Hello! and a question.

Posted: 7/12/2019 11:31:26 AM

From: Birmingham UK

Joined: 7/12/2019


Posted: 7/12/2019 12:35:50 PM

From: The East of the Netherlands

Joined: 6/18/2019

Hi Violaman,
what you describe makes me wonder if your theremin has a good earth/ground connection. If you got it new, it probably was tuned well to work when connected in the proper way. The USA power adapters do provide earthing via the plugs safety ground, the European power adapters do not provide grounding, and the theremin should either be plugged into an amplifier that is grounded, or you should make some connection from the safety earth to the sleeve of the audio or headphones output of your Etherwave Plus.

Posted: 7/12/2019 12:44:09 PM

From: Birmingham UK

Joined: 7/12/2019

Hi, checking, I note that the power adaptor has a plastic earth pin! I'll try a supplementary earth cable.
Many thanks, very kind, I'll let you know how I get on!

Posted: 7/12/2019 2:19:51 PM

From: Scotland

Joined: 9/27/2012

Hi Violaman.

I'd suggest that you don't really have an earth connection just now which will cause ALL sorts of problems, not least with the sound.
The idea is that you connect the EW to the amp and the EW is grounded through the amp.
With a good earth, you will find that the tuning is better and the sound is clearer.

If you (or someone else) are going to fit the ESP01, the instrument will have to be re-tuned but as far as I recall, tuning instructions come with the module. If not, either Wilco Botermans or Thierry Frenkel will be able to help.


Posted: 7/12/2019 2:45:04 PM

From: earth

Joined: 5/8/2017

Use a long instrument cable and make sure it is laid out on the floor or ground, either put a loop of the cable in your sock, or just take off your shoes and put your foot on the cable.

I know what it sounds like, but it works. Maybe you should play in the basement rather than the attic if this doesn't do the trick.

I don't have that problem with the Model 302, unless I am real near a radio broadcasting tower:


Radio interference sometimes is a good thing, depending upon how open one's mind is.

Posted: 7/12/2019 6:32:17 PM

From: 60 Miles North of San Diego, CA

Joined: 10/1/2014

Imagine showing up at a gig and your old faithful theremin is throwing a tantrum and you have no idea why, first you need to test the earth ground. I had a conversation with someone long ago that Thereminist need a meter or gadget you can hook up to determine if you are getting a good earth ground. Most people do not understand the whole purpose of earth ground as there are two critical reasons for analog theremins and one for digital theremins.

You can have a ground terminal at the wall plug but that does not mean it is hooked up to anything. Normally on the other end it is a copper rod driven over 2.4 meters into the soil near your structure.

A good start in the States is using a receptacle tester which tells you ground is there but for theremin work it does not tell you the quality of the earth ground connection as radio waves must pass freely.

The theremin itself will let you know in funny ways it cannot breathe when it is choking for lack of earth so the RF theremin circuit concept is halfway to the type of device we need.

Is what Thereminists need today available, I do not know?

A good place to start for the energetic inventor is to use two oscillators or a theremin board operating lower at say 100 kHz.

The ThierryMin 2 board I drew up could be a good place to start this experiment.

With no antenna or ground, connect one oscillator to what should be earth ground. How far this pulls the oscillator frequency apart could tell us something of value. Maybe even take the two oscillator frequency lower 50 kHz for another test. Try an excellent ground point and then place a 1k resistor in series to mimic a poor ground point.  The user output could be audio or a cheap frequency counter.

Also you can get a useful reading at the emitter or source of the transistor you are using. In a good ground energy escapes at a higher level like when messing with one of those plasma gas globes to your fingertips. Through the power cord alone I could measure and tell if you were touching the glass or not, the same would be for feeling earth ground.

With the proper device I can see Thereminists now testing every power outlet in the room for the ideal connection.

Posted: 7/12/2019 8:42:18 PM

From: earth

Joined: 5/8/2017


The Model 302 uses a 9 volt battery, the only grounding it needs is a long instrument cable laid on the floor or ground.

So a wall outlet that is grounded is not so necessary as one would think.

Any cable over 8-9 foot seems to be adequate.

To be fair, the stand is also a ground.

You should try the Model 302.

Ebay can take the rest off your hands and out of your closet. Everyone wants the difficult ones for some strange reason so they should sell quickly.

Posted: 7/12/2019 9:03:14 PM

From: earth

Joined: 5/8/2017


For Osteoarthritis - therapeutic grade Frankincense oil, orally. After a month my knees and hips stopped hurting, 16 ounces about 55 dollars - well over a years supply, if you really like to use it. Some say it tastes like furniture polish, but I have grown accustomed to it. At 66 years old I can run and even do squats, where a couple of years ago I was shopping for a cane and thinking about a knee replacement.

For Psoriatic Arthritis, the kind an HMO doesn't want to diagnose because of the cost of Humira - food grade vanillin.  I put about half a gel caps worth on a spoon and put some vanilla extract to make it less horrid. Wash it down with a soda.  You can put the vanillin in a gel cap if you like arts and crafts. After a month psoriatic arthritic symptoms improved, temporary pain and stiffness after sitting in the knees and hips went away. Pain in shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand went away totally after two months. A pound of vanillin is about 24 dollars. Lifetime supply. Did not have the skin condition except for two small patches that also went away with vanillin treatment.

I don't have a clue about rheumatoid arthritis and I hope I don't have to figure out how to fix that.

I hope this might help, cheaper than going to a doctor who generally only knows what a drug company tells them.

I have Kaiser Permanente, so I have to be my own doctor. Too bad I cannot do surgery on my right wrist which a Dr. Tassey slapped a cast on without the radius and ulna being set properly, so my right wrist does not work, at least I don't need it to play the theremin. Kaiser doesn't want to fix it, they are not in the health care business. My keyboards are now useless.

Keep in mind that playing the theremin can be just as taxing as any other instrument, you make the boundaries instead of the instrument. I played too fast for awhile and had to stop for a year.

Posted: 7/12/2019 9:36:02 PM

From: earth

Joined: 5/8/2017


The only difference is the plate antenna to make it easy to play and the inverse mapping which is far more ergonomic and enables staccato play. Also it has an eight octave range, so I guess that means it isn't a real handicapped instrument like everyone loves.

If everything sounds like crap then how can "The Swan" let you judge theremins?

Pitching is a lot easier since we are talking DEGREES of motion articulated from the elbow. the degrees get tighter the closer you are to the plate. Very simple to grasp and master.

Bottom register 2 degree movement. 
Middle register, 1 degree movement. 
Top register, .5 to .25 degree movement.

It is not rocket science.

So maybe you cannot play the DIFFICULT theremins.

Which is why I play the EASY theremin,

Takes a lot less effort and skill.

Posted: 7/12/2019 9:50:42 PM

From: Birmingham UK

Joined: 7/12/2019

Gentlemen, many thanks! Thanks for all the advise both about the Theremin and about the arthritis treatments! Basically my left hand is worn out, I’ve also had a carpal tunnel op on the left wrist, after 53 years of playing it’s hardly surprising, but I’m willing to try anything, so thanks again. Don’t forget I’m in the UK so at least for now my healthcare and drugs are paid for, all prescribed drugs here are free to the over 65’s, having paid National Insurance for 40 years or so. I’ll let you know how I get on. This weekend I’m out playing the viola at a “Battle Prom” Tchaikovsky 1812, Beethoven “Battle Symphony” and lots of English music, with flyovers by a Spitfire, horses, parachutists and LOTS of cannons and fireworks. 
Watch this space, and thanks again. 

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