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The Talkbox FAQ

I. What is a Talkbox?

A talkbox is a device that produces the classic "talking guitar sound". With it, the musician is able to produce vowel-like sounds, as well as consonants, words and/or phrases. It is not a vocorder (a unit that electronically blends speech with a musical instrument synthesizer), but achieves a similar effect via a much simpler and direct method.

The talkbox works on the principle of reproducing sound from an amplifier and directing it into the mouth of the performer. The performer's lips and vocal cavities (mouth, throat, and larynx) further modulate and shape the sound. The resulting "talking guitar" output is then fed through a microphone and from there is amplified through the PA system or sent to the recording console of the studio.

The next section provides downloadable examples of talkbox sounds.

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