Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 53 / OCTOBER 1984 / PAGE 10

Speech For VIC And Atari

I recently bought an Atari 800 and VIC-20 computer. I want to know if there is any way to generate speech on them without spending a small fortune on a speech synthesizer. If it is possible, please explain how.

Mel Barries

To our knowledge there is no easy way to program speech on the VIC or Atari. Usually, special addons are necessary to accomplish this task. The S.A.M. speech program works well, although the number of words you can use at any given time is limited. Many schemes have been invented to simulate speech through software, but all of them require extensive amounts of memory. One such scheme requires a microphone and a board for entering the sounds that you want the computer to mimic. Specially designed software takes volume readings thousands of times for each word, and records the readings in RAM memory. The speech software then uses these volume changes to simulate the sound through your computer's sound chip. COVOX manufactures a good implementation of this technique for the Commodore 64.