Claravox Centennial Theremin - Post Your Thoughts Here

Posted: 10/26/2020 4:27:03 PM
bendra

From: Portland, Oregon

Joined: 2/22/2018

However, without a solid review from a known player that addresses things like response time, field size and effects of range on timbre I won't go for it.  I also won't be blackmailed into buying something unknown, untested, unreviewed under the threat that this is a limited run. Fool me once.

Understandable reaction, although there are other ways to look at it from Moog's perspective.

I guess it really boils down to how much you trust Moog and Gregroire Blanc (who has been effusive in his praise for the Claravox as a suitable successor to the EPro), as well as how big a burden the price tag is to your particular financial situation.

Posted: 10/26/2020 4:55:06 PM
dewster

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

"Aside from what appears to me to be an awfully tight pitch field on the Claravox, it seems that huge movements are needed on the volume side with a lot of hand flapping to go from max volume to cutoff.  That could just be his preferred response."  - pitts8rh

I don't have an opinion on the size of the Claravox pitch field, but should any smallness exist it could be associated with very low antenna voltage swing.  Which (*wild speculation*) they might be keeping low for emissions / compliance reasons.  If that is the case (a really big if, and it's a terrible thing for everyone involved that we're more or less forced to wildly speculate like this) then this isn't a pro level instrument IMO.  I truly hope that when the rib spreader is applied we don't find the Theremini oscillator beating away in the chest cavity.

Volume response is a thing, and considerably more nuanced than I imagined before implementing it myself.  With analog Theremins that don't heterodyne on the volume side (e.g. EWS, EW+) you usually get the raised cosine shape of a high Q filter off resonance in there complicating the issue.  IIRC, Thierry made a volume response correction board for the EWPro which removes a discontinuity / sharp non-linearity in the response.  I have no experience with the original nor modified EWPro volume response, but I've found appropriately applied discontinuous gain on the volume side to be a highly valuable feature rather than a bug as it significantly reduces hand flapping, and adds realism to most preset instrument and vocal types.

Posted: 10/26/2020 11:16:35 PM
Jason

From: Sammamish, Washington

Joined: 2/13/2005

Making sure people who subscribe to this thread see the Moog Q&A thread too    http://www.thereminworld.com/Forums/T/33270/post-your-questions-about-the-claravox-centennial-here

Posted: 10/27/2020 6:20:46 PM
hypergolic

From: Richmond Hill, Georgia

Joined: 9/18/2005

I don't want to disparage the young man in the video at all...he is an excellent player. Were Lydia, Carolina, Thorwald, Peter, or a few others consulted? 

Fleep

Posted: 10/27/2020 7:22:50 PM
pitts8rh

From: Minnesota USA

Joined: 11/27/2015

"I don't want to disparage the young man in the video at all...he is an excellent player." - hypergolic

I don't think anything said here was intended to disparage Gregoire Blanc. I'm pretty sure that few if any would disagree that he a superb thereminist and performer (and not bad on the musical saw either!).  But it is probably fair to have a healthy suspicion of any product marketed this way - a highly-produced and beautiful presentation video intended to grab your attention, and then when you go to the Moog website for more information all you find is the equivalent of a glossy-paged marketing brochure missing the all-important specification/technical rundown at the back.

I would like to think that if Clair de Lune can be played that well by anyone on the Claravox, it says that a lot is right with the machine.

Posted: 10/28/2020 4:34:03 PM
hypergolic

From: Richmond Hill, Georgia

Joined: 9/18/2005

Randy George was not totally pleased over on LEVNET/Facebook.

Posted: 10/28/2020 5:12:35 PM
dewster

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

"Randy George was not totally pleased over on LEVNET/Facebook."  - hypergolic

https://www.facebook.com/groups/53827181469/

"... it takes a lot more motivation to understand why something is good than why something is bad." - Randy George

Randy George strikes me as an extremely serious player (and I mean that in the absolute best way possible) so he is literally a tough customer, and his criticism should be taken to heart by other serious players.

It seems the pitch and volume fields are configurable even in analog mode?  I don't entirely understand how it might work, but it sounds interesting: "pitch processing unit located between the heterodyne filter and the analog waveshaper"

Reportedly Pamelia and Dorit were consulted.

Posted: 10/28/2020 7:29:35 PM
pitts8rh

From: Minnesota USA

Joined: 11/27/2015

Grégoire Blanc weighed in with a response to Randy George's post over on Levnet (in the comments below Randy's post).

He states that the pitch field is configurable for various playing styles using some processing technique:


"The great thing is that the pitch processing unit located between the heterodyne filter and the analog waveshaper allows you to tweak the response as you like. You can for instance change the curve if you like to move your body while playing, if you have adjustments to do as you are playing seated etc.

Same goes with the volume, ..."

If you read his entire post, you will find that he is quite happy with it.  So there we have it - opposing views and it's not even available yet!

Posted: 10/28/2020 8:14:09 PM
dewster

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

I believe Grégoire Blanc consulted on the Claravox and Randy George didn't.  So there's that.

It's annoying not having even a preliminary manual at pre-release.  Even if it was just a paragraph or two, I'd really like to read the section re. this tantalizing pitch and volume field shaping stuff.  I mean, how do you correct post-heterodyne and still have a traditional analog Theremin?  I suppose they could be sensing the absolute frequency at the antenna and adjusting the fixed oscillator...

Not knocking player-only reviews at all, but from a developer angle, whatever they help clarify, they also help add to the general confusion, so the SNR doesn't budge but my frustration does.

This is why I'm most interested in what an EE & good player (I'm looking at you!) will be able to ascertain as to what's going on in there.  Your sharp ear and algorithmic insights helped me immensely to develop and refine pitch correction, pitch preview, and the resonator.  If Moog Inc. was smart they'd consult with you.

Posted: 10/28/2020 8:20:32 PM
pitts8rh

From: Minnesota USA

Joined: 11/27/2015

If I ever sold anything electronic, and knowing that there are people out there like us, I think I'd pot the whole thing in a solid brick of black plastic .

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