Inside Therevox Custom Musical Instruments

Reader Stephen Young created this short film, Therevox – Wood & Wires, which takes a look inside the workshop of Therevox Custom Musical Instruments.

Since 2004, Mike Beauchamp’s Therevox has made instruments in the tradition of Paul Tanner’s Electro-Theremin and the Ondes Martenot.

Their ET-4 line is controlled by moving a finger along a reference keyboard, shaped to provide tactile feedback. Dual pressure sensitive intensity keys control the amplitude of the ET-4’s two independent analog oscillators. The ET-4’s performance options are rounded out by a low-pass filter, white noise generator and internal spring reverb.

“I recently got to bring my camera to Therevox Custom Musical Instruments and film some of the building stages and ask a few questions,” notes Young.  “They are just on the Canadian side of the Detroit river, so I was able to pop over there a few times during the year to film different stages of the building process.”

You can find out more about the ET-4 line at the Therevox site.

9 thoughts on “Inside Therevox Custom Musical Instruments

  1. This is something I love to hear. A true craftsman taking real pride in his work. Knowing the wood and working with it, letting it set naturally. Sure it might become a little more expensive, but a well made product lasts longer.

    1. I’d like to see more instruments that are crafted like this – these are going to be valuable long after a lot of the current plastic synths are cracked, faded or just broken.

  2. That video was beautifully done. Beauchamp has an admirable approach to making things and to life. I hope this video helps to bring him continued success.

  3. Personally I’ve never really cared what materials are used to build the synths I use…it’s always been about the end result of the sound. It’s nice that someone takes pride in his craftsmanship, but you can take wood, build a synth around it, but if it sounds like crap…then…it’s crap. There have been plenty of synths made of metal or plastic from 30+ years ago, that are STILL in good condition and working. Wood can fall apart too ya know.

  4. As much as I like the Therevox, this idea that wood makes an instrument last for so much longer than one made of plastic, or that plastic ones are more likely to end up in landfill is just plain eco-nonsense. It this was the case then why is the Synthi AKS or the Buchla Electric Music Box, or the EDP Wasp are still much sought after collectors items? All three are constructed from plastic. Plastic also keeps the price of these instruments down allowing for more people to enjoy them. Actually you could argue the same for TV sets and radios. Many of the old wooden, good looking varieties now being discarded in favour of smaller plastic ones.

    1. Come on. Some of the synths are coloured to red or yellow… I think some peoples like the option to have an electronic instrument in a wooden body. Nothing wrong with that.
      Beside that I agree that wood is much more fixable than plastic.

    2. I think it’s more about the repairability. If you scratch or dent plastic, you can’t fix it. With wood, you can sand it out and refinish it. I think he’s also talking about the synth as a whole, I noticed that it seems to be all hand-soldered through-hole stuff, so very easy to fix (and modify!) the electronics unlike most tiny surface mount electronics.

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