Reuter, the director of the group, suggested we watch a concert by a group called the Kurstins. I had no idea what I was in for. It was, of course, Pamela Kurstin and her then-husband Greg, a very talented "Mooger-Fooger-er", and they played most of the tracks from their self-titled album. I think I have never fallen in love with any person more than I did Pamelia's performance. I was not prepared for the mystique and elegance and unbelievable control of this instrument, particularly Pamelia's performance, and I could not contain the raw and uncharted emotion any longer the first time she walked the bass ("Our Love is Hear to Stay"). I began to cry in public, something I despise doing, but could not control my feelings at that moment. Afterwards I spoke with Pamelia briefly and she let me try out her RCA cabinet, which was a great joy!

As if the day could not get any more thrilling, I then learned that Bob Moog himself was there, giving a seminar. I was unable to attend because it was given during Pamelia's performance, but after the seminar I was determined to meet Bob. I was so nervous, I was seriously shaking all over!, and he could not have been a more gentle and humble person. Having gotten the awkward introduction of myself out of the way, I told him my thoughts on the theremin, and that I would like to learn to play it and had some ideas for its use in a classroom setting, he gave me his business card, and we corresponded by e-mail for more than a month.

Then I left for Hungary, and the focus of my life changed. Less than four years later, Bob was gone, and I was filled with regret. I had let myself forget about the impact the theremin had on my life because I had fallen in love all over again, with this beautiful town called Kecskemét where I was studying the Kodály method.

When I returned from Hungary, I led what I would call a fairly pedestrian life for some years. After I earned my bachelor's degree I decided it was high time for some real life experience.

To make a long story short, I renewed my acquaintanceship with Pamelia last year when I found her on Myspace, and I purchased an Etherwave. However, I had sustained two very serious wrist injuries the year before, and was not completely healed. Even now some days are bad, but at that point I had to shelve the instrument against my own wishes. I only felt comfortable starting to play at length about three months ago, and I played my first gig on Christmas Eve at my childhood church here in Chillicothe. I played and simultaneously sang "In the Bleak Midwinter". The melody of this piece mirrors the reverence I still have for the instrument today, and my determination to one day earn the name "thereminist".

Whew! Good to get that out of my system. I think I shall have to copy this to my blog now!
Posted: 2/7/2009 7:50:33 PM

From: Kingston, NY

Joined: 2/13/2005

Welcome to ThereminWorld theremin_ohio.
Quite an entry adventure. Glad you finally got an instrument. Hope the wrists heal fast and you have fun adventures playing!

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