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Speech Synthesizers

The History

Early Synthesizers

  • around 1000 - early "speaking heads" were made by Gerbert of Aurillac
  • 1779 - models of the human vocal tract were built; they could produce five long vowel sounds
  • 1791 - "Acoustic-Mechanical Speech Machine" was made; it was able to produce consonants as well as long vowel sounds
  • 1837 - "Speaking Machine" was produced based on previous designs
  • 1936 - Bell Labs developed VOCODER, a key-board-operated electronic speech analyzer and synthesizer
  • 1950s - the first computer-based speech synthesizer was created

**early synthesizers sounded very robotic and barely intelligible**

Click here to access a vocoder recording

The first VOCODER made by Bell

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