When I was a kid my dad brought home a lot of electronic
goodies for us kids to play with. My interests led me to
acoustic circuits, oscillators and sound controllers. One
project I never completed was what I discovered, much later,
to be a "Theremin." I just didn't know what I wanted back
then. It took me nearly 30 years to come back to it.
It was Christopher at "Old Temecula" who placed his
designs on the internet that made me realize I could do
this. There are a lot of good designs available now, but
his plans included etching the circuitry on a copper
board. This appealed to me, now an artist trained in
intaglio techniques. The idea of etchings that carry
electronic signals made me feel in some sense I had
come "full circle" on my lifepath.
Sure, at this point it looks pretty scattered
and "Rube Goldberg" would be impressed.
I am currently working on a cabinet that will, I
hope, be worthy of housing my electronic
My plan called for a
so the "box" becomes
a trapezoid. Plexiglas
inserts will carry images.
The front panel will
hold the adjusting
etc. The side panels will
accommodate the antennas
and their adjustments.
They have great decorative
potential. The top will be
the resting place for my
laptop with MIDI and other
music software. Behind this
will be a built-in speaker that
I am currently designing.
I am surprised at how simple
a sound emitting device can
really be. What did the
true pioneers of electronic
music use to deliver their
signals to the human ear? Resourcefulness!
A "speaker" can be simply an electromagnetic
coil attached to a resonating membrane. A fixed
magnetic source is maintained at an optimum
position to fluctuate physical
pressures of the magnetic fields. I am looking
for good photos of those early "speakers"
connected to Leon Termen's instruments. The
Ondes Martenot had several interesting
sound-delivery systems that intrigue me.
"Sixth voice" Wave shaper
design by Christopher at "Old Temecula"
So here is my current instrument, with the upper theremin,
and below it will be a PAiA tube preamp, envelope
generator, and a VCO. I am making a small keyboard that
will set into the lower stage: perhaps to become a
synthesizer? I can also visualize speakers between the
front legs. This instrument will be unique.
Leon Termen c.1928
Meanwhile, too, I am developing new stages that
can shape the sounds it makes.
I think my circuit-building
skills are improving, too
ASDR Envelope generator from MFOS site
Thanks, Scott Lee of PAiA You have been
very helpful. I really recommend this company
for analogue instrument kits.
You are the one so ahead of your
time, with the still unresolved vision!
My TMax 9505 D Theremin
Yes, and I still have some exciting ideas for exotic speakers.
This will take another page! Maybe another year
I modified my tone arm. It is a nichrome kiln heating
element inside an acrylic tube. The extra resistance of
the nichrome and the increased capacitance of the tube
All images and sounds © LPKaster 2008
Buy a CD, and the proceeds go directly to my Theremin project.
Listen to Spellbound, the only radio program that promotes theremin
Buying my CD's or downloading individual tracks via Amazon, ITunes,
Rhapsody and/or many other such digital sites will help finance my
creation of instrument (and peripheral devices) to create even more of
such interesting work!
You can also listen on Bandcamp