6th May - Multi Tempo Theremin - with Multi Tempo Buzz Rolls, Piano Style Visuals Also Sliding Chords Harmonic Polyrhythms - Multi Strip Layout for Extra Pitch Sensitivity

Many new features for the mouse theremin -  with the Multi Tempo Theremin (Ctrl + 282) which lets you play harmonic polyrhythms as for Theremin's rhythmicon with continuously changing pitch as a theremin. Also now has a multi-row option, so you can "stretch" the pitch over several times the width of th screen to get higher pitch resolution (wth less volume resolution). As well as that, now you can show a keyboard on the screen to give visual feedback of where the pitch is in the twelve tone keyboard - this keyboard can also be configured to any other equal number of pisions of the octave or of other intervals like the tritave.

So, you can play it like a keyboard, with a continuous surface for pitch and volume sensitive depending on the position of your finger on the key - and with ability to do pitch slides. Or you can switch on the multi-tempo theremin option and play it as a harmonic polyrhythm creation instrument with continuous pitch and volume changes of any of the notes.

These new features are WORK IN PROGRESS, especially the multi tempo theremin, but enough there so you can have fun trying them out to see what they do. I'll return to these windows with another upload later on.

It's early days yet, but I think this may also be what I'll work on for my ideas for future multi-touch keyboards in Bounce Metronome and Tune Smithy as it is already very capable and the coding may be easier this way around rather than adding these capabilities to the existing on screen keyboards - will see how it goes when I work on that probably a few months from now.

This upload also fixes some issues with the new speed drills window, and has some other bug fixes and UI improvements.

This shows some of the new theremin options in use:


You can get the latest Bounce from the download page. 

To get to the mouse theremin, first you need to make sure you show melodic instruments etc in the Instruments drop menu, then you can get to it with Ctrl + 163. 

Read on for more details of the new features:


This is work in progress. But it is pretty much there now. Probably need a couple of days work some time and another upload to finish it.

The idea is that as the note in the mouse theremin goes up in pitch, it gets faster as for theremin's rhythmicon.

So then, if you use it with multi-touch, which you can do on a Windows 8 tablet like the Surface Pro or with an external multi-touch monitor on Windows 7 or 8, you can play several continously varying theremin notes at once each at a different pitch and tempo, so creating "harmonic polyrhythms" like the rhythmicon.

This time the tempo and pitch of all the rhythms vary continuously and independently unlike theremin's rhythmicon.


If you don't have multi-touch you can also use joysticks to play extra notes, with support for up to two joysticks.With the mouse as a third note, that lets you play harmonic polyrhythm type triads. (If you don't have one, joysticks are inexpensive and easy to obtain).

My joysticks don't work properly with the Mac, so not sure if this works on the Mac, but it might not.


The multi tempo theremin has a buzz roll option, which sets the rhythms to decay with the notes getting faster and lighter as for a buzz roll whenever the pitch stays steady.

The way this works is that as you move the mouse, whenever you pause the movement you get a buzz roll fading away to silence. When you move the mouse again it returns to normal tempo and volume.


If you don't have multitouch and joysticks - as is the situation on the Mac - you can also play harmonic polyrhythms with a single mouse.

This uses the option to play sliding chords with the mouse, which is now updated to let you specify any chord as intervals above the mouse pitch in cents or ratios, or else, to select any combinations of harmonics and subharmonics from a harmonic series starting at any point e.g. 5/5, 4/4 etc. It's also been updated so it no longer needs to change the main window scale and arpeggio (though you can set it to do that if you want as a legacy option). So you can use it with the Theremin's Rhythmicon or the FTS Lambdoma without interfering with the other notes being played.


Can also now set it to a multi-strip layout in Theremin Options (Ctrl + 40) so that the window is split into several strips one above the other to increase pitch sensitivity (with less resolution for volume as a result - but pitch sensitivity is often more important than volume sensitivity especially for microtonalists).

As it was before, if your screen had a width of, say 1200 pixels, and a two octave range for the theremin, that would give pitch resolution of just a couple of cents per pixel. Which given that it's hard to position a mouse to the exact pixel is more like four or six cents resolution, which is not very good by microtonal standards, especially if playing chords.

If you can split that over several rows you can increase the pitch resolution to the sub cent level.


You can also show a piano style keyboard on the theremin window as a new option in Theremin Visuals (Ctrl + 163). You can configure this as you like with any pattern of white and black keys and any number of equal pisions of the octave, also stretch it e.g. to equal pisions of 3/1, 3/2 etc.

Looking forwards, this can be a basis for a "continuum keyboard" type future on screen keyboards, but with option to be either continuous or discrete, or something between the two. Which it can already do if you use the pitch ripples feature, but I could work on that more and also add useful preset keyboards.

Here is another picture of the multi-strip layout with broader keys for more pitch sensitivity



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