Voice Box - electronic harmonizer

Scott says:

It's a demo of my dad's new Voice Box (harmonizer/vocoder) as performed by a pair of really talented folks I found via YouTube (I found Jack and Nataly when researching user-generated videos for the new EHX site).

The Voice Box's harmonizer is vaguely like Songsmith, in that you feed it a mic and an instrument, and it can then create multipart vocal harmony -- the vocoder is totally different, it give more of that robotic man-machine sound.

Voice Box Demo by Jack Conte and Nataly Dawn


  1. Thanks kindly for posting the Voice Box to BB! I definitely recommend Jack and Nataly and their joint project, Pomplamoose Music — here’s their YouTube channels:


    I first found Jack and Nataly when looking for user-generated videos for the new Electro-Harmonix site: http://www.ehx.com

    If you’re not familiar with Electro-Harmonix, we’ve been producing music gear since 1968, as used by everybody from Jimi Hendrix to Pink Floyd, George Clinton, The Police, U2, REM, Nirvana, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead, Gnarls Barkley, The White Stripes, etc. You’re almost certainly familiar with the EHX sound. Back in 1968, guitar amps were intentionally engineered to keep players from experimenting with distorted sounds — And EHX helped to change all that.

    Thanks! -Scott

  2. Wait – did these talented folks steal your dad’s voicebox, and then post a youtube video of it? Talented, maybe, but not sneaky.

  3. I’d also refer anyone interested over to an effects pedal made by BOSS. HR-Harmonist. It’s not really available anymore, but it allowed users to dial in two harmonies to be generated to whatever note was played. You could dial in some delay on those harmonies to make it a little more authentic. You could adjust the volume of each harmony.

  4. I just don’t think I can trust anything that’s not DRM encoded. How will I know I’m not breaking the law when I create my own music?

  5. I want to buy one just so I can run my favorite music through it and have them sung by Soundwave instead.

  6. How unutterably awesome.

    Makes me want to start making my own (admittedly crappy) music all over again.

    Very nicely made video as well by the way – and I speak from professional experience…

  7. Is this actually impressive, or is it impressive like an electric toothbrush is impressive? Is it anything more than–once again–simply substituting money for music?

  8. @Barry Foy

    I am surprised anyone would think this piece of equipment would make the music, and not the people using it.

    No one should ever think gear equals or replaces talent or creativity, it is merely a tool, a means to an end.

  9. This demo is good because someone talented is creating a really catchy drum beat, and because some talented people are feeding the box the chords the vocoder is locking to.

    Most interestingly, the singer is the LEAST important part of this whole production. They only have to be able to repeat a short phrase in time to the music. The box is replacing all of the musical tones in their “singing” with the synth and guitar notes that some talented person is laying down.

    So in a way, it’s the direct opposite of SongSmith, which assumes that the singer is so talented that the song will survive even with, as VideoGum says, “horrible muzak” and a completely robotic drum line.

    In other words, Garbage In, Garbage Out.

  10. The Voice Box’s harmonizer is vaguely like Songsmith, in that you feed it a mic and an instrument, and it can then create multipart vocal harmony.

    Songsmith is vaguely like the brown note, in that it produces sounds with unforseen lactational qualities.

    No seriously, the electro harmonics voice box is nothing like songsmith. Songsmith is a clever piece of software that times and tunes a set of rhythms and chords to a monophonic input. It doesn’t create vocal harmonies.
    This voicebox is an effects unit. One of the effects in the voicebox is the infamous vocoder. Anyway, the bottomline is that the voicebox alters sound while songsmith accompanies it.

  11. watch it sonny!

