When I brought home the Moog Etherwave Theremin, I could hardly contain my excitement. Not only had I heard the Theremin on countless records, but also in countless old cheesy sci-fi films. So to get my hands on (or rather, near) a theremin was a monumental moment for me. I would suggest that any electronic musician or enthusiast give the Etherwave a try.
I chose to go with the Etherwave Theremin because it’s an authentic reproduction of Leo Theremin’s original concept, but with a few added appointments. The Etherwave not only allows you to have some fairly powerful control over the timbre of the instrument between the shape of the waveform, but also the brightness control. Other than that enhancement, it is essentially a true-to-form Theremin; as opposed to others that have a limited range (both the originals and the Etherwave offer five octaves), or use light sensors instead of antennae.
Having attempted to assemble a Theremin kit before, I was nervous about setting up the Etherwave even though the circuits were already assembled. My worries were instantly put to rest as I opened the box. Inside is a rather handsome wooden box, a power supply, 2 antennae, a simple instruction booklet and even a DVD. Set up took less than 5 minutes: screw in the two antennae and plug it in! After that, you need to take a moment to tune the Theremin much like you would tune a guitar, but this is also very simple – just twist one knob until you’ve got the desired pitch.
So in very short order, I was recreating all of those famous haunting, ethereal sounds from days gone by. And after about a half an hour, I was able to play along with The Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations.” It’s amazing how playing the Theremin is deeply connected to performing. For example, I can sit and play a guitar and not perform in the least. That is utterly impossible with the theremin, with big swooping movements and your entire upper body being involved with playing. It’s really something to see.
One accessory worth picking up with your Etherwave is a delay pedal of some sort (I used the Boss DD3). The delay really fleshes out the sound and adds to that surreal, infinite feeling!