Systm #72: Make Electricity Sing: Build a Theremin

Posted in Podcasts on November 22, 2008

Synthesizers are cool, but the theremin is the original electronic instrument. We show you how to build one, and a master theremin player shows you what you can do with it.

While its eerie other-worldly sound may instantly recognizable, to most the Theremin's name and shape will draw blank stares. Based on amazing properties of electrical capacitance the Theremin is both a musical instrument and object lesson in the how electricity works.

Most if not all professionally used Theremins are produced by the Moog company. However, a number of companies Moog included build Theremin kits that you can assemble at home using copious amounts of solder and a soldering iron. For our purposes we went with the cheaper and less musical inclined PAiA Theremax kit. If you intend on following something approaching a career based on Theremin playing you're better off spending the additional cash on Moog's offerings.

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Tags: Technologies, music, Multimedia, Systm, Revision3, theremin