Speech Adapter info thread

Hardware questions and modifications

Speech Adapter info thread

Postby Trixter » Mon Oct 21, 2013 4:38 pm

I thought it was worth having a thread for Speech Adapter info, so here is that thread :)

I was able to confirm that Bouncy Bee Learns Letters uses the speech adapter. Much more surprisingly, it does so with custom speech data! So I've shot video of it, which you can view at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rf6qFunwmBQ . Just a quick partial demo, not the full "experience" which has more custom speech data. The custom speech data playback is mixed with internal ROM data playback, which they got away with because they clearly used the same voice actor as the internal ROM to record the custom data :-) Sneaky!

It should be possible to compress your own speech to output through the adapter. A Windows 3.1 TI speech compression program, some tech data, and other goodies are here: ftp://ftp.oldskool.org/pub/misc/Hardwar ... %20Adapter Also included is a copy of Bouncy Bee. I have not yet tried the custom compression program, but there is a tutorial on using it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVDE-6TtmFQ

I found the speech adapter tech ref but have not yet scanned it; it's on my to-do list. My copy is a very bad xerox with curled pages, double-sided printing, and 2:1 reduction, so it will take some massaging. Unfortunately the speech adapter ROM listing is nearly illegible :-( but the key info needed to drive the adapter appears intact.
You're all insane and trying to steal my magic bag!
Trixter
 
Posts: 495
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2008 12:00 am
Location: Illinois, USA

Re: Speech Adapter info thread

Postby southernbob » Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:56 pm

The PCJR Speech Adapter is an interesting device. A long time ago I wrote a program that spoke the first part
of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address using the words contained in the Speech Adapter ROM and for
those words not in the ROM I recorded using the mode (CSxx I forget the recording mode name)
and when the program was run it spoke the Address using both vocabularies . It didn’t sound
the best but it worked. I always wanted to use the TI method of recording but could not find
any software to do it. At one time I was going to buy a TI Speak and Spell unit to see if I could
use the ROM from that unit, but never did. One other thing I did was update my program (different
program) that spoke the time using the ROM vocabulary to sound the time and it also played the
Westminster Chimes at the Hour, 1/4 hour, 1/2 hour, 3/4 hour. It used the same technique to
sound the chimes (recorded in CSxx mode).

The PCJR Speech Adapter Tech Ref was never released so all that is available is the often copied
version.

IBM also released a Speech Adapter for the regular PC Line (XT.AT, etc) which is almost a
‘Carbon Copy’ (at least the guts) of the PCJR adapter. A lot of times I would use that to
run my programs as I could assemble and then run the program on the same machine.
I believe I have a good listing for that ROM but is packed away in a box as is most of my PCJR stuff.
southernbob
 
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2008 10:36 am

Re: Speech Adapter info thread

Postby Trixter » Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:47 am

The "regular adapter" is likely the IBM PS/2 Speech Adapter which I also have; it's an ISA card with a speaker breakout box. A few Access games (Countdown, Links, Amazon) claim to support it, but I haven't verified if they actually work. (If they do, it means they were likely converting the 6-bit PCM to 1-bit CVSD runtime to output through the adapter, since the adapter doesn't have a true "raw" PCM mode.)
You're all insane and trying to steal my magic bag!
Trixter
 
Posts: 495
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2008 12:00 am
Location: Illinois, USA

Re: Speech Adapter info thread

Postby Brutman » Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:58 am

I've been looking for the speech adapter technical reference adapter for a long, long time, and I'd really like to see it. The speech adapter internal components are probably far more capable than what the speech adapter package provides, and it might be trivial to make a few modifications to improve the function.

I'm also interested in the speech compression so that I can write utilities for it. It's easy enough to get the speech adapter to record and playback, but I'd like to develop a codec so that I can encode files elsewhere and play them back on the machine. (A few years ago I went looking for the details and did not find much. The TI application notes were a bit beyond me at the time.)
Brutman
Site Admin
 
Posts: 911
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:03 pm

Re: Speech Adapter info thread

Postby Trixter » Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:47 am

I owe you the pages and I'll try to work on those soon. As for an encoder, I posted a link to one above. I haven't tried it yet, but I see no reason why it wouldn't work.

The Speech Adapter tech ref does not include information on how to encode audio, just how to drive the adapter.
You're all insane and trying to steal my magic bag!
Trixter
 
Posts: 495
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2008 12:00 am
Location: Illinois, USA

Re: Speech Adapter info thread

Postby southernbob » Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:45 am

For those of you who have the speech adapter and want a quick way to play back short
messages using the words in the ROM, I enclose a description of how to set up a file
with the words using DEBUG and then play them back from a BAT file or CMD line.
Attachments
Adding small Speech programs via DEBUG.txt
(1.94 KiB) Downloaded 254 times
southernbob
 
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2008 10:36 am

Re: Speech Adapter info thread

Postby Vorticon » Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:03 pm

I think you'll find this video interesting regarding how to convert speech to LPC. It's intended audience is the TI 99/4A crowd, but the software is Qbox Pro, an old 16bit Win 3.0 program.

http://youtu.be/wVDE-6TtmFQ
Vorticon
 
Posts: 276
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 7:25 am

Re: Speech Adapter info thread

Postby Trixter » Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:29 pm

Yes, this is the software and video I link to in my first post.
You're all insane and trying to steal my magic bag!
Trixter
 
Posts: 495
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2008 12:00 am
Location: Illinois, USA

Re: Speech Adapter info thread

Postby Vorticon » Thu Oct 31, 2013 7:30 am

Ah sorry. I did not see that. I do have a copy of the program if anybody wants it.
Vorticon
 
Posts: 276
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 7:25 am

Re: Speech Adapter info thread

Postby Trixter » Sun Dec 01, 2013 9:43 pm

At long last, I've converted both copies of the speech adapter tech ref I found:

ftp://ftp.oldskool.org/pub/misc/Hardwar ... 20Adapter/

One is "short" which means it only had roughly 21 pages, 17 of which were in the xerox I got. The other is "long" and, even though it ALSO says it is the "first edition", has 70 pages including a full BIOS listing. However, please keep in mind that both xeroxes I have are quite degraded and the "long" techref's BIOS listing and circuit diagrams are only about 50% readable. I did the best I could in cleaning up both versions, and they're not the best quality, but both should have enough information (BIOS calls, etc.) to drive the adapter sufficiently.

With the program I also have in that same directory, you can encode speech to texas instruments LPC speech data. So, it should be possible to record your own voice, convert to LPC mode, and play it back! LPC mode is "true" synthesis; LPC speech takes up roughly 135 bytes per second; 30 seconds takes up 4K. With this rate, you could fit almost 45 minutes of speech on a 360K floppy :-)
You're all insane and trying to steal my magic bag!
Trixter
 
Posts: 495
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2008 12:00 am
Location: Illinois, USA

Next

Return to PCjr Hardware

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron