My neighbor used to blast ZAPP “More Bounce” as he took us to school in his primer’d up Impala…
We used to pop lock and break dance to “Do Wah Ditty” at the skatin’ rink…
Always wondered what the hell that tube in Roger’s mouth was on BET….
Fast forward in time…
I got that same tube in my mouth
Live on MTV with Limp Bizkit…
Live on the American Music Awards w/Kanye West…
Winning a Grammy w/Kanye West
Live on Jay Leno w/Big Boi…
Grammy Nominated for Talkbox 2011…
I never imagined all that growin’ up in Portland, Oregon…
But here I am…
Can’t Stop Now!
So without further ado… here’s an example of what a talkbox can do!
May I present to you:
Bosko – Talkbox King
01-What A Talkbox Can Do (Intro).mp3
02-Let Me Tell You Somethin-T.I. feat. Bosko.mp3
03-Machine Gun Funk-Notorious BIG feat. Bosko.mp3
04-Shutterbugg-Big Boi feat. Bosko.mp3
05-Sunshine-Lil Flip feat. Bosko.mp3
06-Workout Plan-Kanye West feat. Bosko.mp3
07-World Wide-Tupac feat. Bosko.mp3
08-Walktadis-D.B.A. feat. Bosko.mp3
09-Crushed-Limp Bizkit feat. Bosko.mp3
10-Enjoy-Tech N9ne feat. Bosko.mp3
11-Slow It Down-Drake feat. Bosko.mp3
12-In Love Again-Young Dro feat. Bosko.mp3
13-May be the One-Al-One feat.Bosko.mp3
14-She’s Mine-Bosko feat. E40 & Cool Nutz.mp3
15-Love In This Club (Usher)-Bosko.mp3
16-Always On My Mind (Acapella)-Bosko.mp3
Skee-skirt…fast forward to the 80’s Funk Era. The seminal group Zapp featuring Roger Troutman (former Parliment Funkadelic member) created a new sound using the talkbox and the Moog Synthesizer. Five hit albums (including the Mega-Hit “More Bounce to the Ounce”) later, the Zapp/Roger Troutman style talkbox sound remains the standard by which all talkbox artists are judged! Countless Hip-Hop Records sampled Roger and “More Bounce” in particular. The song “California Love” featuring Tupac and Roger on talkbox stands as one of the biggest rap records of all time by perhaps the biggest rap artist of all time. So throw up ya W’s on that one. West siyeeeeeed!
There’s a short list of notable “talkbox artists” who picked up the torch in the nineties including Teddy Riley (Guy 1990), Devante Swing (Jodeci 1993), Dj Quik (“Safe & Sound” 1995), Battle Cat 1995, and yours truly Bosko (E40’s “Sprinkle Me Remix” 1995).
DJ Fingazz “Cali in the Summertime”2004. T-Pain and the Auto-Tune effect dominated 2006 to 2009, but has become over saturated , creating movement back to the talkbox sound. The most notable release in 2010 utilizing the talkbox is Big Boi (OutKast) feat. Bosko “Shutterbugg”.
Big Boi (OutKast) feat. Bosko “Shutterbugg”
I’m putting together the best of my talk box hits for your inspiration and listening pleasure Bosko Talkbox King album coming soon….
Naturally when the red hot Production team Tha Bizness needed talkbox for a new Drake record at Hot Beats Studio Atlanta, GA they contacted the “Talkbox King.” In the lab Drake bobbed his head to my single “Just Do You.” Then, he played me a bunch of bangin’ unreleased cuts and I played him some new Bosko songs/tracks. With both of us being singers and rappers, we were on the same page and the musical vibe was redonculous! So I did what I do, put it down ElectroSpit style (my brand of signature Talkbox sound), Drizzy did what he does, and voilà… magic! Be on the lookout for future collabs! Listen/Download here:! Talkbox King Mixtape coming soon!
The Talkbox on the other hand is an instrument you play like a guitar or a keyboard and it adds a richer more authentic element to the words (IMHO) than a simple one dementional robot voice effect. The roots of the talkbox are in the artificial larynx used by patients who couldn’t talk.
