Speech! (Superior) Review | The Micro User - Everygamegoing

The Micro User

By Superior
BBC Model B

Published in The Micro User 4.04

Utility that speaks for itself

Aeons ago I purchased an Acorn speech synthesiser costing £55 with 165 words to play with.

Next came Computer Concepts' Speech ROM which allowed you to create words phonetically, providing you had previously purchased the Acorn speech synthesiser.

Now along comes Speech! from Superior Software, a software-based utility which requires no additional hardware whatsoever. This 7.5k machine code program which is supplied on cassette or disc along with several other useful programs normally resides in memory between &5500 and &72FF.

However by using the relocation utility provided you can specify an alternative load address. Should you consider 7.5k to be too large a chunk of memory to lose you can always use the second version of the program which can be loaded into sideways RAM or even blown into an eprom.

The BBC Micro's new found vocal chords are brought into life using the commands *SAY and *SPEAK. *SAY will make an excellent attempt at saying the sequence of English words which follow the command.

Question marks and full stops can be used to alter the intonation of certain words. Should you find that the computer has difficulty in pronouncing specific words correctly you can always use the *SPEAK command.

This gives you access to 49 phonemes or word sounds, from which you can construct your new word. Emphasis can be placed on a specific part of the word by following the vowel sound by a number between 1 and 8.

One utility program provided which cannot go unmentioned is Sayfile which will read from a named Wordwise or View file. It is weird to sit back and let the computer proofread my review before I print it out.

If I were a manufacturer of a speech synthesis product I would be greatly worried by the arrival of Speech!

This is one utility which cannot be beaten on quality or price.

James Riddell

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