Will the Theremin be the next Controller ?

Ever since seeing an advert for a ( monophonic ) Analogue to Midi converter , I have been imagining possible uses of a midi controller that takes its input from where you move your hands in space .

We already have ribbon controllers and photo-sensitive controllers such as the Beamz laser thing , but with a proximity-sensitive arrangement such as a theremin hooked up to an analogue/midi convertor there would be a greater range of commands possible .
:bulb: Transport control from an unlit vocal booth by making gestures in the air ! :bulb:

I expect someone will reply now to say that they have adapted a wifi game controller to send midi info and they already set project tempo by stomping and control a wah effect by moving their foot in the air . :wink:

Slightly off-my-own-topic now :stuck_out_tongue: , my Imagination-Of-The-Future just ran riot at the implications of this video ; http://www.synthtopia.com/content/2011/07/08/music-robot-plays-the-theremin-follows-the-guitar/

Will we be setting tempos by strumming air guitars next ?

I have adapted a wii game controller to send midi info and I already set project tempo by stomping and control a wah effect by moving my foot in the air. :unamused:


That should be doable, not so sure if it’s actually comfortable though.

The original video that sparked this off is at ; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWaNlcXuGmI&feature=related
He uses a theremin at 3:38

Can anyone envisage possible applications for such a hands-free ( sort of ) midi controller for our use ?
The future is comin’ on , comin’ on…

Make sure, you keep your dearest folks out of range of your razorsharp toenails!
Boy! As if three killed puppies weren`t enough… :imp:

It seems you are a hopeless case, HowlingUlf! :unamused:

Aloha D,
Sometimes look at the strings on my (MIDI) guitar and I
wish they could be like 6 Theremins playing at the same time but with
no frets and with me not touching the strings; just hovering over them.

Ahhh! The future.

this little widget allows you to turn a Wii controller into a MIDI controller for various things: http://mike.verdone.ca/wiitomidi/

The lastest Moog Etherwave Plus theremin: http://www.moogmusic.com/products/etherwave-theremins/etherwave-plus now has CV outputs for both hands that can be used with an analogue synth to control all kinds of interesting things.

However… I have to say that musicians by and large are a conservative bunch and generally eschew anything new. There are controllers aplenty around that are nothing more than niche. Hell, the theremin has been around since the 1920s and most people have never heard of it!

In recent years I can think of a whole bunch of instruments that are new and interesting and yet none of them have provided anything other than idle curiosity in all but a tiny minority of musicians:

Akai wind controller
Chapman Stick
C-Thru Axis 64/49
Starr Labs Ztar
Eigenlabs Eigenharp
Haken Continuum fingerboard

These are the ones that just come to mind, I’m sure if I did some digging there would be a whole bunch more.

Pretty much every Roland keyboard for a decade has a D-Beam controller, and I think I’ve seen it used live by 2 people (well and me, but I wasn’t watching that :slight_smile: )

No, give people what they know, and they’ll be happy. Suggest there is something else, and they will look upon it with suspicion.

I’ve seen the Akai windcontroller used live a couple of times, but all the others you menioned I either haven’t heard of or have indeed never seen them being used. Aparently my keyboard is over 10 years old, I want a D-Beam! :sunglasses:



Technology :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

The Stairway To Heaven bit got me giggling :stuck_out_tongue:

lol, good video :slight_smile:

I got my hands on a second hand Alesis AirFX a few days ago, it’s not in yet but it looks ace. Unfortunately it has no MIDI IO, or it would’ve been a very cool controller
SOS review

But seriously ,
this is more like what I imagined ;



Errr …

Most Roland gear has had D-Beam controller, which works much like a theremin, for years.

… found another ;


Anyone have any experience of the Airpiano ?

… found something else ;
This time it is not a device for converting ( hand ) proximity to Midi , but a mocap ( " motion-capture " ) device .
It converts body motions into Midi signals . At this time it is quite cumbersome , but I can see a time when we will be creating music by gesturing from the sofa. :nerd:

The Sonalog Gypsy MIDI


e.g. at 2:35 she enters new drum patterns " manually " . :slight_smile:

This isn’t new either. In the mid-80’s Mick Fleetwood used something like this for his drum solo, which he performed in the center of the stage with no drum kit within 10 feet of him.