On my knees - Begging for samples of Lev's Theremins - PLEASE!

Posted: 10/18/2012 3:30:35 PM

From: Eastleigh, Hampshire, U.K. ................................... Fred Mundell. ................................... Electronics Engineer. (Primarily Analogue) .. CV Synths 1974-1980 .. Theremin developer 2007 to present .. soon to be Developing / Trading as WaveCrafter.com . ...................................

Joined: 12/7/2007

Hi folks,

What I want can only be provided by a few people - People who own theremins and their complete sound system (original amplifiers and loudspeakers) created or designed by the master, Lev himself. These obviously include RCA's having a 106 or 100 loudspeaker.

I want high quality recordings taken with a good microphone which adds minimum coloration, from the loudspeaker output (as in, recording the loudspeaker with a microphone) - Minimum background noise or sounds - covering the full frequency range and played at a few different volume levels.

Also, any Lev theremins designed to drive external amplifiers / speakers, or which have been modified under the guidance of Lev or someone who was in contact with him (I think there may be at least one) - well a direct  recording from this would be great.


Specifically - The ideal would be:

Play each note from the lowest to the highest, at maximum volume.

Hold each note steady for at least one second, before moving to the next.

then repeat the above descending the scale, until the theremin nulls.

Then repeat the above, lowering the volume and holding its level steady - the more different volume levels that can be provided, the better - but at least maximum, mid, and minimum audio levels are wanted.

Then a slow sweep (say 20 seconds) from null to highest pitch, and back down again - done at different volume levels as above.. Ideally, several sweeps at different (faster) speeds would also be recorded

Then a slow volume sweep, holding a low pitch (as low as you can get whilst being stable) - Sweep the volume from silent to maximum over a period of about 10 seconds, and back down again to silent.

Repeat the volume sweep for mid audio frequency and for highest frequency.


The above recordings should be as high quality as possible - Wav files ideally, not MP3.

If the above were available then full analysis would be possible - also, there would be a reference against which any "clones" could be compared / judged.

I would want these recording to be placed in the public domain, so that they could be shared by this and future generations of thereminists / theremin enthusiasts.

There will come a time when there will be no surviving Lev Theremins, and when the technology to repair or "clone" them from original or replicant parts will be gone - this may be 100 years from now, but it will happen.

Lets at least get the samples now, while we can - Even if they are not "needed" in this century, the understandings gained from their analysis now will advance theremin development.

There are only a few with the resources to provide the above - And I am begging you, Please ..


The reasons for the above procedure:

recording the ascending / decending notes and holding them at different volume levels will allow careful evaluation of the waveforms / spectrums of each note, and allow identification of harmonic changes as pitch changes, and identify any influence of the volume levels on the harmonics.

These samples will also possibly allow future developers to produce a sample / wavetable replay theremin (I know this will send shivers up the spines of purists - I dont like the idea either - But in the future - if the theremin survives and digital technology continues on its path of relentlessly replacing analogue, well, this is the likely - no - inevitable outcome).

The pitch sweeps will allow a 3d spectrograph to be produced, and importantly, provide data on the dynamic harmonic changes which will occur as the waveform period changes - this is data which one could not directly derive from analysis of sustained notes - although it could be deduced.

The volume sweeps would allow a spectrograph showing the effects (if any) of volume on harmonics.

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