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If you’re interested in analog synths, it’s almost impossible to have a conversation about building a rig without talking about Moog. Since the 1960s, Moog has shaped the landscape of popular music with its industry-leading synthesizers. The signature Moog sound can be found in almost any genre of music ranging from artists like The Monkees, Stevie Wonder, Kraftwerk, Nine Inch Nails, Donna Summers, Parliament-Funkadelic, Pink Floyd, Olivia Rodrigo and many more.
When Bob Moog was a teenager, he was fascinated with the sound and construction of the Theremin. Bob created his first Theremin designs at the age of 14 and continued expanding upon the instrument design until the age of 70. Recently, Moog announced its latest addition to the theremin family, the Etherwave Theremin ($899). Based on Moog’s best-selling Etherwave Standard, the Etherwave Theremin combines the timeless tone of Bob Moog’s original design with a number of new features and enhancements, including improved bass response, CV controls and an onboard headphone output. Continue reading to learn more about the new Etherwave Theremin and why synth lovers are lining up for this exciting new creative tool.
With no reeds, keys or strings, the theremin stands alone as the ultimate expressive instrument. The music a theremin generates is solely reliant on the connection between the player and the instrument—everything from the slightest hand movements, the position of your body or even the surrounding environment has an effect on the sound and performance.
The Etherwave is the latest in a long line of Moog theremins, built upon original circuit designs from Bob Moog. The Etherwave offers a wider frequency range than its predecessors, now expanding from 0 Hz to around 4.3 kHz depending on hand proximity. The improved bass response offers users a much more stable and solid foundation in the lower register. Along with the frequency improvements, the Etherwave offers CV controls for a variety of functions through 3.5mm jacks including Volume, Pitch and Gate, allowing the Etherwave to control your external modular, semi-modular and Eurorack synths as well as outboard effects.
The sleek design and construction of the Etherwave not only make it look professional and elegant on stage or in the studio but also provides quick access to all the onboard front panel controls, as well as easy breakdown for safe transport to and from the gig. The central metal chassis is housed by two handcrafted hardwood pieces which provide that highly durable yet elegant look. Both antennas are removable to prevent damage during transport. The front panel sonic controls include Brightness, Waveform, Pitch Range and Volume range, making it easy to dial in a wide range of sounds.
Also included on the front panel is a headphone output with dedicated volume control, making it easy to monitor your performance whether you’re on stage or in the studio. A mute button has been added to kill the rear panel output to front of house (or a DAW when working in the studio), which allows the performer to privately adjust the timbre or tuning of the instrument via the headphone output.
The rear panel offers a sleek and simple design that contains the power supply output, 1/4" switch jack for foot-switch control and a mono 1/4" main audio output. The optional foot-switch control input provides hand-free access to the front panel Mute function, so you can quickly cut the output signal without affecting the performance.
The Etherwave is a versatile instrument for musicians of any genre—a new and unique tool to expand your sonic landscape. Whether you’re an experimental musician, classical instrumentalist, synth enthusiast, or a performer looking for an unusual, eye-catching piece of gear, the Etherwave is a perfect fit. Even if you own one of Moog’s previous Theremin models (or the popular Theremini), the added CV controls and expanded frequency range make the new Etherwave Theremin a powerful companion for any existing setup.
If you’re frequently traveling between the studio and the stage, be sure to check out the new SR Series case ($139). The exterior of the SR series case is constructed from Ballistic Cordura with a semi-rigid shell for guaranteed safety. The internal molded tray allows storage of the pitch and volume controls, while the outside front zipper compartment provides ample organization for cables, power supply or anything else you’d need for the gig or session.
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