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.

Video Summary:

Roger Troutman (November 29, 1951 — April 25, 1999) was the lead singer of the band Zapp who helped spearhead the Funk movement and heavily influenced West Coast hip hop due to the scene’s heavy sampling of his music over the years. Troutman was well known for his use of the talkbox, a device that is connected to an instrument (frequently a keyboard) to create different vocal effects.

Roger used a custom-made talkbox—the Electro Harmonix “Golden Throat,” as well as a Yamaha DX100 FM synthesizer. As both lead singer of Zapp and in his subsequent solo releases, he scored a bevy of funk and R&B hits throughout the 1980s.

via BeyeZee, modularsquqare

10 thoughts on “Roger Troutman (Zapp) On The Talk Box

  1. Humor, humility and TALENT!
    A slice of the past (the golden age) watching an innovative and truly gifted person… I must admit I had tears in my eyes.

  2. I spent 3 weeks in 1988 in Disney World with this guy named Roger opening for us. I had dinner with him every night. About 2 years ago I found out it was THAT Roger. I’m an idiot. Think of what a 3 week master class with him would have done for me.

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