MATRIXSYNTH: DecTalk Express External Speech Synthesizer

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

DecTalk Express External Speech Synthesizer

via this auction
"DECtalk Express, external speech synthesizer, sound module used by composers, scientists, sound designers and disabled people users include Dialogic, Pink Floyd, Kraftwerk, Stephen Hawking, ATT and others.



DECtalk PC is a speech synthesizer card designed to translate ASCII text files into synthesized speech output. From there, it can get interesting.



This is an external Dectalk Speech Synthesizer useable with virtually every computer PC, Mac Linux et al... This is considered to be the gold standard, the best and most well known of all the hardware speech synthesizers. There are a number of on board standard voices including "Perfect Paul” the default voice of the unit, appearing on the Momentary Lapse of Reason album. There are 8 basic presets plus a user defineable voice : Perfect Paul, Huge Harry, Betty , Rita, Ursula, Kit ,Dennis, Frank, NV (user defined). There are voices in British English and other languages available. At one time the software and voices were quite expensive but time and ubiquity has eroded the cost and it is an inexpensive proposition to design voices now.

This is a very programmable and playable useful board. It can be used as a musical instrument or voice output in place of a monitor. It is easily modified both input and output and the 7.2 rechargeable flat pack battery makes it completely hum and noise free. The power supply has a ferrite bead that cuts down in hf noise and some ESDI.

The DecTalk has long been a favorite of the Open Source computer community because it works easily in or out of the Windows environment (see above).

With a simple piece of software you can speak from the keyboard. If you download it's simple command set you may be able to take it to places it hasn't explored yet, or just make your work more productive. There is a community of DecTalk programmer, users out there and speech synth fans.

If you call yourself a synthesist or a sound designer and you don’t have one of these in your kit, your education is incomplete. The coolest thing about these are that they were really expensive at one time, but not anymore but you get all of the benefits of the high end development. These are not $700 items anymore , half that at best.

This unit uses DEC Connect output system. It is simply an RJ45 with the clip offset to the right. Most people just break off the clip on a standard RJ45 6 pin ethernet cable and use it without the locking clip. I will include 12 DECconnect connectors with the sale along with a DECconnect to DECconnect cable and DECconnect to RJ45 cable and I will gladly make you any length of output cable you want.

As delivered you will get A DECtalk Express, a case, power supply, 12 DECconnect RJ crimp ends, 1x DecRJ to DecRJ cable, 1x DecRJ to RJ45 cable

DescriptionDigital's DECtalk speech synthesis technology is now available in an external, portable product that allows individuals who are blind or vision-impaired to access a variety of computer systems. The DECtalk Express is the microprocessor and DSP based unit which is intended for use with "screen access" software and allows the user to hear both keyed input as well as other material displayed on the monitor screen via the natural-sounding DECtalk speech synthesis output. The serial port allows for use with a personal computer, laptop, notebook, palmtop, workstation, PC and Apple or Macintosh computer. The product can also be utilized to address text-to-speech synthesis needs requiring an industry standard serial line interface. The DECtalk Express is often said to be the best speech synthesizer on the market. Its human quality speech is clear and easy to understand. Works with many different screen access and speech programs.

Product IdentifiersBrandDigital Equipment CorpProduct LineDECtalkModelExpressMPNDTC08
Main SpecificationTypeSound ModuleEnclosure TypePlastic outerInterface TypeSerial RJ 45 network connectorSound Output ModeMono Output, Monitor Speaker on board, 001 headerConnectivity1 x audio - line-out - 1/8” mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm - 1
System RequirementsOperation System RequiredALLPlatform CompatibilityALLSoftware RequiredDrivers & UtilitiesMin Ram Required20 KBHard Drive Space Required1 MB
MiscellaneousCables Included1 xDEC Connect RJ45 12 included
DimensionsDepth7.47 in.Height1.18 in.Weight0.85 lb.Width3.54 in."

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