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I've been to a few concerts (and recognize the same sound in recorded music) where the singer sings into a microphone and plays chords on a keyboard. The sound captured by the microphone isn't played back directly; it is modified according to the notes played on the keyboard. I've noticed the microphone is usually rather small (unlike traditional stage microphones). The resulting sound seems to be a blend between voice and synth. Usually you can distinguish the words being said if you listen. The effect is somewhat similar to a sonovox. What is this instrument called?

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It's called a vocoder. [1][2]

And though they are completely different concepts, some people put the Talkbox in the same category. But you're surely aware of it given that you linked to the Wikipedia page in your question.

  • Yeah I was sure they were different. I meant that the resulting effect naïvely sounds like a talkbox or sonovox. – intcreator Nov 14 '17 at 19:04

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