(Topic ID: 254985)

Has anybody installed a Theremin on a pinball machine?


By Billc479

16 days ago



Topic Stats

  • 33 posts
  • 25 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 14 days ago by bobukcat
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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    #1 16 days ago

    I am going to start working on building a cheap Theremin, and got to thinking about the circuitry and how capacitance varies from person to person, or for that matter, by the same person day to day.

    Regardless, has anyone installed a Theremin on a pinball machine? I would think an EM machine would be best, since each side rail could be isolated from each other. What was your experience? Any tricks you learned that you could pass on? Thanks

    #2 16 days ago
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    #3 16 days ago

    I have to have tiny theremins which could be mounted behind flipper buttons I suppose.

    #4 16 days ago

    wayout440 you are so right.

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    #5 16 days ago

    Theremin as in the musical instrument, or is there something I'm missing here? Would be kinda hilarious to put one in an EM, would love to see how that sounds with the ball bouncing around.

    #6 16 days ago


    Who ever is crazy enough to take the challenge, please post video on Youtube.
    -Mike

    #7 16 days ago

    I plan on getting to this as soon as I successfully attach a trombone to my girlfriend's hair dryer. So far it's been a lot more trouble than I anticipated.

    #8 15 days ago

    Mike -

    Once I get two built, I'm going to try it. If it works, I'll post a video and revisit this string. My goal is by Christmas, but with lots of my "wild hairs", wifey or something else (Ooh -look at the pretty butterflies!) will redirect my efforts.

    #9 15 days ago

    What a great idea! I designed and built a Theremin using junk box parts
    many years ago. Worked pretty well and used 8 or 9 tubes. By design
    looked like a Frankenstein's lab creation.

    Theremins have two controls; pitch and volume. I could see placing
    the 'antennas' under the PF in a way the closer the ball gets to
    the flippers, the louder and higher the pitch gets. That'll add another
    dimension to EM's or any pin for that matter.

    Gonna ponder this one a while..... At one time inexpensive and small
    solid state kits were available.
    Steve

    #10 15 days ago

    Steve -

    I've found a few schematics and parts lists on line, and it looks like I have all the parts I need, so the only thing holding me back is time and location. (I don't get home till Tuesday)

    I plan on using an old powered computer speaker instead of headphones per the schematic, and yes, having the ball affect the antennas is my plan. I will have the chimes disconnected at first, and then see how it sounds with the chimes. I think it will be pretty cool, however, like a lot of my ideas, it may just go down in flames. (Not literally, I hope!)

    #11 15 days ago

    How many guys had to “Google” what a Theremin is? I’m still not 100% clear.

    #12 15 days ago

    Theremin....used on the Star Trek theme, Whole Lotta Love, and some other songs. Neat toy but difficult to master as an instrument to play consistently. Would be interested to see how it would sound/interact on a pin. Could be cool...or sound like nails on a chalk board. Interested to see how this turns out.

    #14 15 days ago

    If you achieve nothing else you probably have made at least a few people look up what a Theremin is, I had to.

    #15 15 days ago

    Why settle for a theremin, if you could build a tesla coil?
    Faraday cage

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    #16 15 days ago
    Quoted from jorro:

    Why settle for a theremin, if you could build a tesla coil?

    ^^^ this!

    #17 15 days ago

    Fun fact, you can check out a theremin from my local library.

    #18 15 days ago
    Quoted from jorro:

    Why settle for a theremin, if you could build a tesla coil?

    So they have a tesla coil that does musical performances at Quarterworld in Portland, OR. When we have pinball tournaments there, we HATES IT! SO DEAFFFFENINGLY LOUD! They have big jars of earplugs at the bar to offer people so they don't hurt their ears during the performances. But lately, we've gotten them to cancel the Tuesday evening one that coincided with our weekly tournament that ends up there once a month or so. We used to end up waiting for the show to be over so the matches on the machines in the room with Tessie could go on with a normal level of bar background noise rather than trying to play through the physical blasts of sound from the show.
    While a theremin sounds fun, i cannot recommend trying to involve a tesla coil in pinball playing.

    Quoted from TheLaw:

    Fun fact, you can check out a theremin from my local library.

    You can?? Can we this weekend??! I'll be in town...

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    #19 15 days ago

    <----- Looks up Theremin

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    #20 15 days ago

    Screen Shot 2019-11-07 at 11.57.56 AM.png

    #21 15 days ago
    Quoted from adania:

    You can?? Can we this weekend??! I'll be in town...[quoted image]

    If I had a library card; you know my dislike of literature

    #22 15 days ago

    This is so out of whack that I have follow this thread, so following...

    #23 15 days ago

    As a synth/electronic music gear nerd, I fully support this plan. The volume could just be controlled by the person's presence at the game. Pitch would have to be placed just right to pick up either flipper hand movements, or maybe the person head movements. Wherever it is would need to be sensitive, lest you end up with a constant farting noise (although making farting sounds with theremins is some of the most fun that can be had).

    Another idea instead of a true theremin would be to use sensors to measure the ball proximity around the playfield. Then you could adjust the pitch based on the ball movement instead, which might be a little more interesting.

    PS - The Star Trek theme was a woman singing, but it does sound pretty much identical to a theremin. Good Vibrations is another good example of the sound (although that used a slightly different mechanism to control the pitch).

    #24 15 days ago

    I kinda like this mod!

    #25 15 days ago
    Quoted from Billc479:

    Has anyone installed a Theremin on a pinball machine?

    Put a Theremin in a pinball machine? You guys are sick! I recommend you take this:

    Theraflu (resized).png

    #26 14 days ago
    Quoted from jorro:

    I kinda like this mod!

    That is pretty cool! Next up - electric shockers, buckets of slime, Smell-O-Vision, and theremins

    #27 14 days ago

    I'm going to install a theremin on my couch so when my ass gets close to it the pitch goes up.

    #28 14 days ago
    Quoted from jorro:

    I kinda like this mod!

    That is hysterical!

    #29 14 days ago

    Theremin needs to go onto a Simpsons machine if anything!

    #30 14 days ago

    Before this thread, I had no idea what a Theremin was. Now I'm looking in to building one.

    #31 14 days ago

    Your pin playing a theremin will probably sound as good as this.

    #32 14 days ago

    You finish that, go for an Interocitor

    #33 14 days ago
    Quoted from cottonm4:Your pin playing a theremin will probably sound as good as this.

    What in the HELL?!?! LOL

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