Picture of Build a Talk box inside a Toilet Plunger
With a soldering iron, a pair of computer speakers, and some plumbing equipment (including a Toilet Plunger). You can build a pretty good Talk Box (a talk box is what artists like Daft Punk use to get that Robot Voice Effect on songs like Around the World, and Harder Better Faster Stronger).

When looking for youtube videos about talk boxes I stumbled across MootBooXLe's
Video about building a Ghetto Talk box.

When Building My Ghetto talk box a came up with some improvements on the construction
and materials and decided to make my own how-to for building a better than Ghetto
talk box.

To build your Toilet Plunger talk box you will need:

A pair of mid range powered computer speakers.
A 4 ft 1/2 inch diameter vinyl hose.
A Plumbing Cap from Home Depot (the one I used was a Nibco 5817 ABS DWV Plastic Plumbing Cap that was just a little larger than the naked speaker).
A Rubber Toilet Plunger (I've used both a red and black plunger and they both work fine, you want to make sure that the plumbing cap fits inside the plunger very tightly and that no air escapes).
A Roll of duct tape
A musical instrument to plug the speakers into.
A soldering Iron
And Finally basic tools for disassembling things... screw driver, Pliers etc...
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tteckel3 years ago
Awesome ! gonna try it out right now !
that's gonna make it in our Zappa cover band. I play Rhodes and Hammond, i'm sure they'll fit with it.
thanks, man
mshipman4 years ago
do you have anything on how to mod a key board to get a pitch bend like the instructions on circuit bending?
prodo1234 years ago
Gross, let's suck on a tube that's attached to something that touched my poop.
CCOTTER2474 years ago
Or you could use heat-shrink to make it look more pro.
Can this be used for a guitar?
static4 years ago
Drilling a hole in the pipe cap to tun the speaker wire though and tying a knot in it for a strain relief before soldering the wire to the speaker terminals would be best in the long run for anyone duplicating this project.
Just gotta ask: Was it a new or used plunger?
a plunger is that thing that makes it so your toilet can flush... and new is when it hasnt been well used... and used is when it has been stuck in your toilet after something else that is clogging up the toilet... when i make one... i will be using a new one for some health reasons... hope this helps.
C'mon you could wash it. Don't be so squeamish.
One may as well buy a new one to use. Because you going to have to buy new one to do the job of any used one taken out of service to make this toy. Unless a plunger was stuck in the variety box bought at an auction, and you have a surplus plunger in the home .
you can wash it all you want. but you are basically inhailing the air from that place. so unless you stick it in bleach over night you will not be able to get it as clean as it can be, and even then you will be lucky.
but... The new plunger could off-gas all sorts of plasticisers and other nasties, on account of it not being made from food-grade plastic, (just one of the reasons to not brew beer in a garbage can, even if it's a new one). Even food-grade plastic is held somewhat suspect these days. Anyhow, you'd be inhaling that new plastic smell, with all it's hormone disrupting goodness. Then again, the used plunger could be deteriorating and releasing more gunk, especially if subjected to harsh cleansers. I guess the safe thing to do would be to do nothing and just stare blankly at the walls for a while...
i agree. in fact, it's much too dangerous to even go outside these days. home delivery is a must for the truly safety conscious.
but.. staying inside, one could fall victim to deadly radon gas, or sick building syndrome, or even the dreaded hantavirus (depending on the number of mouses in your houses) Or I suppose a person could open a window from time to time, and maybe invest in a mousetrap or pussycat.
too much work.
I agree. I probably should have just stayed in the womb. That whole gestation thing was kind of a drag too, in retrospect. Shoulda eschewed fertilization entirely, and opted for permanent ova-hood. But then I'd only be half here; or rather 0.375 here, as I'm only about three quarters here already. (Some might argue I'm neither here nor there)... Say, did you know that Google has a built in calculator?
not to be petty, but you aren't really inhaling air from the plunger. if air were exiting the tube, there would be a partial vacuum inside the plunger. you are sending sound through the tube by vibrating the air. it's like shaking an elongated slinky. the movement transmits but the actual metal of the slinky does not. either way, thoroughly scrubbed wouldn't kill you if you were too drunk to drive to the hardware store.
High five for science!
Thanks for the how to, awesome plunger idea. Gonna try it out, any advice on recording the finished sound? Just do it near a mic? Any way to mount a mic to that hose? Thanks again! (btw, love your around the world)
What you want to do is get a microphone and a mic stand. Tape the tube to the side of the mic so that about 2 inches of the tube go into your mouth. You can record through the mic.
fatboy1065 years ago
would this work with a guitar??
teslafan1006 years ago
i also have the casio pt-1 and alot other mini casios.
Izokay7 years ago
Great Instructable! I found that sound leaked from the speaker still so I wrapped the plunger/PCV cap part with a blanket. This helped a lot.
KI6WTX Izokay6 years ago
when all else fails use ductape!
danell7 years ago
Making one now =D going to buy a tube tomorrow :P
danell danell7 years ago
i have made one now but it sucked =( The "box" sounds to much and not a lot of sound are coming out from the tube but I'm using a plastic box instead if a plumbing cap (because I'm from Sweden and i can't figure out what the hell a plumbing cap is xD ) Please explain for me so i can go and buy one =)
wat is a sarinar cord when he said heres the materials wat did he say
Gakki danell6 years ago
Visit a hardware store with a PVC section.
bth8 danell7 years ago
its the cap u put on pvc pipe
gnr0077 years ago
how could you hook that up to a guitar amp?
you don't.
Not directly at least. You see, the talk box works by sending the guitar's sound through a tube. The tube goes in your mouth and you make effects like the "talking guitar" with your mouth. You then need a microphone to pick up what comes out of your mouth. and with a microphone comes another amp... you could exclude the microphone but then all the sound will come from your mouth.

