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Inventing the D-Lev: The 12-Year Journey to Build the World's Most Advanced Theremin

Evan Kahn

June 24, 2023 2:00-2:55 PM

Location: FMH Room 230

Come learn about the historical and modern engineering challenges around building concert-ready theremins, and specifically why the instrument has never successfully moved into the digital domain. I'll discuss the most-viewed thread on ThereminWorld.com, which chronicles the journey of a retired telecom engineer in upstate New Jersey, who has, since 2012, quietly been building an FPGA-based theremin with an entirely novel compute and synthesis pipeline, in the process reinventing the instrument from first principles and bringing it into the 21st century. I'll tell the story of how I got in touch with him and began contributing to his work. I'll discuss my own motivations and passion for the instrument and outline the early stages of my ongoing effort to develop his prototype into an open-source product.