What is Talkbox?
Talkbox was originally developed to add a wah-wah effect to a guitar by directing guitar talkbox sound to the mouth through a plastic tube. The mouth acts as a filter and changing the shape of the mouth results in a wah type effect. You may have heard guitar talkbox sound from the intro of Bon Jovi's “Livin' On A Prayer.”
When talkbox was first released, it was called by various names such as voice box, talking modulator, mouth tube, or a mouth wah. It is said the name “talkbox” was standardized by Roger Troutman of ZAPP, one of the key persons in funk talkbox history.
The very first talkbox to go out on market is said to be Kustom Electronics' “The Bag,” released in 1969. Its appearance is just like a water bottle in a bag, but this triggered other manufacturers such as Jim Dunlop and Electro Harmonix to start manufacturing talkboxes.
Kustom Electronics' “The Bag”
Talkboxers in Funk music
This web site focuses on talkboxers in Funk, R&B, and Hip Hop music. Talkbox sound in Funk, R&B and Hip Hop varies greatly from the effect-like sound of guitar talkboxes, and sounds as if the performer is actually singing.