Feel like we do with a bass guitar talk box

dino_comes_alive

Hacker [Dino Segovis] wrote in to share the latest hack from his HackAWeek series, and this time around he has constructed a talk box for his bass guitar. Providing you are old enough, you probably remember when the talk box made its way into mainstream music, on the “Frampton Comes Alive” album.

The concept of a talk box is pretty simple. A small speaker is built into a sealed enclosure, which carries the sound from the musician’s guitar to his mouth via a plastic tube. The tube is placed in the musician’s mouth, near the microphone. When his mouth is moved, the sound from the guitar is modified and reflected into the microphone.

[Dino] built a similar system using his bass guitar and an amplifier hacked together from an old tape deck. He initially ran into problems with the sound not making it all the way up the tube due to the bass’ low frequency. He had an ‘Aha!’ moment and mounted the speaker on the mic rather than down on the floor, which seems to have fixed the issue.

Be sure to check out the video below to see his talk box in action.

Comments

  1. echodelta says:

    What kind of speaker was originally used on the floor? A cone speaker won’t work well. The bass, with clean sound and plenty of power in a proper tube and driver won’t work without distortion (fuzz) to make harmonics in the vocal cavity range. If your mouth was 10 times bigger it would work. With the tiny little speaker you get lots of distortion so it works sort of. The right way is to use a PA horn driver with many watts of harmonic rich sound thru a hose. Use a fuzz box. With power you will get more music and less breathing and gutteral sounds.
    Alvino Rey first did this in the 30’s in a big band with the first pedal steel guitar. Google it it’s a hoot!

  2. spag says:

    I’ve always wanted to build one of these too. Problem is, I’m not a musician so I don’t really have a good use for one :/ Well, maybe as a Halloween costume voice modulator.

  3. Pedro says:

    That was an interesting version of Iron Man but I can’t say I’d want to hear that much distortion all the time, it’s certainly more over the top than any DIY pedal I’ve seen before.

    (Show Me The Way is an awesome song and I’m 20. Age has nothing to do with it)

  4. tim says:

    come on Peter, show me the web

  5. Trollicus says:

    LOL, Peter Frampton lives on my street. He was in front of me in line at the grocery store last week, but let me skip in front as I only had 2 items.

  6. Dino says:

    I’ll be tweaking this one more and in the future I’ll post an updated version… I have ideas… :)
    Now on to the next hack…

  7. Dino says:

    Oh yeah I must say, I really love the Photoshop work. :)
    I’m a rockstar!

  8. anfegori91 says:

    Didgeridoo

  9. WestfW says:

    @anfegori91: that was my first impression too!

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