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Electrolarynx /others as musical instruments? (answered)

Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 12:10 am
by part12studios
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

Re: Electrolarynx or other non medical musical instruments?

Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:20 am
by CZ Rider
A Sonovox?

Re: Electrolarynx or other non medical musical instruments?

Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 1:31 pm
by part12studios
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

Re: Electrolarynx or other non medical musical instruments?

Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 1:59 pm
by madtheory
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.

Re: Electrolarynx or other non medical musical instruments?

Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 2:03 pm
by part12studios
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.

Re: Electrolarynx or other non medical musical instruments?

Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 4:16 pm
by cornutt
The Sonovox was often used to produce radio station identifications and tags back in the '60s.

Re: Electrolarynx or other non medical musical instruments?

Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 4:19 pm
by part12studios
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.

Re: Electrolarynx or other non medical musical instruments?

Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 5:55 pm
by ppg_wavecomputer
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.



Stephen