Moog Theremini

Theremin with 32 Sounds, Selectable Scales, Variable Note Range, Built-in Tuner, Delay Effect, Built-in Speaker, and MIDI/CV Out
Moog Theremini image 1
Moog Theremini image 1
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Moog Theremini
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It's Easier Than Ever to Start Playing Theremin

The Moog Theremini makes the unique Theremin instrument more accessible than ever before. A built-in tuner gives you visual feedback of your tuning accuracy, perfect for correcting your playing position. With 32 wavetable-based sound presets and different musical scales and root notes to choose from, the Theremini makes it easy to start playing. One of Sweetwater's favorite features is that you can control the amount of pitch quantization, giving you equal access to hard-tuned sounds and classic free-ranging Theremin sounds. Whether you're a performing electronic musician or just have a taste for unusual instruments, you'll experience music in a whole new way with the Moog Theremini.

Moog Theremini at a Glance:
  • Start playing fast thanks to built-in scales and pitch quantization
  • Improve your technique quickly with the built-in tuner
  • Create modern sounds with a unique vibe
Start playing fast thanks to built-in scales and pitch quantization

While the free-ranging pitch of the original Theremin is what gives its sound much of its unique character, the Theremini gives you the option to quantize your playing to one of many selectable scales. Best of all, you've got complete control over the amount of pitch quantization. At maximum settings, notes lock into place in the selected scale - it's impossible to play a wrong note. As you decrease this control, you get more expressive control over pitch and vibrato. Turn it all the way down, and you have the same performance characteristics as you'd expect from an original Theremin.

Improve your technique quickly with the built-in tuner

If you haven't played a Theremin before, it can be tricky at first to hit specific note pitches during a performance. Moog equipped the Theremini with a built-in tuner that gives you real time visual feedback of every note you play. That makes it much easier to fine-tune your technique and positioning until you're hitting every note perfectly.

Create modern sounds with a unique vibe

With 32 built-in sounds derived from Moog's Animoog synth engine, the Theremini gives you a wide sonic palette to experiment with. From the classic '50s sci-fi sounds of the original Theremin to modern synth sounds, the Theremini is Moog's most versatile Theremin to date.

Moog Theremini Features:
  • Easy-to-play Theremin with built-in speaker
  • 32 wavetable-based sounds range from classic to modern
  • Selectable scales make it easy to play with accurate pitch
  • User selectable range means you can set the lowest and highest note values
  • Pitch/CV output and USB MIDI for controlling other synthesizers
  • Can be mounted on a mic stand (requires optional 3/8" male to 5/8" female mic screw adapter)
Wave your hands and make music with the Moog Theremini!

Additional Media

Theremini User Manual

Tech Specs

Manufacturer Part Number EW_THEREMINI-01

Customer Reviews

Based on 6 reviews
Write your review

Theremini ways to enjoy Sweetwater

the Moog Theremini is a great instrument. hours of fun and musical exploration. I ordered it over the phone through Tyler Berggren, and he was awesome. calling in an order has never been easier! extremely fast shipping. and tasty treats inside the package. Sweetwater is TOO SWEET!

The best Theremin out there

I was thinking about spending the $200 to upgrade my Etherwave to the plus model to have CV outs and I realized for $100 more I could have one of these. I have not regretted my decision. CV - There is ONE CV out, you can choose whether this is driven by the volume or pitch antennas, and you can quantize the pitch CV to any scale you choose or leave it linear. MIDI - This is where the unit kind of lacks. The Theremini will only output MIDI over it's USB-MIDI interface, and it will only give you CC data for each of the antennas. IT WILL NOT TRANSMIT NORMAL NOTE DATA, so you will not be able to "play" another device over MIDI, only modify CC data. The ANIMOOG engine included in the Thermini is very nice, and I wish it could also be manipulated over MIDI, but this device accepts no MIDI in either, so the animoog engine is limited to being controlled only with the Thermini. The PC and iPad apps are very nice for manipulating the device without a ton of menu driving, and they also make a great patch librarian. In short, it's well worth the money, but you have to wonder why they didn't spend just a little more time developing the MIDI on the device.