The first commercial talkbox was developed by Bob Heil in 1969. The talkbox is not for play or the weak of heart! It is essentially a speaker in a box connected to a tube that is inserted into one’s mouth. A guitar or a keyboard synthesizer is then used to make a melody that is played through the speaker into the tube and into the musicians mouth. The musician then mouths the words without making a sound, thereby “singing” in the melody he is playing on the keyboard synthesizer or guitar. Did you catch all that? No doubt, this takes skill and coordination between playing the keyboard and rhythmically mouthing the words, and it is thus no surprise that one of the first popular records using the talkbox was by one of my all time favorites, the mega talented Stevie Wonder in 1972 (i know…hella long ago) on the classic “Music of My Mind” album. Peter Frampton heard the effect on Stevie’s album and borrowed it for his Mega-Hit “Do You Feel”, which still stands as the most popular use of the talkbox on record, although I’m workin on breakin’ that record. 🙂
Stevie Wonder gets down on the talbox 1972!
“I Love Having You Around”/”Pappa Was a Rolling Stone”
Lately the first thing people say when they hear one of my records is “Damn…you freak the auto-tune different than anybody!” My reply is, “I play the talkbox…not Auto-tune!” Then they say,”Ain’t it the same?” then I tell ’em, “Hell naw! Not even close!”
As a producer who’s been able to work with some of the biggest names in Hip-Hop from Drake to Kanye West, Big Boi, and T.I. by playing the Talkbox, it’s my duty to clear up the “urban myths” about the difference between the Talkbox and Auto-Tune, as well as to breakdown the best talkbox products on the market for all the aspiring talkbox artists and talkbox weekend warriors alike. I will write a series of posts to help you become more familiar with both Auto-tune and mostly Talkbox products. The posts will include free downloads, video and links to learn more or purchase the reviewed products.
Let me start by breakin it down like this: Auto-Tune is a computer program created for people who can’t sing (no disrespect to T-pain whom I’ve worked with….an amazing producer/writer and a better singer than he gets credit for). Auto-Tune does just what it’s name suggests: it automatically tunes a singers’s voice (or a rapper’s) once it’s been recorded into the computer. A “slow” Auto-Tune setting is barely noticeable, while a “fast’ setting creates the “computerized” perfectly-tuned “T-Pain” effect that is so popular. Although T-Pain is noted as the “Auto-Tune King”, my friend Sam Ward was the first to use Auto-Tune as an effect instead of just a fix for not so great singing. The song was 1998 Cher “Believe” an instant hit. The Auto-Tune effect had all but died out until T-Pain got “Sprung” in 2005 and took auto-tune and ran with it (marathon style!) making a career out of that one effect even…and I’m not mad!
Here is a link to buy Auto-Tune
Logic Audio’s built in tuning plug in produces a similar effect.
Waves also makes a great auto-tune like program called “Tune”
Can I share? I just got back from the “Shutterbug” video shoot in Atlanta! MAAAAN, what an honor… My dude Chris Carmouche(Big Boi’s Exec Producer/Engineer) hit me in the middle of the night to come lace the song a few months back at Stankonia Studios. I knew it was “that one” as soon as I heard it! Scott Storch killed the beat and Big Boi put down some instantly classic lines…Cutty brought the hook vocals and I did my ElectroSpit thang (Talkbox all throughout!) and co-wrote a bridge w/Big. Making the song was epic and to be in Atlanta shooting the video with a member of the biggest rap group of all time…priceless. Here are a few pics. I’ll be posting some video soon!
Chris Robinson was directing and he and Big Boi kept it trill with some of the thickest (and finest) birds in the Atl. The shoot was all Digital on the new RED camera so the quality was pristine!
A pair of super sexy dancers were bustin’ some contortionist routines decked out in TRON suits (like the movie). Another scene had Big in the classic 70’s Cadillac Broham.
The main scene I’m in features those puppets that are popular now (like the ones used in the Lebron and Kobe Nike commercials). I don’t want to give to much of the video away before it comes out, but as you can see the video paints a vivid picture of every line on some next level, Avatar special effects type ish!. Optical illusions, camera tricks, and various digital magic made this video one of the sauciest I’ve ever attended…did I mention the video chicks???? I was definitely takin notes! I’m not just sayin this cause I’m in the video, but I’m sure it will win some awards and be one of the best video’s of the year. Bet on it!
Excuse my excitement, but I am a Logic User since 1994 and the program just keeps getting better. The newest version came out today and includes some major enhancements. Something called “Flex Time” being the most notable IMO. I will be posting a review of the program shortly! Stay tuned