Intro: Build a Talk Box Inside a Toilet Plunger
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
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...
Step 1: Disassemble, Remove Speaker, Solder, Reassble
Most Powered computer speakers have a left speaker that detaches and the right speaker has
the electronics etc.
You don't need the left speaker.
Disassemble the right Speaker and detach the speaker from the speaker case.
Most of these speakers don't have long enough wires attached to the speaker itself for you to
leave the speaker outside of the speaker case once it's removed.
Since this is probably the case you can cut the wires that attach to the speaker terminals,
and solder some longer wires from the circuit board.. to the speaker.
Find a hole in the speaker case (or drill one... i didn't have a drill so I used some scissors as a AWL and that did the trick).
Run your wires that Attach to the speaker out of that hole and then solder them to your speaker.
Then put the speaker back together so its less of a mess.
At this point the speaker should be functional.. but the speaker itself will be external to the speaker enclosure.
Step 2: Use Duct Tape to Protect Your Soldering
The Soldering on your speaker, and speaker itself is pretty delicate... so it's a good idea put duct tape over the back of the speaker and wires to protect them from being damaged.
(don't put tape anywhere on the front of the speaker or it will mess up the sound).
Step 3: Drill Hole in Plumbing Cap and Insert Vinyl Hose
Take your plumbing cap.. and a drill (or I just used scissors as an awl).
Make a hole in the middle of the top of the plumbing cap.
You want to make the hole a bit smaller that your vinyl hose, this is so you won't have to glue the tube into the hole.
The tube is pliable enough that once the hole is just a little smaller than the hose you should be able to force the tube in (lots of twisting and arm power).
Make sure the tube only goes into the cap about 1/2 and inch to 3/4s of an inch.
(you don't want the tube to puncture the speaker when the parts are put together).
Step 4: Put Speaker in Plunger, Then Plumbing Cap Over Speaker/Into Plunger
Take your speaker, place it int he bottom of the plunger so the speaker is facing out towards you.
Take your plumbing cap and hose, and slide the plumbing cap into the plunger until it's int he plunger as far as it will go without puncturing the speaker.
Step 5: Plug It In, Turn It On, and Test It
Plug the speaker into a power outlet, and plug the audio cable into something that produces audio. (an mp3 player, a synthesizer.. or a toy musical keyboard like the one I used)
Once you hear the sound coming from the Vinyl Hose you can put the hose in your mouth and move your mouth around like you're saying words without actually speaking.
You'll sort of be able to hear the words you're mouthing. This produces a wha-wha effect on music/synthesizers/guitars etc...
The more you exaggerate your mouth movements the more it will sound like actual words.
For best results used a Musical Keyboard or Software/Hardware Synth that Makes a loud Gritty Saw Tooth WAVE
Some good VST Plugins to try running through your talk box are the Delay LlamaThe Oberon , and the Devil Inside Synth
Step 6: Additional Info
The Casio Pt-1 Keyboard that I used in the video is modified or circuit bent.
Normally the pitch of the keyboard wouldn't be able to go that low, but by soldering some paper brads to the Tuning knob
on the back of the keyboard... and then leading another paper brad to another point on the motherboard i'm able to pitch it down significantly. (like a whammy bar).
The Casio Pt-1 probably isn't the best keyboard to use with a talk box unless you modify it as I did.