The Aachen Theremin

The Theremin is the world's first electronic musical instrument, and thanks to its ethereal sound and unique playing technique has reached cult status, from the Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations" to Sheldon's instrument of choice in the Big Bang Theory. In honor of its recent 100th birthday, members of our Aachen Maker Meetup designed and beta-tested a new all-analog open-source Theremin in 2023, in particular Roger Leifert (electronics) and Birgit Stolte (case). It is based on a design by electronics legend Burkhard Kainka.

You play the Theremin by moving your hands in the air near its two antennas, the horizontal one for volume and the vertical one for pitch.

Instructions (in German) and Design Files

This archive contains a detailed introduction to the Theremin, a step-by-step tutorial to assemble and test the PCB and acrylic case, EAGLE files of the circuit and PCB layout, and a file to cut the acrylic case parts on a laser cutter. The tutorial includes a list of required and optional tools. You should have basic through-hole soldering skills.

Buying a Kit

Roger Leifert will offer the complete kit to assemble yourself through his company AK Modul-Bus at around 35 Euros. If you want one now, just come to one of our monthly Aachen Maker Meetups, where you can also meet the designers yourself and ask for help if you get stuck.

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