View Full Version : Text to Speech Voices

02-10-2007, 10:13 PM

I got my ER-1 program up and running over the last couple of days. Yesterday, I was screwing around with the Text to Speech applications of it and I find the MS Voices ultra annoying- does anyone know where there are some cool voices?


02-11-2007, 03:52 PM
I am assuming you are running windows XP.

I have done some extensive work with M$ Text-To-Speech (TTS), and unfortunately the default voices (with SAPI 5.1) are pretty crappy.

The easiest way to get a better voice to use with MS TTS is to go with a third party.

NextUp (http://www.nextup.com/TextAloud/SpeechEngine/voices.html) sells some excellent voices.

They are very inexpensive (around 35$ per voice), and very realistic.

I currently use VWPaul and VWKate. (http://sites.fastspring.com/nextup/product/neospeech)

They install very easily. Once you have installed them, you can change the default TTS voice your pc uses via the Speech Control Panel.

This can also be done programmatically, but that is another story.

Start -> Run -> Type "control speech" (no quotes) -> Enter

Or just navigate to your control panel.

Hope this helps,


02-14-2007, 10:43 PM

I do not mind those voices from Nextup.com as some are very smooth and human sounding. But I would like something that is a little more robotic, without sounding like Carl Sagan.

Also how do you get the voice recogition that comes with XP to actually recogize voices. With all the training it seems like it might recognize my voice some day at an exceptable level, but should everyone have to go through the same thing?


02-15-2007, 01:49 AM

As far as a voice that you find suitable, that is up to you to dig around and find on your own.

Just make sure what ever you come across is SAPI5.x compliant.

NextUP is the best I have come across.

As far as getting the speech recognition to be useful, there is no simple answer.

If you are a developer, we will soon be releasing a speech component library, including home automation implementation examples.

Another option is to write your own code using the SAPI SDK5.1.

Otherwise, your only option is a third party application like DragonNaturally Speaking.

Good luck.

02-15-2007, 10:02 AM
If you do come across and use any other voices and/or speech engines, we'd love to hear about it!

02-15-2007, 11:18 PM

I will look around for sure.

No I am not a developer. I have always been interested in Robotics, but never really found a system that is that compatible for regular people to use. Like most people I can point and click or follow allong with basic stuff, but that is about it.

I will however, look at the Dragon Naturally Speaking Software, it looks like a great system for robotics.


02-17-2007, 06:50 PM

I downloaded and tryed that Dragon Naturally Speaking, which I think is a far better program for voice recognition then the microsoft engine that comes with XP, but and this is the but I could not get the ER-1 program to use it, as is uses whatever your default engine is. So it is back to square one.

I would appreciate any advice anyone has.


robot maker
07-21-2008, 11:13 PM
might try centralspeech and festival speech for different voices

robot maker
07-21-2008, 11:34 PM
http://www.cepstral.com/cgi-bin/company?page=news cepstal voices not central voices,sorry

07-22-2008, 12:14 AM
I use David from Cepstral for my J5.