Electro-Harmonix "Ravish Sitar" with theremin?

Posted: 3/11/2013 3:22:05 PM

From: In between the Pitch and Volume hand ~ New England

Joined: 12/17/2010

Anyone has one home and had tried it on the theremin?

I am wondering what kind of sound would come out of it?


Posted: 3/11/2013 6:46:35 PM
RS Theremin

From: 60 mi. N of San Diego CA

Joined: 2/15/2005


Welcome to Theremin World, look around and be pleasantly surprised.

Look at that Hit Count..Amethyste has become a Rock Star.... go girl !!!

On my theremin design I have a direction switchable volume control which is a more abrupt plucking of the note/sound with a downward motion for On. Couple this with my organic pitch preview sine wave tone and using the special frequency controlled square/triangular non-organic wave output, it might prove itself interesting and give new meaning to RS Theremin. Not!

The video used the word organic (digital) so freely, are they serious or just kidding? Isn't that like saying Jumbo-Shrimp?

Piping my theremin real time octave shifting audio through the RS might be worth a try if it is the sound someone wanted to explore. Listen.mp3  This concept is no longer available. Please no more orders!!!


Edit: Social Media has taken this thread viral. I have theremin buyers lining up at my door with a fist full of dollars, oh my! A dozen or more said cost is not an issue as they want to be original. We are going to need a bigger boat... load of boards. LOL

Every email is saved for the future even if it currently goes unanswered!

Posted: 3/13/2013 6:51:19 PM

Joined: 2/23/2011

I was also interested in that pedal.  Who wouldn't want to be a sitareminist?  Watching this video of an electric viola played through the effect (probably the closest thing on YouTube to someone playing a theremin through it) convinced me not to pursue it:




I just didn't like how the box made her instrument sound.


If you want to try one out, you could always buy one from guitarcenter.com and return it to your local GC if you don't like it.

Posted: 3/13/2013 6:54:58 PM

Joined: 2/23/2011

Actually, there is a video of someone theremining through that pedal, but I don't think it's terribly helpful:



Posted: 3/14/2013 12:16:30 AM
RS Theremin

From: 60 mi. N of San Diego CA

Joined: 2/15/2005

Dmi said: "I just didn't like how the box made her instrument sound."

How you doing? Personally I think anything digital mixed with theremins misses the point completely. A good theremin sound should not even need digital reverb, if so just enough "not" to mask what the theremin expresses. The design should not rely on this band-aid.

The theremin is old school by design and it is the connecting to the era gone by. That is why I refuse to use electronic components Lev Sergeyevich did not experiment with through the 70's & early 80's in Moscow.

IMHO - If a theremin uses anything digital call it something else, maybe a digital proximity controller or even an electro-theremin as the maker of that musical instrument refused to claim the name and was disappointed so many were mislead to believe it was a theremin!


Posted: 3/14/2013 10:42:35 AM

From: Canada

Joined: 8/1/2008

RS wrote: The theremin is old school by design and it is the connecting to the era gone by. That is why I refuse to use electronic components Lev Sergeyevich did not experiment with through the 70's & early 80's in Moscow.

Are you aware that the Big Briar (Moog) SERIES 91 theremins are not heterodyne instruments? They are voltage control synthesizers. By limiting ourselves only to devices that Leon Theremin was acquainted with we may be cutting ourselves off from all sorts of wonderful acoustic discoveries that Lev himself would have found fascinating had he lived long enough to be acquainted with them.

I have a neighbor who has a collection of vintage automobiles and he loves to sing the praises of their design, their impeccable burled walnut workmanship, their spaciousness and plush comfort, their stunning chrome work, etc.,

I notice, however, that when he drives into town he takes the Toyota.


Posted: 3/14/2013 11:02:52 AM

From: Canada

Joined: 8/1/2008

I have not heard what the EH RAVISH SITAR sounds like with a theremin but, from the demos I have seen, the unit seems to have been designed for use with the electric guitar - in other words, for an instrument that has an "attack". If it were used with a continuous control instrument like the theremin, I suspect the results would be an acoustic "mush". 

The RAVISH provides the harmonics of a vibrating sitar string, and adds the resonance of the sympathetic strings to the output, lending a "canned" exotic flavor to a plucked string or a synthesized version of a plucked string.

I doubt it would do much for the human voice or for a theremin. The only way to find out is to TRY IT. 

Posted: 3/14/2013 7:00:12 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


Dont call it a theremin... If...

It doesnt have a volume antenna? (I am inclined to agree that technically a pitch-only unit should not be called a theremin, but have yielded on this - See *)

It doesnt use heterodyning? at least the Moog 91 series are phoney-mins!

