“Golden Throat” talk box from the golden age

Scott from Electro-Harmonix doesn’t just blog about their newer FX boxes. He also digs up videos of old products that EHX no longer makes like the “Golden Throat” talk box, a box that sounds like a vocoder, but wasn’t, as it “physically pumped audio (not an electric signanl) up a tube, into the player’s mouth, to then be shaped and captured via an external microphone.”

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Bad ass. (Several versions were released.)

Roger Troutman’s group Zapp famously used a Golden Throat for the lead vocal line of “California Love”, which was remade in 1995 by 2Pac and Dr. Dre with Troutman rerecording the vocals. “California Love” was itself a remake of sorts, with the foundation lick being lifted whole cloth from Joe Cocker’s 1972 track “Woman to Woman“. [Sample below.]

In the above video, a cornball French dude named “Mo’ Cheeze” puts the Golden Throat off to hilariously right-on effect. (Fun experiment: Close your eyes, pretend you’re listening to a track from the early ’90s, then open your eyes to gaze on the smooze leer of Mssr. Cheeze.)

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Other “Golden Throats” that are not this thing: throat lozenge; RCA Victrola

RelatedThe History of the Robot Voice from Kraftwerk to Kanye [Gearcrave]

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6 Responses to “Golden Throat” talk box from the golden age

  1. timquinn says:

    ‘scuse me for being, um, old, but isn’t this the thing Peter Frampton used in his big hits back in the 70s? Played his guitar through it.

    I am not going to think about this hard enough to actually remember one. It would end up haunting my brain for days.

  2. Chris Brewer says:

    David Gilmour used it on at least two Pink Floyd tracks – Pigs (Three Different Ones) from Animals and Keep Talking from The Division Bell.

  3. Dungeonbrownies says:

    yea, ive been looking up stuff and plan on building a small, weak home made talk box.

    apparently its so easy most people can.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, Peter Frampton used it (“Do You Fell Like We Do”) and also Joe Walsh if I can remember. But even earlier, Pete Drake in the early 60′s used a talkbox on his steel guitar (“Forever”), and yet even earlier, back in the early 40′s, people like Alvino Rey – among others – used the “Sonovox” which was roughly based on the same principle. Hope I helped gather your memories ;-)

  5. dculberson says:

    Mssr. Cheeze is So Ruff, So Tuff!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Yeah. And it’s so easy you can even build a really powerful one and it’ll be less hassle than trying to build those crapy “ghetto talkboxes”. The reward is worth the effort. Truly.

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