Andrey Smirnov :: instruments

  Theremin Classic Series

Small series of analog THEREMINs, developed by Andrey Smirnov in 1998-2000. The theremin is an electronic musical instrument, invented by Russian inventor Leon Theremin in 1919, played by free movement of performer's hands in the space surrounding it. Movement of the right hand toward the right antenna controls pitch, while movement of the left hand toward the left antenna controls volume.
The Theremin Classic is based on classical heterodyning principle with a newly developed circuitry to produce super sensitive and linear pitch and volume control as well as fast staccato effects. Ideal for the performance of classical virtuoso repertoir as well as experimental music. Optionaly can be furnished with built in ring modulator and/or voltage controled filter.
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  Digital Theremin

Digital Theremin is a project in progress initiated by Andrey Smirnov in 2005 during experiments with the theremin sensors based on the same principle as a well known electronic musical instrument the theremin.
Digital theremin
is based on alternative direct-control principle. Unlike any classical theremin designs and previous analog t-sensors it has one main advantage - NO ANALOG TUNUNG IS NEEDED AT ALL! Unlike any analog theremins, digital instruments have no need in continuous maintaining and tuning; performer can obtain almost any pitch to distance scaling to get the best linearity by pure software means.
Having no need in screwdriver to fight with coils, D-sensors are ideal for live interactive performance and long term interactive audio/video installations to avoid any need in continuous maintenance by the personal.

3D THEREMIN performance


The series of analog sensors, developed by Andrey Smirnov in 1999-2005, based on classical theremin heterodyning principle with a newly developed circuitry to produce super sensitive control. Different sorts of conductive medias could be connected to the sensor as an antenna: metal objects, foil, metal threads, all sorts of Christmas stuff etc.
There are two basic versions of sensors: t-sensor to detect distance, providing the audio output with the pitch related to the distance between the body and antenna and t-sensor, which is providing the output voltage proportional to the velocity of changes (body movement near antenna, air flow, water drops near antenna etc.).
Sensor and receiver are separated. They are connected to each other with the long high frequency cable (25 m.) to work with the distant sensitive objects in the interactive installations, to analyse the motion of the dancers or performers on the stage etc. All controls are built in a receiver, normaly located near the composer's or operator's computer. Main advantage - no need in tuning on the stage. Any adjustment could be realized by operator even during the performance, which is very important for interactive audio/video installations and live performance.
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Most recent digital USB sensors, developed by Andrey Smirnov in 2005-2006, based on alternative "direct-drive" principle, could be used in different kinds of motion capturing systems, to monitor variations of air flow, mechanical vibrations, changes of electrical capacitance of different conductive medias etc.
Any conductive media could connected to the sensor as an antenna: metal objects, foil, water, human body, plants and vegetables, metal threads, thin plastic films with metallisation, all sorts of Christmas stuff, conductive fabrics and clothes etc. After any change of hardware configuration system produce self adaptation and tuning by software means.
NO ANALOG TUNUNG IS NEEDED! Ideal for live interactive performance and long term interactive audio/video installations to avoid any need in continuous maintenance by the personal. A sort of digital PLUG-AND-PLAY THEREMIN.
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  Laser Monitoring

Laser monitoring system, developed by Andrey Smirnov in 2004-2005, based on the similar principle to the famous "Buran" eavesdropping system, invented by Leon Theremin in 1945 for KGB. Theremin has used a radio-location system based on directed microwave radiation for monitoring the hidden acoustical vibrations of windows. The same principle was realized by means of recent laser technology. As a result, we can monitor and listen to inaudible vibrations in all kinds of  reflecting media: membranes, liquids, solid objects, the water surface, bubbles, plastic bags, piano decks, wine glasses etc. to produce unusual feedbacks, cross-media interferences and interactions. Since we are not interested in any sort or hidden spying, we use visible light. It's a kind of sound/light alchemy, a play with materials and chemical processes.
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  Brain Wave Biofeedback System

Brain wave biofeedback system, developed by Andrey Smirnov in 1985/2000.
It is based on MAX/MSP algorithms, created for Brain Jazz performance, where performer controls the development of the musical material, based on pitches, rhythms and timbers, organized in series, by means of mental and emotional state as well as the movement of eyes and mimic of the face. The hardware is based on a low noise portable 4-channel bioamplifier for EEG monitoring, compatible with computer A/D Board, developed by Smirnov during his work at the Institute for Psychology of Academy of Sciences , USSR in 1985 in the frame of Emosaurus Project.
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Brain Jazz1 (2001) VIDEO
Brain Jazz2 (2010) VIDEO

  Early Developments

Selected hardware developments 1978-1990, including special computer hardware for biofeedback systems and psycho-physiological research, analog sound synthesis, analog and digital sound processing, including System-1 studio synthesizer (1980), Experimental Spatial Sound System, ADM-102, ADM-401 etc. digital delay lines, vocoders, MIDI-samplers, Percussion Sinthesizer, Drum-sampler, 10-seconds sampling delay line, wireless microphones, 16-bit Digital Multieffects Processor MEGAVERB etc.
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