August 14, 2006

Why I Don't Like The Theremin: A Simple Example...

by Chris Randall

I have this theory about guys that wear kilts. (Not Scottish Gentry, of course. I mean the kind of guys who's 'day' job is as a bouncer at a goth club.) The reason I find them so fucking annoying is not the fact that they wear kilts. I mean, who gives a rat's ass what you wear? It's the fact that they talk about it incescently. As in "dude! I can't wait until casual Friday! I'm gonna wear my kilt!" Their entire life revolves around the various opportunities one might have for wearing a kilt, and it seems it's all they care about.

I find theremins to be strikingly similar. There isn't much in the audio world more annoying than the caterwauling of a poor theremin player. (Well, Diamond Dave is more annoying, but not by much.) It's not so much that I hate theremins as an instrument. I just hate the fact that people that aren't very good with that instrument seem to take a special kind of pride in inflicting it on others.

With this entry, I try to see what that feels like, by inflicting the world's most annoying song, performed on the world's most annoying instrument, by someone that I'm sure is annoying in real life. It's like an annoying trifecta. Enjoy.



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Aug.14.2006 @ 6:13 PM
Most theremin players I know (including myself) are very hesitant to inflict their playing on the general public.

However, I have to agree with the kilt thing.

There are also those who take similar pride in their TV viewing habits:

link []">link []



Aug.14.2006 @ 6:22 PM
I think a theremin would be pretty useful if they did quantitization on the pitch to make it fit a musical scale. Theremin people tell me this is blasphomy, but my ear just can't get used to how off-pitch your average theremin player sounds. Unless you are a virtuoso player, even what is a simple tune on a standard keyboard sounds pretty aweful.

Aug.14.2006 @ 6:44 PM
I suggest anyone interested in the theremin check out this guy:

link []">link []

He's not well known or mentioned in most theremin websites, but his pitch accuracy and theremin musicality is the best I've ever heard. IMHO even better than the so-called "masters" like Lydia Kavina


Aug.14.2006 @ 6:47 PM
Help us. all the way through the 'intro' to this thing i was saying, "oh no. he isn't he is NOT going to break into 'don't worry be happy.' no one would be that cruel."

You really hit on something with the kilt comparison as well. having someone nearby playing theremin is pretty much as bad as having a roommate who is learning the bagpipes. i'm not sure if this is as bad as some guy trying to learn 'amazing grace' and getting the same notes wrong over and over but it is pretty close.

It is a little sad when you see old footage of Clara Rockmore and the like who really treated it with respect like an actual musical instrument and all the fucktards out there who just use it to make 'freaky noises,' alongside their digeridoo and whatnot.


Aug.14.2006 @ 6:51 PM
the doc seems to indicate that the current state of theremin technology leaves much to desire, especially in terms of tone and pitch accuracy. Whats stopping someone from making a kickass RCA Tube Theremin Clone?

Aug.14.2006 @ 7:40 PM
Next week on Analog Industries: the wonderful world of musical saws.

Aug.14.2006 @ 8:07 PM
Son of a desert dog!!!That location looks pretty hidden!!!!Maybe the TSA will ban theremins!

Aug.14.2006 @ 9:39 PM
I'm astounded at how truly horrible this is,
I would rather practice self love with a cheese grater than learn this guys name.
Think of his poor neighbors.

Aug.14.2006 @ 9:46 PM
Suit & Tie Guy
this is incredible stuff man. thanks for sharing. i especially like how he modified the colour of the chord harmonies to bring out the inherent sadness in that song.

btw, did bobby mcferrin fuck your mom or something or do you just hate that song?

no, it's never been a lyricly powerful piece of music to me and i don't necessarily like the lyrics either but note-wise it's a nice tune. when i think of "fucking annoying songs" usually what comes to mind is ANY pussy nu-metal.

you should make a list of songs you think are annoying for me so i can use audio damage plugins during the production of covers of so you can make fun of me in your blog because that would be amazing.


Aug.14.2006 @ 9:48 PM
Anyone here tried to build tha Paia theremin with velocity CV? ha ha ha

WTF are you gonna do with velocity control on a theremin?

Why not just shake your leg for 'aftertouch' or 'breath control'?


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