Vision of 2003 . . ."True beauty is hidden in Simplicity"
Rockmore is the #1 theremin virtuosa, but how did Lev Sergeyevich
create her "authentic" golden sound?
My 12 year theremin journey seems to be winding down. As
time passes I begin to forget details about my build.
People seem to gravitate more toward the digital build today
which seems to me to miss
what the theremin represents... a connection with the past.
The most important aspect for me is that authentic
sound... not a nine octave whistle buried in reverb.
The Altermen Authentic.wav
This is theremin
direct to sound card, no acoustic development.
My tube/valve pitch method is not available in general now, but if
you are a builder in So. California I would make an exception. After
helping hundreds of University Students get a top grade
over the years I found my efforts were easily forgotten.
No Thereminist developed from it.
hybrid pitch side uses two of these osc boards and the Phoenix
pre-amp section to get the golden sound.
My last project
was to breadboard a hybrid Tube/Valve pitch
oscillator and see if "Perfect Linearity" could be
found. This would clarify if the phenomenon of LINKS
and the Lev Antenna was unique
to transistor oscillators or could it also be demonstrated using a tube/valve
answer is Yes! "Perfect Linearity" is possible with
of my theremin experiments over the years used Hartley Oscillators
operating between 800 kHz and 1000 kHz. This higher frequency
allows the design of the Lev Antenna to be more practical. I found that
using hand wound
air coils in the oscillators was a poor choice because it limited Perfect Linearity to just over three
linear octaves and added to pitch drift. My original RS Illusion
transistor theremin revealed that using High Q ferrite
coils would give more than five linear octaves over
the same air core coil setup..
pitch oscillator between 875 kHz and 925 kHz Lev Antenna
five plus octave range was also found in my scratch
built tube/valve hybrid
theremin which also uses ferrite
tubes for the pitch and fixed oscillators has a much more subtle
Null break point and a better symmetrical
wave shape in the lowest notes of the audio sound, compared to
my musical crudeness in a 18" pitch
field in the sample below I will make a one octave
jump by closing my fingers then rapidly opening my fingers within 1" of the pitch antenna. I
will repeat this while moving midway back in the pitch field and then near the
lowest octave. Each time the same hand/finger movement is used. This is one of the easiest methods of validating
any theremins pitch field linearity. I am watching a
tube sine wave
A linear 2400 hz down to 100 hz
linearity remains no matter what size intervals or octave widths
you enjoy playing. This Lev Antenna phenomena once set does not need
retuning. It's tuning bandwidth is broad and stable.
scratch built hybrid theremin uses one vacuum tube for the pitch
oscillator, one tube for the fixed oscillator. This hybrid theremin pitch
field has Perfect Pitch Linearity and cost less than
build plus seven years of learning the simplicity of how theremins
work. My design does not need variable capacitors or exotic
It uses simple solid state tuning I designed, the
tuning knob can be twenty feet away.
you would enjoy building this harmonically rich theremin
voice with its perfectly linear pitch field, then I
have organized it as a "build it yourself"
project for about $200 usd
in parts. This cost includes dual tube/valve pitch
and a stand alone hand proximity RF volume control board with an adjustable 10" down
to 2" shading window. It begins by building the Phoenix
design then it evolves from there.
Most of the
parts you purchase from Mouser.
At no cost make your own
pc boards from my PDF's. In the future I will have
and drilled printed circuit boards, this will add to the
overall cost. Five Boards = 4 - 3"x 6"
and 1- 3"x 3".
This Altermen could become
one of the most treasured designs,
13 common design myths.
tube/valve build begins with the Phoenix Solid State,
then add two tube osc boards.