Great Experimental Musical Instrument

As a amateur guitar player, we've always been curious about this instrument's history. And after watching several youtube demos of the product, we were sold on trying this out to add some sonic(and exotic) variety to our home recording and video projects. Pitch correction, Scales and Root note features are exactly what a beginner needs to get started playing melodies. Along with that, you can download(from the Moog site) the Editor where you can modify your loaded library of sounds/tones and modify those patches too. You can defeat the internal effects and run it direct to your pedalboard or other effects(distortion, flanger, etc.) We got the Sweetwater Demo Price(!) and only deducted 1/2 star because it didn't include the mic stand adapter. If it's a Moog, how can you go wrong? Double Thumbs Up~!

Theremini Upgraded Review

Now that I have played more with the Theremini, I have to upgrade my previous review for a number of reasons. First, after using the instrument for a while now, I've come to see that if you dial back the range from the default, you can get a pitch field that is much more comparable to the Etherwave and thus much more playable for those interested in playing melodies (I suggest a three octave range to start). Secondly, Moog just came out with an iPad app that lets you edit your theremini patches and gives you a librarian where you can share patches with friends and the theremini community. You can now pick from a list of waveforms (sine, triangle, sawtooth, three animoog wavetable waveforms and the Etherwave theremin waveform) and alter filter settings and wavetable scan parameters in addition to delay settings and changing, pitch parameters, scales, etc. It's a whole new instrument with this great app (and I think they will be hosting it to run on other platforms soon - please check with Moog on that). So I'm adding another star to my original review. Kudos to Moog for coming out with a great enhancement to the product only a couple months after its release.
Music background: Composer, Teacher, Author

...And Now For Something Completely Different...

