Have you guys tried using AT&T Labs' text to speech site? See
http://www2.research.att.com/~ttsweb/tts/demo.php ; You won't be using your own
voice, but at the very least the voice will be consistent. I am not a SSB fan,
but do want to get into SSB contests and have been toying with the idea of
recording it all with a text-to-speech tools. For call signs, my thought is to
make them sound more natural by identifying the top unique prefixes and
recording dedicated files for them (e.g., W1, DL5, S50, etc.).
From: Björn SM0MDG <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: CQ Contest <email@example.com>
Sent: Friday, March 8, 2013 5:05 AM
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Improving voice recordings for phone contests
On 7 mar 2013, at 13:30, Pete Smith N4ZR <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Before last weekend's contest, I had a chance to experiment a bit with my
> voice recordings. One of the problems I have always had is that when I try
> to enunciate clearly I always slow down, and the resulting recording lacks
> the urgency you expect in a contest situation. I also always notice stations
> whose recorded and live audio don't sound anything alike, and wanted to
> minimize that as much as possible.
> I use Audacity, excellent freeware recording software, but this time around I
> "discovered" its "Change Tempo" function, which speeds up speech without
> changing the pitch or timbre. The results are wonderful - you can speed up
> any recording 10 or 20 percent at a time, and it sounds completely natural,
> just faster.
> *listen and adjust the tempo (on the same Enhance menu) for the effect I
> want. Repeat these 4 steps for each recorded message.
I used the same methodology for the recordings I made for CQ160 SSB where I had
to go "silent". I voiced in normal speed (or slightly below normal),
articulating clearly and used about 20-30% tempo increase. I would be
interested to hear others "best practice" on the amount of speed increase.
A sample exchange of mine is posted on the SE0X blog, go to www.se0x.info in
the CQ160 SSB update and listen to the audio file.
Another benefit of voicing all prompts is that exchanges are kept to the
essentials keeping the rate high. Of course this can only happen if voice
prompts are clear and easy to receive by the other station. The benefit is
probably higher in a contest with a predictable exchange leaving only the call
to constructed on the fly by N1MM.
73 de Björn,
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