Before when I wanted my voice to sound like a roboticized rapper's I just had Kanye West serve as my ventriloquist. But over the past couple years he's sort of turned into an egomaniacal fame whore and no longer seems to remember he owes me this service. In fact, the last time I asked him to help a bro out he tried to charge me $1.2 million. And when I said, OK, but can you at least be there by 7?, he got all huffy and snapped, You should be honored by my lateness. That I would even show up to this fake shit. So I said, Fine! Go ahead go nuts, go ape shit. In your stupid pastel and your Bape shit. The next thing I know, he's taking my $1.2 million, and then making $300 bazillion off a cut he wrote about our conversation. Except he took out the part where I called his clothes stupid. I was left with $25 to my name and a flat tenor where I used to have a robot voice.
Kyle Scheele and his house of the absurd, Ridiculo.us, have launched the WeeWow on Kickstarter. It's a long tube and block attachment that converts the iPhones 4, 4s, and 5 into a talk box. You know, the really expensive devices people used before the advent of the insanely expensive Auto-Tune technology to warp their voices into sounding like a piece of electronic machinery. When attached to an iPhone the WeeWow directs its speaker's sound through the tube, which users then place in their mouths to create warped tones with their lips and teeth. Past Talk Box Fan Club Presidents include musicians Peter Frampton, Stevie Wonder, Sly & the Family Stone, Steppenwolf, Steely Dan, Joe Walsh, Bon Jovi, and the Foo Fighters. I think Peter Frampton is also the club's creator, as when Scheele wrote to me about the WeeWow he described it as what would happen if Frampton and the iPhone had a lovechild.
If you'd like to hear how the WeeWow sounds singing the ABCs, promoting its own purchase, and talking jabberwocky, check out the video. And if you don't want to hear how the WeeWow sounds, but are ever considering putting together a Kickstarter video of your own, check out the video too. I've seen about 627 Kickstarter videos at this point, and have trouble playing most of them for more than 15 seconds. I watched all 2:26 of Scheele's--about the perfect length--without once nodding off or splitting my time between it and a syndicated episode of The King of Queens. In addition to clearly defining and demonstrating the WeeWow, the video is engaging, clever, and despite every effort to turn his voice into one, Scheele himself manages not to come off like a lifeless robot reading lines.
WeeWow adapters' voice alteration powers do come at a price, but one significantly lower than...hmmm...the $1 million old-school talk box setups cost. WeeWow backers will receive a single unit for $25. Excellent. $25 is exactly how much post-Kanye money I have! In addition to enabling funky sound output, the device can also collaborate with iPhone sound-making apps--synthesizers, guitars, pianos--as well as a real guitar, with the right cable plug-in. Its campaign runs through March 15, 2013.
November 2013 Update: WeeWow funding was unsuccessful, and at present it does not appear that its creators have proceeded with producing it for the public.