Make Your Own Simple Theremin

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Introduction: Make Your Own Simple Theremin

About: Awesome Electronics Tutorials, Projects and How To´s

In this project I will show you how the electronic instrument Theremin works and how we can create a simple version of it with the help of 2 ICs and only a few complementary components. Along the way we will talk about oscillator types, body capacitance and much more. So let's get started!

Step 1: Watch the Video!

The video gives you all the information you need to create your own simple theremin. In the next steps though I will present you some additional information to make recreating this project even easier.

Step 2: Order Your Components!

Here you can find a parts list with example seller (affiliate links):

Aliexpress:

1x CD4093 NAND IC: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_d6KaJ0A

1x MCP602 OpAmp: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_dTvJRGw

2x 100pF, 1x 1nF Capacitor: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_dU4FEsB

1x 4.7µF Capacitor: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_d7dOwRz

6x 10k, 1x 5.1k, 1x6.8k Resistor: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_dTPpXjt

2x 10k Potentiometer: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_dX83GAF

1x Antenna: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_dT90Vlo

1x Power Jack: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_d6r6aKW

1x Audio Jack: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_d6P8Gwx

Ebay:

1x CD4093 NAND IC: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?...

1x MCP602 OpAmp: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?...

2x 100pF, 1x 1nF Capacitor: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?...

1x 4.7µF Capacitor: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?...

6x 10k, 1x 5.1k, 1x6.8k Resistor: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?...

2x 10k Potentiometer: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?...

1x Antenna: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?...

1x Power Jack: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?...

1x Audio Jack: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?...

1x Housing: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?...

Amazon.de:

1x CD4093 NAND IC: http://amzn.to/2iQiKSc

1x MCP602 OpAmp: http://amzn.to/2i7so36

2x 100pF, 1x 1nF Capacitor: http://amzn.to/2jjwWqD

1x 4.7µF Capacitor: http://amzn.to/2huqUmF

6x 10k, 1x 5.1k, 1x6.8k Resistor: http://amzn.to/2hoysDP

2x 10k Potentiometer: http://amzn.to/2hur0e1

1x Antenna: http://amzn.to/2jl56Ks

1x Power Jack: http://amzn.to/2i6RcIn

1x Audio Jack: http://amzn.to/2jnFQ6F

1x Housing: http://amzn.to/2iPsZGa

Step 3: Build the Circuit!

Here you can find the schematic along with reference pictures of my finished perfboard layout. Feel free to replicate my circuit.

Step 4: Success!

You did it! You just built your own Simple Theremin!


Feel free to check out my YouTube channel for more awesome projects:

http://www.youtube.com/user/greatscottlab

You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for news about upcoming projects and behind the scenes information:

https://twitter.com/GreatScottLab
https://www.facebook.com/greatscottlab

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    23 Discussions

    0
    redrok
    redrok

    3 years ago

    Hi Great Scott;

    The problem with this and many other simple Theremins is they describe only half of the Real Theremin.

    A Real Theremin has basically 2 control antenna systems.

    1. One is for the pitch.

    2. The second is for the volume.

    Yours only has the pitch antenna.

    redrok

    0
    SebastianS29
    SebastianS29

    Reply 26 days ago

    @redrok Please build us one that has a volume antenna!

    0
    WiseSageBum
    WiseSageBum

    Reply 3 years ago

    There is a volume knob

    0
    BennyOne
    BennyOne

    Reply 3 years ago

    If you watch the video he explains the logic behind removing the volume antenna in order to simplify the circuits. Its a pretty slick workaround.

    0
    Timmy-73
    Timmy-73

    Question 6 months ago

    Can I substitute the MCP602 with something like an LM741 or LM386?

    0
    SebastianS29
    SebastianS29

    Answer 26 days ago

    I think as long as it has Rail-to-Rail output. Then you will get the best performance.

    0
    SebastianS29
    SebastianS29

    4 weeks ago

    Does the NAND gate need to be of Schmitt trigger type, or would any NAND gate logic chip suffice?

    0
    Mekhi Graham
    Mekhi Graham

    2 years ago

    Is there a certain amp rating that the power supply needs to be?

    0
    Timmy-73
    Timmy-73

    Reply 6 months ago

    It shouldnt need much current

    0
    humberto.roa
    humberto.roa

    9 months ago

    I have a question on the Potentiometers. BOM lists 2x 10k Potentiometers, but TM2 is specified as 100k. Should TM2 be 10k?

    0
    Prius1954
    Prius1954

    1 year ago

    What an incredible Instructable, extremely well explained. Thanks a lot!

    0
    misha.marsavin
    misha.marsavin

    1 year ago

    Basically you can turn this circuit into a superheterodyne radio by replacing the antenna oscillator with an RC circuit as the AM radio receiver.

    0
    Awake1234
    Awake1234

    2 years ago

    Awesome Instructable. Great seller examples with links!
    Just wondering - how could I add the volume antenna?
    Thanks!!

    0
    JerryE4
    JerryE4

    3 years ago

    Watch a bit of Star Trek the origional series, the Theramin is used in the intro music.

    0
    lee_schnitz
    lee_schnitz

    Reply 3 years ago

    Sounds like a theremin, but it wasn't.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theremin#Television

    startrek.JPG
    0
    Chrisf301
    Chrisf301

    3 years ago

    How hard would it be to add a circuit to allow it to have a volume antenna as well as the note? Thanks

    0
    Chrisf301
    Chrisf301

    Reply 3 years ago

    OH, but great project!!!!!!! Sorry I forgot to add that.

    0
    JohnC430
    JohnC430

    3 years ago

    what is a Theremin?

    0
    HeyBeck
    HeyBeck

    Reply 3 years ago

    







    View all

    The theremin is an electronic musical instrument controlled without physical contact by the thereminist. It is named after the Westernized name of its Soviet inventor, Léon Theremin, who patented the device in 1928. Wikipedia

    0
    JohnC430
    JohnC430

    Reply 3 years ago

    oh yeah, after asking that question i went on to watch for the next few hours of demos on YT and there were plenty. thanks for explaining.