Radio Antenna signal 'sound art project'

Posted: 3/6/2014 5:16:32 AM

Joined: 3/6/2014

It is my pleasure to find this forum, since I have been looking for any kind of solution for my project with lack of understanding on signal processing.

I am making an art project using a typical radio antenna. (just like the one from Theremin)

I want to make this antenna to generate a static sound thru a speaker.
I don't want it to be a fully functional radio with all the hardware parts.

I will install many of this radio antenna suspended from the ceiling, so it's static/low-frequency sound gets shifted when the audience walks by or touch it directly. (just like a Theremin - you don't touch the antenna,coil, but its sound shift)

I do not know the hardware like transmitter, amplifier, receiver etc. from the radio. I guess this needs an amplifier to be connected to the speaker.
I was thinking to use a contact mic or a phone pickup mic with a preamp, but I wonder if it collects any noise signal?
How can I make this antenna gathers a  signal, so simply generates its noise thru the speaker?

Could you PLEASE tell me which equipment is minimally needed to make this antenna work as a sort of Theremin?

Which preamp is needed to make this shifting noise loud enough like Theremin has?
How to get a stronger interference from a further proximity to the antenna without increase the sound amplification?

I hope someone could guide me a bit despite of my lack of understanding on radio & theremin.


Posted: 3/6/2014 4:46:00 PM
RS Theremin

From: 60 mi. N of San Diego CA

Joined: 2/15/2005

Hi there,

You should tell us your general location as what is available varies around the world, your budget?, your skills, can you solder? Are you asking for someone else to design this for you or just share ideas?

You are correct some theremins use a radio antenna:

From what I interpret you want to install several of these around the room? You want a white noise effect that changes as people pass by within a few feet? You want to mount this from the ceiling with people passing underneath triggering the effect? Probably each setup is battery operated and each with its own speaker?

A theremin may not be the best approach because of control issues, think passive infra-red detection which is on/off in response.

Have the IR sensor turn on/off an "analog" AM Radio tuned to white noise next to it which is the hissing inbetween channels going back to the Big Bang and circuit components.

For cost and battery life effectiveness these two are worth exploring. If you need a fading in/out then an ultra-sonic detector approach could give this. If you want the fake theremin whistle sound the ultra-sonic detector could drive an audio oscillator using various methods.

Let the technology that is available guide this project, if your Art needs a hanging antenna fake it.

I wish you well, it sounds like a fun project.


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