Talk Box You can’t blame Peter Frampton. Someone had to get them first and make their signature sound in the talk box. It’s like T-Pain with auto-tuned sound or Daft Punk with their modulated robot thing. Any vocal effect is destined to fall into the hands of its artist so that they can recognize their sound instantly. You heard the talk box and your mind went straight to Mr. Added to Frampton’s name. You can’t buy this kind of branding!
Best talk box for the guitar
When you are choosing a talk box for guitar, your decision depends on your approach. Do you value a more plug-and-play, less maintenance experience? Or are you willing to endure a headache in the name of loudness?
Take MXR M222 if you are in first class. I’m always happy to recommend MXR paddles, because I’ve had a positive experience with them personally, not to mention I’ve said very few negative things about them. This brand should absolutely not be mixed with MXL, with which I have only had bad experiences. (MXL may seem like a chore when choosing a name!) MXR has been making high-quality and respected paddles for decades, and their recent campaign in the talk box is no exception.
The MXR M222 has its own small amps and speakers. This means that comparatively speaking, the setup is a pinch. With a more traditional thematic talk box design, you need to patch the box between the amp and its own speakers. A self-contained amp means you don’t actually need a simple guitar amp. Compromise, though, controls depth and tone. The M222 has a 5W amp and small speakers – you can’t get the same level of tone from it using your own amp. That said, it certainly got a pro-level sound, and would do more than work on stage or in the studio!
At a similar price point, but for a different approach, try Dunlop’s Heil. It is the current incarnation of the classic model, used in many talk box hits. The players speak heel high, are durable and well made as well as sound great. Get ready for a more complex and high-maintenance setup it needs to be patched between your amp and speakers, which can be very complicated if you play with a combo amp. But as I mentioned earlier, it lends itself to a much deeper and more satisfying tone.
Best Microphone for Talk Box
Choosing a microphone for your talk box performance is a highly overlooked aspect of the process. After all, the microphone is the final point that actually captures performance. Whether you’re recording or playing live, you’re leaving an important part of the equation if you don’t consider your mic choice!
Many players, especially for live performances, take the attitude that the vocal mic you are using will work. And it’s true. Sure SM5 is so legendary and ubiquitous; there is a better chance that it will somehow be the default choice of venue or rehearsal studio. And it will fix the work, but it is not the final solution. Since it’s a dynamic mic, it’s not very detailed or precise. Great for rocks, but there are better options if you expect to capture more subtle details of your face.
Shure SM57, cousin of SM58, as well as a popular choice. These two mics are cheap and indestructible and reliable. The SM57 is designed for instruments, and is popular in guitar cabs, where the SM58 is designed for vocals. So you can use SM58 if you expect to hear more voices in your talk box, or SM57 if you want more guitar / instrumental sounds.
At a higher price point, the Sennheiser e906 is worth considering. This mic is also very popular in guitar cabs and it is also a dynamic mic. But it has a fuller, more aggressive and more detailed sound than the SM57. Considering the talk box is responsible for thinning your tone, and can also make it a bit harsh, this mic is a great approach.
Shure Beta 87a
Another method is to use a condenser mic. The Shur Beta 87 is a bit expensive, but it’s a (relatively) rare idea for a handheld vocal condenser mic. The sound is much more detailed and crisp than anyone would expect to get a dynamic mic, so if you want a really clear and precise sound for your talk box, check it out!
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