There are few instruments that are as iconic or mysterious as the Theremin. Its sound immediately conjures recollections of '50s Sci-Fi films and B horror movies. Yet when it debuted in the late 1920s, it toured the world alongside prominent orchestras, and by the late 30s it was in the hands of Clara Rockmore stunning audiences around the globe.
The Theremin is also how Bob Moog got his start building instruments, and eventually selling kits for customers to make their own. Which makes it kind of a big deal when the company introduces a new model. The Etherwave Theremin is based on a 1996 design from Bob Moog himself, and replaces the Etherwave and Etherwave Plus.
While the Etherwave is certainly something of an iterative update to those models, they've been hard to find outside of the used market recently. It sits firmly in the middle ground between the budget-minded and digital Theremini, and the statement piece that is the $1,500 Claravox Centennial. The $899 Etherwave is a traditional analog Theremin, so you can get all those classic sci-fi sounds. But it also has CV outputs so you can control other gear, including modular synth rigs, simply by waving your hands in the air. (Or, more accurately, by moving your fingers with extreme precision in the air.)
Most of the other improvements are focused on portability and convenience. The antenna connections and mic stand adapter have been simplified to speed up assembly and breakdown. Plus Moog has created a custom case for transporting the Etherwave. Lastly, there's a mute control which is handy for not only silencing the Theremin when you don't want to have to wait for it to power back up (and warm up), but also can be used to preview the pitch when you're trying to calibrate or find your bearings during a performance.
The Moog Etherwave Theremin is available now and shipping worldwide for $899.