Theremin synth emulator through a Leap Motion device
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Fabio Manganiello 2e3cc58948
New version
3 years ago
theremin New version 3 years ago
.gitignore First commit 4 years ago
LICENSE Initial commit 4 years ago Added multiple features and extended README 4 years ago Added multiple features and extended README 4 years ago Added multiple features and extended README 4 years ago


This is a theremin synth emulator written in Python that leverages a Leap Motion device as a controller for pitch, timber and volume.

Make music waving your hands: now you can.


You'll need a Leap Motion device and the Leap Motion SDK installed. You'll need in particular the script to be somewhere in your Python libpath as well as the leapd executable from the SDK.

You'll ealso need the PYO DSP module installed:

pip install pyo

Finally, clone and install this repo:

git clone
cd theremin
[sudo] python install


Plug your Leap Motion, start the leapd daemon and make sure that your device is detected:

[sudo] leapd &

Start the theremin:


Move your hands and enjoy the fun!

You can set the pitch of the sound by moving your right hand up and down, while the height of the left hand will set the volume. Use the --left-handed option to invert the order.


usage: theremin [-h] [--list-audio-outputs] [--list-leap-motions]
                [--audio-output AUDIO_OUTPUT] [--audio-backend AUDIO_BACKEND]
                [--channels CHANNELS] [--discrete] [--left-handed]
                [--generator GENERATOR] [--min-frequency MIN_FREQUENCY]
                [--max-frequency MAX_FREQUENCY] [--min-note MIN_NOTE]
                [--max-note MAX_NOTE]

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  --list-audio-outputs, -l
                        List the available audio output devices
  --list-leap-motions, -L
                        List the available Leap Motion devices
  --audio-output AUDIO_OUTPUT, -o AUDIO_OUTPUT
                        Select an output audio device by index (see -l)
  --audio-backend AUDIO_BACKEND, -b AUDIO_BACKEND
                        Select the audio backend (default: portaudio).
                        Supported: {"portaudio", "jack", "coreaudio"}
  --channels CHANNELS, -c CHANNELS
                        Number of audio channels (default: 2)
  --discrete, -d        If set then discrete notes will be generated instead
                        of samples over a continuous frequency space (default:
  --left-handed         If set then the pitch control will be on the left hand
                        and the volume control on theright hand. Otherwise,
                        the controls are inverted (default: false)
  --generator GENERATOR, -g GENERATOR
                        Wave generator to be used. See http://ajaxsoundstudio.
                        com/pyodoc/api/classes/generators.html. Default:
  --min-frequency MIN_FREQUENCY
                        Minimum audio frequency (default: 55 Hz)
  --max-frequency MAX_FREQUENCY
                        Maximum audio frequency (default: 10 kHz)
  --min-note MIN_NOTE   Minimum MIDI note, as a string (e.g. A4)
  --max-note MAX_NOTE   Maximum MIDI note, as a string (e.g. A4)