Theremini, Touchtone, Micronoise DIY electronics | WORKSHOPS

Theremidi Orchestra Kits were designed and produced for U3, 7th Triennial of Contemporary Art in Slovenia. They may be purchased at MG+MSUM Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova Bookshop or at Ljudmila – Art and Science Laboratory or order them online If you have a thing for DIY electronics, follow the descriptions below. Here’s about everything you need to build your own instruments from etching the PCBs, buying materials, soldering and finally driving everyone around crazy with electronic noise. I mostly didn’t participate much to this three instruments, but did a lot of things for the next batch of three. Coming soon…


[theremini 4011 | Capacitive Proximity Sensor and Instrument]
Teremini is the nickname for the simplest type of capacitive sensor that in the past has been given the name “theremin”, originally “termenvox”, by his inventor Lev Sergeyevich Termen. The kit you are holding in your hands is called Theremini 4011 is one of Trivia Records DIY projects and was prepared by Borut Savski in collaboration with Ljudmila Art and Science Laboratory.

The invention of theremin goes hand in hand with the pioneering years of radio – electronic amplification – the 1920s. In fact, it is a cast-away of the development in the field of radio – namely: the heterodyne (frequency mixing) principle and the observation of the capacitive properties of human body. With termenvox, this usually undesirable effects were put to good use.

Termenvox is in essence a capacitive sensor that functions by comparing the frequencies of two oscillators. One of the oscillators is fixed and the other is coupled with the antenna to its surroundings. A human moving their hand acts as a capacitor to ground and adds themself to the oscillating system. The closer the hand (or any part of the body) – the higher the total capacitance and thus the lower the oscillating frequency. The free-running frequency (no hand near the antenna) of this variable oscillator should ideally be the same as that of the fixed frequency oscillator – making the difference of these two frequencies equal to zero.

List of components
4x 22 KΩ resistor
1x 27 KΩ resistor
3x 270 KΩ resistor
2x 100 pF capacitor
1x 10 nF capacitor or 15nF
1x 100 nF capacitor marked with .1J100
2x 10 uF electrolytic capacitor + –
1x 10 KΩ linear potentiometer
1x 1N4001 diode
2x 4011 QUAD 2-input NAND gate integrated circuit
1 x female audio socket
1 x 9V battery socket
1 x theremini 4011 PCB board – Made in Slovenia with love and poor man’s SMD technology ♥

Credits | Cirkulacija 2 | Trivia Records | ljudmila lab | Theremidi Orchestra | PDF | PDF film for PCB etching


[TouchTone 4049 | FingerSynth]
TouchTone is a feedback amplifier system using all six inverters or inverting amplifiers of the CMOS 4049 chip – said in simple words – TouchTone is a simple noise synth to be played directly with your fingers. The board was insipired by Dirty Electronics and was developed by Borut Savski, Luka Frelih and Saša Spačal.

TouchTone uses the inverters in combined digital/analog mode. Two pairs are used as variable frequency oscillators, lower and high frequencies, and third pair is used in mixed amplifying, filtering, oscillating feedback mode to play around with the existing pads all over the system. Combining touchable pads in various manners can bring out interesting – very complex results. The touch pads also give name to this synthesizer – Touchable Anton or just DotičniTone [TouchTone].

List of components
2x 10KΩ resistor
2x 100KΩ resistor
4 x 100 nF capacitor
2 x 10nF capacitor
1 x 10 uF electrolytic capacitor
1x HEF(CD)4049 chip with six invertors CMOS chip 3V to 18 V or use 74HC4049 the same chip as high speed CMOS version for 3V to 5V
1 x female audio socket
1 x 3V battery socket
1 x TouchTone 4049 PCB board – Made in Slovenia with love and poor man’s SMD technology ♥

Credits | Cirkulacija 2 | Trivia Records | ljudmila lab | Theremidi Orchestra | Dirty Electronics | PDF | PDF film for PCB etching


[MicroNoise 4093 | Light Sensitive ParaSynth]
MicroNoise is the nickname for a simple type of double channel Low Frequency Oscillator – LFO and light dependent audio frequency oscillator – OSC, whereby the latter is modulated by the former. That means that OSC is modulated by the LFO. It produces a two-channel audio output. And it’s sensitive to light!”

MicroNoise was made as a DIY project by Ljudmila – Art & Science Laboratory and Trivia Records (and related workshops by both co-producers). It was further developed for special needs of Theremidi Orchestra. The circuit was perfected/simplified and brought to our attention by Marc Dusseiller (dusjagr labs). Some were built later in the vicinity of Cirkulacija 2 collective and the positive results made it perfect to develope further.

The integrated circuit is fully optimized and used entirely to make a two channel system with some open options for additional hacking. The circuit is built around quadruple 2-input logic gates of the NAND type (not AND; inverted AND). AND logic means that the 1st and the 2nd inputs have to be one to output 1 (1 = true = HIGH). The circuit has simplified oscillator sections due to use of Schmitt triggering of gates. This means that some positive feedback is applied to every gate to make the transitions from one state to another more defined (also refer to hysteresis* action). *Hysteresis is the dependence of a system not only on its current environment but also on its past environment.

List of components
2 x resistor 220 Ω or 100 Ω to 470 Ω
1 x 2,5 KΩ linear potentiometer, tolerance 5KΩ logarithmic
2 x 2,5MΩ linear potentiometer or 1MΩ logarithmic
2 x 100 nF plastic capacitor or 47 nF to 2 20 nF
2 x 10 uF electrolytic capacitor or 1uF to 10 uF
2 x LED light emitting diode
2 x LDR light dependent resistors
1 x HEF(CD)4093 NAND gate with Schmitt trigger from 3V to 18V power supply or 74HC4093 up to 5V power supply
1 x battery holder
1 x female audio jack 3.6 mm
1 x MicroNoise PCB board | Made in Slovenia with love and poor man’s SMD technology ♥

Credits | dusjagr labs | Cirkulacija 2 | Trivia Records | ljudmila lab | Theremidi Orchestra | PDF | PDF film for PCB etching