13
$\begingroup$

Back in the days of 1 MHz 8-bit CPU personal computers (Apple II, Atari 800, et.al.), there were software programs that could do comprehendible arbitrary text-to-speech synthesis on those PCs. What published speech synthesis algorithms might be suitable for implementation on micro-controllers with similarly limited performance and memory? (If any...)

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Don't know how they did it, but here's an allophone-to-audio IC called the SpeakerJet and here's the associated text-to-allophone generator. You might ask the folks at speakjet.com how they did it... $\endgroup$ – Kevin Vermeer Sep 22 '11 at 13:03
  • $\begingroup$ @KevinVermeer - Why didn't you post this as an answer? You would have got an upvote from me at least as it would make an excellent complement to my own answer. $\endgroup$ – Mark Booth Jul 4 '13 at 16:49
3
$\begingroup$

The methods I played with on 8-bit home computers back in the 80's involved having a small set of phonetic samples and then having the text you want to speak defined in terms of those samples.

Since I didn't know about IPA at the time, I just used two sounds per letter and allocated the short sound to lower case letters and long sounds to the uppercase. This did leave quite a few gaps though, o for /ɒ/ (hot) and O for /oʊ/ (open) were easy, but /uː/ (the oo sound in moon) couldn't be represented in my system, which was a problem for me, given my name (/buːð/ rhymes with /smuːð/, try them in itinerariums phoneme synthesis web page).

These days, you could do much more clever stuff. For a start you could use lookup techniques to translate known words in orthographic text into your known phonetic symbols, and for unknown words, implementing Phonics as an algorithm should do a reasonable job.

After getting your phonetic stream, you could then probably use DMA techniques to stream individual phoneme samples from memory to your DAC, with less overhead to your CPU.

| improve this answer | |
$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.