I need to move from my home ASAP .. And what I need is completely unrealistic - but I have nothing to lose by making my needs known..
I want to be as close as possible to Eastleigh (nr Southampton) so that I can see my children as often as possible - Anything beyond a 2 hour journey would be way too far.
I have a lot of audio equipment (mixers, digital recording, effects, analogue and digital polysynths, analogue mono synths etc) - enough to set up a full studio, and I have a full electronics development lab .. My ideal would be to have all this stuff set up and available for whoever "houses" me to use freely.. I would also be available to service any equipment they have, to perform modifications or whatever.
What I dont have is anything like the kind of money that would pay for the kind of space I need - I could just about afford a small room in a shared house, and could stretch to about £200/month with difficulty.
My ideal would be a community - I have lived in community for several years in my distant past, and this would suit me well now - particularly in a community with creative people and ideally a common love for theremins and other weird exotica ;-)
My hope is that I can manage to re-launch my theremin business, and actually bring high quality theremins and other theremin related products to market - And from this earn money.
I would be most interested in others being part of this business - I am more than happy for others to have shared ownership in the business, perhaps as part payment for accommodation - but having active partners with musical ability and/or other skills would be ideal.
I am, however, a "high risk" venture, LOL - My health is the main problem - it is improving (I actually managed to play a string bass [wooden box with pole and one string] in a boogie band on saturday, and to "dance" with my children for 1/2 hour - oh, I was completely wiped out on sunday - but compared to what I was managing to do a month ago, it certainly showed that my health has improved greatly.
Anyway - its out there.. My eldest daughter keeps telling me that I just need to visualise what I want, and "put it out to the universe", and I will get it.. LOL - Sweet kid she is, but she does get frustrated with my "feet on the groung" attitude! ;-)
My email is embedded in my picture (avatar) its f*r*e*d*at*f*u*n*d*e*s*DOT*c*o*D*O*T**U*k remove all* - So if my daughter is right, I will be hearing from you!
Fred said: "My hope is that I can manage to re-launch my theremin business, and actually bring high quality theremins and other theremin related products to market - And from this earn money."
I am really sorry to hear about your situation and worried you are not going to be able to count on the theremin. Though exciting, it is fading fast from the consciousness of the world culture. I saved every theremin email address in a separate folder for ten years and collected over 1000 unique individual emails. It was noticeable we had fewer university students this past term contacting us at home or TW. I am still easily found in the search engines but over the last three years it does not happen anymore. I don't think theremin interest is coming back in our lifetime as email allows me to feel the pulse of the planet.
The world is changing and I hope it is for the better!
Tomorrow we will celebrate:
"Resolved, That these united colonies are, and of right, ought to be free and Independent States; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown; and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, dissolved."
"I don't think theremin interest is coming back in our lifetime as email allows me to feel the pulse of the planet." - Christopher.
Well, here I must disagree with every word you say! ;-)
I have had more emails from interested persons in the last year than ever before - the frustration has been my inability to provide them with anything, and my failure to do so when I tried.
We create the future - oh, it is "scripted" - but enthusiasm for the theremin can be increased by enthusiastic people promoting it - it may need (IMO does need) to be adapted for todays requirements, but I believe that the theremin interface and variants thereof have a potential market on their own.
Some years ago, the idea of a revival in modular synthesisers could have been laughed at - Today there are more manufacturers of synth modules than at any other time, and the market seems to be growing.
WRT the theremin, the voice 'synthesis' application is an area which I believe has the potential to push the theremin into focus - There is, IMO, no interface better suited for this application.
I am not saying that anyone is going to make a fortune from theremins - I think it is likely to remain a "tick over" business for as far as I can see.. A business which will need to have reach into other sectors (like the modular synth market, and probably also industrial application of accurate long [1m] range capacitive sensing) and to be profitable, to innovate this technology into new areas (for example, I played with theremin-based security sensing - a strip one fixes 'round ones houses access points, which shows you that someone is lurking out of sight when you get a knock on your door..)
I believe that a company with some "hands on" technicians, and an innovator, and some reliable consultants to reject stupid ideas, could be a viable business based on theremin related technology.
For me, now, however - I just need a home for me and my stuff, and to have some chance of realizing what I have developed over the last 5 years and bringing some of this to market.. It would also be nice to be away from my present intollerably hostile environment and be with some friendly, like minded creative people.
I must move before my children are more damaged by the hostility in our home.. But being away from them is something I find extremely difficult to even think about..
