Post your questions about the Claravox Centennial here

Posted: 10/26/2020 11:15:49 PM

From: Hillsborough, NC (USA)

Joined: 2/13/2005

Hey everyone. I've been talking with Moog after seeing all the excitement about the new Claravox Centennial Theremin. 

It looks like there are a lot of questions, so Cyril Lance form Moog has offered to help answer them. He was the lead engineer on the Claravox project, so we'd be getting answers straight from the source.

So here's what we've worked out... Post questions you'd like to have answered on this thread by Thursday October 29th at Noon Eastern Time. I'll wrap up all the questions for Moog and we'll get answers back from Cyril once he's had a chance to review them all.

To keep it focused, please only post questions on this particular thread. No commentary please. Just questions.

Posted: 10/26/2020 11:38:00 PM

From: Montana, USA

Joined: 9/2/2019

1. How long will they be available to order?

2. How long will service and parts be available?  Will a service manual be published?

3. When will be able to download the user's manual?

4. Will a regular mic stand work?

5. Are there review units out?  When will we see reviews?

Posted: 10/27/2020 12:15:47 AM

Joined: 10/24/2020

Is the power supply a special product, or is it a relatively standard item?
Is the instrument grounded through the power supply or the audio out?
Which Moog BBD is the delay on the Claravox based on?
Does the MIDI implementation use continuous pitch bend signals, or does it incorporate standard note on:off?
Does MIDI work in both analog and digital modes?
What resolution is the DAC?
Will it send MIDI CC in digital mode?
Are the scales customizable?
Can the scales use microtones or non-western scales?
Do the CV outputs only send cv, or can you send trigger or gate signals as well?
Is CV -5/+5, or positive range voltages only?
How hot is the output audio signal?

I could come up with more, but I think that's enough to prepare setting up.

Posted: 10/27/2020 12:31:40 AM

Joined: 10/24/2020

BTW, it says in the claravox stand description that it uses a standard 5/8"-27 UNS microphone stand thread, so yes, it will work on a regular mic stand 

Posted: 10/27/2020 3:55:01 AM

From: Portland, Oregon

Joined: 2/22/2018

It seems a shame for all the technology developed for the Claravox Centennial to be a one-off - is any of it going to be folded into a professional theremin line going forward?

Posted: 10/27/2020 6:22:05 AM

From: Berlin Germany

Joined: 4/27/2016

I would be pleased to get more techniqual informations about the classical part of this hybrid. 
Geometry, rod length, diameter, frequencies rf, distance pitch rod to box to volume loop. 
Sound samples pure without any filtering effects, vibrato and digitally post production, what also can be made with common pedals, and so on. 
How is the warm up time and pitch stability in case of outer temperature changes, and so on. 
The 12 V plugin is without earth?

Posted: 10/27/2020 11:59:47 AM

From: Minnesota USA

Joined: 11/27/2015

[EDIT] Sorry about the unreadable color earlier.  I run my browser in dark mode, and colors don't always invert as expected.

My first two questions are difficult to ask without framing them with a hint of commentary, but here goes:

1) Why is the Claravox opened to up to pre-order with an uncharacteristic absence of technical information or even I/O specifications?

2) Is built-in pitch preview truly absent as it appears to be on this professionally-priced theremin, or can the headphone jack and volume be set up for this by reconfiguring an internal jumper as is done on the Etherwave Plus?

3) What is the general system architecture?  A block diagram would speak volumes, but even a verbal description would help. In particular, would it be fair to guess that this uses analog oscillators, digitally shaped and heterodyned and from that point passed down either an analog processing chain (traditional) or a digital processing path (Modern)?

4)  Does the pitch arm contain active electronics within or is it similar to the EW Pro with only passives?

5)  Can the analog portion operate independently of the digital side?  Thirty years from now when the digital side (I mean programmed devices, not discrete logic) is long since obsolete and parts are no longer available will it be possible to still have a partially functional/restorable analog theremin (asking for some future owner).

6) I'll repeat one of my other first questions that I posed prior to ordering: what are the MIDI capabilities?  Does it send processed note, bend, volume etc. information for running a midi synth, or are the MIDI I/O functions limited to managing preset loading/storage or other control functions? 

7) Is there any real-time MIDI control for effects on the digital side?

8) Is the analog portion (traditional) based on the Etherwave Pro's design?  I don't think anyone expects it to be identical, but the obvious similarity with the register switching, timbre settings, and in fact the sound (based on the demo) is making some of us hopeful that this is indeed the case.

9) Does the Claravox have any ESD protection on the antennas?

10) I'm guessing that since this is probably categorized as a low voltage device which uses an external power supply that is pre-approved by UL or ETL, is it even subject to any UL/ETL safety requirements that would have imposed an ESD testing requirement? Or for that matter are there any FCC emission or susceptibility requirements or approvals needed or granted for this theremin?

Posted: 10/28/2020 4:15:56 PM

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

Welcome to Theremin World Cyril Lance!

1. What's the peak-to-peak voltage swing on each antenna?
2. What's the minimum gestural bandwidth / maximum rise time on each axis (hand gesture => sound change)?
3. Does the pitch side use a series EQ inductor to improve linearity?
4. Is there any mathematical / algorithmic / software processing being applied to improve pitch field linearity?
5. Is MIDI an integral part of the internal processing signal path (axes => midi out => midi in => synth) or is there a more direct and lower latency connection between the axes and the sound synth?
6. Is the volume axis processing digital, or does it have a 100% analog mode?

Posted: 10/28/2020 5:00:57 PM

From: The East of the Netherlands

Joined: 6/18/2019

What is the function of the expression pedal input?

Posted: 10/29/2020 5:22:20 PM

From: Hillsborough, NC (USA)

Joined: 2/13/2005

Thanks for all the questions everyone! The deadline has now passed, and I'll post back the reply from Cyril Lance as soon as I have it.  

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