theremini editing presets by midi

Posted: 2/7/2015 5:53:47 PM

From: züriCH

Joined: 3/15/2014

as a theremini (ab)user i thought, it might be interesting, to share some first-time midi-input experiences. 

most use those moog editors, wich are midi controllers, and are happy with it. pros and synth-users will already know more about midi anyway, but many just don’t get until page 33/34 of the manual. or are clueless about that stuff.

it’s not very theremin, so i posted  off topic. 


midi is a now „old“ thing, but still a powerful tool, very useful, when it comes to controlling. the theremini makes no exception and features some nice midi-input possibilities, you can have fun with.

(the references for CC# are from the theremini manual.)


the theremini recieves cc messages on ch(annel)1. so you don’t need to setup anything. camerakit ready? 

i’m going to use the free app „faders“ from yamaha. quite intuitive and easy to handle.: first, choose a new template...the faders start at the bottom with value 0 and go up to 127. therefore, the bi-directional knobs have a zero: at the middle. up means 64 to 127 and down 64 to 0. when a fader is touched, the actual cc#value shows up at the top, also the channel number.1. 

for example: i made a new „wavescan" template and assigned the faders, from left to right,  cc90,cc9,cc20,cc21 and cc119. (selection,rate,amount,position and store). 

my fist assigned fader, cc90, is set at the bottom 0 for sine etc, 1 for tri, etc..

a bit tricky to handle that one, but wen you go through up and check out the wavescanabilities you might find that it bears more waveforms than the editor offers. 

now the cc119 (store to current preset) is  also interesting, because any change on that fader stores what you hear directly into the theremini-memory.

for further storing into libraries and renaming, open the moog editor, let it sync and go on as used to.


have sonic fun, make other templates for filter or one to use with the included x/y pad…or a midi sequencer for sweeps, arpeggios


Posted: 2/8/2015 5:00:20 AM

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 7/29/2014

Nice tips! There's a lot of fun you can have playing around like this with the Theremini.

Here's what I've been doing. The problem with the Theremini and MIDI is that I don't have three arms so if  I want to control a few MIDI parameters at once, you have to get your feet involved somehow and still have left hand volume control.

Here's what I've set up.

1. I have a MIDIConnect4+ box that I can use to control the Theremini directly without a computer. It has a hub in it so I can connect both a MIDI foot contoller and the iPad and have them controlling the Theremini at the same time. 

2. Yamaha has that great free MIDI Slider app you mentioned you can download from the Apple store. It's very nice. I can set 8 sliders at a time to control different functions on the Theremini. A favorite effect is to slide around pitch correction as you play bringing quantization in and out.

3. So I can either set up the foot controller (a Berhringer FCB 1101 in this case) to control a parameter or two at once with the expression pedals (can also trigger any of the 32 patches at any time with the stomp controls) or I've found another option is to set the foot controller to MIDI 07 (volume) and control volume with the foot expression  pedal that frees up my left hand to control up to eight parameters in real time.

Still getting used to playing in this kind of an environment. Hard enough to just play the Theremini without to all this other complication. Frankly this is of course where the Theremini shines - as a tool for the "experimental" thereminist (hate that word as "avant guarde" was the term when I went to music school). Now everyone is apparently experimenting.

So here's a little Theremini and Modular Synth experiment I did feeding the Theremini's CV Note Out to control the speed of a Wogglebug (basically a souped up random noise source). The quantized Wogglebug output was fed into an Intellijel uScale module that lets me take the random 1/V octave CV output of the Wogglebug and filter it down to a random pentatonic pitch set (whose speed of note aggregation is then controlled by the pitch of the Theremini). I converted that output to MIDI and ran it into a Venom synth to get the glass/bell like pentatonic accompaniment. Then at the same time the Theremini line out was fed though an Intellijel uFOLD wave folder set to give it a rather ethnic Asian wind-like sound. I set the Theremini to fully quantized Major Pentatonic mode in the mode of the accompaniment and improvized a line to the random background. 

Theremini Experiment CV & MIDI

Very fun to fiddle with that white box in various ways.

Posted: 2/8/2015 7:57:35 PM

From: züriCH

Joined: 3/15/2014

oh thanks, that’s a nice sounding little piece of music. also the midiConnect4+ (from looks very nice, and helps also to keep the usual cable-salad a bit tighter.

yes, today it’s flooded with so called expiremental music, but nonetheless it’s the liking that makes the listener.

i never used midi much before, mainly because no theremin i owe features that, guitar players are seldom in need for it anyway and most: it worried me to much. but along with synths daw's and ipad apps, it immediately started to make some sense and it makes sense with the theremini. 

since it’s already hooked to a pad, experiment a bit further, and turn the theremini into a  „musica  automata“ device, with another nice made and simple to handle app: „midiSequencer“, a 16step sequencer with a whole bunch of useful features, like step length, swing, etc..

