DECtalk was a speech synthesizer and text-to-speech technology developed by Digital Equipment Corporation in the early 1980s, based largely on the work of Dennis Klatt at MIT, whose source-filter algorithm was variously known as KlattTalk or MITalk.
The first DECtalk units were seen in 1984.
They were standalone units that connected to any device with an asynchronous serial port. Later units were produced for PCs with ISA bus slots.
The DECtalk engine was used in the National Weather Service’s first “Console Replacement System” (CRS) installations in the late 1990s for NOAA Weather Radio.
As of 2003
it had been all but been replaced by a far more modern engine called Speechify. The so-called “Perfect Paul” voice (a DECtalk “preset” for a default understandable male voice) still does Station identifications on many NWR stations.
DECtalk can be used as an assistive technology for those unable to speak. One of the most notable users of DECtalk is Stephen Hawking.
There have been several very comical files made that take advantage of Dectalk’s phonemic abilities.
For a long time now, I’ve been interested in making some more of those, since our main source for funny stuff like that seems to have dried up.
I found everything I need, and didn’t even realize I had most of it right on my external hard drive.
If you’re interested, Click here for more information and documentation.