1

Hi,

I have some questions about various speech synthesizers.

1. Is there someway to get a Dectalk-version working with newer JAWS-versions? Does it exist for SAPI 5 or something?
2. I know Dectalk can sings, because I've found some files with Dectalk-songs, but how to do it?
3. I've also found a guide to make Eloquence singing, but it doesn't work for me on that Eloquence build in JAWS. What do I need to get it working?
4. I've heard some funny Microsoft Sam things, but I think, they sound different. Do there exist various versions of Microsoft Sam sounding different?
5. Can I, in some way, make a speech synthesizer change it's rate within a line on text?

Regards:
Aksel Christoffersen

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1. No, there is no longer a way to make dectalk work with later versions of jaws. Try dectalk for nvda as that still works.
2. Dectalk singing involves assigning phonetic sounds to various pitches, 1 to 37 for a three octave range, and time values measured in milliseconds. There are guides written by various folks interested in dectalk on how to make it sing.

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3 (edited by FamilyMario 2018-01-29 02:47:52)

Hi.
Here are your  answers. This may be long, so be patient.
1. Is there someway to get a Dectalk-version working with newer JAWS-versions? Does it exist for SAPI 5 or something?
As Jack stated, no, there is no longer a way to get DECtalk Access32 version 4.41 working with newer versions of JAWS, through software, that is. Hardware versions of DECtalk like the USB will work, don't know about the Express as I don't own any of these units myself. Wish I did, but alas, that wasn't meant to be. That said, if you want that classic DECtalk sound we all know and love, go with DECtalk for NVDA as that still works. There IS a SAPI5 version of DECtalk floating around, but it's based on DECtalk 4.6.4, which, it's sort of the classic DECtalk sound, but not exactly. I wouldn't advise you get it, unless you want DECtalk SAPI5 so badly and you don't care how it sounds.

2. I know Dectalk can sings, because I've found some files with Dectalk-songs, but how to do it?
Again, just like Jack stated, DECtalk singing involves assigning phonemes to pitches (from 1 to 37), or in hertz. As for guides, many folks have made guides available on making DECtalk sing. One such fellow is Snoopi Botten, who I guess you could say is a well-known DECtalk user.

3. I've also found a guide to make Eloquence singing, but it doesn't work for me on that Eloquence build in JAWS. What do I need to get it working?
On some guides, the way of making Eloquence sing is the same, but one difference across versions is the way you enter the commands to make Eloquence sing. For example, on JAWS and NVDA, it uses the backquote symbol, not to be confused with the grave accent symbol located to the left of the 1 key on the keyboard, but a different one. Don't remember how to enter it as I don't use Eloquence with NVDA though, so if someone could tell how to enter it, that would be nice. On the Android version, as well as the Eloquence speak window found on grossgang.com/tts/ the symbol to use is the grave accent, which is located to the left of the 1 key, so it would look something like this.

`vb65 `vs140 This is a test.

4. I've heard some funny Microsoft Sam things, but I think, they sound different. Do there exist various versions of Microsoft Sam sounding different?
There are two versions of Microsoft Sam that sound different in the their inflection and how they say things. This information also applies to Mike and Mary.
The first version, sometimes called Speakonian Microsoft Sam or SAPI4 Microsoft Sam, was bundled with Windows 2000. You can get this version working on newer versions of Windows by installing the SAPI4 runtime and the Microsoft TTS engine version 4.0, and this will get you that version of Sam. The only drawback to this is that you can't use it with many things. The only things you can use it with, as far as I know, are screen readers, TTS programs like Balabolka, and many old or early versions of software, such as old versions of programs from APH. The reason why it's called Speakonian Microsoft Sam is because the program Speakonia only can use SAPI4 voices, meaning that you can use Microsoft Sam in that program as well. This version is very popular on YouTube. Emphasis on very popular.
The second version, called SAPI5 Microsoft Sam or Natural Microsoft Sam by some, is the version that was bundled with Windows XP. You'll rarely find this version used on YouTube, if at all. You can get this version of Sam working on anything newer than XP if you install WinXP_TTS_Voices, which you can get from grossgang.com/tts/ under the SAPI voices directory.

5. Can I, in some way, make a speech synthesizer change it's rate within a line on text?
Yes, you can. Depending on the synth in question, the way of accessing the rate command is different. For example, Eloquence uses the tag `vs, MacinTalk uses the tag [[rate xx]], and so on. Keep in mind that, due to how screen readers handle punctuation, these commands may not work without modifications.

