Like its older sibling, this new Banshee excels at dirty, higher-gain talk box tones, and screams through the included sound tube with more than enough lungpower to rattle the mercury out of your molars. And while I was excited that the Banshee 2’s cool “To Amp” setting would allow me to continue to hear my guitar through my amp while the talk box is engaged—hip!— another new feature surprisingly stole the show: the effects loop. These two jacks allow you to bathe your talk box tones in wild effects that are only active when the talk box is. (Tip: To put the same effects in your guitar’s standard signal chain instead of running them through the talk box, simply switch the Banshee 2’s EFX Loop button to the down position.)
The limitless number of new sounds you can create by shaping heavily effected guitar tones with your mouth is crazy inspiring. I had a blast generating everything from evil robot voices to vocalized Kevin Shields-style soundscapes— all via noisy filter treatments, infinite delays, backwards phrases, looped licks, and other effects run loudly through my cheeks and gums. Personally, the extra mic and stand, bulletproof monitor mix, and regular Listerine baths for the rubber hose (to keep that thing at least vaguely sterile) that gigging with a talk box requires might prevent the Banshee 2 from becoming a permanent part of my stage rig. But from this point forward, the polymorphic sound shaper will be getting so much use in my home studio it might as well be bolted to the floor.