hardware to get telephone effect

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by sammyg, Dec 15, 2006.

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  1. sammyg

    sammyg Active Member

    Dec 12, 2003
    Hi Guys,

    I recently watched Alice in chains unplugged and noticed Layne Staley using what looked like a small rectangular shaped metal device which he sang into and produced the "telephone/filtered" vocal effect straight from the unit. Its hard to see on the dvd. Does anyone know of such a thing?
    Would be really handy, I know how to get this effect after the fact but having this device would allow the talent to work with it in real time getting a better performance for the part I think.


  2. GregP

    GregP Guest

    Sorry, still of no help to you, but-- if you know how to get it after the fact, why not just let them monitor the signal in near-realtime? 3ms of latency will still give them the realtime feel.

  3. djrr3k

    djrr3k Guest

    Run it through a hardware eq, no latency. Chop the highs and low's, maybe even slam it with a compressor. Works for me. Check out any Nickelback show and you'll notice two mics (each) for Chad and Ryan, and their effect sounded great. Although I scoped their FOH rig and traveling with about 20 distressors and just about every other high end toy helps a wee bit... ha.

  4. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2005
    South Florida
    Home Page:
    It was most likely an eq or filter of some sorts.
  5. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    A friend of mine recently played me her new CD. One of the cuts had this cool funky distorted megaphone like vocal. I asked her what her producer did. She smiled at me at the piano and held up a very small "Fisher-Price" like battery operated megaphone! She pointed it at her microphone and voilà! So try the obvious?

    Truly obvious
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    Of course one can also use/utilize an FFT style software filter to create a brick wall, vertical slope filter at 300 hertz and at 3000 hertz. Everything above and below those frequencies are cut to zero, do not use "spline curves". The standard frequency response for American telephones. For some reason, in Europe, I believe their responses goes to 4000 hertz, but then there TV is better than ours also?

    We don't have to worry about NTSC or "never twice same color". NOW WE HAVE ATSC the Advanced Television Standards Committee a.k.a. "All Those Stupid Consumers". But I digress.

    If you don't have any of those filters simply take your "Mackie Board", reduce all high frequencies, reduce all low frequencies and create a nice big peak at between 1 and 2kHz. That will get you sounding like a telephone as well.

    Please deposit another $.25
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  7. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    the toy megaphone is great

    I worked with a heavy, punk, angst type of band
    ( you know -- the whole world is BLACK sort of thing )
    they used a kids toy
    it was a glow in the dark ... fluro colour thing
    so very funny and it did the trick perfectly

    telephone effect
    don't forget the hint of distortion
    as well as the filtering and the compression

    there was a Neve or Urei unit that was made specificaly for that telephone thing

    I think it was probably Neve because the article I read was about the BBC and post production
    come to think of it
    Geoff Tanner said ??? ... something ??
    must have been Neve
  8. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    Mar 18, 2001
    Sunny & warm NC
    Home Page:
    How's this for obvious...

    How 'bout snagging an old phone headset... shove a mic cable in it and guess what???

    You've got a telephone to make the telephone sound!?!

    Either that or take the "mic" element (I put quotes around the word mic because it's a real stretch and an insult to real microphones) out of said old headset and mount it in another chassis that would be more stage friendly...

  9. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2005
    I think that it was Orban ( but maybe UREI) that made a telephone simulator back in the 60s. I know that the UREI Cooper Time Cube could be used as one, too. All it was was a 50-ft. garden hose rolled up into a box with a little speaker at one end and a mic on the other!
    Pierre LaFont up in Quebec used to make a dedicated box for that, and still might.
  10. sammyg

    sammyg Active Member

    Dec 12, 2003
    thanks for the replies guys, it may well be a toy that he was using!
    All I know is that is was the right resonant sound from the word go straight from the unit, had a really great tone to it.
    Well, im off to the toy store!!! Damn, its Xmas too!! aahhhhh!!!!

    Thanks again,

  11. djrr3k

    djrr3k Guest

    I like the idea of using a Tele "Mic" to get that sound. On an ADR session I was doing one of the engineers was messing with an eq for about an hour trying to get the perfect wrong sound for a small tv with a news guy on it. during lunch I went home and brought my tv/radio in and with an fm transmitter had a small tv radio to use. Sounded horrible in a great way!

  12. Todzilla

    Todzilla Active Member

    May 12, 2003
    Neuse River Watershed
    Home Page:
    I wanted the same effect and simply yanked an old carbon crystal mic out of a phone handset, wired it into a jack and tweaked the hell out of it.

    It gave off a nasty hum, but I notch EQ'ed out of existence and it sounded wonderfully crappy.

    It's on the third verse of this tune...

    I was going for a "we're so sorry... Uncle Albert" effect, and this was just what I wanted.
  13. Angstaroo

    Angstaroo Active Member

    Jul 1, 2005
    DeKalb, IL
    Home Page:
    I generally use a Roland effect for the VS called "Phone Vox". Works great. All it does is dump about +12db at 1k, and pull -everything- else down, and brickwall it.

    For a hardware version, a radically eq'd Shure Green Bullet harmonica mic sounds pretty darn cool. Throw a little distortion on it if you like, but it smoothes out with more gain and gets pretty hard to discern.
  14. Cosme

    Cosme Guest

    The Eventide Ultraharmonizer has great Telephone and Megaphone effects
  15. sheet

    sheet Well-Known Member

    May 28, 2003
    Kansas City, KS
    Home Page:
    $10 Radio Shack headset recording interface is a good shot.
  16. stevieboy378

    stevieboy378 Guest

    I remember reading a Joe Satriani interview, and he was asked how he got the telephone vocal effect on the track "The Phone Call" on the Flying In A Blue Dream album. He replied that the studio had an old telephone handset, fitted with a 1/4" jackplug. He plugged it into the mixer and sang into it . . .
  17. sammyg

    sammyg Active Member

    Dec 12, 2003
    thanks again guys, have a good Xmas and safe new year!

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