Electrolarynx /others as musical instruments? (answered)

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part12studios
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Electrolarynx /others as musical instruments? (answered)

Post by part12studios » Fri Dec 16, 2016 12:10 am

Hi there,

I remember a guy once sharing a story about how he worked at a radio station and to do a funky "WKRP" type call sign.. he said they put something up against his throat to make it sound funky.. now i was a kid in the 80's who didn't even know what a talk box was, but I seem to remember him distinctly saying it was put up against the throat..

but i don't think it was a Cancer Kazoo "Electrolarynx".. maybe something else.. but i mean a talkbox pretty much would be the same result but I couldn't help but wonder if there was some lost instrument / technique out there that maybe got forgotten about.. something that perhaps blasts sound against the throat that would be musical like a talk box.. not just a fixed vibration like the Electrolarynx

I know in the original "Mad Max" (couldn't find a clip online) one of the cops who got is throat cut, used a similar device which sounded pretty funky too.. anyway you get the idea I hope.

of course watching this video maybe this was really it.. as this guy can show pitch as well.. interesting none the less..

Thanks,
Caleb
Last edited by part12studios on Sat Jan 21, 2017 1:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Electrolarynx or other non medical musical instruments?

Post by CZ Rider » Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:20 am

A Sonovox?

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Re: Electrolarynx or other non medical musical instruments?

Post by part12studios » Fri Dec 16, 2016 1:31 pm

yea maybe that was it, it certainly sounds like one of those call signs.. wild they had something like that so long ago.. bad a*s.

I guess no modern equivalents exist that are practical in price / availability, but i suppose in reality the end result is so close to what a talk box can produce with less complicated parts.

This very well could have been what he was talking about but i'm not sure how prevalent a device like this was in the 1980's if the Sonovox even then was 40 years old by then..

Thanks!
Caleb

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Re: Electrolarynx or other non medical musical instruments?

Post by madtheory » Fri Dec 16, 2016 1:59 pm

It's a mechanical vocoder. I would think it's not very safe to send all that vibration into your larynx... and a vocoder does exactly the same sound, and with more flexibility if you can cross-patch the bands.

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Re: Electrolarynx or other non medical musical instruments?

Post by part12studios » Fri Dec 16, 2016 2:03 pm

yea exactly.. other than it being novel in a live performance way I don't really see the sonic results being different enough to be practical. vocoders and talk boxes both are much easier alternatives so I get why the 1940's device would lose relevance over time.

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Re: Electrolarynx or other non medical musical instruments?

Post by cornutt » Fri Dec 16, 2016 4:16 pm

The Sonovox was often used to produce radio station identifications and tags back in the '60s.
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Re: Electrolarynx or other non medical musical instruments?

Post by part12studios » Fri Dec 16, 2016 4:19 pm

see and that matches the story i was told which is great to know.. i always thought it sounded cool hearing the story as a kid and the memory came back recently and i thought it would be great to find out first hand if such things maybe even were still around but just overlooked or lost.

but yea i can see that hearing them now with some perspective the result is soooo similar to what a talkbox could make or vocoder that they were just a costly relic to continue producing.

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Re: Electrolarynx or other non medical musical instruments?

Post by ppg_wavecomputer » Fri Dec 16, 2016 5:55 pm

madtheory wrote:It's a mechanical vocoder. I would think it's not very safe to send all that vibration into your larynx... [...]
Not to mention the fillings in your teeth.

Kraftwerk used one of those devices, as well as Stefan Remmler of Trio.



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