Things from the World of Theremin

Worth Repeating

After 10 years on an inspired theremin journey the RS Theremin has concluded.

I achieved more than I imagined was even  possible.


The most difficult aspect of theremin design is how an authentic beautiful voice is developed.

No one designs a cheap theremin to save money. The real answer is that's the best they could do at that point in their discovery.. Saving a few dollars has nothing to do with it.

Are there theremin secrets?  Yes (-'

My hats off to those that "demonstrate" theremin design results no matter how good or bad, I know the difficultly of the journey . . .

With theremins in general everyone is an expert,  ask any designer for their sound sample.


Here is my Sample.mp3

If I did not have one I would be full of gas!

Best Theremin choice  

There is not much selection, I recommend the Moog EtherWave Standard and EtherWave Plus


Get sound samples from any design or person professing to have theremin knowledge no matter how well they may dress.

Busking: One idea is to use this complete package 420 watt  UPS computer battery backup, it turns out to be a good busking power supply. This battery back up is much bigger that it looks in the picture, about 10 lbs.  It would give your theremin and 15 watt amplifier two hours of straight play or click it off between sets. A digital read out tells you how much time is left on the battery by calculating the charge and the load. You can disable the periodic beep-beep. Using it as your everyday computer backup and for busking makes it an excellent value for $76 free shipping from Amazon. This powers my hybrid designs perfectly.

Ten years ago... my first month,  some think Level 3 should not be called a theremin and yet it is the heart of the theremin.

13 Theremin Notes & Myths:

*  The theremin is the epitome of a technology from an era gone by, never allow it to lose the soul found in the original instrument. 

*  Theremins respond to capacitance change between your hand and the antenna, nothing to do with Radio Waves.

A beautiful theremin sound is easier to play for various reasons; for one it encourages practice.

*  Tube/valve power amplifiers will not add what some hope to find in a good theremin sound.

*  The need to use a large 12" speaker is to over compensate for a theremin sound that never arrived.

*  The heterodyne signal should start as a sine wave for purity, then add distortion it for the ideal sound.

*  Some engineers are baffled by simplicity and will overly focus on the coils, osc or mixer, notice I use a simple diode detector.

*  The theremin must have a good earth ground to make full use of the true heterodyne audio signal and avoid unwanted noise and distortion.

*  The big coils are beautiful with style but have little to do with generating that authentic theremin sound.

*  Ferrite core coils were not used in early radio, they have several advantages over air core today, very cost effective.

Thermal drift in transistorized theremins can be greatly reduced by keeping any component that generates heat in a separated compartment from the RF oscillators. Avoid internal power transformers, regulators, power resistors, etc.

Oscillator transistors must be cut from the same batch (tape) to have the advantage of similar drift characteristics.

*  Websites that posts pictures of theremins and wave shapes with no audio samples are pandering to the clueless.

Buying or building a theremin design when no sound samples are posted is "stupid is as stupid does". Forrest Gump  

Over two dozen of my construction webpages are not seen by the general public as I consider them sacred after 10 years.  I have hoops for the interested to jump through in order to visit my research as I have nothing to sell or prove. I am not a musician and often must rely on others to tell me if a new approach generates a good sound.

Having invested over ten thousand dollars and more than ten thousand hours in my 10 year theremin journey, if I could go back would I just buy one and be done? No, because I would have missed the experience hidden in "original" theremin design. If your goal is to build a theremin quick and cheap, you just might miss out on something special.

Theremin research is personal, like having your baby in a beauty pageant, people need to be tactful if saying she is ugly! LOL

I would like to thank you all for your visits and hope you found my webpages interesting and entertaining. 

I was invited... Something greater than me needed a demonstration of the magic of the analog theremin shared with the modern generation that wants everything quick, easy and cheap. I now admit to maybe failing and realize theremin interest will fade away with my older generation to be a  footnote under weird musical instruments in history. In the end if I reach success the new beginning was not achieved alone.

I am so old fashioned (an era gone by) I have never owned a cell phone, belonged to Facebook, Twitter, etc.


In life there are rare moments and experiences that are so special it is difficult to recognize them in the present. Often a man needs a great vision; the man who has it must follow it as a Phoenix rising into the blue sky. We all return to ashes but to break the cycle there is one myth that must be set free, my hope is a master will recognize it when the time comes.  Levnet - July 2013

In November of 2003 I had a Vision, where a rumor of crystal fountains in the garden seems to whisper to the roses,

set the myth free, the theremin will be reborn...


"Mounds of human heads are wandering into the distance. 
I dwindle among them. Nobody sees me. But in books 
much loved and in children's toys I shall rise 
from the dead to say the sun is shining."

Osip Mandelstam of Russia 1891-1938

From the beginning of my journey I was always fascinated by a coincidence that the special 9.22 theremin antenna frequency was also the birthday of Michael Faraday & Andrea Bocelli. Grasping at straws you ask, maybe not?  My theremin journey is dedicated to my Uncle Harry Steinmetz who also was completely blind by age 12. I never understood how he did what he did with electronic instruments that he eventually gave me in the early 1960's. With one instrument that whistled, today I recognize how he used it for proximity sensing to find the needle behind glass on the face of the old time large meter movements.