"WRT the theremin, the voice 'synthesis' application is an area which I believe has the potential to push the theremin into focus - There is, IMO, no interface better suited for this application." -FredM
This is my strong feeling as well.
"I am not saying that anyone is going to make a fortune from theremins - I think it is likely to remain a "tick over" business for as far as I can see." -FredM
This is why it is absolutely critical IMO to advance Theremin design from the digital side. Digital directly enables the much easier manufacture of a more full-featured product (no fiddling with variable coils, caps, or pots; built-in "tuner" real-time frequency display; 2D left hand control; downloadable firmware for feature enhancement; complex voices; digital effects; etc.). Stamp them out on a small assembly line with no adjustments needed before they go in the box. Provide a top-flight product for a couple of hundred bucks retail.
Fred, I'm wishing you the very best of luck in finding a new home and sorting things out!
"I don't think theremin interest is coming back in our lifetime as email allows me to feel the pulse of the planet." - Christopher.
Something can only "come back" if it was a success in the first place which the theremin, I am sorry to say, never was.
In spite of all the hoopla and hype from RCA in 1930, the theremin was a failure as a business venture. Since that time, there have been many people who have had to re-learn a rather expensive lesson. The only person I can think of off hand who has ever made money on theremins was the late Robert Moog who sold Etherwave theremin kits. His more serious professional-level theremins, the SERIES 91's, the ETHERVOX and to some extent the Etherwave Pro did not sell particularly well and were all withdrawn from production within a short time of their being put on the market.
To this day, there is no widely recognized piece of music that you can point to when discussing the instrument and say, "That is a theremin." In fact, the most often cited piece of music - GOOD VIBRATIONS - isn't a theremin at all! The most you can say to people is that the theremin is the musical instrument that made spooky sounds in the horror and suspense films of the 1950's.
It's great that the theremin is the passion of a tiny handful of enthusiasts - that would be US, dear brethren - but I think we need to be realistic in regard to its possibilities when it comes to the general public, and cautious when approaching theremin manufacturing as a viable business venture.
Much of the interest in the theremin seems to be as a toy, rather than as a serious, solo concert instrument. In Japan, the matryomin seems to have made a good deal of money for someone but a similar phenomenon in Europe or America seems unlikely due to profound differences in the Japanese and western mentalities.
When you look objectively at what is published about the theremin these days, it is immediately obvious that much of the interest is in inexpensive, do-it-yourself gizmos and squeak boxes, not in the instrument that Lev Sergeievitch presented to the world eighty years ago. Yes, there is more interest in the theremin today than there was in the 1990's, but there are also more people making cottage industry theremins of one sort or another, so more general interest does not necessarily mean greater business opportunity.
There is very little interest in avant garde and aleatoric music (less than one percent of the music buying public) and the theremin, as a precision instrument, is simply too difficult to play, and much too limited, to be of serious interest to most people.
The theremin does seem to have a certain power over some of us but we should not make the fatal mistake of thinking that it possesses the same potential to enchant everybody else.
"When you look objectively at what is published about the theremin these days, it is immediately obvious that much of the interest is in inexpensive, do-it-yourself gizmos and squeak boxes, not in the instrument that Lev Sergeievitch presented to the world eighty years ago. Yes, there is more interest in the theremin today than there was in the 1990's, but there are also more people making cottage industry theremins of one sort or another, so more general interest does not necessarily mean greater business opportunity." - coalport
If modern interest in the Theremin is indeed shallow and waning, I find it difficult not to blame the non-advancement of the Theremin itself. God love them and all, but people are still building tube Theremins - and they probably work as well as the most modern of Theremins built from ICs! It's like keyboards being stuck in the early transistorized combo club organ era. Beyond the novelty that the recent retro fascination has been able to unearth, often there isn't much meat to be found in the bun.
Also, if the first playing experience is some minimalistic cobbled together squeaker based on a poor schematic / design, or even a mis-aligned EWS kit (my experience), the turn-off can be instant and often lifelong. We need a higher class of instruments out there in the general public.
"The theremin does seem to have a certain power over some of us but we should not make the fatal mistake of thinking that it possesses the same potential to enchant everybody else." - Coalport
Yeah - "fatal mistake" that certainly is!
"the theremin, as a precision instrument, is simply too difficult to play" - Coalport.
It can be made much easier to play (note quantizing etc) - Alas though, making it really easy to play destroys all its character.. So one is left with the only improvement which makes playing easier without destroying its character, being improved linearity - this improvement makes playing easier, but certainly does not make it easy.
