MATRIXSYNTH: Smallest Theremin?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Smallest Theremin?

Original via Alex Art in Italian
In Googlish
"Tonight, just to throw away an hour, I think I have accomplished one of the theremin smallest of the world! Il circuito è lo stesso di questo , però è montato senza basetta ed al posto dell’altoparlante ha un piccolo “buzzer”. Suona un po’ tipo “citofono”, però è stato un’ottimo esercizio, in particolare di manualità: dopo aver finito di saldarlo volevo darmi alla microchirurgia vascolare! The circuit is the same as this, but without board is mounted in place and the speaker has a small buzzer. "Sounds a little 'type" intercom "But it was a great year, especially manual: After finished wanted me to pay Micro vascular!"
via Aliens Project


  1. A light controlled oscillator is NOT a theremin. Please stop re-writing electronic music history and spreading wrong information. It is harmful to the art and is detrimental to electronic music history.

  2. Have to agree there. A photoresistor hooked up to a 555 timer is not a theremin, even when a couple dozen folks on EBay selling them as "light theremins" want you to believe otherwise...

  3. better partial translation: It sounds a little like an intercom, but it was a great exercise, especially in manual dexterity. After I finished soldering it I wanted to move on to micro vascular surgery.

  4. I'd just like to say to those who think this is not a theremin, we all understand that this doesn't use capacitance but it's basically played the same as a "real" theremin, saying this isn't a theremin is like saying someone who photoshop to draw something isn't an artiest because they don't use a real paint brush, it's close enough and I'm sure it's more of a theremin than the rest of you have built.

  5. So is this a theremin?

  6. "it's basically played the same as a "real" theremin"

    so a guitar is a banjo, right? its basically played the same.

    and a Korg is a Moog, right? its "close enough" i guess.

  7. To Steve: sorry but wrong wrong wrong. A theremin and this little gadget are both gestural, but that's where the similarity ends. This circuit has no idea how close you are to it or far away, only how much light you are blocking it from seeing. Nor does it give any gestural way to control the dynamics of the sound. And that sets aside the elegance of the actual electronics of the theremin itself. Light control and optoelectronic sound has it's own kind of elegance (which I try to put to good use here:, but let's not try to call apples oranges, OK?


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