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April Clare Welsh
24 November 2022, 13:16

The theremin is getting an open-source version, the Theremotion

Designed by developer Pierre Lulé


The 102-year-old theremin — an instrument that’s played by moving your hands to control the volume and pitch of a single sine wave tone — has been created as an open-source instrument, the Theremotion.

Designed by developer Pierre Lulé, the Theremotion is a synthesiser that's similarly controlled by hand gestures to conjure a low pass filter, a supersaw sound, a guitar sound, and more. You can also make the virtual instrument “stick” to a chosen scale, "making it much easier to control than a Theremin".

The instrument is based on the Leap Motion Controller, an optical hand-tracking module that's able to map individual finger movements and more complicated hand gestures than the original theremin. Theremotion is an open-source project, available via GitHub, while the Leap Motion Controller is available for about $110.

Earlier this year, Moog Music rolled out a new version of its Etherwave Theremin. The new instrument is based on the original circuitry and aesthetic of Bob Moog's 1996 design and is described as “an update” to Moog’s highest-selling theremin models, Etherwave Standard and Etherwave Plus. 

Back in 2020, Moog Music released a new limited-edition theremin called the Claravox Centennial to mark the 100-year anniversary of the invention of the theremin.