Playing With a Talk Box

February 3rd, 2022
jammer, music, tech
Sometimes I describe my goal in playing around with different ways of making music as trying to maximize my musical information rate: how many bits per second? With my hands I'm generally playing keyboard or mandolin, and they are very busy; compare to trumpet, where one hand is choosing combinations of only three buttons and the other hand is just holding the horn in position. My feet are generally occupied with drums, which leaves the mouth as the remaining high-bandwidth option.

I've played with controlling a synthesizer by whistling and using a breath controller to control volume/expression, but recently I got a talk box. This is a speaker with tube to pipe the output of an instrument into your mouth, where you adjust the shape of the mouth to filter the sound. They are most commonly used to make an instrument pretend to talk, but you can also use it as an effects pedal.

I'm still learning how to make a good use of it, but here's where I am right now:

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