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Talking Pedal offers tube-free Talk Box-like guitar effect

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September 25, 2012

The Talking Pedal guitar effects unit emulates the vowel sounds of a human voice in a simi...

The Talking Pedal guitar effects unit emulates the vowel sounds of a human voice in a similar way to the Heli Talk Box, but without the long tube running from the mouth to the pedal

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Although I grew up surrounded by the big hair rock of Bon Jovi and the like, my first introduction to the Talk Box guitar effect was not Living on a Prayer but Joe Walsh's Rocky Mountain Way over a decade earlier, followed a little later by Peter Frampton's epic Do You Feel Like We Do. Although it continues to be used by a good many guitar gods to this day, the long tube that invariably runs up a microphone stand to the player's mouth does make it something of a special addition to a guitarist's effects arsenal rather than a regular feature. The Talking Pedal from Electro-Harmonix does away with the tube altogether in a rocking chassis expression pedal with no moving parts.

The second release in the company's Next Step Effects line looks somewhat similar to the first, the Crying Tone wah. Rather than rocking back and forth on a hinge, the Next Step pedals feature a contoured bottom and use motion sensing technology to detect the angle relative to a calibrated rest position to apply the appropriate frequencies to the signal. As such, the pedals are free of potentiometers and physical switches like knobs or buttons.

In the case of the Talking Pedal, the guitar signal is passed through two bandpass analog filters to produce something that emulates the vowel sounds of a human voice. It's similar to what the Heli Talk Box used by Joe Walsh or Peter Frampton does, but without requiring the user to bite down on a tube running from their mouth to the pedal.

There's also a fixed fuzz gain setting that's blended into the sound using a thumb wheel control on the side of the unit, which adds a pretty mean growl at full tilt.

The Talking Pedal has been priced at US$121.20 and comes shipped with a 9V battery, but it also accepts power from an optional AC adapter.

Product page: Talking Pedal

The following video shows something of what the pedal is capable of.

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag.   All articles by Paul Ridden
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1 Comment

It's a unique sound and quite useable, but it doesn't really sound exactly like the Talk Box

Tom Phoghat Sobieski
25th September, 2012 @ 12:13 pm PDT
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