Moog unveils the Claravox for 100 years of the strange musical instrument



To commemorate 100 years of the invention of the theremin, Moog unveiled the retro-futuristic limited edition Claravox Centennial.

Announcing the new theremin, named after “original theremin virtuoso” Clara Rockmore, Moog says the Claravox “delivers the highest quality control and sound available.” Centennial Claravox is marketed for both veteran and aspiring thereminists.

Moog explains that the limited edition instrument was developed “to celebrate the past, present and future of the theremin”. It draws on Moog’s experience, over six decades since its founder Robert Moog began building these instruments in the 1950s.

The most versatile theremin in history

The centenary of Claravox allows players to choose between its Traditional and Modern modes. These selectable modes allow thereminists to perform using either traditional heterodyne analog oscillators or more modern digital oscillators. Claravox uses the same waveform shaping circuit as its popular Etherwave Pro item.

In conjunction with production or recording studio setups, the Claravox also comes equipped with standard ports and adapters – DIN, MIDI, USB, and CV connectors – for connecting to most digital audio workstations (DAWs). ). Plus, front-panel preset storage allows players to instantly read previous sounds and settings, along with pitch quantization and scale selections for aspiring thereminists. It also comes with its own editing software, providing more post-production options for musicians looking to work on their own tracks.

(Photo: Moog Synthesizers Twitter page)
The most versatile Moog theremin in history, this new limited-edition instrument pays homage to the 100th anniversary of Leon Theremin’s musical invention.

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In terms of aesthetics, the Claravox Centennial exudes an aura of class with brass antennas, a walnut finish, and a number of gold rotary knobs.

The history of music has been marked by the birth of strange instruments like the theremin, in addition to classical instruments like the piano and the violin. In line with 100 years of theremin, the Moog site also presented “An album of thoughts“which details the history of this strange instrument – filled with anecdotes and tidbits about the theremin and famous thereminists.

Playing the theremin: a distinct part of modern music

The theremin, also called an etherphone or thereminvox, is an electronic musical instrument. It mainly consisted of a controller and two antennas, which creates a field that detects the position of the player’s hands. Through hand positioning, a thereminist can control the pitch and volume of sound.

Since it was invented in 1920 by Leon Theremin, based on Soviet research into proximity sensors, the theremin has been used for a number of soundtracks in films and television shows, its sound being associated with strange and suspenseful situations.

An electronics enthusiast, Robert Moog, began building theremins after WWII. During the instrument’s 100 years, he has seen a number of famous theremin musicians pass outside of Moog and Rockmore: Dorit Chrysler, The Lothars, to The Silver Wizard Project.

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In 2008, Lydia Kavina, Yana Aksenova and Anton Kerchenko from the Theremin Center in Moscow performed seven melodies in the world’s first METI show – Messaging to Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence. A report published in the journal Theory and methods of signal processing showed how NASA’s earlier Beatles transmission project was found to be scientifically inadequate, and presented the specifications for “Theremin’s First Concert for Aliens”.

Find out more news and information from Music in Science Times.


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