Video: Having previously wowed and terrified the world with his singing Furby organ, YouTube’s Look Mum No Computer is back with another musical creation that will appeal to both Star Wars fans and fans of creepy sci-fi sound effects: Lightsaber theremins.
The theremin is an instrument that traditionally uses two metal antennas to detect the position and motions of a performer’s hands, which never actually make contact with it. You know that “ooooEEEEooooo” sound effect used in old sci-fi and horror films? That was probably made by a theremin.
These lightsaber theremins work a little differently, however. The electronics inside each one were gutted and replaced with an accelerometer chip, which is the same device used in smartphones and video game controllers to detect motion.
So as the lightsabers are waved around in mock Jedi battle, they produce different sounds and effects based on their position and angle. When connected to a computer or other instruments, they can trigger weird sounds and effects, and with enough practice, they can even be used to play the Star Wars theme.