The Beep-It: An Analog Optical Theremin

Music Technology

As we detailed last year, Michael Una makes analog optical theremins. But where before he built them himself, now he’s taken the next step and looked for help in mass producing them.

This past summer I attended the Maker Faire in Detroit and got to talk with Mitch Altman of TV-B-Gone and Trip Glasses fame. He gave me some good advice about manufacturing and later referred me to his overseas manufacturer. That started a long process of prototype creation, materials selection, and pricing…

[Via GetLoFi]

10 thoughts on “The Beep-It: An Analog Optical Theremin

  1. Dino Segovis says:

    Love the device, hate that it’s gonna be outsourced. :(

  2. Robbie Pitts says:

    That’s a pretty cool version. I built one that I found a few years ago at this guys site:

    It used two photo cells and two 555 timers. I really like that you can control the mix with mine. I put heat shrink over the photo cells to make it easier to get pitch darkness on them in bright light.

    I think I’ll stick to making them for myself. Perhaps the mass production is more suited to non-makers?

    1. Dino Segovis says:

      “I think I’ll stick to making them for myself. Perhaps the mass production is more suited to non-makers?”
      agreed. :)

  3. Brian McNamara says:

    I like to see people with an idea and going for it. The device makes a pretty cool sound too. Well done!

  4. Brian Prybylski says:

    This has already been done before but I applaud your use of inspiration!!!!!!!!

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My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal

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