Theremin Mini Kit brings weird sounds to a small package

Theremin Mini Kit brings weird sounds to a small package
The Theremin Mini Kit
The Theremin Mini Kit
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The Theremin Mini Kit
The Theremin Mini Kit

Purveyor of geek-friendly toys and gadgets ThinkGeek is now offering the Theremin Mini Kit, a miniature assemble-it-yourself theremin which is marketed toward those looking to get started with the instrument.

For the uninitiated, the theremin is an unusual instrument which comes with an equally-odd back story involving a Russian inventor who toured the U.S. and ended up in one of Stalin’s gulag camps.

To make music, the player waves their hand around an antenna protruding from the theremin. Electro-magnetic waves are generated in a zone around this antenna, and when they are interrupted by the introduction of a hand, the frequency of the waves is altered, changing the audible tone of the instrument as a result. In this way, by moving a hand around, one hopefully creates strange and beautiful music in the process.

Many theremins also employ a second antenna which controls volume and works in the same way, but budget models like the Theremin Mini Kit usually forgo this.

The Theremin Mini Kit is reported to be easy to assemble, and the process should take less than an hour if you know how to use a screwdriver. The device ships with Japanese instructions, but an English manual is available online.

The miniature music-making machine measures roughly 3.15 x 3.15 x 4.72 inches (80 x 80 x 120 mm) and is powered by four AA batteries. Though it comes with a built-in speaker and two volume levels, it appears there’s no headphone jack, so fingers crossed that your family and friends are the understanding type.

The Theremin Mini Kit will set you back US$39.99.

Take a look at the video below to see it in action.

Product page: ThinkGeek

Theremin Mini Kit from ThinkGeek

Missed their chance. They should have called it the Theremini or Thereminima.
The original star trek theme features a theremin. It sounds like a female vocalist, but it's actually a theremin.
Urban legend, Grunchy. Some episodes used a synthesizer. Others featured what sounds like a cello. Still others actually did have singing by Loulie Jean Norman, that theremin-like sound you're referring to. No episodes used a theremin.
Fritz Menzel
I highly recommend the documentary "Theremin" (I streamed it on Netflix), it's really a great story and includes interviews with people like Brian Wilson who - yes - DID use it for Good Vibrations.
I made a Theremin once, it worked very well.
Only trouble was, I was trying to make a device for detecting buried objects....
Dennis Learned
Ever watch Midsomer Murders? It's a British murder mystery series. For many years the main theme song was played on a theremin by Celia Sheen. However, Celia passed away a year or so ago, and I've noticed that the 'new' theme incorporates strings and other instruments, but not a theremin. Apparently, when Celia died, she took her theremin with her. I would have thought the producers would have kept the original theme (it was recorded, after all), but perhaps in deference and respect to Ms. Sheen, they decided to retire the theremin version. You can still find the original theme on those tv theme song sites.