Archive for the ‘1’ Category

Speech Synthesis (draft)

March 29, 2010

Update: I happened to publish this when I was intending to save a draft. I’ll trim it down a bit nd keep it here, write a more interesting text another time. No undo, no surrender!

I think the first song I heard a computer sing in was Cylob’s ‘Rewind the Track’ (1998). That was pretty cool. Well, as it turns out, Max Mathews made this 26 years earlier. What the…? In fact, it is easier to make a computer sing than talk. “Talkboxes” were around before computers, but were pretty hard to handle, because of all the tonality of human talk. Voder!

We can distinguish two main types of making machines talk: constructed (consisting of short sampled phonems) and synthesized (the sounds are generated by software). Here’s a little list of low-fi sounding speech.

1962: bicycle for two @ v/a: Music For Mathematics
1963: misc bell stuff @ v/a: first philadelphia computer music festival
1963: misc bell stuff @ some 7″ release?
1980: Stratovox (arcade game, using SN76477) first?
1983: Star Wars (Atari arcade game, using TMS5220-chip)
1983: Discs of Tron (Atari arcade game, using TMS5220-chip)
1985: Indiana Jones (Atari arcade game, using TMS5220-chip)
1985: VironCybernet’s homemade
1990s: Dr.Sbaitso
2010: NES-singing using the (external) FDS-channel here + utube

Demoscene Speech Synthesises

  • Viznut – Who Cares (C64-demo 2004) sampled phonems, ie – run on 6581!
  • Dalezy – Error23 (C64-song 2005)


  • the Apple speaks, by Bob Bishop (software or tutorial?) here (1979)
  • Commodore Speech Demo (c64 1984)
  • MacInTalk (Mac 1984)
  • SAM (c64)
  • Atari 520ST Speech Synthesizer (here)
  • Say in AmigaOS (1985)
  • Speech Demo 4, among others (c64 1985)
  • Speech Demo Kennedy Approach (c64)
  • Audiosculpture (Amiga/Atari 1999x)
  • Dalek Speech, GUI for SAM (c64, 1994)
  • LSDj (Gameboy 200x)
  • RADWAR Speech Synth (c64, 2007)
  • C64 SPO256 Speech Emulation (c64, 2008)


  • Speech Plus Inc for misc PCs (1984) youtube
  • Synthetiseur Vocal for C64. French and rather articulate. info + mp3
  • Currah Microspeech (SP0256)


  • Alih – Chase That Feeling (C64-demo 2009). Two channels of singing – the vocoder-approach. info
  • Frantic – Birdburner (C64-thing 2010). Replaying bird speech with triangle voice on/off. Yes, birds talk too, you specieist.

A Connoisseur and a Casionova

December 13, 2009

Chip or not? Two nice small videos by oneedo, one featuring music by the legendary Australian Casio rocker Casionova. It’s music made with the soundchips of keyboards, so that would make it chipmusic. He he, Hegel. He produced an album in a chicken farm in 2005, but unfortunately I can’t seem to find the photos anymore. There were other good aussie keyboard freaks back in the days, such as Reverse Engineers and Toydeath. There was a micro_hq in Melbourne also, and today there’s Game Boy Australia. Hello!

Coincidence, Homage or Theft?

June 12, 2009

Over at CSDb there have been some new discoveries about sampling/covering C64-music. What would you call these?

Anggune – Seize The Moment (2009). Uses the same key and mostly the same notes as in Rob Hubbards track for International Karate. Watch youtube clips here and here. What makes it troublesome to me is that it could have been a coincidence (it is not the most elaborate piece of music?), but more importantly that Hubbard borrowed the theme from Ryuichi Sakamoto & David Sylvian (youtube). I’ve decided not to add this to the plagiarism page. Seems like Anggune is most similar to Sakamoto & Sylvian after all. :)

Abe Duque – Champagne Days, Cocaine Nights (2003). Extensively samples the C64-tune Knight Tyme by David Whittaker. Excerpt from Duque’s tune here. According to discogs credits are in the notes of the record. Hmm, well. Added to the plagiarism page, although I would more call it sampling than plagiarising.

Harmonic 313 – Cyclotron C64sid (2009?). This is apparently a new artist on the Warp roster, and he has made this mash-up that contains samples from video games. It is pretty difficult to spot the originals though – BMX Kidz and Gods probably, Arkanoid most definitely. But the point is maybe that this 1 minute song reaks of “sampling aesthetics”. It is meant to sound fragmented and eclectic, and the sources of the samples are either hard or irrelevant to spot (since it’s only snippets). The aura referenced is 80s videogames in general, not specific ones. In short, this is what I would call fair use.

2.0 Dub Brains

May 1, 2009

Sometimes it feels like all this 2.0 web stuff just makes you lazy and only keep up with your usual RSS-feeds. Hm, so I need your help to keep up with Metrodub, which I found out about today at 8BC. Right now there are two dubstep-ish tracks by Minikomi. Coming up next is the Japanese Shex, who happens to be one of my favourite artists! It is playful, non-aggressive chaos-music , and with very tasty bits of chippery here and there. So stay tuned, and tune me in too, and drop out the 2.0!

For your weekend needs, please tune in to The Brain which is dj absurdities involving the french mastermind Puyo Puyo. Hello.