Neither of these items is “news,” but since I missed them, you may have, too — and because they’re so absurd and wonderful, I can’t let that happen. Some things are timeless.

Via Chris Cheung’s Hong Kong’s-based Special Interest Group comes the Theremin Watch, “Modified (circuit bend) from 大人之科學 kit set.” I love the idea of a wrist-mounted Theremin. On one hand (ahem), it does mean that you can calibrate relative to your body, because it’s always strapped to your wrist. On the other, I expect that’s still something of a challenge. But it’s not so often you get wearable Theremins.

SIG Theremin Watch []
See also the more current

Andrew Cavette points to the Theremug, a combination of delicious tea and Theremin sound making, by the always-talented Kyle McDonald. This item made the music tech blog rounds in the summer and hit Make’s blog nearly a year ago, but then, unlike recent fads like iPhones and Windows Vista, tea is centuries old.


1 Prepare some tea
2 Expose the L/R leads on an 1/8″ cable
3 Immerse leads in tea
4 Plug cable into audio input
5 Start up max/pd/processing/etc. and average every 735 samples (882 if you’re in Europe/running on 50Hz)
6 Scale value and drive oscillator

I can’t believe that not a single blogger made an Infinite Improbability Drive reference here. Sloppy. Technically speaking, this gives you only the Brownian Motion Generator — you’ll still need the sub-meson Brain and atomic vector plotter. Rest in peace, Douglas Adams.

If you want to do this with Pd, Kyle wrote on Make:

For an idea of what the pd patch would like like… I just posted a screen shot of the max patch:

You’d use osc~ instead of cycle~ of course, and could reduce the mess between average~ 1024 and sqrt~ into a -~ and *~ that you set manually.

Theremug from Kyle McDonald on Vimeo.

Update: Keith writes to tell us more about his wrist-Theremin:

thanks for posting my wearable theremin!! Me and Chris Cheung is SIG. This product is by me. The original post is here that has more photo:

May be you also interest my work Moving Mario , which is awarded in Ars Electronica 2008, interactive art!!

I am also interested in Moving Mario — but that sounds like a job for Create Digital Motion.

  • Darren Landrum

    I would think that a theremin codpiece would be the ultimate in expressive controllers.

    We now return you to more G-rated thoughts.

  • poopoo

    anyone got links for the 大人之科學 kit in the theremin watch?

  • rhowaldt

    could you make a theremin out of a dog? that would also be portable…or walkable..

  • <blockquote cite="rhowaldt">could you make a theremin out of a dog?

    As a rule of thumb, you can make a theremin out of anything conductive 🙂

  • jp

    fyi, the link to the screenshot of the Max patch does not seem to be working.


  • Weird — just fixed the link, working now!

  • poorsod
  • jp

    @ Peter – rockin'! thanks for the quick fix.

  • The wrist mounted one is the Gakken theremin kit from last year by the same magazine that did the SX-150 analog synth. It runs on 4 AA batteries and comes in a toy sized red plastic case that looks like an RCA theremin and comes with a magazine in Japanese. The speaker is pathetic and needs a mod for an audio out. Note he chucked the casing, swapped a radio antenna, the originally is cute but kind of dangerous and wiggles all over — and he added some full sized pots to replaced the tiny trimmers on the "kit". Like the SX-150, unless you want to mod it you don't solder anything, just some piece fitting and screws. So it's really is a "some assembly required" item rather than a proper "kit".

    About $21 in Japan. The same magazine is going to release a larger 'Theremin Pro' "kit" possibly before Xmas from what I hear. Sure to be bought and resold with a jacked up in price too. These things are sold in most larger bookstores in Japan.

  • A Theremin is such a simple circuit, I'd say if you wanted one, just use any off the shelf kit or plans. Going back to the 50s, Theremin circuits were some of the most popular circuit diagrams for DIYers. The Gakken mag is insanely cool, but yeah, by the point you're paying a markup for it I think you're wasting your money … especially if you're trying to make something wearable, you'd want the flexibility anyway.

  • That is no.17 from 大人ä&sup1;‹ç§‘å­¸.

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  • Did someone make a PD patch for this? I'd do it myself, but the pictured circuit is not very clear to me …

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