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AtariVox Spell & Speak


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#1 RevEng ONLINE  

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Posted Wed May 4, 2011 7:21 PM

spellandspeak.bin_5.png

Attached File  spellandspeak.NTSC.20110509.bin   4KB   297 downloads
Attached File  spellandspeak.PAL60.20110509.bin   4KB   247 downloads

It's a text-to-speech program for the 2600. Type in some words - the swearing variety or not - and it will say them when you hit the SPEAK button.

The S buttons save your phrase in 1 of 4 slots, the L buttons load it. Left/Right arrows slow/speed up the speech, up/down arrows raise or lower the pitch.

The text-to-speech converter is phonetics-based, so sometimes you'll need to add or change a few letters to get it to pronounce correctly.

It should be obvious from the name, but I'll say it anyway - this requires an AtariVox.

Enjoy!

#2 killersquirel OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 5, 2011 9:12 PM

Does anybody know if they are ever going to do another run of the atari vox?

-mike

#3 RevEng ONLINE  

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Posted Thu May 5, 2011 9:21 PM

the.golden.ax is going to be producing more of them.

#4 Philsan OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 9, 2011 2:49 AM

Mike, would you please make a PAL60 version when AtariVox will be available?

#5 RevEng ONLINE  

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Posted Mon May 9, 2011 5:30 AM

For sure, Phil - a PAL 60 version is definitely on my radar! :)

#6 RevEng ONLINE  

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Posted Mon May 9, 2011 7:24 AM

The interface is meant to pay homage to a Speak&Spell toy, which is kinda reddish-orange. For NTSC I went a bit more orange and used $39.

For PAL colors, do you think the pinkish-red ($69) works better, or the yellowish-orange? ($49)

speak_and_spell.jpg spellandspeak.bin_4.png spellandspeak.bin_3.png

I'm leaning toward $49, I think, for the same reason I picked NTSC $39. The red looks too pinkish.

Looking at the comparison photos, maybe I'll go darker with both NTSC and PAL too.

#7 Philsan OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 9, 2011 8:13 AM

If you leave NTSC version unchanged, I agree that PAL $48 (maybe $46 or $44) is OK.
In some photos Speak&Spell seems bright red, in other dark red, in other orange...

Have you tested NTSC $42 and PAL $62?

#8 RevEng ONLINE  

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Posted Mon May 9, 2011 8:48 AM

If you leave NTSC version unchanged, I agree that PAL $48 (maybe $46 or $44) is OK.
In some photos Speak&Spell seems bright red, in other dark red, in other orange...

Have you tested NTSC $42 and PAL $62?

Yeah, I think the manufacturing color control was pretty weak for these things. I always remembered them as being more orange than the one I pictured, but maybe it was a regional thing.

I really try to avoid the $#2 registers - on my CRT at default settings, $#0 is black for any color and $#2 is way darker than stella shows. I don't think I'm unique in that either, as I've heard yuppicide and others make the same comment.

I tried NTSC $44...

spellandspeak.bin_5.png

...and PAL $64...

spellandspeak.bin_6.png

...a bit of a cherry undertone with both, but better than the pink at the higher luminance values.

#9 lapetino OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 9, 2011 9:06 AM

I really like this last round, especially the NTSC colors.

If you leave NTSC version unchanged, I agree that PAL $48 (maybe $46 or $44) is OK.
In some photos Speak&Spell seems bright red, in other dark red, in other orange...

Have you tested NTSC $42 and PAL $62?

Yeah, I think the manufacturing color control was pretty weak for these things. I always remembered them as being more orange than the one I pictured, but maybe it was a regional thing.

I really try to avoid the $#2 registers - on my CRT at default settings, $#0 is black for any color and $#2 is way darker than stella shows. I don't think it's unique in that either, as I've heard yuppicide and others make the same comment.

I tried NTSC $44...

spellandspeak.bin_5.png

...and PAL $64...

spellandspeak.bin_6.png

...a bit of a cherry undertone with both, but better than the pink at the higher luminance values.



#10 RevEng ONLINE  

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Posted Mon May 9, 2011 10:13 AM

I really like this last round, especially the NTSC colors.

Sounds good, lapetino - I've updated the first post with the NTSC and PAL reds.

