The idea is that the guitar produces the
pitch, but you shape the tone using your mouth and, to a lesser extent,
your throat. This allows you to go beyond a mere wah-wah pedal to
the point that you can form words ("We're having a good time!") or any
number of other tonal effects.
|Building the Talkbox
|Hey, that doesn't look
like a box!
I know. In a professional model, the horn driver is enclosed, but I never bothered with the extra trouble or expense. Still, an enclosure would help insulate the raw sound coming from the driver so you wouldn't hear as much of it. I would recommend this, although it definitely wouldn't matter in a live situation or when recording as the microphone would never pick up the sound of driver beyond what is directed through the tube.
The flowchart is a little hard to follow, but here's the sequence:
You really almost need a dedicated amp for the talkbox, although you should probably hold off on that investment until you find for yourself how much you're going to use this. In the meantime, you will have to unplug your amp's speaker and connect the horn driver every time you use it. (Presently, this is particularly bothersome for me since I have an Ultimate Chorus amp with two speakers to disconnect.)
Ideally, in a live situation you would have a switching device in the line to select a conventional amplifier when the talk box was not desired. Also, like most other tones, the talkbox sound is great with a little effects processing.
Don't know what to do with all that extra tubing you just bought for your project? Check out my project for guitar stand protection.