Playing Two Theremins At The Same Time

Posted: 2/15/2007 1:51:11 PM
Thomas Grillo

From: Jackson Mississippi

Joined: 8/13/2006

I just got my Etherwave Standard back from Moog Music, and parked it near my Etherwave Pro, and started messin' around with the theremins. I have to turn the volume on the amp down a bit, and play them like they were matryomins, but you can get some cool effects going.

It sucks that my digiverb can't handle the input from two signals run through a splitter, so i'll have to use a mixer to use the cool effects on both theremins at the same time.

At first it sounded like a cat fight in a sewer pipe, but after about 20 minutes my left arm started to coordinate better with the right, and I've started being able to play some chords. I doubt if I'll ever do that in public, but you never know.

The hardest thing to do is keep both in tune with each other because the Standard is non linear, and the Pro is "more" linear, and has a wider range too.

I'm thinkin' about pickin' up another standard to evin things out a bit.

Might be cool, if not bizar if I could sit on a stool, and work the volume antennae whith my feet, or knees while the arms do the pitch work.

Then again, they might come to take me away, or the audience, which ever goes nuts first.
Posted: 2/15/2007 2:13:16 PM

From: Kingston, NY

Joined: 2/13/2005

I think Chris Conway has performed playing two theremins.

At least I seem to remember seeing a picture of him doing it somewhere. He was standing up.
Posted: 2/15/2007 3:39:51 PM
Thomas Grillo

From: Jackson Mississippi

Joined: 8/13/2006

I'd imagin he was using dynamics pedals for the volume.

I remember seeing a "double" theremin on someones web site dealing with theremins a while back. They were stacked on top of each other, and one was turned around so you could access the volume and pitch antennae, but it looks like you'd have to approach the pitch antennae using an outside arc. Pretty cool.
Posted: 2/15/2007 4:04:26 PM

From: Leicester, UK

Joined: 9/23/2005

I haven't seriously tried to play 2 theremins at once - I was only having a laugh at a workshop I was giving.

I think I'll stick to 1 theremin - at least until the other 2 arms I have on order arrive - been waiting 44 years for those, darnit.
Posted: 2/15/2007 4:42:21 PM

From: Jax, FL

Joined: 2/14/2005

For some reason I just thought of a video I saw of two men playing "chopsticks" on the piano with using their hands at all.

Maybe we could apply this technique to the theremin....
Posted: 2/16/2007 9:54:05 AM
Thomas Grillo

From: Jackson Mississippi

Joined: 8/13/2006

I noticed a some interesting interactions going on between the two theremins. Both theremins will exhibit interesting charactoristics when parked close to each other.

With both theremins switched on, the E Standard's volume antenna's field changes such that it will generate 3 distinct zones. The smallest zone being close to the antenna. When you pass your hand through these zones you get some strange stacotto effects.

On the Pro, if you touch the volume antenna, you get the chirp just like the E Standard's sometimes do.

Turn one theremin off, and the effects go away.

Pretty strange, but cool interactions between all those magnetic fields.

Now I know why a theremin orchestra would have to be widely spaced from each other, and why it's probably impractical to have much more than a chamber size orchestra on the same stage.

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