Saturday, June 22, 2013

Owl Theremin by David Cranmer

Full Owl Theremin view
Wow... this looks impressive.
David Cranmer, from Nervous Squirrel built this very cool Theremin with an Owl that can move up and down..

From the website:

" This was commissioned by Scott Williams, who got in touch to express his love of both owls and theremins. Surely the two could be combined somehow?

View without case
A few drawings were developed, and then a meeting was arranged in the Morgan Arms. Scott was easy to identify, being the only chap carrying an owl.
The final unit consisted of a geometric timber log on a steel stand, a classic analogue pitch & volume theremin, and a motorised system to raise the owl from within the casing.

The image on the right show the casing removed.
The theremin is in fact an excellent PAiA Theremax, the same as used for the Badgermin
The owl rests on a sliding carriage, which can slide along four vertical bars fixed inside the log.

Control panel
When the motor is turned on a winch mechanism winds a length of sash cord, which loops over the top of a second pulley, which in turn lifts up the sliding carriage.
When the carriage reaches the top, a limit switch is automatically pressed, switching off the motor.

Volume antenna loop with
nice woodwork
For the owl to descend, the owl activation switch is flipped once more, reversing the polarity of the motor, allowing the carriage to be lowered down onto another limit switch.

The antennae disconnect for ease of transportation, and the lower half of the stand can be unbolted. The owl variety is a Southern Boobok."

More info and pictures at

Video: Owl Theremin
" This was commissioned by Scott Williams.
The theremin control voltage outputs can be used to play the synth in the background.
More details:"