Guitar effects on theremin

Posted: 10/6/2011 7:10:49 AM

From: Novara, Italy

Joined: 10/2/2011

What about using effects for electric guitar on the theremin? I've seen that the wah wah crybaby on this website is the one I use for my guitar. If I try to use other effetcs like delay ecc... what do you think about it?
Posted: 10/6/2011 7:32:13 AM

From: A Coruña, Spain

Joined: 9/26/2010

I use reverb, and like how it sounds. And from what I have read here, many thereminists use and recommend it. I used to add reverb by computer software (Guitar Rig) and now I have a physical reverb pedal that I bought second-hand.

Delay will also be fine if you want an echo. And about the other guitar effects, I don't know. At some point I have read that some effects designed for guitar don't make much sense with the theremin, but I don't know which do make sense and which don't, probably other people will be able to tell you more about that (and I'll be curious about the answers too).
Posted: 10/6/2011 6:31:23 PM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

I invite you to browse my YouTube Channel.

I'm always happy to answer questions about the effects pedals used in my Beat Frequency videos.

Delay is the mainstay of what I do.

Watch out for pedals that expect guitar level inputs that can be overwhelmed by the line level output of a Moog theremin, and for pedals with a noise gate. Noise gates prevent you from playing quietly.

The first problem can be fixed by attenuating the output of your theremin, the second requires modifying your theremin so that there is an effects return loop between the pitch and the volume circuits. Without that, be careful - some guitar effects pedals have noise gates which are not mentioned in the documentation.

Posted: 10/6/2011 6:58:51 PM

From: Novara, Italy

Joined: 10/2/2011

Thanks! Your music is very interesting!
Just other 2 questions: if the output of my theremin is to high for the guitar pedal, colud I maybe ruin it?
Which other effects do you use? Reverb...?
Posted: 10/7/2011 9:57:33 AM

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

No, you won't ruin the pedal - it will just sound very bad.

It is always a good idea to start playing very quietly the first time - not to protect your pedals (most are designed to be played by Spın̈al Tap ( but to protect your ears in case they suddenly get very loud.

Yes, I use reverb. I find the theremin sound can be rather dry without reverb. I also use pitch shifters quite a lot (for example the piece called Butterflies of Vertigo) and have a custom built ring modulator ( for extreme effects - (for example the piece called Iron Sun.)

I also use a variety of effects apps on my iPod Touch. (For example the piece called Endless Caverns uses a Jasuto Pro patch consisting of two reverb units.)

Posted: 10/8/2011 8:09:14 AM

From: Novara, Italy

Joined: 10/2/2011

Thank you!
Posted: 10/8/2011 1:46:21 PM

From: Brooklyn,NY

Joined: 12/1/2009

Crybaby can be really nice and most think reverb essential.
Beyond these and maybe some kinda EQ device most other effects are going to take away more than they'll add- unless you're after some "crazy" sound effect. .. though If you have a bunch of pedals( or guitar-dude friend) it cant hurt( well maybe your ears) to mess around and experiment.
Posted: 10/17/2011 8:48:50 PM

Joined: 2/23/2011

Phase shifting, fuzz, tremolo, delay ... whatever sounds good to you is a good effect for theremin (or any other electric musical instrument for that matter). If you're worried about the output of a theremin, use a volume pedal or something similar to lower the output before it hits the pedals.

Take your theremin to a musical instrument store and ask to try whatever effects look good to you. The employees will be happy to help you, because they're sick of hearing guitar players all day.
Posted: 10/21/2011 6:14:16 AM

From: Novara, Italy

Joined: 10/2/2011

Thanks everybody! Dmi, I think it depends on what guitar player you hear XDXD
Posted: 11/22/2011 6:47:53 PM

From: Canberra, Australia

Joined: 11/22/2011

Hi! Just got my theremin the other week, I'm finding that I'm more of an 'avantgard-noise' maker than a proper thermin player. I would like to get an effects board for when I might play live...

At the moment I'm loving the sounds I get out of it with my Boss Analogue delay. I've also borrowed a friend's Boss GT-6 pedal board. Whilst the sounds I'm getting out of it are pretty good, its just way to cumbersome to take anywhere or set up.

Has anyone had any luck with guitar effects boards that are reletively easy to use and schlep? I've read up on a few old posts about guitar effects, but I just wanted to see what people are using now.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!


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