for example: cc# 102 controls thereminis semitones, -64/+64 semitones, so it can be used to create melodies, arpeggios…  or create (stepped) filter sweeps with cc71 an cc74…you could also set-up the sequencer easily to get the theremini play sounds automatically..

a mild word of midi warning:  don’t overwhelm your theremini with too much midi data transmitted too fast. sometimes midi „hangs“. and most gear does from time to time. and i have to admit, that i couldn’t figure out where the „panic“ button on the theremini is, usually a „all notes off“ cc.

another hint for experiments: (paia-owners might remember the controller mode!) i think, when the theremini is set up as told, it has quite a snappy volume attack, meaning the quiet area is very small and the volume rises  fast. if you like to experiment with the more subtile area near silence, you can reverse the volume antenna easiliy: in the calibration mode for the volume antenna simply reverse hand position, far/close, and as you notice, it results in a reversed but very smooth volume response. 

nada brahma.



Posted: 2/8/2015 9:48:58 PM
Gary Honis

From: Sugarloaf, PA

Joined: 10/17/2014


Thanks for the tip about the extra waveforms by sending CC#s via midi.  I used Midi-Ox to check all of the 127 values for the CC#90 used for wave selection.  I found  these values gave working waveforms:

1-9, 13-18, 21,26, 27, 43, 51, 60, 73, 74, 86-89, 93-97, 101, 103, 108, 109, 112 & 124-127.

These values gave waveforms as well, but at a reduced volume level:

25, 33-42, 61-72, 100, 104, & 113 

That's a lot of extra waveforms, if none are duplicates!  I sent a command to change the waveforms to values of 7-9 and 13-15 and 21 and saved those presets to the theremini.  I was surprised to find when using the Theremini Editor software that for the seven waveforms I tested so far, they had the wave table scan rate, scan amount and scan position controls activated, like for the Animoog 1 and Etherwave waveforms.  And the scan controls worked.  For the seven waveforms I tested, when I checked for the name of the waveform using the Theremini Editor software, the name appeared "blank" as shown below.


Waveform blank for CC#90 Value 21

Posted: 2/8/2015 10:08:26 PM

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 7/29/2014

Hey. Great stuff you found on accessing all those waveforms! TBD if they are all really different and scannable vs. just something Moog never adjusted/locked out in the app. I can almost guarantee Moog will consider that blank tag a bug. If not it would be nice for them to put the MIDI code in there so you can keep track of what is set.

I'll have to hook up a scope and see how they might differ. But this bodes well for Moog in the future adding new waveforms and also giving us the ability to load our own tables if there really is different table space associated with each MIDI code. 

Also be aware that iConnect also has the MIDIConnect2+ which has less ports than the 4+, but that apparently does not function like a hub so you can't use it without a computer of some sort.


Posted: 2/8/2015 11:51:41 PM

From: züriCH

Joined: 3/15/2014

great to see you stumbled also over those waves and get aware of the midi features. referring to the manual, CC80(filter) also has two  types more than the editor offers.. mostly, those easter-egg things made me start that thread. i'm not sure, but it looks like the playground did not get cleaned out properly after a hilarious party. it's also very possible that a future firmware could erase or enhance that feature, so be careful what you ask for. unless you can't program that thing by yourself, it's anyway in (ani)moog's hands, what your instrument can do or not. just as a thought.


Posted: 2/9/2015 12:23:43 AM

From: Georgia, USA

Joined: 2/4/2015

Has anyone else had a problem with their lcd panel flipping the menu upside down? -Christina 

Posted: 2/9/2015 12:28:26 AM

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 7/29/2014

A few people have had that happen. I've never seen it on mine.

Give Moog a call tomorrow and they will tell you what to do.


Posted: 2/9/2015 1:31:05 AM

From: züriCH

Joined: 3/15/2014

@christina, yep. mine did. now it's reduced to a small line zapping up from time to time. but it also crashed the ipad editor all the time.. very annoying. it started, since i updated to 1.1. around christmas. and before i started those midi things above. after a felt ton of unanswered mails, moog sent me finally a sysex file, wich fixed that so far.  the moogforum is full of complaints and issues. a already announced next firmware should fix most. hey, you got yourself a theremini then? and it flicks? 

Posted: 2/9/2015 3:04:30 AM

From: Georgia, USA

Joined: 2/4/2015

Yes I do! It just came yesterday. I'm Enjoying it so far (minus the upside down flickering). I'm not sure if I calibrated it correctly, but I'm eager to learn more on my theremini! 

On a side note, I played Do-Re-Mi within 5 minutes of ever playing a theremin of any kind! No need to throw a parade or bake me a hero cookie. I'm just a teeny bit proud of myself. Next stop.....take over the world! 

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