Amazing staccato attack

Posted: 10/12/2005 2:28:39 PM

From: Jax, FL

Joined: 2/14/2005

I was inspired by October's Picture of the Month which shows the strips of aluminum foil that Robert had glued near his volume antenna.

I tried it and it works pretty well. I am still experimenting with differnet lengths and placements of the strips but the effect is cool.

I also put an L-shaped strip near the volume loop and by touching it I can instantly silence the theremin. The strip is in the lower left-hand corner of the top of the instrument (if you are looking down on it from above). The vertical part of the "L" is a little shorter then the case and the horizontal piece extends past the volume knob. This allows me to touch it without affecting the volume significantly.

Here's the cool part... When I let go the strip I get the quickest attack I have ever heard on a theremin!

You might say this is cheating but I think anything that helps get a good or interesting sound is fair game.

It also takes away some of the charm of the instrument, which is the whole "pulling notes from the air" thing.

Has anybody else tried this?
Posted: 10/12/2005 8:36:03 PM

Joined: 9/23/2005

Actually, playing staccato in the way pamelia shows us for walking basses, (I think) makes possible to play as fast as you are telling without any contact with the theremin.

However, it looses expression, because it gets more 'mechanical'; and due to the nature of the theremin, there is no change to the theremin's harmonic response in relation to the attack rate.

However, if it works for you and has nice results, just simply show us!
Posted: 10/13/2005 4:24:21 AM

From: germany

Joined: 8/16/2005

i have also tried that, when i was first experimenting with aluminium foil. the main reason why i didn't keep it was that i didn't want to spoil bob's autograph with any foil close to it. but the effect is really cool. the attack is a lot faster than with any technique you can apply with your hand, even with the amazing pamelia's snappy plucking approach.

another thing (concerning attack) you can try is this:
bring you fingertips (outstretched fingers) to the point of the volume antenna that is closest to you. your elbow should be in a 90° angle and your lower arm the same to the front panel of the theremin. try to be as close to the antenna as possible, without touching it. then start a rapid up-ad-down movement from your wrist, slow down and speed up again.

everyone can be an innovator...

Posted: 10/13/2005 5:23:52 PM

From: Jax, FL

Joined: 2/14/2005

I will have to try that out.

I have not tried Pamela's technique. I don't know enough about it to attempt it yet but the attack I get with the foil is quicker then anythign I have heard anyone do.

I will research her style a little more and see how it works for me. I like being able ot get a quick attack sometimes but my problem with the foil thing is that it involves touching the instrument and that kind of spoils it for me.

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