First heard on 1970’s recordings, the talkbox effect was pioneered by classic artists like Zapp and Peter Frampton, and still embraced by modern acts such as Chromeo. The effect is traditionally created by a stomp box connected to a plastic tube the performer holds in their mouth. It’s a clever way to produce an effect, but the accumulation of saliva in the tube also makes it a little gross. With Articulator, you can produce the same classic talkbox effect—without putting a tube in your mouth.
In addition to the hygiene issue, producing the traditional talkbox effect is difficult to achieve, requires dedicated hardware and takes a lot of practice to make it work. Thankfully, Articulator is here for all your funky formant needs.
To hear how it works, let’s start with some very unfunky (and unsung) vocals:
Articulator: Vocal Raw
Now, let’s play some funky clavinet, hitting keys to the rhythm of the vocal, and use the vocal as the modulator input in Articulator:
Articulator: Wet Clav
Note that by playing the notes along with the vocals, we could hear the words a bit more clearly, and they took on the melody of the clavinet.
Now, let’s try an elongated “ooh yeah”, with some format variety in the performance:
Articulator: Ooh Yeah Dry
And now, let’s use a Minimoog to spice things up, while also using the formants of the vocal as input in the modulator for Articulator – the filter is completely open on the Minimoog for this entire phrase, so any timbral changes are coming from Articulator and the vocal phrase:
Articulator: Ooh Yeah Wet
Embellish the Background
One of the most colorful uses of the Talkbox is the embellish background vocals and phrases. You can also use Articular to add the formant “flavor” of one sound source to another. For example, listen to the audio below starting with a dry drum break:
Articulator: Break Dry
Now, I’ll use the same “ooh yeah” as a modulator on Articulator on the break, to add some formant movement:
Articulator: Break Wet
Finally, let’s hear how it sounds together with the Moog phrase:
Articulator: Mix Wet
The Ultimate Talkbox Effect with Auto-Tune Unlimited
When you need the funkiest of funky vocals, Articulator delivers an incredibly authentic talkbox experience. If you’re ready to explore the possibilities with Articulator, download a free trial of Auto-Tune Unlimited. Available through subscription, Auto-Tune Unlimited comes complete with Articulator, every AVOX plug-in, every current edition of Auto-Tune, and more.