on June 14, 2006
I bought this talkbox from Musicians friend here in Kansas city and I must say I love it. No tricky set up. You just simply plug in and play your instrument. I am a keyboard player and it makes my Yamaha DX100 sound amazingly great. I like the effects that you can do with the box. In the manual it is also explained very well about setting up. If you were to read the Rocktron description, it says that you can't distroy the driver. I have even spoken to a gentlemen at the company and he has said that he has turned up his box to the maximum volume. There is one let down in this review I do want to mention. I understand that guitarists have been using this effect. That's fine. I have no problem with that. But what about us keyboardists? Professional, and or hobbiests? Everyone is looking at this and saying that this can only be hooked up to a guitar, or bass. Wrong wrong wrong! This is also a talkbox for a keyboard. I mean sure, Roger Troutman, and Roger Troutman II have had different talkbox sounds, but, Roger Troutman II used the Rocktron when he recorded the second coming in 2000. So, don't look at this box just for guitarists, look at this box for keyboardists too!
on December 26, 2005
This is one of the BEST Stompboxes I have ever used!
Forget every Wah Pedal, 'cause you can do some really impossible things!
Not like the Heil Talkbox or the Framtone Talkbox, the Rocktron is Active wich means you can use it like a Stompbox and you don't have to plug it between your amp and your Cab!
With a little bit of practice and training you will be able to change your Guitar/Keyboard sound by 100%!!!!
on June 12, 2012
I love this thing, I bought it a few days ago, arrived sooner than expected, works great! it's extremely convenient for a bedroom player like me to have the built in amp to play with. If you have never used a talk box before, here's some info that I would've found useful:
yes, it comes with a power supply and tubing
It comes with everything you need besides 1 instrument cable and 1 guitar that you need to plug and play
you don't need an amp, unless some of the song you will be playing is going to be non-talkbox
you DO NOT need a mic, unless you are going to need it REALLY loud
you will need some way to have the tubing by your mouth, people usually use a mic stand but I taped a dowel rod diagonally to the side of my amp because I'm too cheap to buy a real mic stand: it works fine.
DEFINITELY RECOMMEND THIS TALK BOX
on June 7, 2016
This is my first talk box. I bought it to work with both my guitar and synth. And was worried because I had seen a video or two on Youtube saying they couldn't get the cool "talkbox" sound with the Banshee. And the first day I used it, I agreed! I hated it and was about to send it back. But then the next day I backed off all of the inputs, turning them way down to like a speaking level, and then really enunciated my mouth movements and VIOLA! It worked! And sounds great and phat and all that - I love it!
It does take a little bit of practice, but most cool things do. Hang in there :)
This review is for the Banshee 2 version.
My band decided to cover some Bon Jovi songs, including Living on a prayer. I tried to use my Crybaby wah to play the part but lets face it, there is just no substitute for the talkbox! I've never used a talkbox before this one and I chose it for the ability to pass thru to an amp at the same time which sounded like a great idea and I wasn't sure how I was going to put it in my signal chain (I'm still playing with some options). Currently, I'm using it stand alone on a separate B channel (that I switch to with a ABY switch, because it seems to eat some tone in the thru mode. I also have 2 separate rigs for studio and live, and I wanted a more consistent sound when the talkbox is on (trying to keep pedals away from the front of the banshee). So living by itself for now seems to be the best thing.
For those new to talkboxes, I'll explain how the Banshee works (which is also very similar to Dunlop MXR Talkbox):
The sound from your guitar (with or without pedals) goes into the Banshee input. The Banshee has a builtin amplifier with volume, tone and gain/drive controls which powers a small speaker. The sound is piped thru the tube which is mounted adjacent to a vocal microphone (I use an SM57 because it is difficult to get the tube near the input of a SM58 style). The tube can be either inside your mouth or just pointed in your open mouth which you will use to shape the timbre of the sound (not the note itself), thus the melody is retained (in this way it works like a wah, but different mechanism).
This particular model behaves very much like a stompbox. You have the ability to insert it (anywhere) in your signal chain (with input and output), step on the switch to turn it on which either diverts the entire signal to the Banshee internal amplifier, or in the case of the Banshee 2, you have the option for dual output to Banshee and signal pass-thru to the rest of your chain and regular amplifier (this mode is toggled with a push button).
It is noteworthy, as others have mentioned that with the Gain knob, the Banshee can get noisy (especially with single-coil use on a strat), but actually depending on how you setup the tube/mic, not much is actually picked up, so it's still fine for studio recordings. (Live is not an issue at all). With humbucker style pickups I notice it behave better (unfortunately all my humbuckers are hard-tail and I need a tremolo for the songs I play, and the humcanceling positions 2 and 4 on the strat are not "quacky" enough for me).
The box itself is very sturdy, and looks like it would easily survive a good beating. Its a little on the large side, and although I HAVE seen it mounted on pedal boards, I think many people just keep it to the side of their microphone stand. It uses its own power supply 9v AC (not DC like most stompboxes), so you can't use your pedal board power supply. No battery option.
As this was my first foray into talkbox use, I've noticed it has taken some time to get the hang of it. Since I'm only using the pedal for 1 or 2 songs, I've only focused on those (and Richie Sambora uses it basically the same in the Bon Jovi songs), so the sounds I've needed are very limited. With time, I've been able to get what I and my band feels is a very close approximation of Sambora's use (characteristically very deep!), with just the stand alone Banshee (that is, no additional pedals, just my Fender American Stratocaster into the Banshee). I find the builtin gain, tone and volume control to be of decent enough quality to not need any drive pedals before the Banshee. I think it would be nice to have a little reverb in addition (which my mic amplifier doesn't handle), so I am thinking of adding a reverb pedal before the Banshee at some point, but I'm satisfied with how it's working now.
Very small issue, but I wish Rocktron would still use the black tube, as I find the clear tube to be really ugly. I'm mean seriously, the talkbox is a cool sound and fun to play, but is arguably one of the most uncool and unpleasant guitar moves to watch. Of course this is just my opinion and I totally understand that others may not share that view.
In the end, I'm very happy with the Banshee. I currently wonder if I would have been just fine with the Version 1 (rather than the 2) because I'm not using the effects loop or even the amp thru feature. But this could change in the future.
5 stars! Guaranteed to be fun!
on April 29, 2013
The Rocktron Banshee 2 is so easy to use... You'll be talking in a matter of minutes! That means that you can get to work on your style much sooner than you think. Right out of the box, you will be able to "mouth" the vowels and other sounds.You will sound like a funky wah-wah pedal. (Opening the throat for more extensive sounds (like Peter Frampton, who is pretty much able to completely converse an entire conversation with his set-up) will take a lot of practice but, the encouraging aspect is that you are talking immediately! If you've been hedging on this item, take the leap!