"Much of the interest in the theremin seems to be as a toy" - Coalport.
Alas this is true - toys are fine, but this area of the market is already saturated.. Perhaps having a love for "real" theremins and disdain for the "toys" is a disadvantage from a business perspective - From a profit perspective, making cheap theremins which "just do the job" would probably be the best route.
"This is why it is absolutely critical IMO to advance Theremin design from the digital side. Digital directly enables the much easier manufacture of a more full-featured product (no fiddling with variable coils, caps, or pots; built-in "tuner" real-time frequency display; 2D left hand control; downloadable firmware for feature enhancement; complex voices; digital effects; etc.). Stamp them out on a small assembly line with no adjustments needed before they go in the box. Provide a top-flight product for a couple of hundred bucks retail." - Dewster
I agree that if one could produce a good quality theremin at a reasonable price (which implies low component cost and simple manufacture) one would improve profit.. The technology used is, IMO, almost irrelevant. I do not think, however, that too much in the way of digital user interface or "downloadable firmware" would be atractive - I think the theremins appeal may include it simplicity. 5 years ago (and since) several digital theremins started to appear - one really worried me as it used PSoC and seemed set to steal my thunder.. But this (and most others) dissapeared within months of their launch.
"the theremin was a failure as a business venture" - Coalport
Probably because it is a failure as an instrument.. IMO, there is nothing wrong with the concept (at times though, I do wonder - At times I do think its possibly the stupidist musical instrument ever invented - LOL - Blasphemy!) , but there is much wrong with the implementation - and, IMO, this problem comes from the fact that capacitive sensing is poorly understood even by many thereminists - Those (few) who really master the theremin need to spend a lot of effort getting the feel of the instrument .. I think this aspect could be improved if the field / linearity etc are the same every time you use the instrument, and one does not need to tune it at all. I have seen videos of well known musicians "playing" a theremin tuned with the null set right at the antenna - as in, pitch increasing as hand moves away from the antenna! With this sort of ignorance, it is little wonder they abandoned the instrument. Take the ability to mistune the instrument away from the player, let a microcontroller do the tuning, and I think things might improve.
But none of the above really attenuates the salient point - as a potentially profitable business venture, the theremin is a dud! - Bob Moog managed "tick over" at Big Briar, but he was really the only player in the market at the time, and he had the huge kudos of having created the synth industry.. I think that a business which focuses soley on theremins is not going to be one wise investors would be interested in - A business which produces theremins and applies the technology to other applications, and diversifies into overlapping markets, may stand more chance.
Anyway - Anyone close enough to me in the U.K. who wants an electronics engineer (I will work on anything which is not related to "defence" or environmental pillaging) and can provide me what I am looking for - Drop me a line! ;-)
I used to live in Chandlers Ford, near Eastleigh but as is the way of the world my ex wife got my house! grrrrrrrrrrrrr
Now live in Liss, Hants but good to know there's some interest in theramins near-by. My other half calls my messin' with the little No1derland theremin and the 'Zoom' effects pedal my "Meow Box" as in it sounds like a strangled cat! Nice to have support eh?
Good luck with the house huntin'
"I used to live in Chandlers Ford, near Eastleigh but as is the way of the world my ex wife got my house! grrrrrrrrrrrrr" - ChrisC
CF is 10 minutes from me. My soon-to-be-ex would move out with the children, but I am trying to prevent this.. This was my house for nearly 20 years before she moved in, and I could probably retain it.. But it has been my childrens home for their whole life, it is in a lovely safe area with good neighbours, has a big garden for them to play safely in, and excellent school etc.. If she moves out with the children, they will (most likely) end up in some grotty abode -
The disruption to the children with the break-up is going to be devastating anyway - I spend at least 5 hours with them every day, and we all enjoy this time together.. My main priority is to limit the disruption as much as I can - And for this reason I must move out so that they can stay.
Technically, there is no 'panic' - If I drag things out, I could probably stay here for another 3 years before the courts enforce their 'resolution'.. Last time I was divorced (yeah - been down this road before.. )8 I was younger and healthier, I got care and control ("custody") of my two young daughters and brought them up on my own while working (mostly) from home - But this time I am not fit enough to do that, so my soon-to-be-ex will be the one best suited to bring the children up.
In all probability, I will not find what I am looking for, and be forced to sell my studio and lab and move into a room somewhere - This would be the end of the line for me in many ways - Employment prospects with my health are near zero, so I would be on the dole....
Crazy bloody life!