Phil, let me know if the PAL colors work for you.

The version in the first post also fixes a scanline bump that happened with some phrases.

#11 Philsan OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 9, 2011 12:33 PM

NTSC color's perfect.
PAL color is ugly on emulator but good on my Sony Trinitron CRT!
I can't hear anything!
the.golden.ax, hurry up! :D

#12 RevEng ONLINE  

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Posted Mon May 9, 2011 2:43 PM

:D I'll be glad when he spins up production too. My breadvox is good enough for development, but I'd prefer to have a nice self-enclosed unit that I could swap between my laptop and the 2600.

Anyway, thanks for checking it out on real hardware, Phil! :thumbsup:

#13 Philsan OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 9, 2011 2:59 PM

You're always welcome Mike!
Now you have to update your avatar!

#14 RevEng ONLINE  

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Posted Mon May 9, 2011 3:24 PM

And done! :)

#15 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 17, 2011 12:53 AM

Can this be made to work with any emulators?

#16 RevEng ONLINE  

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Posted Tue May 17, 2011 4:40 AM

It will work in Stella, but only if you have an AtariVox plugged into a TTL level serial port on your PC.

#17 roryjr OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 24, 2013 4:04 PM

This sounds so cool. I'm still hoping for an email from ax on an AtariVox, though.

#18 Cybearg OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 30, 2013 5:03 PM

I tried it with my Harmony/AtariVox. Absolutely amazing! It works fantastically!

Man, you're such a genius.

Edited by Cybearg, Thu May 30, 2013 5:03 PM.


#19 gliptitude OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Aug 6, 2016 10:43 PM

Bump. I'm just trying this out now. The most fun I have had with the Vox for sure.

Would it be difficult to make an expanded version with more variables? Like changing tone and volume within a sentence.. like singing? .. Or making longer statements?

.. The four save slots are really convenient and useful. This is just such a neat program. Thanks RevEng!

#20 sramirez2008 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 7, 2016 3:31 PM

Bump. I'm just trying this out now. The most fun I have had with the Vox for sure.

Would it be difficult to make an expanded version with more variables? Like changing tone and volume within a sentence.. like singing? .. Or making longer statements?

.. The four save slots are really convenient and useful. This is just such a neat program. Thanks RevEng!

 

Thanks for bumping this gliptitude.  I was not aware of this, but am now enjoying it with the family. :thumbsup:



#21 RevEng ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 7, 2016 5:07 PM

Thanks for the kind words, guys! :)

Expanding it would be technically possible, but would probably require some on-cart RAM. I wanted to keep this one as a simple 4k ROM. I envisioned it as a simple low-cost pack-in for the vox, but it never garnered that interest. :P

I've kicked around the idea of porting it to the 7800. Intonation tricks would easily be possible there, along with a more advanced interface.

#22 gliptitude OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 7, 2016 7:58 PM

I've kicked around the idea of porting it to the 7800. Intonation tricks would easily be possible there, along with a more advanced interface.


I wonder if it would work any better or worse on Vectrex, or if that interests you? Vectrex homebrews frequently push 32K in size. AtarVox+ works on Vectrex in VecVoice or VecVox mode, whichever the game is programmed for. .. I'm not positive the save key works on Vectrex though. And you'd probably want a different graphic interface to avoid flicker and distortion.

Anyway I'm happy with what you provided already. It is quite functional. I'm surprised it hasn't garnered the interest you envisioned. It seems like an obvious starting point with the Vox hardware, and very common interest in appeal.

#23 RevEng ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 7, 2016 9:36 PM

I wonder if it would work any better or worse on Vectrex, or if that interests you? Vectrex homebrews frequently push 32K in size. AtarVox+ works on Vectrex in VecVoice or VecVox mode, whichever the game is programmed for. .. I'm not positive the save key works on Vectrex though. And you'd probably want a different graphic interface to avoid flicker and distortion.


The Vectrex could easily handle an uplifted version of Spell & Speak, and can theoretically write to the EEPROM. That said, I only develop on systems I have real hardware for, and I don't have one. Wish I did, but the buy-in has been prohibitive.

#24 50TBRD OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 15, 2016 5:19 PM

A Vectrex Spell and Speak would be interesting especially coupled with the VecKey Keyboard adapter.






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