Capacitance Sensor Theremin

By Catherine Kung

This project is the construction of a Theremin instrument. This instrument consists of two sensors, with one controlling the pitch and the other controlling the volume. One plays a Theremin by moving their hand near the two sensors. The way that the pitch and volume are controlled is by the electrodes sensing the changing electric field caused by the moving hand. The original Theremin design used RF field detuning to sense position. In this project, capacitance sensing will be used to determine position using Motorola’s MC33794 E-field sensor. The sensor data will be processed using an ATMEL Mega32 microcontroller which will produce the output sounds, which will have 8 different volumes and a 2 octave frequency range.

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