As listed on eBay, August 18 - 25, 2011

Pellegrino's Etherwave Theremin/ MIDIVERB II Combination


This auction is for an integrated system that includes the Etherwave Theremin, the Alesis MIDIVERB II and the power supplies, manuals and cables for both instruments.  Both instruments are in perfect working order, were bought new, and had one owner.  The system is from the studios of electronic arts pioneer Ron Pellegrino -  To see more photos and other Pellegrino instruments distributed via eBay, go to

As soon as MIDI hit the music scene in 1983 one of the areas of my electronic arts research was organizing synthesizer orchestras into configurations that could work as corporate production facilities or academic composing/performing/teaching systems as well as studios for individual composers.  Beginning in the mid 1980s  in connection with my public media shows I began searching for visually dramatic ways of “conducting” my personally designed music synthesizer orchestras.  The object was always to be able to control the synthesizer network (the orchestra) from the top of the design pyramid, the way a conductor leads an orchestra.  During the late 1980s I acquired a Fairlight Voicetracker, a special purpose computer/synthesizer that converted frequency and amplitude to MIDI control signals.  Given that the wands on the Theremin provide a player with control over frequency and amplitude, using it as the transducer between my hand waving (conducting) and the Voicetracker at the top of the pyramid (synthesizer orchestra) was a logical choice for stage and studio work.  Today far less expensive systems than the Voicetracker are available for converting frequency and amplitude to MIDI signals but the overall concept is as good as ever.

On an equal level with those larger experiments I enjoyed just plugging the Theremin into a digital effects unit - a simple but very powerful combination, especially as a solo instrument with high dramatic potential.  Surely the combination can be used subtly but the wild dramatic end is definitely the most fun.  In a nutshell, the range of that musical potential is why I’m passing these instruments along as an integrated system.

The Etherwave Theremin is made by Big Briar, the company Bob Moog founded in 1978.  That’s the year Moog turned his attention away from big analog systems and toward designing and building theremins, MIDI interfaces and custom electronic music equipment.

Included in the Theremin part of the package are 1) the Theremin, 2) its power supply, 3) the output cable, 4) the VHS tape Mastering the Theremin featuring Lydia Kavina, 5) a CD called The Art of the Theremin featuring Clara Rockmore, 6) a booklet called The Voice Electric that presents a brief history of the theremin including photos from Bob Moog’s personal collection, 7) a booklet called Setting Up and Playing the Big Briar Etherwave Theremin, and 8) a booklet called Understanding, Customizing, and Hot-Rodding Your Etherwave Theremin.

Included in the Alesis MIDIVERB II part of the package are 1) the rackmount MIDIVERB II, 2) its power supply, 3) two output cables (each a phone to rca), 4) the MIDIVERB II Instruction Manual, and 5) a sheet explaining its Flanging Programs.  In a nutshell it’s a 16 bit linear PCM system with 100 built-in programs addressable via the front panel switches or standard MIDI in/thru.

The mic stand is not included.  The Theremin will fit on any standard mic stand.

If you take the time to do a pricing web search on all the items included in this package you will realize that what I’m offering here is a great deal.  My intention is to place the entire integrated system into the hands of a serious music artist/performer/researcher.

The URLs that follow link to youtube videos worth experiencing whether you’re a newbie or an old hand at the Theremin.

The system will ship in two separate boxes.  Within the lower 48 of the USA the shipping will be UPS Ground for both boxes at the total cost of $35.  Outside that region the system will ship via FedEx for exactly what FedEx charges for the services requested by the high bidder.

Continue reading to explore instruments distributed in the recent past.

Pellegrino's Instruments Distributed via eBay in the Recent Past

Since the mid-1990s people have been contacting me and trying to convince me to sell them one or more of my classic analog synths, the set of instruments that in 1973 became my road system as well as important players in my Electronic Arts Productions studios. My response to them was always the same - “Sorry, not now. All of them are parts of a grand plan.”

For decades one of my daydreams (the grand plan) gradually took a form that blocked me from selling any of my instruments, analog or digital or acoustic. The dream was both simple and awfully complex - put four decades of sonic and visual music systems which had absorbed vast quantities of my attention into one huge integrated composition/performance system and then play it until the juices ran dry.

Since the 1960s one of my favorite games in designing studios was to solve the myriad communication problems that bloomed whenever one networks systems that were neither designed nor inclined to work together. That was the MO for every project that led to the design of my academic, corporate, and artist facilities. In my daydreams I was actually running thought experiments and looking forward to the opportunity to implement those thoughts on the gear I’d been collecting and playing for decades.

In 2005 I finally bought a place that had a space large enough to accommodate the dream - it had a 1,000 sq. ft. great room with 13 foot beamed ceilings surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows looking out on several acres of woods with 150-year old pecan trees, redbud, catalpa, azaleas, dogwood, magnolia, and many other flowering plants plus an always fascinating assortment of Texas wildlife moving around and through the woods. But wouldn’t you know it? That old integrative dream was once again pushed aside and then to the back of the to-do list by the dream that has been my driver since the late 1960s - playing with whatever is most attractive in terms of learning potential in the current crop of emerging technology in the arts plus the time it takes to indulge in the always anticipated pleasure of exploring the great American Songbook on my sweet little 6 foot Yamaha grand.

The upshot is that all the conditions were right for me to assume a different attitude about the instrument pals I had been carrying around with me for decades. Since they were no longer being played there was no way their electronic circuits could possibly be happy. Clearly the time had come to pass them along to others in the fields of music and the electronic arts.

