Skip to main content

A Moog Etherwave Theremin could be the expressive controller missing from your live modular setup

Ever thought you could unbox a Theremin and be able to get anything resembling music out of it straight away? Turns out merely flailing your hands around isn't a pleasant listening experience for those around you.

In other news...

Luckily, the new Theremin Etherwave from Moog features CV outputs, so you can put this expressive instrument to work with your modular set-up. However, should you also have the new Mavis, a DFAM and a Boss MT-2 Metal Zone knocking around, then you could be in for some rudimentary techno.

In this set up we have the Pitch CV hooked up to the 1-2 FM Amount on DFAM, but throughout the course of the demo we switch things up by experimenting with controlling the VCF Decay, VCO Decay and VCO 1 CV.

With Mavis, we kept things even simpler by hooking up the Volume CV from the Theremin to the little monosynth's Cutoff input.

As for the cactus, well it's mandatory to have a succulent present within any synth jam, as you well know, but in this instance we needed some extra conductive material to act as a Hold function on our Volume antenna.

No where have I seen that before?

Using a Theremin to control other synths is nothing new, with the likes of French musician, Mezerg, making it a mainstay of his setup for a few years now. We'll let him show you how it's really done.

While the Theremin is the undisputed king in capacitive sensor control, expressive gesticular control in music gear is nothing new... D-Beam anyone? 

Roland first added the infrared-controlled D-Beam to its MC-505 groovebox and JX-305 keyboard in 1998 and can still be spotted on the FA workstations and V-Combo keyboards today.

But if you prefer your light controllers a little more visible then lest we forget Beamz by Flo Rida...

"Why bother with all this hands-free control when a good ol' fashioned rotary can do just as well?" We hear you say. Surely we can all agree that throwing shapes whilst performing is only natural (we've all been there) and why not put those pumping techno-fists to good use by dancing in front of a Theremin?

Simon Arblaster
Simon Arblaster

I take care of the reviews on MusicRadar and Future Music magazine, though can sometimes be spotted in front of a camera talking little sense in the presence of real musicians. For the past 30 years, I have been unable to decide on which instrument to master, so haven't bothered. Currently, a lover of all things high-gain in the guitar stakes and never one to resist churning out sub-standard funky breaks, the likes of which you'll never hear.

All-access artist interviews, in-depth gear reviews, essential production tutorials and much more.
Get the latest issue now!