Synthetic Sound Labs Recreates 1939 VODER Talking Machine

Voder_Doug_Slocum_SSL_Bell_LaboratoriesThe VODER “talking machine,” originally created by Bell Laboratories for the 1939 New York World’s Fair and San Francisco Exhibitions, has been recreated using modern components made by Synthetic Sound Labs (SSL), under contract by Nokia Bell Labs.

The new VODER is going to be played later this month as part of the Human Digital Orchestra during the (invitation-only) First Shannon Conference on the Future of the Information Age at Bell Labs in New Jersey.  The conference is being billed as a celebration of the centennial of Claude Shannon’s birth, whose early information-theory concepts “form the basis of many of today’s digital computing and transmission techniques.” The VODER will be played by SSL’s founder, Doug Slocum.
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Roger Troutman (Zapp) On The Talk Box

This video captures a 1987 Video Soul interview with Roger Troutman of the Zapp Band.

The discussion focuses on Troutman’s use of synthesizers with a ‘talk box’ or ‘voice box’.

The talk box is an effects pedal that basically plays whatever sound you feed into it through a plastic tube that you put into your mouth. This directs the sound of your instrument into your mouth, so that you can ‘speak’ using the sound of any instrument.

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MKAdapter Lets You Use Any Mic With Your MicroKorg Vocoder


The MKAdapter is a new adapter that lets you attach any standard microphone gooseneck directly on your Korg MicroKorg, without needing to set up a separate mic stand.

Combining the MKAdapter with a gooseneck lets you use a high-quality mic to control the MicroKorg’s vocoder.  Continue reading