THEREMIN ENHANCEMENT – ESPE01

Some people are musicians, some are sound diggers… I think I’m actually a digger.

Last time I have tried the Theremin together with Slim Phatty. This is actually work for the whole rest of my life and beyond. Before this test ends I would like to do little bit more digging :) and so I have decided to enhance the Theremin spectrum a bit.
I’ve read some time ago that the Theremin can be enhanced by some module, but did not have really time for it, or I don’t know why, but I was just satisfied whith what I had.
Yea, you know the time is changing and the Youtube is tempting. Thomas Grillo made a nice video so I could not resist. Moreover, all the people on http://www.thereminworld.com said it is worthy, there was no other way than try it too.

The beast has a name ESP01. You can buy it here. A nice videa manual is again on Youtube. What is not actually there is how to implement it on Etherwave PLUS.

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First the PLUS has much extra cables for CV outputs and has no diode (3:50 in the installation manual).. at least not mine, but that’s fine. The whole Installation is almost the same but on the PLUS the audio hole in the circuit is taken by the yellow audio cable (as Thomas Grillo pointed out). The other 3 cables (orange, red & braun) are fine where they are.. That is something I did not notice and so prepared for my self more soldering fun then I actually wanted.

The ESP01 comes with two extra capacitors which are grate to have, because you surely brake the original ones during their needed partial unsoldering.

I have not spend enough time to be precise, but my Theremin did not even needed any after tuning…update sure it needs it :)

theremin-tuning

The tuning is actually not that hard as I thought. It was kinda fun. The Theremin has to be tuned up with its cover on. The cover influences the Theremins a lot, so you can’t really tune it up uncovered and think that if you put the cover on all the tuning will stay untouched.
The tricky part is how you can tune it up through the wooden box? You have to make holes in it, right above the potentiometers and then with the tuning plastic toll just play a bit. The left hole is the volume, the middle hole is the low end of the pitch an the right hole is the high end of the pitch.
I think it does not actually needs any extra explanation, you just tune the high end to the highest pitch you would like the Theremin to play (supposedly 3.5khz), and  find the right low end so it wont hum if you leave Theremin. Tune it with the knobs in the middle (12 o’clock) so you can tuned it even more both sides when you play.
The volume is pretty easy. If you played the Theremin before, you know the right behavior already. The volume has to follow your hand moves. As far you are that loud it to ought be. The mute position is about 2-3 inches far from the athena (based on my taste).  

The voice is much smoother and way way way lover where you expected to be. I don’t know about heights, that  needs more time to be spend on. The bass part enhancement is then pretty obvious.
Was It worthy, I think so, It was fun.. no seriously the sound is much bolder. Although if you like the harsh, motor like lows that the Etherwave has from the factory, you will be disappointed. It’s gone. The sound is chocolate like, warm, and deep instead.

If you have any questions regarding the Installation of ESP01 on Etherwave PLUS, let me know.. I’ll try to help, if I don’t, then Thomas Grillo, or other people on thereminworld will for sure.

Update:

here are couple details of the circuit change. Hope it helps to someone.
..btw if you change the antennae material to copper (tube) the sound is more pleasant. You have to retune it indeed.
… btw .. btw.. I had a chance to “touch” the Etherwave Pro and if you ever have a chance to do it, you would not want anything else.. be warned.. where our Eterwave is hell to control, the PRO has lot of space for you to play (2-3 octaves).. I would say it has wider resolution if it make sense to someone. Anyway.. I do not understand why the hell it is so expensive.. one tone instrument and nobody makes it with accurate playable range.

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Comments
  • mauro@crestani.com @ 21/01/2015 -

    I’m considering installing the etherwave plus field kit and the esp01. I still don’t understand how to install it when all the wires from the plus module are soldered there. Do you just solder them together in the same places?

  • John @ 01/02/2015 -

    Can you please show a closeup photo from the front showing your you reattached the audio wires to where the module has been installed? Thanks.

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