It was in August of 2008 that the process of passing my instruments along to others began. After a bit of research it became clear that the idea of eBay, despite its overall clumsiness in implementation, was the best vehicle for communicating my plans to potentially interested parties. It was also difficult to determine the objective value of the instruments so I decided to leave that decision to people in the field and then just accept their collective assessment.

Here on my site I simply plan to link to descriptive copy and photos that I used on eBay for each of the instruments. Initially including that information on my site was not part of my distribution plan, so a few of the earliest files are no longer available; I deleted them to make space on my hard drives. Nevertheless, I figure the materiaI that remains is probably of historical interest to those inclined toward the electronic arts, especially the techheads.

My list begins with the earliest sales and works forward in time up to the latest sales. As is my usual practice in cranking up a project, I just jumped into the eBay business, struggled to understand its communicative logic (thankfully it's improving with time) and used whatever tools I had available in my studios. So the earliest photos (the clarinet and ARP 2600) were shot with a Sony digital video camera and of course, despite my best efforts with Photoshop tools, leave much to be desired in terms of resolution. But by the time I was ready to release the first of my Synthi AKS synths I had acquired a Canon PowerShot digital camera to help eBay bidders get a better view of what I was offering. As one might expect, the difference in resolution is significant.

The first instrument to fly out of my studios in the summer of 2008 was a professional model Buffet clarinet that I acquired in 1977. The clarinet was my first instrument at the age of nine so it was a good choice to open the flood gate to pass along my other instruments. It went to a Russian musician living in the southern part of the USA.

The second to go was my ARP 2600. I passed up on the highest bidder, a well known European keyboard artist, and instead sold the 2600 to the second highest bidder, a Brazilian artist from Rio de Janeiro who was designing a studio around a collection of classic analog synthesizers. I personally felt more in tune with his spirit.

Next to go was one of my Synthi AKS synths to a young artist living in the American South who made a good case for selling him the instrument outside of eBay. I have a tendency to lean toward people who seem to love to care for instruments and to bring them up to their maximum potential; he seemed like that sort of person so it felt good to place it in his hands.

Following that, my Waterphone flew out the door. Yes, it is an acoustic instrument but it can create a sound world that overlaps with the electronic sound world. That instrument also went to the second highest bidder, a next step New Ager in the American Southwest. That felt like a good fit too.

Then my Fairlight Voicetracker, again sold to the second highest bidder, made its way to Vienna, Austria to a man who seemed in love with electronic instruments. He held down a medical day job so electronic music and its instruments might have been his great escape.

Following that, my Buchla 200 Series Box went to a New York City pro who scores films and is involved in other high profile projects. It almost went to the second highest bidder who, during the auction, made a strong effort to communicate his desire for the instrument, but the NYC pro knew how to tie up a deal quickly and cleanly so it’s now in his hands and I’m certain it’s getting the care and attention it deserves.

Months later in May of 2009, after I completed the first two parts of my latest major project, Emergent Music And Visual Music: Inside Studies, my second Synthi AKS and Laser Animator as a combination sonic and visual music synthesizer went to a performance artist in Vancouver, Canada. Part of my eBay offer was one month of email coaching to help the buyer get off to a fast start with the system so I’ve had a fair amount of communication with the buyer and I’m confident my Synthi AKS and Laser Animator have found a loving home.

In March of 2010 my trusty analog 4-track deck, the TEAC A-3440, was passed along to a New York State musician who preferred to remain very low profile. But he did say he "always wanted one of these machines" so now he has one. I hope he takes good care of it and it gives him what he desires.

In June of 2010 my Technics RS-1500US Analog Stereo Tape Deck found a new home via eBay. The following quotation from the buyer, a hollywood recording artist/engineer tells the story of where I placed my Technics analog stereo deck:

"I'm in the process of a remodeling of my house … In a month I hope the work will be done and by then I can locate a pair of rack ears to mount the reel-to-reel in a Professional Rack for my home Studio.

I'm an Audio Professional. I have won 3 Emmy awards for my work on Television shows. This unit will be used in a dual process. One, for my pleasure of listening to music and two, to re-record sound effects from digital to analogue tape @ 15ips and then back into a digital environment in order to warm up samples and to color the sound with tube amps and dolby SR noise reduction.

So, as you can see, the Technics tape recorder is going to a very good home and I do not plan on ever selling this unit. I had one of these "back in the day" and have regretted selling it and have looked for at least a year to find a good one in great shape without costing an arm and a leg.

Thank you for a great deal!"

Yes indeed. That helps to ease my mind. I love finding good homes for my old pals.

In July of 2010 I put my Apple IIe based Electronic Arts Synthesizer up on eBay. I was curious to discover whether Apple IIe fans could make any sense of what I had done with that system in the 1980s. Not surprisingly, there seemed to be considerable head scratching connected with my offering. I had the sense that people just wanted my IIe system for the parts. The unstated question seemed to be "What is an electronic arts synthesizer anyway?" It did sell for a decent price but I sensed that one of my dream babies just faded into history. To get a sense of what I was thinking as I was configuring that system in the early to mid 1980s, check out my description using the link in the first sentence of this note.

In November of 2010 I put my light-cymbal up for auction on eBay. The market was not ready for it at that time so sometime in the future I'll try again. Meanwhile I'll continue to enjoy it in my studios as a beautiful example of visual music and a good memory bearer. Over the decades one of my greatest surprises was how little the musically inclined seem to be visually inclined. Since to me they've always seemed to be flip sides of the same coin, I expected the same of other creative musical souls. There are a few such folks but generally I was wrong, again.


Untitled Page