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Voice and sound synthesis

Posted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 7:06 am
by Mohlar
Some people, I know, use advanced and sophisticated software for creating and changing sounds - so these 3 little programs won't be of much interest to them. But if you're like me (simple and unsophisticated and possibly of an age where a screenful of dials, waveforms, piano rolls and obscure buttons sends you into terminal decline), then maybe these will be worth checking out.

Balabolka (Freeware)
A text-to-speech (TTS) program which accesses whatever computer voices are installed on your system Plain text documents can be opened. On-screen text can be saved as a WAV or MP3 . Balabolka can use various versions of Microsoft Speech API (SAPI) and lets alter parameters such as rate and pitch. Ideal for anyone who wants a robot or mechanical voice, or who doesn't have a microphone attached to their system.
To hear some examples, try this link
(Press the green flag if the sound doesn’t automatically start)

Drumsynth (Freeware)
has been around for years. As it’s name suggests, it is primarily a drum sound synthesizer but it can also produce basic sound effects with time-ranges between 16ms and 10secs. This is NOT a complex soundmaker but has one particular property which might appeal to younger or less experienced users of both AS and sound-generators …. it uses a ‘node’ system which is virtually identical in appearance to the way in which vector graphics are created in AS. This program was created by the same person who made the Hammerhead Rhythm Station which, surely, everyone knows and has played with at times??

SimSynth (May be freeware)
is from the same creator and source and is a subtractive synth. It allows you to make a good range of analogue sounds which can be saved as .wav files. It is an old program (originally written for Windows 3.1) but is still very useful today for those who like tinkering with sound and creating their own effects. It gives you three oscillators which can be programmed like traditional analogue oscillators, or you can configure them to play a .wav file. It also has an LFO (Low Filter Oscillator), a filter and amplitude / oscillator / filter envelopes as well as a few simple stereo effects such as Pan, Delay, Chorus, Flange and Echo. Unlike Drumsynth, you create sounds by adjusting sliders – but you don’t need a degree in acoustics or advanced synthesis to understand it. Just one tip – after altering parameters, make sure you click on the ‘Make’ button before you click on ‘Play’.

Sound isn't one of the stronger attributes or features of AS - but even so, there may be something here for those users who don't want to undertake a degree course before experimenting with it.

Posted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 5:45 pm
by cribble
TTS is always good fun.