Hello. He-he-he-he-have some respect and don't spoil the game. It's impossible to have mysteries nowadays, because of nosy people like you. Please keep all of this between us. If you post it online, I won't make any more secrets. No one will be impressed. It will be your fault! He-he-he-he-ha-he-he-ha-he-he.
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The correct key for eloquence is supposed to be the grave accent, or as it is actually called the backquote. NVDA has a builtin replacement that replaces this character, but then it encodes to ansi. This opens up a small wormhole due to the nature of compatibility tables, the unicode character with hex code 2035, known by the dictionary as a reversed prime, somehow backward maps to the backquote symbol, AKA grave. So to type this symbol you would have to get a program that supports the alt x notation which is most things that aren't notepad, things like ms word and skype etc should work, type 2035, and hit alt x right after that before hitting space. This will encode the symbol. You can then copy it. Or, if you ahve a number pad on your keyboard, you can turn on num lock, hold down alt, and type the decimal number 8245 and then release the alt key, this should type it out. You will want to make sure whatever document you're typing this too is encoded in at least UTF-8 or it will break.

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An anomaly in the matrix. An error in existence. A being who cannot get inside the goddamn box! A.K.A. Me.

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Thank you so mutch.

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Ok, now, I've some more questions, about speech synthesizers:

1. I've making some fun with the so called roflcopter with Microsoft Sam, but is there a command to speed the voice up within a line of text, so I for example can make a sound of a roflcopter speeding up?
2. In speakonia, is there a way to make a single audio file with various voices reading text after each other, or do I just have to make each file it self?

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Hi.
1. If you are using the Microsoft SAPI5 version of Microsoft Sam, the command to change speed in the middle of a block of text is <rate absspeed="X">, where X represents any number, with 0 being the default, where negative values make the rate slower, and positive values make the speech rate faster. If using the SAPI4 version, the command to control the rate of speech is \Spd=X\, where X represents a value in words per minute.
2. I don't know if Speakonia supports these control tags, as I don't use it (I use Balabolka), you can try the SAPI4 control tag to change the voice. For example, you could try \Vce=Speaker=Sam\This is a test \Vce=Speaker=Mike\of changing voices.
Please note that some speech engines MAY or MAY NOT support this tag.

Hello. He-he-he-he-have some respect and don't spoil the game. It's impossible to have mysteries nowadays, because of nosy people like you. Please keep all of this between us. If you post it online, I won't make any more secrets. No one will be impressed. It will be your fault! He-he-he-he-ha-he-he-ha-he-he.
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Hi,

Thanks for the information, but I can't get any of the two examples with speed working.

Here is, what I've done:
In the SAPI 5-example, I choose Microsoft Sam in JAWS, opened a word-document, and typed this:
<rate absspeed="5">soisoisoisoi
<rate absspeed="-5">soisoisoisoi
I then pressed insert+a, but it just reads the symbols and text with no change in speed.

In the SAPI 4 example, I opened Speakonia, and typed this:
\Spd=100\soisoisoi
\Spd=50\soisoisoi

I then pressed f5 to play it, but with same result as in the SAPI 5 example.

What do I do wrong?

Best regards:
Aksel Christoffersen

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9

The reason it doesn't work in JAWS is because, as I said, screen readers have certain punctuation filters that block out certain commands from being entered within SAPI, the only ones that don't do that are System Access and NVDA (using the embedded comand block remover NVDA add-on from Jake Gross' webste under the Synthesizers for NVDA section).

Hello. He-he-he-he-have some respect and don't spoil the game. It's impossible to have mysteries nowadays, because of nosy people like you. Please keep all of this between us. If you post it online, I won't make any more secrets. No one will be impressed. It will be your fault! He-he-he-he-ha-he-he-ha-he-he.
- abc_123_a.ogg, Undertale v1.000 -

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10

Ok, I've now downloaded this Balabolka app, and boath commands works in it. But a last question: How low and high can I set the values?

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It doesn't really matter how high or low, but do keep in mind that most engines have a certain range. Going over those ranges really doesn't do anything. Try experimenting. More SAPI4 control tags and SAPI5 XML tags are found in the Help manual.

Hello. He-he-he-he-have some respect and don't spoil the game. It's impossible to have mysteries nowadays, because of nosy people like you. Please keep all of this between us. If you post it online, I won't make any more secrets. No one will be impressed. It will be your fault! He-he-he-he-ha-he-he-ha-he-he.
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12

Ok, thank you so mutch, but do you know, what's the default value for the SAPI 4 version, if it's words minute?

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No, I don't.

