theremin

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theremin

Postby nopposan » 2007-06-11 16:59

Hi. 'Just watched the documentary film "Theremine" and found out from Googling that Synaptics has a Theremin software that will make their touchpad mimic the original electronic instrument. (i.e., produce a viola-like whistling sound in response to the motion of your finger.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theremine

http://www.synaptics.com/support/utili.cfm

Does anyone know if there's an open source or Linux version of this?

Thanks.
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Postby mzilikazi » 2007-06-11 18:25

I have not personally used any of these but there are theremin instruments for VST. Ardour or Jost can host VST and there are other apps that can also host VST instruments. Dave Phillips blog is a pretty good place for that sort of info.

I did find this Flash theremin but no idea if it works under Linux.
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thanks

Postby nopposan » 2007-06-17 02:16

Thanks. I'll eventually try out the thereminvox plugin for VST; currently don't have any of the required software installed though. 'Think maybe I'll save this sort of thing for a dedicated audio-video play-box.

Cheers.
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Postby Lavene » 2007-06-17 05:37

I was at a concert with Jean Michel Jarre where he played the theremine. It was really cool. I thought about building one if I could get someone to make the case and the antennas for me, there are lots of plans and diagrams available on the net, but it remained just an idea.

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Postby rickh » 2007-06-17 05:50

There was a rock band in the late 60's called Lothar and the Hand People. "Lothar" was a theremin and the primary musical instrument. The band wasn't very good overall, but they did produce one song, Space Hymn, that has survived in my .mp3 collection.
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Postby Issyer » 2007-06-17 06:03

Theremin was a unique person. He was Russian of French origin. He made about 2 millions of dollars on thereminvox in the USA. But he left everything and returned to the USSR. He said that the happiest time of his life was the one he spent in GULAG, where nothing distracted him from inventing (there were special laboratories for scientists there). He died in 1993. His daughter plays thereminvox very well.
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"returned"

Postby nopposan » 2007-06-18 02:58

Thanks, Lavene. Maybe it would be fun to build one of my own. Hey. How about one with digital output or even simultaneous video display response. Cool.

Thank you for your comments, lssyer. It's interesting to know that his daughter plays well. What's her name? Are there any recordings available?

lssyer said:
He made about 2 millions of dollars on thereminvox in the USA. But he left everything and returned to the USSR.


The following is according to the documentary I just watched:
Some of his friends back in the U.S. had reason to believe he was abducted and forcibly repatriated. He gave no notice of his "plans" to return to Russia.

lssyer said:
He said that the happiest time of his life was the one he spent in GULAG, where nothing distracted him from inventing (there were special laboratories for scientists there).


Whatever his later feelings about his time imprisoned there; it's difficult for me to believe that he voluntarily chose it. Also, I think a man who's being watched carefully by the KGB isn't likely to speak freely in public. The referenced quotation is suspect. Still, he may have been at least partly honest about his imprisonment -- maybe he was just looking on the bright side. I guess there's really no purpose in dwelling on what's been lost or wondering what accomplishments might have been made if Theremin had maybe started a company of his own or become a leading technological innovator for GE . . . 'Seems to me that the soviet government worried about such a fine talent being in the hands of the capitalists.

Cheers.
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Postby Issyer » 2007-06-18 05:06

nopposan wrote:Some of his friends back in the U.S. had reason to believe he was abducted and forcibly repatriated. He gave no notice of his "plans" to return to Russia.

It's a kind of a mystery. Some people say that he was a Russian spy. But he was also a member of Club of Millionaires (not sure how it is called correctly) .
Theremin made a lot of inventions like TV. But people say they everything got Zworykin, other Russian immigrant to the USA.
Not sure about his daughter and the records. Sorry. I guess it's not a problem in the USA to buy a thereminvox. Most likely some firm produces it up till now.
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Postby chrismortimore » 2007-06-18 11:09

I had one for a while, until the antenna snapped off (rather annoying). So I did the obvious thing, and wired up the strings on one of my guitars as the antenna instead. It was.... interesting.... Bit of a waste of time though, so I ripped it out again... Was fun while it lasted though :)
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