MATRIXSYNTH: Atarivox+ Speech Synthesizer Review | Gray Defender

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Atarivox+ Speech Synthesizer Review | Gray Defender

Published on May 16, 2018 GRay Defender

via Atari Age

"The AtariVox+ is a self-contained speech/music synthesizer and memory card for the Atari 2600 and 7800, Vectrex, and other video game consoles with compatible controller ports.

The heart of the unit is the SpeakJet--an amazing chip with phonetic speech, preset sounds and a five channel music synthesizer. All of these are controlled by the console via a serial interface emulated through the driver software.

Similar to chips used in 80s speech synthesizers but with extended capabilities, the speech retains a nice retro quality, making it a perfect partner for classic consoles.

Also onboard the AtariVox+ is 32K of non-volatile memory which can be used as a memory card. The flash memory will retain data without power for 200+ years.

An allocation scheme has been devised so that no file is ever overwritten, allowing many different games to store data on just one unit.

Dip Switch Settings

The AtariVox+ contains a bank of dip switches that allow you to select which mode the AtariVox+ will operate in:

AtariVox - for the Atari 2600 and 7800 (default setting)
VecVoice - for compatibility with earlier Vectrex speech synthesis - mainly for the speech-hacked version of Berzerk (Verzerk) and Y.A.S.I.
VecVox - for the Vectrex."

The SpeakJet has been used in a number of synth projects including the Flame Talking Synth and the Polaxix Emy eurorack module. See the SpeakJet label below for more.

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