Santa needs some advice about theremin effects!

Posted: 12/4/2007 11:31:01 AM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Oh dear, ThereminWorlder's. Santa's in a predicament. Can you help him?

Here's the problem - someone (no names, no pack drill) has been asking about presents for their theremin, and Santa's rather short of ideas.

Perhaps if we reminded him of a few things that make nice little add-ons that would help...

To set the ball rolling, on previous years he and the Birthday Lobster (she's called Thermidor) have been focussing on delays and pitch shifters in the Croxley Green area...

The Danelectro PB&J is a budget delay with a nice warm sound. It's a bit limited, with only 1 second's delay and only the basic options.

The Marshall EH1 Echohead is a bit pricier, but is more robust, has 2 seconds of delay and a few tricks up its sleeve at the more extreme settings.

The Boss PS2 pitch shifter is hard to find as it's out of production. it's old school, so gives a hard sound, and has feedback, so can make very dense, rich sounds, provided you like a slightly mechanical edge and a desire for inharmonic overtones. It also doubles as a very harsh delay.

The PS5 is newer, and a little more expensive. The sound is cleaner, but the second voice can be rather thin and reedy. Again it has a couple of tricks that the PS2 doesn't - creating harmonies appropriate to a selected major or minor key, and is more suited to the melodic player than the PS2. Adding an expression pedal significantly increases its versatility.

Maybe this year they could move on to reverbs. Or if you have some other ideas...?
Posted: 12/5/2007 10:12:02 AM

From: Bristol, United Kingdom

Joined: 12/30/2006

Hi Santa, you unrelenting nordic nonce.

First of all, sod off Danelectro, it's Boss DD6 all the way. DD6 because it has long delays, reverse delays, 5 second looper and infinite feedback as well as crazy timeshift granular stuff. I use it most out of all my pedals.

The one thing about the DD6 is that it leaves trails when you switch it off. You can't just make it cut out.

Reverb-wise, my Boss RV-5 does the trick, but if you want really stupidly long reverb time (so long in fact that you can hold chords on the theremin) you could get an Alesis Nanoverb.

I'm looking at Boss PH-3 right now for that scrambly stepped phaser effect, but I'm also interested in the new Korg Kaoss Pad KP3, which features sample-slicing and grain shifting abilties as well as a multitude of touchpad controlled effects. If the granuliser is aggressive / distinctive enough I'll probably go for it, it'd be cool to loop up some Theremin on there and then mash that loop up into a whole new load of sounds, although as a live tool it probably will have many a drawback (and I can't imagine sampling will be so easy with two hands in the air). I shall have to try one out properly sometime.
Posted: 12/5/2007 12:39:56 PM

From: Minnesota

Joined: 8/28/2007

I might have santa look at the Aleisis Nanoverb. It is a very nice, simple, and great sounding effect. I am also a real big fan of the dd6 as well.

The best delay pedal I have ever used was the Akia Headrush. It is not only a delay pedal, but a looper.
Posted: 12/5/2007 9:23:54 PM
Brian R

From: Somerville, MA

Joined: 10/7/2005

In the non-delay category (or at least, not-directly-delay category*), my favorite addition to the signal is a phase shifter. It helps to animate the theremin sound in a way that distortion, chorus, and other conventional guitar effects don't.

In fact, I get more bang-for-the-buck from the phase shifter than I do from the Moog MuRF, which I purchased with the idea of using it to animate the theremin output... but then discovered that I don't really like ceding rhythmic control to a stompbox. So, nowadays, I wind up using the MuRF to enrich the timbre of my e-standard. Or perhaps I should say: the MuRF works as a subtle enhancement, rather than an obvious effect [i]per se[/i].

*update: well, yes, delay-based--
but, er, ah, you know, it doesn't
sound like reverb, or echo, or...
oh, never mind.

Posted: 12/6/2007 7:31:02 AM

From: Bristol, United Kingdom

Joined: 12/30/2006

Again, PH-3 for phasing fun, it has a stepped phase which works in a similar way to the Murf.
Posted: 12/6/2007 2:56:02 PM

From: Kansas City, Mo.

Joined: 8/23/2005

I don't own one of these, however this new module will likely become one of the must-have items for every studio:

I can't wait to get my hands on one of these!

[i]-- Kevin[/i]

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