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How can I make an old-school Sonovox? Answered

 Not the one with the tube- I mean the one with the speakers on the throat. Haven't found anything on the net, other than that damn commercial.



7 years ago

I had a request to solve the "mystery" of how Sparky the Talking Piano worked and discovered the Sonovox. In viewing film clips I realized that it was limited in two ways by the technological limitations of the day. First, the speakers that were pressed against the voice-box were large and probably heavy (They look like the old microphones harmonica players are so fond of.) necessitating the use of 2 hands to hold them in place when it's used and secondly, the bandwidth limits imposed by the fact that sounds had to penetrate the skin and throat structure, so only midrange sounds could pass. (Bass could theoretically, if the speaker could deliver it, but it's unlikely that those at the time could) I took it upon myself to build a 21st century sonovox to overcome these limitations. I've built an initial prototype which I believe will solve the first problem by utilizing some medium size diaphragm headphone drivers which utilize rare earth magnets so they are very thin and light weight. I've mounted four of these, two on each side of the throat into thin flat rigid mounts and wired them into a stereo pair. This assembly I secured to a lightly elastic stretch bandage with a velcro closure so the user can wrap it around his/her neck, secure the velcro and have his/her hands free to play musical instrument or perform other function while the lightweight speakers are held in place ready for use at any time. I have not tested this setup yet but plan to test it shortly. My second stage will be to mic the person who is wearing the sonovox and then use part of the output of the microphone amp to drive a gain controlling circuit in another amplifier which will pass only the high frequency portion of the original signal sent to the sonovox. I will then sum the outputs to create a full range sonovox. ( I hope.) Since this is all a project with no plans for commercialization, I can't put much money or time into it. Besides, I work 7 days a week already, and that doesn't leave an awful lot of spare time. If any techies wish to discuss this project I'll be happy to furnish a phone number.

Looks to me like the last link in your list is the key. Instead of attaching a tube to the horn driver and putting it into a foot pedal box, you just mount the driver into a smaller box (Altoids tin?) that you can hold up to your throat. Bang, zoom, done. Old-school Sonovox.

If you were to do that, that wouldn't be a sonovox. That would be a talbox which is different in that you have a tube in your mouth modulating the input source, but a sonovox is closer to an artificial larynx. How it worked was that you had a speaker with flat plates instead of a cone to resonate the sound, instead, your throat was the resonator, and it sounded more natural when you spoke, and it is a lot clearer.

That's what I said, replace the mouth tube with a flat box like an Altoids tin that would transfer the vibration from the cone driver to your throat. If you don't think it would work, that's cool - I haven't tried it so I don't know. But it wouldn't be a talkbox because there would be no mouth tube.