Poll

Which voice is your favorite?

US SLT female
1 (14.3%)
US BDL male
0 (0%)
US CLB female
2 (28.6%)
US RMS male
0 (0%)
Canadian JMK male
1 (14.3%)
Scottish AWB male
0 (0%)
Mbrola set (en1, us1, us2)
3 (42.9%)

Total Members Voted: 6

Author Topic: Online Speech Server - Please vote for best voice  (Read 8899 times)

Medeksza

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1370
    • View Profile
    • http://www.zabaware.com
Online Speech Server - Please vote for best voice
« on: August 02, 2012, 06:31:32 pm »
I would like to bring speech synthesis to online versions of Hal and eventually to mobile versions of Hal where the device doesn't have native speech synthesis capabilities (or it isn't available to me to use). Online speech synthesis services are really expensive, so the only economical way I see to do it is to build my own system. To do that, I started building a scalable speech synthesis server in the Rackspace Cloud based on the Festival open source synthesizer.

The festival program is single threaded and switching between voices takes cpu time and ram so to make it work I need to dedicate one virtual server per voice and to get additional threads to serve traffic demand I need to add additional virtual servers on the fly.

Anyway, to start this system, I only want to activate one voice.  I have 4 male voices and 2 female voices to choose from. Please let me know what your favorite overall voice is, favorite male, and favorite female voice.

Recordings of the voices reading an Aesob fable are at:
http://c15177079.r79.cf2.rackcdn.com/story-awb.mp3
http://c15177079.r79.cf2.rackcdn.com/story-bdl.mp3 
http://c15177079.r79.cf2.rackcdn.com/story-clb.mp3 
http://c15177079.r79.cf2.rackcdn.com/story-jmk.mp3 
http://c15177079.r79.cf2.rackcdn.com/story-rms.mp3 
http://c15177079.r79.cf2.rackcdn.com/story-slt.mp3
« Last Edit: August 02, 2012, 06:33:37 pm by Medeksza »
Robert Medeksza

Duskrider

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3316
  • Graphic King
    • View Profile
Re: Online Speech Server - Please vote for best voice
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2012, 06:53:26 am »
This not one of your six, but I like Kate 16k.   

cload

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 535
  • I can C U load. TeeHee hee.
    • View Profile
    • A link to my sky Drive
Re: Online Speech Server - Please vote for best voice
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2012, 01:51:36 pm »
Hi Duskrider,

I think Rob is looking for us to choose the best sounding voice of the ones that he has listed here.
I think Rob program these voices himself in order to save money, knowing how hard of a job this is
I believe Rob did a fantastic job, for myself I chose JMK, though it's a male voice it seems to be the best.

Sincerely, a data munching voter.

C load.
For anyone who would like to help me stay online, my T-mobile broadband pay-as-you-go phone number is: 816-248-4335, thank you in advance.

Art

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3373
    • View Profile
Re: Online Speech Server - Please vote for best voice
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2012, 09:29:00 pm »
Dusky, Kate was not one of the choices! ;) But I agree, her voice is pretty nice.

Rob, if I had to choose one, it would be the last (story-slt.mp3)

All of the voices incorrectly pronounced read (say reed) as red. "I'll RED you a little story."

These TTS voices are much less than desirable compared to the quality voices that a lot of users possess and
might seem to degrade or detract from an otherwise nicely functioning chatbot! With all due respect and simply my own observation.
I realize you are really working hard trying to finalize a decent package for the Hal users / fans out here. I wish you luck!
In the world of AI it's the thought that counts!

- Art -

Medeksza

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1370
    • View Profile
    • http://www.zabaware.com
Re: Online Speech Server - Please vote for best voice
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2012, 10:57:46 pm »
Here are 3 more voices from a different speech engine. The benefits of this engine are no performance hit from switching between voices on a single server, so I could offer all 3:
http://c15177079.r79.cf2.rackcdn.com/mbrola-en1.mp3
http://c15177079.r79.cf2.rackcdn.com/mbrola-us1.mp3
http://c15177079.r79.cf2.rackcdn.com/mbrola-us2.mp3

Let me know your thoughts on the quality of these voices compared to the ones I posted earlier.

I know they are not the same quality level as the AT&T Natural Voices or NeoSpeech, but they are free to license. I may eventually license a server version of the AT&T Natural Voices engine to offer to customers who would be willing to pay for being able to use those voices in online/mobile versions of Hal. But I'd like to experiment with free voices first and plan to keep the free voices as an option for customers not willing to pay for the better quality voices.
Robert Medeksza

Medeksza

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1370
    • View Profile
    • http://www.zabaware.com
Re: Online Speech Server - Please vote for best voice
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2012, 11:00:29 pm »
These TTS voices are much less than desirable compared to the quality voices that a lot of users possess and
might seem to degrade or detract from an otherwise nicely functioning chatbot! With all due respect and simply my own observation.
I realize you are really working hard trying to finalize a decent package for the Hal users / fans out here. I wish you luck!