THEREMINI REVIEW Playing a Theremin is hard. Really hard, and this has helped keep this instrument mostly off the radar, and relegated it to obscure cameos in science fiction movies for decades. This is the instrument that could change all of that. Moog is flexing their software muscles here, and the Theremini has sound generation capabilities fueled by their Animoog sound engine, a powerful software wavetable synthesizer for the IOS platform. There are 32 presets available ranging from the classic Theremin scary Halloween tones to deep Moog bass drones, to interplanetary space ship flybys. It is tempting to try and compare this new instrument to the traditional Theremin, but to do so would be missing the point. Having had a chance to borrow a Moog Etherwave from a friend and practice with it for several months, as a synthesist I found that its rather narrow tonal range, limited ability to interface to other synths and difficulty to play in tune (thanks to my shoddy technique) didn't offer enough incentive for me to seriously pursue it any farther. I'm guessing that the traditional Theremin has always had a limited number of people who are really interested in learning to master this difficult instrument. However, the lure of a gestural-based instrument that could neatly interface with both vintage and modern synths has always been great, and this is just what the new Theremini brings to the table, courtesy of the brilliant engineers at Moog. When I saw the info for the Theremini, I imagined that this would offer much more of interest to my tastes. This has certainly turned out to be true for me, and I suspect it will for many others as well. The big news here is the completely variable pitch correction software, and this is what makes it so attractive to the wistful novice Thereminist/Synthesist. With this control turned all the way down, the instrument responds just like a standard Theremin, with pitch infinitely variable as you move you hand close to the pitch antenna. As the control is turned up, the pitch is more closely locked into place with hand movement, until when completely up only the notes of the selected scale are produced, with no wrong or off pitch tones. With the control about halfway up, you can easily hit the right note and still be able to add subtle vibrato and other cool inflections. Having completely adjustable control between the two extremes is an excellent feature, and very liberating. An on board tuner shows you what note is being produced by note name (also functioning as a silent preview before you raise the volume of a note) and a deviation indicator for pitch shows how close to the proper pitch you are for each note. You can choose from 22 different normal and esoteric scales to spice up your creations, and the volume antenna lets you fade sounds in and out, pick out and shape any individual notes or continously glissando through the selected scale. Be aware that, depending on the scale selected, the tuner will only show the notes available in that scale, and the deviation bar of the tuner shows the distance necessary to reach the next note of the scale (which may be far). This can be confusing to some users, leading them to think that the tuner is inaccurate, because selecting different factory presets on the Theremini also selects different scales, which changes how the tuner responds. Tested against a Peterson strobe tuner, it is actually accurate to about .1 cents, which is very, very good. Built in digital delay adds depth to the sonic landscape, and I found that after a bit of practice, I was up and creating my own ethereal melodies. Super Fun! As my technique improves with practice, I'll be able to dial down the pitch correction until hopefully at some point I'll be able to hit the proper pitches on my own! The instrument allows you to calibrate both the actual usable playing space, as well as the note range that can be fit inside it, enabling you to fine tune the playing experience to your particular tastes. This is a more complicated calibration procedure than the simple controls provided by a standard Theremin (typically just a single knob) but with some practice and patience it can yield a much more customized playing experience. For many decades now, the true beauty of most Moog instruments is that they have offered a wealth of features and capabilities available to those that choose to dig deeper, and the Theremini is certainly no exception in this regard. As a stand-alone instrument, the Theremini frankly seems kind of limited at first glance. There isn't much available to the user past selecting the presets and some rudimentary editing (and this has seemed to frustrate some less experienced users), but there are a large number of "under the hood" goodies that can be easily and powerfully accessed via Midi, and these will allow you to customize how you choose to interact with the instrument. Pitch Quantization, note scales, note range and root key (and much more!) are all under instant Midi control, as are the filter, delay and wavetable controls. Using a typical set of Midi pedals and switches allows you completely re-shape the instrument and playing experience on the fly while performing. If you're using a Midi-capable sequencer for backing accompaniment, this even allows you to tie exact control of the instrument directly to the musical score, freeing the performer up to concentrate on precise antenna control. The small built-in mono speaker is nice for easy practice, but be sure to connect the stereo line outs on the back to a decent amplification system to get a taste of what the Animoog-powered synth engine can really deliver! The built in headphone jack disconnects the speaker and allows for late-night playing without disturbing anyone (very thoughtful inclusion, and true stereo performance here as well). Some quibbles with the unit are that it feels a little cheaply made, to be expected I guess with so much packed into it at such a low price point (this unit costs just a bit more than the cheapest Moogerfooger pedal!!!). The knobs feel a little wobbly, but seem to work well enough. There's a volume knob, but it only affects the volume of the built in speaker and headphone amp, and has no effect on the main stereo outputs (which can be controlled via Midi, of course). It's handy to have immediate control of the overall volume, and hopefully this can be added in a future software update. Speaking of updates, a USB port on the back allows for connection to a computer for this and other activities. An editor is in the works and should be available shortly to let you create or modify your own presets as well as access other under the hood features. A MIDI interface can be connected here as well to allow control of modern synths via Theremin, and a CV out jack on the back helps you interface it's Theremini Goodness to more old school instruments. Each antenna can be assigned to your choice of a Midi CC number. The CV out jack can be assigned to follow either antenna, and can be externally scaled to allow a standard 1V/oct synth to track it for more than 6 octaves, effectively turning the Theremini into an absolute analog monster. Although there's a stand connector on the bottom of the unit, it fits the smaller European stand connector, which is admittedly kind of weird. An adapter is easily available for around $3, however. Having it on a stand is a definite advantage, although the grippy rubber feet on the bottom allow it to perch quite nicely on a tabletop as well, which is where my unit spent its first few weeks until I got an adapter from Ebay. As a final thought about the relationship between the new Theremini and a standard Theremin, although they do share some similarities (mainly gestural control) they really are very different instruments. If you really like what the Theremin does ( look, sound and play like a Theremin) then that's likely the instrument for you, and Moog and others make some fine ones. However, as a sonic explorer, if you're interested in an instrument that goes way beyond those boundaries in just about every direction, then you may find that the new Theremini is just what you've been looking for. In my experience, thinking of the Theremini as a replacement Theremin is like thinking of a MiniMoog as a replacement Harpsichord. This is a serious reimagining of a classic instrument, and Moog has brought a lot to the table in a cool looking instrument that brings the power of the Theremin to everyone, even a novice like me! Kudos Moog! Edit: Moog has already released a firmware update that fixes a problem where sometimes the volume antenna would not work. This would cause the unit to turn on, but not make any sound. Also worth mentioning is that the USB connector on the back is a mini-style connector so you will probably need an appropriate adapter cable to interface the Theremini with your computer or IPad.
Music background: Electronic Musician
See also: Moog, Moog Theremins