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Talk box for Bass?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Colin.Lush, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. Colin.Lush


    Sep 7, 2008
    Does this beast exist?
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Talk boxes are the same whether you use them on bass or guitar. They're just a driver with a tube hooked up instead of a speaker cone.
  3. Here we go again...
  4. Chunk Systems

    Chunk Systems

    Jul 15, 2007
    Sydney, Australia
    Effects manufacturer: Chunk Systems
    Most talkboxes use a piezo driver like they put into high power speaker boxes for the treble, which is fine for guitar. But I actually built a dedicated bass talkbox as an experiment a few years back, probably soon after I first heard Larry Graham's "Now Do U Want to Dance". It was a pretty crazy piece of gear. It was a box about 30*30*60cm with a 10" subwoofer in it and a piece of garden hose coming out one end. I carpeted the outside in astroturf.

    To get enough SPL down the hose to make a really good tooth-rattling talkbox sound, I had to pump way more power into the woofer than it was rated for and I'd have to replace the woofer after about 30 minutes. Those 30 minutes were some of the best of my life though.

    Now I use a homemade bass vocoder instead. Not quite a cool as having a garden hose in your mouth and dripping drool all over the microphone, but at least it doesn't rattle your teeth loose or give you brain damage. A bass talkbox puts a lot of low frequency SPL into your mouth - it's quite freaky and actually a bit uncomfortable.

    I'm sure this has been thoroughly worked over on Talkbass before, but the album liner notes for "Now Do U Want To Dance" actually mention the piece of gear that Larry uses to get that sound. I don't have my vinyl with me at the moment, but it was called a Bass Talker or something like that.
  5. Delta T

    Delta T

    Oct 3, 2008
    Hey guys!

    I saw this post and thought I would relate an experience I had a number of years ago.

    Back in the early 80's I had a minimoog and really wanted to get that 'vocoder' sound that was getting popular at the time. I couldn't afford one so I thought that a talk box would do it. I did some research and found that some of them used HF horn drivers to send the sound up the tube. I happened to have an Electrovoice 1" driver and proceeded to make my talk box.

    I was going to power it with a Peavey Mark III bass head - MORE then enough power but I figured I would keep the volume down. I took an old solder-sucker squeeze bulb, cut it in half and clamped the nozzle end onto the driver and attached the hose to the nozzle.

    I plugged everything together and connected the minimoog to the input of the bass amp and started playing. It was FANTASTIC! I was getting a great tone out of it. Then, for whatever reason I let my mouth close around the tube (probably to keep from drooling) and hit a low note on the minimoog.

    I thought my eyes were going to jump out of their sockets! :eek: There was a lot of sound pressure coming up the tube!

    So if you decide to make one - or buy one - be careful. I still wonder if I might have caused some brain damage with that little slip of the lips....:smug:

  6. almix12


    Apr 3, 2008
    wasn't there one of these threads going like 2 weeks ago?
  7. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    Digitech talker works for me though it's a vocoder and not a talk box.
  8. thekage


    Jan 22, 2008
    Cape Girardeau MO
  9. this is it!
  10. Delta T

    Delta T

    Oct 3, 2008
    Did I stir up some dust? Sorry - just came across the thread and thought I would contribute to it....it didn't seem too old.

    With regards to talk boxes, PAIA used to have a talk box kit that went with their version of the Pig Nose amp. Basically it was a round plastic lid like you would find on a coffee can with a stem in the middle that the hose would attach to. The lid fit over the front of the speaker on the amp. I don't know how good it was though.


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