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Article #23 (74 is last):
Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.product.8bit.reviews
From: aa700@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Michael Current)
Subject: Voice Master Junior / hardware
Posted-By: xx004 (aa700 - Michael Current)
Reply-To: aa700@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Michael Current)
Date: Tue Jan 28 22:44:58 1992


Reprinted from the A.C.E.C. BBS (614)-471-8559

Permission to reprint or excerpt is
granted only if the following lines
appear at the top of the article:

ANTIC PUBLISHING INC., COPYRIGHT 1988
REPRINTED BY PERMISSION.
COVOX VOICE MASTER JR.

     The Voice Master Junior consists of
a small box that plugs into a joystick
port and a disk full of software.  The
box contains a microphone for recording
sounds, either for playback or
recognition.  (COVOX IS NO LONGER MAKING
ITS REGULAR $89.95 VOICE MASTER FOR THE
ATARI.  THE JUNIOR MODEL REVIEWED HERE
HAS A FEW LESS FEATURES, AT A SAVINGS OF
$50.--ANTIC ED)
     The most important piece of
software is the BASIC wedge, which
essentially adds new commands to Atari
BASIC.  When the Covox BASIC wedge is
installed, you can use commands such as
SPEAK, LEARN, RECOG and SPEED to make
use of the Voice Master Junior.
     Voice Master Junior can record as
many as 64 words or phrases in memory,
but since speech can be loaded from
disk, the available vocabulary is
virtually unlimited.  To record a word,
you type (in BASIC):  LEARN 1.  The
computer then waits for you to start
speaking and records until you stop, or
until the section of memory for
recording that word is exhausted.
     To play a LEARNed phrase, type
SPEAK.  There are other commands for
saving and loading speech files,
clearing memory, turning off the screen
(which improves speech reproduction) and
varying the speed of playback.  Further,
any of these commands can be used in a
BASIC program, subject to certain syntax
constraints.
     Using the command TRAIN, you can
teach the computer to recognize 31
words.  (Each word must be less than two
seconds long.) Upon using the RECOG
command, the number of the word that was
recognized is placed into a PEEKable
memory location.  You can then respond
to each TRAINed word in a different way,
effectively giving voice control of the
computer.
     There are commands to narrow the
choices and make recognition of the
spoken word more reliable, and the
TRAINed words are also saved when you
save a speech file.  Some sample
programs in the well-written
documentation and several programs on
disk illustrate how to use TRAIN and
RECOG in your own programs.  Also
included is a program for fine-tuning
the digitized data to try to make the
voice sound better.
     If you couldn't include speech
generated with Voice Master Junior in
your own programs, then this device
would merely be an interesting oddity. 
Fortunately, you can. Including a small
subroutine (provided on the disk) in
your program lets you load speech files
and SPEAK words.  You cannot LEARN new
words or use the recognition features,
but you couldn't without the hardware
anyway.  Creating a standalone program
that speaks in your voice is a lot of
fun and extraordinarily simple.

     $39.95, 48K disk.  Covox, 675-D
Conger Street, Eugene, Oregon 97402. 
(503) 342-1271.



-- 
 Michael Current, Cleveland Free-Net 8-bit Atari SIGOp   -->>  go atari8  <<--
   The Cleveland Free-Net Atari SIG is the Central Atari Information Network
      Internet: currentm@carleton.edu / UUCP: ...!umn-cs!ccnfld!currentm
      BITNET: currentm%carleton.edu@interbit / Cleveland Free-Net: aa700





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