Turning a Commodore 64 into a Theremin #C64 #ElectronicMusic #VintageComputing
The Theremin is one of the earliest electronic instruments. It’s played by moving one’s hands in front of two antennas: One controls pitch and the other controls volume.
Electronically, the instrument works by monitoring the capacitance between its antennas and Earth and detecting the small increase that occurs when a human moves closer. The amount of extra capacitance is inversely proportional to the distance.
I used a C64, two 555s, four resistors, a spoon, and a clamp to build a working Theremin. In the video I try to explain how it works in layman’s terms. What follows below is a more thorough description for those who want to dig deeper.
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.