Vocoder song week #2 : Stevie Wonder – 1-2-3 Sesame Street

November 11, 2014 2:48 am Published by

I KNOW, I KNOW. Stevie doesn’t use a vocoder, he uses a talkbox. But like whatever.

So what’s the difference between a talkbox and a vocoder? The vocoder is an effect that works on a audio signal, a talk box use the acoustic phenomena that if you form your mouth like you were talking while playing sounds into it, the sound kinda sounds like it’s saying the words. So a talk box is a speaker inside a sealed box with a tube connected to it that goes into the performer’s mouth. The sound comes out of the tube and gets the sonic character from the shape of the performers mouth. Then a microphone record the sound. The performer just form words not sing or say them.

Another way to describe it is that the box with the speaker is the vocal chords and the tube is the throat. The throat, or well tube,  is connected to the mouth. So a talk box is kind of a crude reverse engineering of how our voices work.

Check out the rest of the rad vocoder songs.

See you next week!

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