Human Theremin, one step closer to cyborgs (not really)

Oh [Humberto], what will you think up next? A human Theremin you say, and it’s for Halloween? Certanly this will blow last years creepy capacitance sensing jack-o-lantern out of the water right? Eh, not really, but still cool none-the-less. By using pairs of IR LEDs and IR photo-transistors, [Humberto] makes a simplistic distance sensor. Then its just a matter of converting that light value into sound, which is accomplished by using some very clever PWM square wave hacking to make a triangle wave. Also, [Humberto] goes over the process of using fast integers to represent slow floating point numbers. While none of the project is really a new concept, it certainly is put into an easy perspective so anyone can try their hand at it. All well worth the read, or you can catch a video after the jump.

Continue reading “Human Theremin, one step closer to cyborgs (not really)”

Shred air with Theremin Hero

Remember those Ebay auctions of air guitars going for several thousands of dollars? We don’t either, but Theremin Hero (more info in the YouTube description) is about as legit as you can get to actually rocking on nothing but air.

Much like using a theremin to control Mario, the vertical antenna acts as the fret board while the horizontal one detects strumming. Combine the output of the theremin with some custom software (yet to be released) and Guitar Hero and you have Theremin Hero Air Guitar.

[via Bob’s House of Video Games]

Virtual Theremin

[Mojo] has taken a lot of the complex circuitry out of the mix by creating a virtual Theremin. A Theremin is an electronic instrument, usually with two antennas, that senses the proximity of the player’s hands to the instrument and responds accordingly.

This design, called the AirDeck, uses a Wii remote as an IR sensor and two gloves with IR LEDs in them. Data from the Wii remote is processed by a custom Java app that converts it into sound. [Mojo’s] interface also includes some alternative options such as a turn-table scratch interface.

In the end this is still just a synthesizer/midi controller and cannot stand up to the real thing. However if you’re not an accomplished player you’ll probably never notice the difference.

Theremin controlled Mario

In the video above, [conquerearth] is using a theremin to control Super Mario Bros. Moving his hand toward and away from the vertical antenna increases the theremin’s pitch. The computer monitors this in real time and moves Mario left and right. The loop antenna controls the theremin’s volume and acts as the jump button. The controls seem to work well, much better than the sound of one man flailing at a theremin.

[via Gizmodo]

False theremin

fth

[vilxes91] sent in this cool little false-theremin (translated). Its a pretty simple circuit, that can fit in really small places. It isn’t a true theremen because it uses the amount of light coming in around the lid for the modulation. To play it, you turn it on and open it up, the more open the lid, the higher the pitch. You can see a video of it in action after the break.

Continue reading “False theremin”

The Ondestrak

If you like the sound of the theramin, you may enjoy the Ondestrak.  Based loosely off of the Ondes Martnot, the Ondestrak works by changing the pitch of a continuous note. [Devin_mccutchen] built his using an old gametrak controller. The controller looks pretty cool. We hadn’t seen that one before. Check out a more musical performance after the break.

Continue reading “The Ondestrak”

Tiny optical theremins


Matrixsynth pointed out a couple incredibly small optical theremins that look like they’d make for a great afternoon project. [AlexArt] first built the simple circuit on a piece of protoboard (Google translated). Knowing he could go smaller, he then built it freeform with a buzzer instead of a full size speaker. The design is based around the common 555 chip and photoresistor. Here’s a simple circuit you can use to lay out your own. The optical theremin should not be confused with the traditional RF theremin since the name comes from the similar sound, not similar construction.