It uses any "digital" components ? (even if these are used for mixed-mode operation or doesnt function as a binary computation element in the usual sense? It uses logic gates / inverters in an "analogue" mode  (such as for oscillators) ? Is there actually any difference between a "digital" logic inverter and an "analogue" comparator acting as an "inverter" ? Where exactly does one draw this ficticious line ?) [oh, at least the Tvox,Evox,91series,E-Pro are all phoney-mins .. All of these have "digital" ICs, some are packed full of them! - And the Theremax uses comparators in a mode equivalent to logic]

It is  fed through any digital processing ? So taking any theremin and recording this via an A/D (PC Soundcard for example) means it aint a theremin no more! - in this case it is likely that most people (even those who have heard recordings of Clara playing probably the best theremin ever built) have never heard a theremin! Only those who have heard a "real" theremin played live, or have heard analogue recordings played through analogue playback with no "digital" anywhere in the path, have heard the theremin!

It uses components Lev never used or experimented with ? That rules out almost every theremin except the original Lev theremins (RCA et al) and tube theremins which are designed without any post-80's parts. What about OTA's ? Did Lev use them? (I think the first OTA IC's came out in the early 80's)  If not, is the EW a theremin?

*Arguing about what is/is not a theremin is a distraction IMO - Its a way to belittle anything one doesnt like (even if one believes one is right - as I have in the past ;-)  - Take almost any theremin made today, and you can bash it -"its not heterodyning" "it uses square waves" "Its got an XOR in it!" "it uses an OTA" "Its got a CMOS IC in it!" ..etc..

This then leads to facile dishonest absurdities from those promoting their own "theremin" - Like advertisements I have seen (I paraphrase): "All analogue circuits have coils" "If the theremin doesnt have coils its not analogue" "Buy our three transistor two coil rubbish circuit board for $150 and you have a true theremin!"  - No - If one wants to be pedantic, one doesnt have a "true theremin" if there is no volume antenna! Far more important (IMO) to have a volume antenna to make it a "true theremin" than to worry about its circuit topology... And oh - these con men (or ignorami) probably havent even heard of linearity! ..

Perhaps also its not a "true theremin" if it doesnt have a linearizing / equalizing inductor the way EVERY Lev theremin had ?

Mark Keppinger got it spot on IMO when he detailed why he didnt get involved in / left theremin forums and mailing lists - mocking the "My theremin is bigger than your theremin" attitude!

The fact is that the name "theremin" has become a synonym for any device which produces a change in pitch by any non-contact (proximity / gesture) method - Like it or lump it, this is the fact- We cannot fight it even if we have cause to.

As for "true theremin" this is becoming a bit like the "true Scotsman" fallacy:

A simple rendition of the fallacy would be:

Person A: "No Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge."
Person B: "I am Scottish, and I put sugar on my porridge."
Person A: "Then you are not a true Scotsman." 

Sadly, I must confess to having been as pedantic and stupid about what a "true" theremin "is" as anyone else - Its too easy to get fixated by nonsense! - And it can be painful to let go of silly ideas to which one has become "emotionally" attached.

I have been unfairly critical of some "new" theremins which had sound or features I personally disliked - Fine if I had just said "I dont like the sound" or "I dont like the style" or "Having the pitch antenna 3 inches from the volume antenna is, IMO, a bad idea".. But I didnt - I used "objective""technical" reasons rather than my subjective reasons in my arguments.. Sometimes these "objective reasons" were based on the kind of "true theremin" fallacies I list above.


Posted: 3/14/2013 8:15:19 PM

From: portland

Joined: 11/30/2011

RS wrote: Personally I think anything digital mixed with theremins misses the point completely. A good theremin sound should not even need digital reverb, if so just enough "not" to mask what the theremin expresses. The design should not rely on this band-aid.

Dont judge all reverb by a cheap digital reverb. A decent spring reverb in moderation (drenched in reverb has its place from time to time as an effect, but thats not what im talking about here) adds a bit of presence and warmth to the instrument, I always think of it as a room compensation instead of an instrument compensation, the rooms we most likely play in are not acoustically great, and that is generally beyond our control.  

Which isnt to say an instrument shouldnt be designed to sound as great as possible on its own, but reverb is 1950s at the lastest technology, and is commonly applied to vocals as well, it seems by far, it should be, the least "offensive" of effects to you.   

More conceptually, I think, i remember reading, Lev saw the appeal of the theremin in part with its break with the past. The violin, had many upper class associations and historical baggage, the theremin could fill the role and be a new instrument for the masses in the optimistic future world that was envisioned in the 1920s. Well that all didnt work out so well, but I cant picture Lev caring that much about semantics, how the instrument was made or used, or these matters in general. (Then again, i, obviously, never met the man, and only read one biography.)

Posted: 3/14/2013 10:05:40 PM

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

"Dont judge all reverb by a cheap digital reverb."  - nieradka

I'll say!  The Japanese synthesist Tomita used an AKG BX20E Echo spring reverb on his "Snowflakes are Dancing" album and there's nothing cheap about the sound IMO, very plate-like, even when slathered on rather thick.

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