waldorf2pole_angled

Our own Marsha Vdovin is working the NAMM floor, too, and her radar is leading her straight to some really nice gems. I had to pull two of these out, as they’re big surprises and look tasty indeed. And who would have thought a filter and a Theremin would be news?

Well, these are drool-worthy, nonetheless.

Waldorf’s mystery knob is the filter control from a big filter in a box.

That’s right, Waldorf is introducing a 2-pole filter. And one heck of a 2-pole filter it is:

  • Filter with cutoff and resonance, but also a Drive setting, Rectify, and switchable between low-pass, band-pass, and high-pass
  • LFO with Depth and Speed
  • LFO set to Fast, Slow, and (hilariously) Gemütlich (kinda hard to translate, actually easy-going and slower than slow)
  • Envelope controls: Attack/Decay/Hold, threshold, a source (hard to tell what that does), and trigger.

And it takes CV for envelope, cutoff, and gate, with jack plugs for input and output.

theremini_upclose

Then there’s Moog, who are introducing, as rumored, a new Theremin. And this isn’t just any Theremin: it’s a Theremin that can assist you in keeping things in tune, all whilst looking like a space-age egg from Woody Allen’s Sleeper.

It’s a Theremin with presets. Crazy presets.

It’s a digital instrument with Theremin-style controls. (Readers who speculated, you guessed right.) It’ll upset purists, perhaps, but this is rather cool: it’s based on the unique-sounding Animoog sound engine.

The synth is digital, but the input is analog: classic heterodyning style, then digitized as control signal for the engine. Onboard MIDI, CV output (presumably pre-digitization, in fact), and USB. But that engine gives you more different ways to play.

Yes, there’s a display, scale and root controls, a Presets knob, plus built-in delay. There’s a built-in speaker and headphone jack, as well, for convenience.

Price: US$299 estimated is what we heard on the floor.

Moog introducing a new Theremin is huge news – historic news. After all, it was Bob Moog’s love affair with the Theremin that drove him to synthesis in the first place. It was always a favorite instrument. And if the Theremin drove Bob Moog’s path and evolution, it has guided a whole lot of the last century of electronic music, too – through Dr. Moog and many other artists and inventors, too. I’m fortunate to be spending this week with Andrey Smirnov, keeper of some of the Russian side of that legacy. I hope to catch up with the latest chapter of the Theremin story in North Carolina afterwards. And that’ll take some time, so I have no problem avoiding doing it on a crowded trade floor.

More photos:

theremini

waldorf2pole

Photos by Marsha Vdovin.

  • Chris

    Wanna have Waldorf´s 2-Pole. Looks good, like the Rocket.

  • beesleep

    any pricing information on either? that filter looks pretty cool.

  • Peter

    Man if this is a hardware animoog, that would be AWESOME

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      That’s exactly what it is. :) More details soon.

    • HappyILiveHI

      The Theremini uses a “sound engine derived from Moog’s award winning synthesizer, Animoog” but no word that the patches can be edited. Nonetheless, it was incredibly compelling for me, who has no Theremin skills, to be able to control the range and scale and choose alternate patches to the classic one. (USB MIDI output means it could also be used as a controller, but I’m not sure how continuous pitch change would work.)

      The instrument also looks cool in a “Is that thing hovering by itself?” retro UFO way, and it almost steals the scene from the Sub 37 at the Moog booth. It evoked thoughts of the iOS Bebot app, probably because they are both fun and friendly right away.

    • HappyILiveHI

      I asked famous Amos today about the Theremini patches. He says they already have an editor and it will be available. (I forgot to ask about MIDI output.)
      As for the price, about $300:
      http://www.moogmusic.com/node/92916

  • genshi

    Funny, I use my old Waldorf MiniWorks 4-Pole Filter on my old Moog Theremin! Looking forward to checking out the new versions…

    • regend

      run samples through the Mirage and then through the 4-pole =)

    • genshi

      I would, but my disk drive on my Mirage died and I’m trying to find a way to fix it… I have tried the 4-Pole with the new Stylophone S2; video on Youtube…

  • foosnark

    Okay, must remember to breathe.

    I want that theremin. Now.

  • foosnark

    Theremin World forums have, of course, decided that this is a travesty. They just can’t agree on whether it’s the fact that it’s digital, has pitch correction, the styling, or the volume loop that is what’s wrong with it. :)

    Now that I’ve had time to sleep on it, I think this could either be the cheap Casio home keyboard of theremins, or something really great. I wish I could try one out myself and see how it “feels”, so to speak.

    • foosnark

      …also, I kind of wonder if this “mini” version isn’t the prelude to a “full” version with more features…. or if they figure this is the friendly beginner model and the Etherwave/Etherwave Pro are the less friendly “pro” versions, because the “pro” players won’t want to be seen in the same room as a digital theremin with pitch correction.

      The pricing is interesting, coming in a bit cheaper than the Etherwave.

  • Freeks

    Want. Theremini. Now. Please.

    I have been planing to build similar system with arduino and meeblip micro, but never got the meeblip part to work so i never finished it. Theremini has all the features that i was going to build and it looks way better and is a lot better built :D

    Singer of our band can actually play theremin rather well. So it’s good that the pitch correction can be turned off. Also CV out means it could control Modular of SH-101. Etherway have just been way too expensive for us. As a stage instrument, it will get broken.

    I can only hope that it will not be 350€ in europe.

  • Sjakelien
  • Eric B.

    Funny: I’ve long wanted a Theremin with the ability to impose scales (with variable degrees of rigidity) to use as a MIDI controller; now, have they also figured out a way to implement polyphony (using multiple fingers)?