When massive pop/rock band Bastille connected with super producer Ryan Tedder to create a better, faster, stronger sound for their new single about living in a video game, they settled on the talkbox as the best way to capture the feeling. However, in the recording process they discovered traditional talkbox with a tube and fast lyrics don’t mix. Enter the ElectroSpit Tubeless Talkbox!
Bastille keyboard tech Diashun J reached out to me via DM on Instagram to let me know he had proposed using the ElectroSpit talkbox to Kyle and Dan of Bastille and that they loved the idea. They sent me an early version of Distorted Light Beams and ordered a pair of ElectroSpit ESX-1 Tubeless talkboxes (VIP version). I loved the song on first listen, but instantly understood how the fast and intricate hook would be nearly impossible to pronounce with a tube in your mouth!
Once they received the ESX-1 VIPs we had a video call to go over some tips. It’s always best to start with the ElectroSpit Talkbox Synth App first. That way you have the perfect sound and the perfect volume level to start. I showed Kyle how to find the perfect position on his neck and how to drop his tongue for the best sound.
Kyle quickly got the hang of it and was ready to connect it to his keyboard synth. I sent him some of my favorite Massive patches and my signature Logic Pro X talkbox synth patch to use as a starting point.
The last thing was mic placement. Even when budget is not an issue, I recommend either the Telefunken M80 or the Shure Beta 57a dynamic mics. Using a Dynamic mics with the mic touching or nearly touching your mouth gives you the best sound, clearest words, and best low frequency response.
Kyle took everything from their VIP 1 on 1 video call and added his own special magic to create what you hear on their hit single “Distorted Light Beam”! It generally takes years for new talkboxers to learn to pronounce words clearly with the tube and many people never get to a level where the words sound clear. Thankfully, with the ElectroSpit ESX-1, years were cut down to hours and Kyle got the pronunciation perfect!
Bastille is now performing the song around the world and last week they played the ElectroSpit ESX-1 Tubeless talkbox live for 35k people at the Latitude festival in the UK. Look out for Bastille coming to a city near you soon!
If you need to record your own complicated talkbox parts here are some tricks you can use to get it right even if you are not a virtuoso keyboardist like Kyle or Mr. Talkbox!
You can record the midi keyboard part in your DAW, even at a slower tempo if necessary. You can program the harmony parts as necessary. Then you can record each track separately, routing the synth directly to your ElectroSpit ESX-1 from the headphone jack of your computer and recording the sound with a dynamic mic into your interface as you would any other vocals. Don’t bother doubling any parts, because without the human pitch variation, stacking the same note rarely sounds good. Add effects and pan to taste. I like to add an EQ boost at 4.5kHz for clarity, a little chorus to thicken, and a little reverb and delay to make it big. We re-created the ElectroSpit parts from DLB in the video below to give you an example of how you can do your own complex talkbox part!
You can get more ElectroSpit Talkbox tips like these and more at ElectroSpit.com/start/ and ElectroSpit.com/learn-talkbox/
If you want to make your talkbox words clear and you don’t already have an ElectroSpit ESX-1 Tubeless Talkbox, what are you waiting for? Let’s gooo!!!Buy Now
If you already own an ESX-1 and want to get a VIP 1 on 1 master class video chat with Bosko (me!) contact us via the support link.
You can watch the the full behind the scenes making of Distorted Light Beam below.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Author Bosko Kante is an award winning Music Producer, Mechanical Engineer, and the talkbox artist behind “The New Work Out Plan” by Kanye West from the Grammy Winning Album College Drop Out, J. Cole “Work Out”, Big Boi “Shutterbugg” and Dua Lipa “Levitating” as well as co-founder of ElectroSpit and inventor of the ElectroSpit ESX-1 Tubeless Talkbox!