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Moog Etherwave Theremin
Overall Rating
Submitted: January 16th, 1997
by Daniel Means
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Sound Quality
Expressive is an understatement. There are very few if any musical instruments that respond to evert single slight movement you make. Especially without touching it. Using the brightness and the subtle waveform controls a wide range of sounds may be produced. Everything from a buzzy bee sound to a violin type sound to a woman singing an opera way up high. Playing it through outboard effects such as a delay pedal can produce some very weird and amazing sounds that could be good for sound effects. This a very difficult instrument to play. Even simple melodies take a lot of practice. Since there is no keyboard or fingerboard finding the correct notes is difficult. You must rely solely on your ear and your reflexes to find the correct notes quickly. Even the slightest movement of the hand can make a good pitch go bad. And holding a pitch especially whilst trying to create vibrato is extremely difficult. Definitely not an instrument for anyone who is lacking in patients.
Reliability/Durability
IF you get the kit then reliability relies somewhat on your skill in soldering. IF you get the completed instrument then I wouldn't worry one bit. Just look at all those Moogs still around.
Price/Value
General Comments
As far as Theremins go Big Briar is as they say 'the bees knees.' The Etherwave Theremin sounds wonderful and is a very fun even if difficult instrument to play. Also worth mentioning is that included with the unit is an instructional video hosted by Robert Moog and taught by Theremin virtuoso Lydia Kavina (the cousin of theremin inventor Leon Theremin). Also included is a CD of the legendary thereminist Clara Rockmore performing pieces by Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, and Tchaikovsky. The CD was produced by Robert Moogd is really incredible. For the price it is my opinion that there is no other theremin available that is as good as the Etherwave and I'd recommend it to anyone. The only thing I wish it had is a MIDI option. Imagine playing your favorite synth with a theremin. It must be pretty cool to play a Hammond organ or Mellotron without touching it!
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