WHAT IT DOES?
The motion Theremin takes readings from the device’s accelerometer and translates it into an audio frequency (low acceleration = lower frequency), which immediately translates into a single note, deriving from a scale predetermined by the user.
BUT SERIOUSLY... WHAT?
To put it simple – this is a no-touch musical instrument, you tilt your device up and down to create melodies that correspond with the tilt’s direction.
Tilt up for higher pitch, tilt down for lower pitch.
THE COMPLICATED TECHNICAL PART
The device’s acceleration sensor determines the acceleration that is applied to a device by measuring the forces that are applied to the sensor itself.
However, the force of gravity is influencing the measured acceleration, so that a non-accelerating device pointing upwards will read a magnitude of about 9.8m/s2, while a non-accelerating device pointing straight forward will read about 0m/s2.
WHY IS COMPLICATED GOOD?
Because it allows us to play the Theremin in more than one way:
♪ Tilt the device up and down while keeping its actual acceleration static.
♪ Accelerate the device up and down while preserving its angle relative to the ground.
♪ Combine both practices.
And so, the motion Theremin allows much freedom and individuality in the way one chooses to use it:
♪ Hold the device while sitting down, and use simple tilt gestures.
♪ Hold the device and thrust it up and down, walk with it, or take it for a run.
♪ Attach the device to parts of your body, your cat's body, or a moving mechanical body.
♪ Use more than one device in more than one way to create harmonies.
♪ Set up full dance choreography based on the Theremin.
WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE?
A synthesized computer sound, kinda like what you'd expect to hear in old Sci-fi movies, and roughly like the legendary device it is named after.
There are different parameters you can play with to mold the sound and design it to your liking:
♪ Choose from different wave forms - Sine, Triangle, Saw.
♪ Play notes from one of six different scales:
Chromatic, Major, Minor, Blues, Pentatonic, and Makam Hijaz.
♪ Adjust sound's attack and release time.
♪ Adjust sound's vibrato amount.
♪ Adjust sound's reverberation amount.
Other useful features include:
♪ Adjust the tempo of the readings - 60/120/180/240 bpm (e.g 120bpm will send a reading every 500ms).
♪ Device won't go to sleep while the app is on (ideal for live performance).
♪ Lock & hide the buttons to avoid accidental changes while playing.
♪ Add background music.
ON A PERSONAL NOTE
This is a passion project of mine, deriving from years of piano playing and producing music on the computer, both leave the body mostly static and physically inactive.
Though using it to play familiar melodies might prove impossible, I don’t see this app as a gimmick but as a legitimate, innovative music instrument, enabling production of compelling sound-scape and ambient, in new original forms.
I'm experimenting with this app myself (as you can see in the promo video), and implement my conclusions after each session to create better versions.
The app is free and full featured, it contains banner ads (which produce very little revenue), if you like this app or at least appreciate the effort, please take time to rate it, and maybe even write a constructive review.
Thank you, and enjoy!
♪ T "timbre.js" - Synthesis
♪ Insomnia - Keep the device awake
♪ cordova-plugin-device-motion - Get accelerometer sensor readings
♪ Teoria.js - Easily convert tones to frequencies
♪ Phaser.js - GUI
THE THEREMIN TRILOGY
This app is part of a trilogy that allow users to create sensor-based music.
The other iLyich Games' theremins available for free are:
♪ Compass Theremin - Gyroscope controlled frequency.
♪ Light Theremin - Ambient light controlled frequency.
CONTACT & FOLLOW
Instagram - Johnny_Tal
Twitter - @Johnny_Tal
YouTube - https://goo.gl/5fAkm7