Theremin Sensor Application

Project maintained by Dominik Schreiber Hosted on GitHub Pages — Theme by mattgraham

Out of fun and interest, I built a Theremin-like instrument, being played entirely touchless with both hands. The idea was to use simple distance sensors with a digital output to do the audio synthesis on a computer. This allows for interesting and fun ways to tinker with the instrument, such as “auto-tune”, different audio waveforms or multiple tones at the same time.

My Theremin-like instrument with its periphery
My Theremin-like instrument with its periphery

The hardware part is really easy – two Tinkerforge ultrasonic distance sensors are connected to a master brick, which directly communicates with the computer via USB. USB foot switches can be used to trigger specific effects.

On the computer (e.g. a Raspberry Pi), an application manages the instrument by:

The application's UI in action
The application’s UI in action

If you are interested in building such an instrument for yourself, visit the manual page.
If you are interested in the process of how I developed the whole thing, visit the blog page where I explain it in detail.