This talk box doesn't have enough gain to be used with a guitar without some amplification to bring it up to what a computer speaker might see(+- 2v), so you would have to hook you guitar up to an amp and use the headphones jack to connect the talk box

see also Wikipedia
The guitar/keyboard does the same thing as the voice box with the help of the talk box. It makes a tone in your mouth that your voice modulates to make harsh sounds that we can perceive as talking.
rule001 gnr0077 years ago
sure! simply stick the talkbox-jack into the headphone-out of your guitar amp. (might need one of dose pieces that make it fit,...you know...small jack in/big jack out thingy) u can really hook up anything to this! (i even did it with my E-drumkit) BTW; great instructable! big thumbs up! ..and thanks a lot!
Brother_D7 years ago
thats pimpin
Gid7 years ago
Yeah thats really quite cool. could you do the same thing with a plastic box instead of a toilet plunger? how vital is it to make the vacuum?
schimmi7 years ago
chimo much?
Axlzero4517 years ago
That is called a vocoder. The ones that manipulate guitars are called talk boxes.
Good instructable, but in reply to Axlzero451, Talk boxes and vocoders can both be used to effect the sound of guitars, keyboards, or any other sound source. This instructable is a talk box, which sends the sound into your mouth, so you can shape the sound with your mouth. A vocoder is all electronic. These are what Daft Punk uses, not the talk box. The voice and guitar/keyboard sound are combined as electric signals. In a vocoder the voice signal from a microphone is split into different frequencies, and the volume level of each frequency band determines how much of the same band of the carrier (instrument) signal gets passed through to the output. PAiA makes a vocoder kit, and The Electrix Warp Factory is a commercial unit. There are also some KORG synths (keyboards) and guitar effects pedals like the higher-end DigiTech pedals have vocoders built in.
Oh. Sorry. It looked like the pitch was manipulated by the keyboard. Whoops.
Bropagopa7 years ago
This is an awesome project. I am making one (of my own design with your help for the outline) for a friend of mine who is a recording artist that's way into psychedelic indie music. I've got one question, however: do you think attaching an enclosure to the driver would improve with the possible volume problem? With the computer speakers I salvaged for this project I ended up with a pretty nice sub box. The box has a massive port which might impede with the higher frequencies used with the instrument, so I might just plug it up and use it for this project if I don't find another use for it.
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