Hello. He-he-he-he-have some respect and don't spoil the game. It's impossible to have mysteries nowadays, because of nosy people like you. Please keep all of this between us. If you post it online, I won't make any more secrets. No one will be impressed. It will be your fault! He-he-he-he-ha-he-he-ha-he-he.
- abc_123_a.ogg, Undertale v1.000 -

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14

Ok, but again, thank you so mutch for all the help!

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A quick note. I am the person who modified the NVDA SAPI 4, 5, and ESpeak drivers to not block embedded commands. Just be aware that if you choose to use that addon, it is using outdated drivers, I don't remember what version the drivers are based off exactly, likely pre 2016.2, and may break if NVDA makes any code changes in the future. And no, I didn't write the drivers, I modified the native drivers in NVDA. I should have clarified that when I released the addon, but I guess it's too late now. smile

It's a toaster!

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16

And now... I have a new question.

I recently hear a strange voice, in a YouTube video called Microsoft Sam in the war against Mac Alex. In the video, the voice is called Michael. Does anyone know, which voice it is, and where I can get it?
The link to the video is here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ug9NLwXIFcE

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17

Well, now I actualy found out. It was the L&H SAPI 5 voices, they aren't just showing up in JAWS.

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18

Well, now I have some other questions about tts, and this time about Mac voices.

1. Is there some commands to adjust speed, pitch etc. in text, like the xml-tags for SAPI 5, and how can I use them, if there are commands?
2. I've tried the program Babble for mac, but I can't find out, how to change pitch and intonation. How do I do that?

Regards: Aksel Christoffersen

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19 (edited by akse0435 2018-05-24 21:06:00)

Hi, again, again.

Ok, now, I have a question for SAPI, and one for Balabolka.
My question to SAPI is:
My SAPI-installation seems to be broken in some way, because:
1. When I install the eloq61.exe file, found a grossgang.com right here, , which installs Eloquence on the computer, I get the german Eloquence voice in my SAPI 5 voices, and nothing else, but when I install this on any other computer, I'll get the american english voice in SAPI5, and all voices in all languages in SAPI4. Also, when I try it with NVDA, I get the american english voice in SAPI 5, in steath of the german voice, but still not the SAPI 4 voices. What's wrong? Is there a solution, or have I just missed to mutch around with my SAPI? I've tried the FixRegistry Tool, found here, to repair it, with no luk. I get an error.

My questioon to Balabolka is:
Is there some way in Balabolka to change the pronunciation of a word, like a lexicon or something? I have searched the menues, but haven't found anything.

Thanks allready for the help, and sorry I'm asking so many questions.

Best regards:
Aksel Christoffersen

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20

In regards to your question about changing speech parameters in text for the Mac.
The syntax is two left brackets, [[, the parameter and the value then two right brackets, E.G. [[pbas 31]]. The parameters are pbas, pitch, rate, speaking rate, volm, volume, and pmod, pitch modulation/intonation.

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21

There's also the MacinTalk Tune format, but that's a different story for a different topic.
In regards to both of your questions regarding SAPI and Balabolka, that's pretty strange. I unfortunately can't help you as I don't know how your SAPI is set up. There is a way to change pronunciation in Balabolka, but as I don't even use that function, I don't know how that works.

Hello. He-he-he-he-have some respect and don't spoil the game. It's impossible to have mysteries nowadays, because of nosy people like you. Please keep all of this between us. If you post it online, I won't make any more secrets. No one will be impressed. It will be your fault! He-he-he-he-ha-he-he-ha-he-he.
- abc_123_a.ogg, Undertale v1.000 -

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22

Ok, thanks. Maybe I'll write back here, if I find a solution for my SAPI problem.

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23

Hi slender.

Thanks fo the mac commands. What are the minimum and maximum numbers for this parameters?

Best regards:
Aksel Christoffersen

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24

Hi again,

Now, I've resolvet my problem with SAPI Eloquence (see post 19). The reason, why it mixed up was, that I've also installed the Eloquence SAPI 4 runtime cd for version 5.0, to test the difference between Eloquence 5 SAPI 4 and Eloquence 6.1 SAPI4, and the computer couldn't handle that. So, when I uninstalled the 5.0 runtime, and reinstalled Eloquence 6.1, it all worked fine. I can't beleeve, that I doesn't thought about that before. Oh, I'm stupid. big_smile

Best regards:
Aksel Christoffersen

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25 (edited by Slender 2018-05-27 16:35:18)

@23, The ranges for parameters are:
Rate: 0.0 to 65535.999 (50 to 500 words according to the Apple developer documentation).
Pitch: 0.000 to 127.000 (though in my experience the range is more like 31 to 79 and the singing voices start to cut out at 78.44).
Pmod: range not specified and I haven't experimented enough with the parameter to say for certain what the range is in MacinTalk.

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