Here’s some notes about Moog’s Theremini, which leverages Animoog’s engine. We mentioned the launch of the Theremini in Spring 2014. I do happily own a Theremini myself since mid-November 2014.
I don’t plan to build lots of content for the Theremini itself, my focus will be on Animoog until Animoog’s documentation reaches a certain level of maturity. That said, it’s easy to provide some content and pointers here. First thing to do is to make certain your Theremini is using the latest available Firmware, as of February 2015, that is version 1.1.1.
User-contributed Theremini presets:
Presets are the core of the Theremini, they determine what sound comes out of the Theremini and its parameters.
- The Theremini comes with 32 built-in presets
- A second set of 35 presets is available as part the official Theremini Advanced Software Editor app provided by Moog
The two first user-contributed Theremini presets I was asked to host are:
- Synthguy’s ‘ALT Library 1’, consisting of 65 presets (right-click link to save as a file)
- Steffen Presley’s 10 presets for the Theremini, “Of these, two or three are variations of presets from the Moog Theremini app library. The rest are from scratch” (right-click link to save as a file)
Other user-contributed presets available:
- Gary Honis’ 32 presets for the Theremini that use the extra hidden waveforms of the Theremini
- Thomas Grillo’s THEREMINS-2 presets for the Theremini, “half a dozen straight tone theremin presets which sound like a flute, male “ah”, nasally male “ah”, spooky “ooo”, a vintage RCA-ish tone, and an organ like tone”
Installation of presets:
- If you have an iPad, download the free official Theremini Advanced Software Editor app. You can send to yourself the .theremini file by email, open that email on the iPad and open the .theremini file from Mail to the Theremini editor app. Then you follow the app’s instructions to upload the new presets to the Theremini
- The easiest way to install third-party Theremini presets is via iFunBox
- For desktop computers, Moog provides a free Theremini Editor for MacOS X & Windows
- You don’t need to transfer third-party Theremini presets to your Theremini to play them. You can simply connect your Theremini to your iPad and select on the iPad which presets you want to play within the official Theremini app. Don’t forget to use the ‘folder’ icon to see the list of all third-party preset collections available on the Theremini
Kindly provided by rkram53:
- Dial back the range to C2..C5. I’ve found this gives you are pretty good and consistent spacing between notes (linearity) for most of the range
- Dial the pitch correction to about 10 O’clock. This will add some correction, but not too much so that you get over quantized – which at the beginning may actually make it harder for you as you want some fudge factor (portamento) between notes to try and make easy corrections
- Make sure you set to Chromatic scale, I set root to C , but that can be whatever you like
- Start with the Classic Theremini setting – and play around with it in the editor if you like
- Add in some delay to your liking. The default Theremin setting does not have enough
- Put on some slow music and try and play along with it. Don’t worry too much about the left hand to start. Just try and match pitches
By roaming on Moog’s Theremin forums, you’ll find users sharing more of their own tips on a variety of topics, such as leveraging the Theremini CV and midi capabilities.
- Are there any existing websites focusing specifically on the Theremini?
- ThereminWorld.com – For theremin players, not thereminis — that said, the site has content pertinent to Theremini players as well
- Moog’s official Theremin forum
Theremini user community:
What would be nice:
- A common web location to share user-customized Theremini presets – I’m ready to host the files if you have any to share, I’ll post them on this website and make them available to all
- A list of links where we can see and/or listen to great Theremini performances
Actually, those presets and list of links could be collaboratively built and hosted on GitHub. Same for the tips. But GitHub is not suited for discussions (the official Moog forums are). I might eventually move the content of this page to GitHub is enough people want to contribute.
You have ideas and time to help build a community around the Theremini? Let me know. I have plenty of ideas, but little time. I’ll be glad to participate, but for now, my focus will be on Animoog documentation. Cheers — Alex / Satri
- This page was first published in early 2015
- It has been updated in November 2015 with new tips on installing and accessing third-party Theremini presets
- Page updated in April 2016: I added Steffen Presley’s Theremini presets, along with other minor improvements to the page