Thanks for the comments. Yeah, I think dual analog controls would make it a lot more theremin-like. I'll update soon using one button to switch between single analog/dual analog modes. Annoyingly I left my second controller over at Jims the other week so I can't test dual analog properly at the moment.
I have plans for a music sequencer in the future The engine for it is already written.
Last Edit: May 14, 2014 4:35:48 GMT -5 by binarystar
When writing up an article for my website I've learnt a bit more about the Theremin and your V-Theremin. It's actually a very cool idea to create a version for the Vectrex. Thank you, Chris, for that! Hands-free controllers are really needed for the Vectrex, now. ;-)
I've played V-Theremin using ParaJVE and the mouse, which is o.k. for learning about the principle but sure enough no good for getting a real feel for the playing. Some suggestions for V-Theremin:
== Two cursors instead of one Currently, one cursor is used for visualizing the X/Y position and thus the pitch and volume. The Theremin is played with two hands, therefore there should be two cursors instead of just one. (Regardless whether one or two controllers are used). When using one controller, movements of cursor 1 would be horizontal and cursor 2 would be vertical. When using two controllers, movements of the two cursors could be either the same or even arbitrary, i.e. the two cursors could be controlled individually and moved over the screen. (Physical hands cannot intersect, so perhaps limitation in the position of the two cursors might make sense).
== Controlling capacity The original Theremin is controlled with the hands that approach the two antennas which change their capacity: Roughly spoken: The closer your hand (=cursor) is to the antenna, the higher the pitch or the louder the music.
Currently, the complete screen is used for the movements of the "cursor". I guess that this is good for playing, but the displayed Theremin instrument doesn't play a role at all. Instead, the distance of the cursors to the two antennas should be taken into account. For simpler distance calculation the antennas could be considered as dots at a specific X/Y position.
== Hand shape Cursors In my opinion the cursor shape doesn't fit well to a music program. Perhaps different cursors could be designed: E.g. two circles, two triangles or even two hand shaped cursors. Perhaps volume could be indicated by size of the cursor instead of the position.
== Wave: Sinus or Chainsaw I've watched various videos on youtube and found that some Theremins generate rougher sound (chainsaw) and some softer sound (sinus). Perhaps there could be an option to switch from sinus to chainsaw and back.
== 1 or 2 controller mode It's very good that two controllers are supported and that one can switch controller mode. The "1 joystick" or "2 joystick" at the top of the screen doesn't look neat, though. Perhaps the two player mode can be indicated with the cursors (or by using one cursors or two cursors depending on the number of controllers - which is contradicting to my above suggestion). Or there could be a "1" and a "2" included in the cursor graphics using a Vector font. The "1" / "2" could disappear when playing and reappear after some seconds of doing nothing.
== Lightpen support One of the two cursors (I guess the pitch) could be controlled by the lightpen. But lightpen recognition speed/CPU performance might not be sufficient for this.
That's just some ideas - sure enough sound quality and playability must have priority over graphics and fancy control options.
PS: I guess by now you know that Vectrex people dream a lot. ;-)
Hehe thanks for writing about V-Theremin and your feedback. Tbh this was just a quick project and the theremin picture was an afterthought and only meant to illustrate what the program was mimicking. The cursor was drawn in few seconds and the program was designed originally for a single stick. You are right, it would probably make more sense with two cursors, meters or illustration of proximity to the 'sensors' but I doubt there will be any further updates to V-Theremin (perhaps a sawtooth/squarewave select option as i had considered this) . However, I'll probably make some more musical toys at a later date that will be a bit more fully featured, this one was more just for fun.
Last Edit: May 21, 2014 4:28:28 GMT -5 by binarystar
Hehe thanks for writing about V-Theremin and your feedback. ...
You're welcome. I didn't see your post before posting the above screen drafts. O.k., I understand that for a quick project my requests are asked too much. Perhaps you can fine-tune V-Theremin at a later stage given there is some interest in it.
The pity with quite a number of games/projects is that fine-tuning isn't done. The fine-tuning in graphics, sound, gameplay, score tables, and other stuff is time-consuming and requires various skills including patience, imaginativeness, and others. But it really makes a difference to games. E.g. V-Hockey (Computer opponent and difficulty), Shifted (levels with various challenges), or Vector Pilot (score table, extra levels, video sequences) are examples for a lot of fine-tuning and tweaking. But I also understand and sure enough accept if game developers don't do this fine-tuning because of the really big effort and this fine-tuning isn't quite the fun part of game development.
Again, thank you for V-Theremin and I'm looking forward to seeing more games of you, Chris!
Exactly, the time is better spent elsewhere at the moment. This was knocked up in a couple of hours, its fully functional as-is so spending hours on interface improvements is not high on my priorities right now but if I do revisit, I'll keep your comments in mind. Not got much free time at the moment so I'd rather finish the cartridge game projects than refine this any further for now.