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Intellivision Speak & Synth

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Ever wanted to "play" the Intellivoice using an ECS synth keyboard? Well now you can:

I'm not going to claim this is an original idea, because it's absolutely not:

But now you can let loose with your allophones without the need to break out your soldering iron. You can find the ROM and IntyBASIC source for this nonsense in this zip file:



This should be compatible with both the LTO FLASH and JzIntv. Obviously, if you're going down the hardware route, you'll need both an ECS synth and Intellivoice.

There is one small thing that might be of use to others, Speak & Synth? includes an IntyBASIC port of JoeZ's ECS synth keyboard scanning code.



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That is very, very cool! I think you might be an Intellivision Whisperer!


I would guess that if one's fingers are fast enough, actual words could be played by playing phonetics in the right order. That would make for some completely unique speech possibilities from an audio standpoint. In the chiptune world, I can see how that could be used to create vocal recordings that have that robotic sound that the Inty makes. Yeah, there are many ways to make such sounds, but none so authentic as this one.


Nice work!

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Can you have it say the same thing every key, but have each key play its respective note?


Hey Jason,


Unfortunately, I don't believe it is possible to change the pitch of allophones on the Intellivoice. This is a bit of a shortcoming, as it prevents inflection for questions, and is a barrier to singing. The richer sounding voices on Mattel's games resulted from creating custom speech samples. These are much more complex to work with (as with most things Intellivision, JoeZ is your man) and can't be used in IntyBASIC at this time. I'm not sure if they support pitch shifting, I suspect not.


It's a shame, as I think with a little more flexibility, lots of fun could be had with the allophones:




It's also kind of weird, because the need for inflection was recognised from the very first speech synthesizers, like the Voder, which dates back to 1939!:



Clearly, none of this would have prevented the much needed tie up with Texas Instruments and The Electric Company to create the highbrow Mattel edutainment title, The Electric Company Intelli-Speak & Hell ;)







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