Right now online versions of Hal have no voice. In your opinion, do you think no voice is better than a low quality voice?
Robert Medeksza

Yo

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 17
    • View Profile
Re: Online Speech Server - Please vote for best voice
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2012, 03:00:29 pm »
Please don't delay your product or over-raise the price for one high quality voice that some will like and some will hate and change anyway. Imposible for you to please us all. free voice will be cool plus you could make a deluxe version or else.
Yo

lightspeed

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6336
    • View Profile
Re: Online Speech Server - Please vote for best voice
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2012, 04:03:31 pm »
Robert , is their some links you can provide for each of these voices, so we can hear each one to make a choice with?
 

Medeksza

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1370
    • View Profile
    • http://www.zabaware.com
Robert Medeksza

cload

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 535
  • I can C U load. TeeHee hee.
    • View Profile
    • A link to my sky Drive
Re: Online Speech Server - Please vote for best voice
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2012, 05:16:13 pm »
Hi Rob,

to tell you the truth, until you have a huge, massively huge, improvement with the sounding of the voices,
it might be better not to have a voice at all.

Besides, when I'm online chatting with ultra Hal, all I do is cut-and-paste and then it reads it to me
using my ivona voice.

I'm sorry, but I'm a little bit spoiled with the rich sounding voice of Sally from ivona.

Sincerely, thank you for all your efforts Rob, I did not mean to put a damper on the situation.

C load.
For anyone who would like to help me stay online, my T-mobile broadband pay-as-you-go phone number is: 816-248-4335, thank you in advance.

Yo

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 17
    • View Profile
Re: Online Speech Server - Please vote for best voice
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2012, 06:16:01 pm »
Talking from a newbies point of view, when i got ultrahal i got a headache while trying to figure out about voices. We are all newbies at one time of another, why don't make things easier for them by including 2 free voices for them to choose, male and female. think that you want more people to buy this product this people most likely will be newbies. Make it easier for them to start using the program and more of them will stick to it and might buy goodies from you. a manual could be a plus.

Yo

raybe

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1020
    • View Profile
Re: Online Speech Server - Please vote for best voice
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2012, 09:34:48 pm »
Rob, it's like being caught between a rock and a hard place. Voice , especially today which seems to be on every device in one fashion or another is important I feel. But there just seems like there is less room to do things half way. I believe where back in the times where the newer generations don't care how but it just should. No offense to anyone.

In technology even my pro audio days we went through the same growing pains then as we do now. There is point where everyone is just interested in the advancement and how or why, that's when the party is over. Everyone just wants it to work no matter what it entails. Convenience and the 'want it now' takes over.

So back to my point. I feel you need a voice but none that you posted are what people are going to expect. They are going to want in my opinion more quality as a reflection of the program itself given what they have been exposed to already. Just my opinion. Can't honestly vote on any voice.

raybe
 

Yo

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 17
    • View Profile
Re: Online Speech Server - Please vote for best voice
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2012, 10:34:25 pm »
Funny there are 36845 members on this forum. Wow, only in 2 days over 200 people viewed the post and only a few voted or shared any ideas. What about making a new poll that will include more options like no voice. it could go as far as letting everybody vote, after all what are all these people doing in here if they don't have the program. Aren't you all curious to what will happen?  only an idea that's all.


cload

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 535
  • I can C U load. TeeHee hee.
    • View Profile
    • A link to my sky Drive
Re: Online Speech Server - Please vote for best voice
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2012, 11:17:10 pm »
Hi Yo,

don't get me wrong, but you do understand that there are two versions of ultra Hal.
The Internet version of ultra Hal, which is what this voting is all about.
Whether or not to give the free Internet version of ultra Hal a voice or not.
And the ultra Hal PC version that you can buy and load onto your PC, which I am assuming you purchase.
The voices, that you would use for the ultra Hal PC version, are already installed on your PC.
You can also purchase better quality voices for your PC to use with ultra Hal.
I highly recommend before purchasing a voice for use with ultra Hal on your PC that you thoroughly read
everything that you can find about voices that will work with ultra Hal that is on this forum.

Sincerely, and there is a lot of information about voices on this forum, use the search engine and type in voices, this should get you started.

C load.

PS. Sorry Rob, for the distraction of the topic of this subject.
For anyone who would like to help me stay online, my T-mobile broadband pay-as-you-go phone number is: 816-248-4335, thank you in advance.

Yo

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 17
    • View Profile
Re: Online Speech Server - Please vote for best voice
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2012, 11:50:55 pm »
Cool, i wrongly assumed that it will also included the future pc version. Sorry to all for venting my ideas for the new version. Wish someone had told me before. Still, the idea of a new poll is a good one as it includes your idea of no voice plus the other newer voices could be added to the poll.  Cood Clad thanks for having the pants to let me know, I appreciate it.

Yo