Moog Music’s Etherwave Theremin is the revival of a classic

The Etherwave Theremin can also integrate with modular and Eurorack instruments via CV.

Moog Music has announced the return of the iconic Etherwave Theremin. Based on Bob Moog’s own 1996 redesign of the classic instrument, which itself harked back to the company’s foundational product, Moog’s Etherwave promises to continue the legacy of its hands-off ancestor by devotedly maintaining its key design and playability principles.

Variations on the Etherwave have come and gone, including 2004’s otherworldy-looking Etherwave Pro, but the latest iteration from Moog Music, named simply the Etherwave Theremin, signals something of a return to the instrument’s core values— albeit with a few mod-cons for 2022.

Moog Music said: “The theremin’s elegant simplicity and inherently expressive nature caught the attention of Bob Moog, founder of Moog Music and inventor of the Moog modular synthesizer, at an early age. His lifelong love affair with the instrument began with the build of his first theremin at age 14 and concluded with his final theremin design: the original Etherwave.

“Today, the legacy of the Moog theremin continues inside the employee-owned company’s Asheville, North Carolina factory with the hand-built production of Etherwave Theremin.”

With a a heterodyning oscillator at its core for that genuine analogue theremin sound, the Etherwave Theremin is housed in hand-finished hardwood and features two quick-release plate-brass antennae. Its updates include improved bass response and low-end stability, updated antenna connections for quick assembly and removal, an improved quick-release mic stand adapter and a mute control for setting the instrument into a standby mode or for ‘pitch preview’ with headphones. Compliant with Moog’s recent preoccupation with semi-modular instruments, the Etherwave Theremin also offers CV output integration, with gate, pitch and volume outs for connecting with other CV-controlled instruments.

Watch Texan electronica outfit The Octopus Project demonstrate the Etherwave Theremin below:

Leon Theremin’s eponymous instrument first caught the attention of a young Bob Moog in 1949, after he saw it featured in an issue of Electronics World magazine. By 1954, he and his father were building and selling theremins out of their home in Queens, New York. “I became a designer of electronic musical instruments because of my fascination with the theremin,” Moog later wrote in the foreword to Albert Glinsky’s biography of Leon Theremin, Theremin: Ether Music and Espionage. “Using the experience and insights I gained by designing theremins, I started designing and building synthesizers.”

The Etherwave Theremin is by no means the only offering in Moog’s theremin range. In 2020, for example, Moog announced the Claravox Centennial ‘elite performance’ theremin for the hundredth anniversary of Leon Theremin’s original design. Named after the original theremin virtuoso Clara Rockmore, the Claravox Centennial boasts a no-holds-barred array of theremin goodness; from switchable classic heterodyne or multimode DSP oscillators to onboard bucket-brigade delay.

The Moog Etherwave Theremin is available now for £849. Find out more at moogmusic.com