Get your creativity on with some weird sounds, here’s some places to start.
MXR Talk Box, check out Weezer’s Beverley Hills, Joe Walsh’s Rocky Mountain Way and Peter Frampton’s Do You Feel Like We Do and you’ll get the idea of what this piece of trickery does. It shapes the frequency and applies speech sounds (in the same way as singing) onto the sounds of the instrument. Typically, a talk box directs sound from the instrument into the musician’s mouth by means of a plastic tube adjacent to their vocal microphone. The musician controls the modification of the instrument’s sound by changing the shape of the mouth, “vocalizing” the instrument’s output into a microphone. Cool huh!
Straight out of Horror and Sci-Fi movie soundtracks is the Theremin, there’s no way to describe it, you have to watch it being played and be blown away by the sound that can be created. Have a look at what Moog has done to it, bringing it into the modern world.
Then comes the versatile Melodica. The melodica is a free-reed instrument similar to the pump organ and harmonica. It has a musical keyboard on top, and is played by blowing air through a mouthpiece that fits into a hole in the side of the instrument. Pressing a key opens a hole, allowing air to flow through a reed. Can sometimes sound like a toy, but then sometimes it sounds awesome.
Looking for a stompbox with a difference? Miku Hatsune, is a Vocaloid software voicebank developed by Crypton Future Media and features in over 100,000 songs released worldwide. Her voice is modelled from Japanese voice actress Saki Fujita.
Miku Hatsune means ‘first found from the future’. Make up your own mind by watching this video.