    Angry then grew Wainamoinen,
    Wrathful waxed, and fiercely frowning,
    Self-composed he broke his silence,
    And began his wondrous singing.
    Sang he not the tales of childhood,
    Children’s nonsense, wit of women,
    Sang he rather bearded heroes,
    That the children never heard of,
    That the boys and maidens knew not
    Known but half by bride and bridegroom,
    Known in part by many heroes,
    In these mournful days of evil,
    Evil times our race befallen.
    Grandly sang wise Wainamoinen,
    Till the copper-bearing mountains,
    And the flinty rocks and ledges
    Heard his magic tones and trembled;
    Mountain cliffs were torn to pieces,
    All the ocean heaved and tumbled;
    And the distant hills re-echoed.
    Lo! the boastful Youkahainen
    Is transfixed in silent wonder,
    And his sledge with golden trimmings
    Floats like brushwood on the billows;
    Sings his braces into reed-grass,
    Sings his reins to twigs of willow,
    And to shrubs his golden cross-bench.
    Lo! his birch-whip, pearl-enameled,
    Floats a reed upon the border;
    Lo! his steed with golden forehead,
    Stands a statue on the waters;
    Hames and traces are as fir-boughs,
    And his collar, straw and sea-grass.
    Still the minstrel sings enchantment,
    Sings his sword with golden handle,
    Sings it into gleam of lightning,
    Hangs it in the sky above him;
    Sings his cross-bow, gaily painted,
    To a rainbow o’er the ocean;
    Sings his quick and feathered arrows
    Into hawks and screaming eagles;
    Sings his dog with bended muzzle,
    Into block of stone beside him;
    Sings his cap from off his forehead,
    Sings it into wreaths of vapor;
    From his hands he sings his gauntlets
    Into rushes on the waters;
    Sings his vesture, purple-colored,
    Into white clouds in the heavens;
    Sings his girdle, set with jewels,
    Into twinkling stars around him;
    And alas! for Youkahainen,
    Sings him into deeps of quick-sand;
    Ever deeper, deeper, deeper,
    In his torture, sinks the wizard,
    To his belt in mud and water.
    Now it was that Youkahainen
    Comprehended but too clearly
    What his folly, what the end was,
    Of the journey he had ventured,
    Vainly he had undertaken
    For the glory of a contest
    With the grand, old Wainamoinen.

    When at last young Youkahainen,
    Pohyola’s old and sorry stripling,
    Strives his best to move his right foot,
    But alas! the foot obeys not;
    When he strives to move his left foot,
    Lo! he finds it turned to flint-stone.

    Thereupon sad Youkahainen,
    In the deeps of desperation,
    And in earnest supplication,
    Thus addresses Wainamoinen:
    “O thou wise and worthy minstrel,
    Thou the only true, magician,
    Cease I pray thee thine enchantment,.
    Only turn away thy magic,
    Let me leave this slough of horror,
    Loose me from this stony prison,
    Free me from this killing torment,
    I will pay a golden ransom.”

  12. I was watching with only passing interest when the video hit the 2:00 mark and they plugged it into the guitar. My mind kind of melted a little. To quote Keanu Reeves: “Woah.”

  13. Kind of nice it has acoustic pitch recognition in as a source….

    Other than that, not much different than the DigiTech Studio Vocalist (requires MIDI controls or onboard UI for harmony definitions — can’t use a guitar, for example) I’ve been using for around 15 years. Fun toys, all.

  14. #4, JDOLLAK:

    You could dial in some delay on those harmonies to make it a little more authentic.

    Can one buy an effects unit that just makes things sound more ‘authentic’? I’d love to have a pedal with just one dial marked ‘authenticity’ (that goes up to 11, of course).

  15. Very cool… started watching videos by Jack Conte and Nataly on Youtube, I’m impressed!

    Worth exploring…

    Jack Conte – Yeah Yeah Yeah

  16. I wish to further spread my concept of the uncanny vally of fake harmonies, which is why im totally drooling over a product like this, yet detest similar products from tc-heli and antares.

  17. Is this an attempt by EHX to go viral? C’mon overyone knows the most musical vocoders where made in the 1970s. These are digital toys.

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